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How do you do....it? Thread, Bonded BT Infinity Project in Technical; Look at the drayteks for affordable load balancing multi wan routers....
  1. #16
    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Look at the drayteks for affordable load balancing multi wan routers.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Simple solution is just to load balance it all, we have our 4 lines load balanced works a treat.

    We have a pfsense server with 6 NIC's in - 4 From the single port modem/routers into the box then 2 NIC's to network.

    It works very well and considering we get 10 Meg per line our speedtest usually shows us 33-40 Meg.

    Pfsense is based on Smoothwall/Monowall so you'll be able to do this with other variations of the OS.
    Last edited by cpjitservices; 13th February 2012 at 10:46 AM.

  3. #18
    timbo343's Avatar
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    we have just replaced our cisco 2600xm router with a cisco 1941 to deal with our lines

  4. #19

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjitservices View Post
    Pfsense is based on Smoothwall/Monowall so you'll be able to do this with other variations of the OS.
    Smoothwall is fork from Redhat. MonoWall is based on FreeBSD. PFSense is based on FreeBSD but using OpenBSD PF rather then IPTables. Personally PF is WAAAY better as you've stated

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    We've been "doing" bonding for some time. It's important to understand the difference between bonding and balancing,

    Balances sends packets / data down each different link giving you a different real world IP address each time you go out. So unless you use an application such as torrenting which makes thousands of separate connections to different IP endpoints then you'll never get the full bandwidth on a single download. e.g. you balance 2 x ADSL connections which both get a maximum of say 8Mbit then you won't get a throughput on single download of 16Mbit. You'll just get 8Mbit. If someone on a PC next to you then trys to download a file that is balanced onto the second link then they two should get 8Mbit. Add both together then it's 16Mbit but only on separate connections.

    Balancing is ok, has the above issue and also others. They are the fact that the upload will also never be double the speed for the reason as above with the download. Also if you host anything on site or use a VPN then a remote user will never be able to get full use of the bandwidth on both lines. It'll only get the maximum speed from 1 line. Some websites / hosted applications also don't like balancing the connection as the real world IP address of your Internet connection keeps on changing. To get these sites to work you have to program your balancing device to permanently send all packets / data down the same link to either IP end point of via protocol used. e.g https sites can be broken by balancing sometimes.

    Bonding is superior to balancing in every way. The speeds is truely bonding together. i.e you have 2 x 8mbit download lines then you will get 16Mbit download from 1 download stream. Your real world IP addresses are always the same so VPN'ing in and hosting web servers on site make use of the increased upload bandwidth. There are a couple of ways to do bonding.

    MLPPP - This is done by having a device on site such as a Cisco and they create PPP links back to the ISP's LNS (this terminates the L2TP tunnels over BT's network). Packets are spread over each link and re-assembled on the LNS to give one throughput. The downside we've seen of MLPPP is that if you have for example 2 x ADSL lines, one syncs at 7Mbit and the other at 8Mbit then the max you'll get is 7Mbit out of each line. I'm not 100% sure on the technicalities as to why (perhaps one of my engineers would like to add to this thread, Luke?!!) but this is what we've seen in practise. It also means that if your ISP has an issue then the amount of resilience you have is lessened as if their core network has an issue then you can kiss your connection goodbye. Also ADSL lines can go up and down in speed which can also have quite a dramatic effect on performance. Some ISP's say you must only use MLPPP with fixed rate DSL. i.e. the now very old 512k, 1Mbit and 2Mbit options. This is generally a cheaper way than the next way to bond.

    Xrio UBM - We actively sell this product and have our own Xrio UBM infrastructure. You must have a UBM bonding device on site and one "in the cloud". GRE tunnels are made from the extneral interface of all WAN connections on the onsite UBM back to a single WAN connection on the hosted UBM. Packets are distributed over all GRE links by use of Xrio's own algorithm. Using UBM's has the following advantages 1) The WAN links don't have to be the same speed. One could run at 5Mbit, the other at 7Mbit and you'd get 12Mbit of download, unlike with the previously mentioned MLPPP offering. 2) You can bond connections from multiple ISP's. This gives greater resilience. We for example sometimes offer 2 x BT wholesale based ADSL's and 2 x O2 / Be Wholesale ADSL's. If the BT ADSL's fail then the GRE links go down between both UBM devices. Therefore the O2 DSL's simply continue to function and the speed is reduced. As soon as the BT ADSL's come back on line the you are back to full speed.

    There is some "bonding overhead" and we normally say about 10% of overall download bandwidth.

    We've actually bonded 4 x FTTC 40Mbit services for a large school in Cheshire. The throughput they often get is about 105Mbit download and 32Mbit upload where the BRAS profiles are 38Mbit download and 10Mbit upload on all connections. This proved far more cost effective than the equivalent leased line. We also often bond dual ADSL's for primary schools when they are a long way from the telephone exchange.

    Happy to discuss the merits or any more technicalities. I hope the above makes sense!


    Dave Tindall

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