Load Balancing/Bonding Multiple Internet Links

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by decryption, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. decryption

    decryption Member

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    I've got a client moving to an NBN area (lucky bastards) who do *a lot* of uploading. Lots of remote backups (100GB+/week) and uploading videos on a regular basis. Basically any increase in upload speed they can get is awesome. 40mbit is fantastic, but more the better and with the NBN you can get 4x 100/40 connections to a single premises.

    I was wondering if there's a good way to take advantage of that upload speed by load balancing or bonding the 4x connections? (e.g: Exetel, TPG, Internode, Primus). I haven't really thought about it before, so don't really know where to start.

    A bit of googling tells me that maybe a bonded VPN type setup would work well? Anyone ever done this before? Mainly just fishing for ideas for further research.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  2. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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    You can buy multiple wan routers. Shouldn't be too difficult to load balance or team them up.
     
  3. FatBoyNotSoSlim

    FatBoyNotSoSlim Member

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    Depending on how they are doing their uploading, if it's something simple like FTP, you could have various VMs or hosts set up each pointing to a different gateway IP address (that is itself a different connection) for it's internet. Then internally transfer the work to it.

    (I envision this set up being a folder with 4x sub folders, and each host is set up to monitor each sub folder every minute and upload and files in it to a remote ftp server. You'd have to manually load each folder with work to do your own load balancing though.)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    decryption

    decryption Member

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    Load balancing wouldn't really make things faster would it? If there's lots of activity to different servers it'll be good as it will spread the load out, but if it's just say, uploading a 20GB file to an FTP server, it'll just use the one WAN port?

    Easy to set up, but a bit manual. Could work tho.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  5. FatBoyNotSoSlim

    FatBoyNotSoSlim Member

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    I believe so, at least at the lower end of the scale. An ISP purchased 'bonded' connection may negate this though. I'll leave that to more experienced people to prove/disprove.

    In the case of the above 20gb file, rared up, split into 5gb chunks, would work out ok. :thumbup:
     
  6. s.Neo

    s.Neo Member

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  7. OP
    OP
    decryption

    decryption Member

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  8. dualathlon

    dualathlon Member

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    You could try pfsense LAGG - bonding multiple interfaces; If your internet connections are stable and the same in bw / delay.

    1. Setup pfsense on both ends.
    2. Setup 4 openvpn tunnels, on 4 separate wan interfaces, device mode is TAP (L2 bridging)
    3. Interface assign, create a LAGG interface, select 4 ovpn interfaces, set LAG proto to roundrobin.
    4. Interface assign, bind a L3 interface on that LAGG interface.
    5. Set static route, OSPF, ... to let pf node at each site know how to reach other end subnets.

    Pf will forward (ethernet) frame by frame on all bonding ovpn interfaces.
    The result is not great if those wan lines are not the same.

    Warning: when an wan line is down, there is no automatically way to remove that tunnel out of bonding => packet loss!!!
     
  9. Zedd02

    Zedd02 Member

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    I would be inclined to imagine that if you speak to say Internode/TPG, and ask them, they'll probably be able to provide a way of bonding all 4 interfaces together, giving you 400/160. And, they'll probably be able to set it up such that you still have only 1 external IP for traffic (or your subnet, however you want to do that).

    I also think you might be able to do this with iptables in Linux, and some magical mangle rules, but I'd be inclined to query a service provider first.
     
  10. h-90

    h-90 Member

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  11. Skitza

    Skitza Member

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  12. Kodaz

    Kodaz Member

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    Just to note this will allow you to use more than one connection but you will be limited to the upload or download speed of one connection per download. This is load balancing. OP really wants bonding.
     
  13. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Bonded connections (from what I gather/read on here) are generally garbage. Though that might only be Bonded ADSL, but you can end up with sync issues, etc etc.

    Remember that Business NBN is a CONTENDED service. So you are sharing that "pipe" with John Doe and Joe Average, and his family who sit on torrrent sites nailing down movies all day. Not to mention businesses like yourself hammering their NBN line for data. It is not a dedicated speed, and can fluctuate just like ADSL does.

    Add in numerous NBN lines and you are congesting your own service even more (in a way).

    http://www.thegcommpost.com.au/nbn-theoretical-speeds-vs-premium-ethernet-speeds/

    Then if you have a multi-wan router (capable of the throughput you want, they are not cheap), you have to ensure it can handle the throughput you are asking of it without:
    a) crashing.
    b) freezing.
    c) throttling traffic.

    Did a bit of looking into this a while back for our office upload speeds, as well as mobile 3G/4G bonding devices.

    Hardware wise, Mushroom networks, Juniper, Cisco, and Peplink came up in research.

    In terms of Peplink, you'll need something like a Peplink Balance 710/1350/2500. Your looking at circa $5000/$8000/$16000 respectively.

    If you need these fast speeds, why not pay for a dedicated 1:1 fibre link ?
    I believe AINS and Ultrafast Communications (at least according to BroadbandChoice), will go 1Gb/1Gb connections.

    I realise it's far more expensive, but no contention, and depending on how you do backups if it's firing data at a data centre, on a non contended service, you should get close to perfect upload speeds, with minimal loss in between you and your closest datacentre.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2014
  14. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    The only type of 'load balancing' that tends to work in Australia is per-session load balancing ie one FTP upload on 1 link, the other on the second, therefore both get the full 40mbps.

    You'll struggle to find a way to achieve true per-packet load balancing.

    Consider a private IP network rather than internet for the uploads? They generally have no usage metering.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    decryption

    decryption Member

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    Is there a way to do this transparently so that the user doesn't need to manually divide up the transfers per link?
     
  16. h-90

    h-90 Member

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    So does one IP address need to use all 4 links at once? Otherwise yeah thats bonding not load balancing.
     
  17. thetron

    thetron Member

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  18. Dutch Wink

    Dutch Wink Member

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    You can't 'bond' NBN - it's ethernet, and completely unlike the DSL-based bonded solutions.

    You can get creative with outgoing interface selection per-packet I guess, but you'll need a pretty flexible router to do that. Linux iptables might be enough - something fun to play with at any rate :)

    Further, consider the fact that RSP's get the first 150mb free on the first CVC of theirs in a POI. If you happen to be on a quiet CVC with your chosen provider, they may only have that solitary 150mb of capacity to that POI. Your 4x 40mb simultaneous upload will flood the uplink direction of that CVC - for everyone. Sure, it's your provider's problem, and it should get resolved with an upgrade if they're any good and keep an eye on backhaul usage, but just something to keep in mind!
     
  19. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    NBN via satellite I believe was offered in a bonded solution.

    FWIW though, you'd have to check your acceptable usage policies (even on Unlimited* accounts).

    You may find your usage of NBN Business connection extends outside acceptable usage.
     
  20. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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