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We used good old SDSL and load balanced ADSL in the past, and when the recession came and our office shrank considerably we switched to domestic ADSL Max line (from Be Broadband, which was very good) to cut costs. We are now growing at a pace again and this domestic solution no longer fits. We have 35 users in our London office, and 5 users in our Northern office connected via a VPN. The VPN has started to slow down, and we are moving more services into the cloud (Office 365, backup into the cloud etc), so there are more pressures on the connection than ever before.

I have had quotes for Bonded ADSL (60 megs down, 6 megs up at very low contention (quoted at 1:2.5)) and EFM (Ethernet First Mile, 8 megs symmetric, guaranteed by an SLA and 1:1 contention). The costs are near enough identical. The Bonded ADSL comes with no SLA, and we are limited by the PSTN lines and any faults that could appear on these. The Bonded ADSL has a much higher download speed to our bigger London office though (60 megs vs 8 megs) and lower initial cap ex. I am leaning towards the bonded ADSL option due to the larger download pipe.

What are your experiences of both of these technologies?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by mdpc, TheCleaner, Bryan, Scott Pack, Falcon Momot Jul 24 '13 at 4:18

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Sorry, this strikes me as a good question, the sort of thing we want more of on SF. It seems to me to be a plea from one sysadmin to others, looking for knowledge, advice, experiences to learn from, and other worthwhile stuff. So I'm not voting to close, and will vote to reopen if it does get closed (unless it's mod-hammered). –  MadHatter Jul 23 '13 at 19:25
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1 Answer

I'm in the US, so things are a little different here, but not different enough to change my answer: The bonded ADSL comes with no service level agreement, per your statement above.
This means they are under no obligation to provide you with the 60Mbit/sec downlink speed, the 6Mbit/sec, or indeed ANY SERVICE AT ALL -- your line could be down for a week and you would be basically out of luck.

I don't know about your particular situation, but that's simply not acceptable at my company -- we require a service level commitment with reasonable time-on-site and penalty clauses for outages.

In my case it was difficult to convince the company to spend the money for that kind of service until we had a series of outages that basically shut us down. That situation quickly drives home the importance of being able to call your provider and say "Our contract says there will be a tech here within 2 hours, and penalties for the outage kick in at the 4-hour mark."

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Note that the need for an ironclad SLA escalates if you're "moving more services into the cloud" -- unless you consider Everyone go work from home! an acceptable solution in the event of an outage. –  voretaq7 Jul 23 '13 at 17:08
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What voretaq7 said. However, SLAs are meaningless unless the penalty clauses are spelled out; the size of the penalty determines how much money the provider will spend to avoid outage, and to fix it when it happens. So do remember to ask, while you're getting those "ironclad" SLAs, what the penalties are for failure to meet them. –  MadHatter Jul 23 '13 at 19:23
    
Indeed, a SLA without specific, real penalties is not "ironclad" - it's "tissue paper". –  voretaq7 Jul 23 '13 at 20:06
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