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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 26th 14, 10:57 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 83
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

I currently have a Draytek Vigor 2820n router which load balances two
ADSL lines, one ADSL directly connected to the 2820n and the other via
a BT Business Hub3.

I'm about to make some changes, in particular I'm going to get rid of
one of the POTS lines so I want to switch to using a 3G/4G connection
as backup (or load share) with the single ADSL/POTS.

There may also be the possibility of sharing a some bandwidth from a
WiFi connection.

So I'm (probably) looking for a new router to give me a bit more
flexibility in sharing WANs. Does anyone have any opinions on any of
the following:-

TP-Link TL-R470T+, TL-R480T+ and TL-ER5120
Draytek 2830 or 2930 series
Billion - what models really do load balancing?
Mikrotik - what model do I need for 2 or 3 WAN?

The TP-Link routers are certainly cheap but I wonder how good they
actually are, I've searched for reviews but not found much except one
that said the TL-ER5120 doesn't perform too well.

I'm only going to have, at the best, something like 10Mb/s throughput
to the internet so that shouldn't stretch anything much. I'd quite
like good local speed though so Gigabit LAN is nice which pushes to
the more expensive ones above.

--
Chris Green

  #2  
Old October 27th 14, 08:28 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 723
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

wrote:
I currently have a Draytek Vigor 2820n router which load balances two
ADSL lines, one ADSL directly connected to the 2820n and the other via
a BT Business Hub3.

I'm about to make some changes, in particular I'm going to get rid of
one of the POTS lines so I want to switch to using a 3G/4G connection
as backup (or load share) with the single ADSL/POTS.

There may also be the possibility of sharing a some bandwidth from a
WiFi connection.

So I'm (probably) looking for a new router to give me a bit more
flexibility in sharing WANs. Does anyone have any opinions on any of
the following:-

TP-Link TL-R470T+, TL-R480T+ and TL-ER5120
Draytek 2830 or 2930 series
Billion - what models really do load balancing?
Mikrotik - what model do I need for 2 or 3 WAN?

The TP-Link routers are certainly cheap but I wonder how good they
actually are, I've searched for reviews but not found much except one
that said the TL-ER5120 doesn't perform too well.

I'm only going to have, at the best, something like 10Mb/s throughput
to the internet so that shouldn't stretch anything much. I'd quite
like good local speed though so Gigabit LAN is nice which pushes to
the more expensive ones above.


I've used the Draytek 2830 and 2860. Given you have experience of the
2820 I suggest you stay with the same make.

A point about Draytek load sharing is that I think it is session-based,
not packet based. So if you open a browser on a specific web page all
the traffic for that web page (that comes from a given server) will be
carried over one pathway. If somebody else on the same LAN opens the
same web page they may get their traffic via an alternative pathway. So
for an arrangement where there are several similar users the load is
shared fairly effectively.

However, if you want to download a single large file from a remote
server that traffic is treated as a single session, and is limted to
one pathway.

You may have one path that is slower than another (e.g. 3G rather than
FTTC), and the pathway you get depends on which is in use when you start
the transfer (depending also on any load balancing rule you set up). So
for a large transfer you might be unlucky that it chooses a slow
pathway. If you recognise this you may be able to start another
transfer which will get the benefit of the faster pathway, and kill the
first one.

Other load-balancing routers may share the traffic by packet rather than
by session, so you would not see this difficulty. I suspect this
requires a router that runs BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) so think Cisco
and similarly expensive kit.

An alternative would be a bonded connection, where two (probably
similar) channels share the traffic. This requires you and your ISP to
agree this. Not sure you can bond channels between two different ISPs
(e.g. for reliabilty).

--
Graham J

  #3  
Old October 27th 14, 01:34 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Theo Markettos
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 539
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

wrote:
So I'm (probably) looking for a new router to give me a bit more
flexibility in sharing WANs. Does anyone have any opinions on any of
the following:-


I don't have any experiences, but I'm interested in the answer to this
question, particularly if there's anything that will share multiple 3G WANs.
For instance, plug in Three, O2 and Vodafone dongles and load balance across,
failing over to two or one if the other has no signal/out of
credit/whatever.

I could of course have a load balancing ethernet router and a pile of
3G-ethernet routers, but it would be nice to have something that knew what
was going on with the 3G connections (eg will easily tell me that Three and
O2 have no signal).

The TP-Link routers are certainly cheap but I wonder how good they
actually are, I've searched for reviews but not found much except one
that said the TL-ER5120 doesn't perform too well.


TP-Link kit works surprisingly well for the price IME, though I don't know
how well they cope with 'complicated' scenarios like this.

I'm only going to have, at the best, something like 10Mb/s throughput
to the internet so that shouldn't stretch anything much. I'd quite
like good local speed though so Gigabit LAN is nice which pushes to
the more expensive ones above.


If it's getting too much, a simple GigE 8 port switch is 20 quid these days.
The TP-Link TL-SG108E does VLANs and stuff if you run a Java app (there's no
web interface).

Theo
  #4  
Old October 27th 14, 09:31 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

Graham J (for it is he) wrote:

A point about Draytek load sharing is that I think it is session-based,
not packet based.


This will be fine for what the OP has described. It's unlikely he'd be able
to anything else on a 3G and a DSL [although AAISP might let you do this -
they offer 3G as fallback for their other access services with the correct
IP addressing, so no reason why you can't load balance it].

However, if you want to download a single large file from a remote
server that traffic is treated as a single session, and is limted to
one pathway.


*In theory* the router could intercept individual HTTP connections and have
a session to the destination server on each, giving you double the speed. I
can see this being fraught with difficulties and prone to breaking, however.
I know of no router that does this.

Other load-balancing routers may share the traffic by packet rather than
by session, so you would not see this difficulty. I suspect this
requires a router that runs BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) so think Cisco
and similarly expensive kit.


You can run BGP on even the smallest Mikrotik [that's the easy bit]. Your
problem would be having your own IP space to announce over BGP to the rest
of the world.

An alternative would be a bonded connection, where two (probably
similar) channels share the traffic. This requires you and your ISP to
agree this.


Not sure you can bond channels between two different ISPs (e.g. for
reliabilty).


You could if you could aggregate them somewhere else [eg in a datacentre and
do internet breakout there] but as soon as the latencies on the two
connections became too dissimilar then you're going to struggle.

--
http://ale.cx/ (AIM:troffasky) )
21:17:58 up 11:50, 5 users, load average: 0.46, 0.52, 0.48
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
from malice

  #5  
Old October 27th 14, 10:04 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 83
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

alexd wrote:

Other load-balancing routers may share the traffic by packet rather than
by session, so you would not see this difficulty. I suspect this
requires a router that runs BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) so think Cisco
and similarly expensive kit.


You can run BGP on even the smallest Mikrotik [that's the easy bit]. Your
problem would be having your own IP space to announce over BGP to the rest
of the world.

Can anyone point me at a simple description of how to do load
balancing on a Microtik router? I run Linux on all my home machines
so command line (using vi etc.) holds no fears for me but I couldn't
really find a basic, simple "this is how you do it" description
anywhere in the Microtik documentation.

If it is (fairly) easy using Mikrotik hardware then that would seem
the way to go to me as they tick all my other boxes.

--
Chris Green

  #6  
Old October 28th 14, 09:40 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

(for it is he) wrote:

Can anyone point me at a simple description of how to do load
balancing on a Microtik router?


Simple descriptions are few and far between with Mikrotik, and there's
always more than one way to do it. You don't have to splash any readies to
try it out, however, you can spin up a VM image with a trial license on.

Have a look at the Per-Connection Classifier:

http://aacable.wordpress.com/2011/07...cript-by-zaib/

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/How_PC...%28beginner%29

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:PCC

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Load_Balancing

http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31767

I run Linux on all my home machines so command line (using vi etc.) holds
no fears for me


The Mikrotik CLI is nothing like a Linux shell, and just in case the idea
was in the back of your mind, RouterOS is Tivoized and you won't be able to
install anything on it that wasn't supplied by Mikrotik. If that's the kind
of thing you're after, look at OpenWRT [incidentally, OpenWRT will run on
some Routerboard hardware].

but I couldn't really find a basic, simple "this is how
you do it" description anywhere in the Microtik documentation.


The Manual:PCC page is pretty good actually and even has a diagram on it,
but you probably had to know that you were looking for something called PCC
before you'd find it :-)

--
http://ale.cx/ (AIM:troffasky) )
09:07:53 up 23:40, 5 users, load average: 0.60, 0.61, 0.58
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
from malice

  #7  
Old October 28th 14, 10:48 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 83
Default Wanted - recommendation for multi-wan routers (with load balancing)

alexd wrote:
(for it is he) wrote:

Can anyone point me at a simple description of how to do load
balancing on a Microtik router?


Simple descriptions are few and far between with Mikrotik, and there's
always more than one way to do it.


Yes, exactly! :-) As I said I'm fairly knowledgeable but I really
couldn't find an easy description anywhere in the Mikrotik
documentation of how to do basic load balancing.


You don't have to splash any readies to
try it out, however, you can spin up a VM image with a trial license on.

That's a point, I run VirtualBox already on my desktop machine.


Have a look at the Per-Connection Classifier:

http://aacable.wordpress.com/2011/07...cript-by-zaib/


http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/How_PC...%28beginner%29

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:PCC

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Load_Balancing

http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31767

Thanks for all those links, I'll work through looking at them.


I run Linux on all my home machines so command line (using vi etc.) holds
no fears for me


The Mikrotik CLI is nothing like a Linux shell, and just in case the idea
was in the back of your mind, RouterOS is Tivoized and you won't be able to
install anything on it that wasn't supplied by Mikrotik. If that's the kind
of thing you're after, look at OpenWRT [incidentally, OpenWRT will run on
some Routerboard hardware].

OK, I hadn't realised how customised/locked down it is. My vi comment
was more to indicate my background than that I was expecting to run vi
on the Mikrotik though. :-) I am familiar with configuring Draytek
Vigor (whose GUI isn't the most user friendly IMHO) and also a wide
variety of other routers and WiFi boxes (mostly TP-Link at present but
also Tenda, Zyxel, Sppedtouch and BT).

but I couldn't really find a basic, simple "this is how
you do it" description anywhere in the Microtik documentation.


The Manual:PCC page is pretty good actually and even has a diagram on it,
but you probably had to know that you were looking for something called PCC
before you'd find it :-)

Yes, that was much of my problem, I had found the PCC page (I think)
but it wasn't (isn't) at all clear that this is the 'usual' way to do
load balancing at the sort of level I'm interested in it. I don't
need anything very clever that really optimises throughput to the nth
degree but do want to use both interfaces, particularly if there are
multiple users. E.g. if I'm doing a big download of a Linux ISO then
my wife browsing the internet will use the other WAN.

--
Chris Green

 




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