Multi-PPPoE-on-a-stick questions



  • Since I found out about pfSense, got books and in love with it I've been trying every now and then…every few months to send several VDLS2 connections over VLANs, a single link doesn't even reach 100Mbps so 1Ge port could in theory handle all my lines, freeing the extra ports for more useful stuff or just future expansion.

    At least that's what I thought. Whenever I do try this I can never get all the links to come online, each has to have its own port on the firewall. Then if you add virtualization to the mix, VMware in my case, to assign NICs to a VM you lose vMotion (migration) and gain full memory allocation so even if the firewall isn't using its total allocated memory no other VM can borrow it. Ignorant me thought there was something wrong with pfSense and to make it worse there were some issues sometimes that backed up my notions. Later on I started playing around with MikroTik's RouterOS and survived the bootcamp to manage that thing, again tried the PPPoE on VLANs to the same result.

    I think my license is still valid…anyway, I had already got at home using pfSense and it has allowed me some really cool setups like cloud-to-cloud-to-prem stuff I could never even dream about before, the thing is rock-solid and I'm still amazed how restoring from a backup is painless--to the same hardware. Nevertheless it still bugs me that I can't do the PPPoE/VLAN thing.

    I did a little month-long searching for reasons and the farthest I've gotten is that PPPoE is layer 2 stuff, like conversion from something else not ethernet to ethernet--and please correct me if   where I'm wrong, that's the whole point–what I'm trying to do doesn't work with it, that I came up with all on my own.  ;)

    I searched for ISP-level equipment manuals and whatever I could find about this and the materials kept repeating the same over and over; encapsulation, ATM, this was a huge one that stuck, and of course point-to-point. I know also that VLANs can travel nested on top of other VLANs, QinQ I believe, and, there's also something like sub-VLANS or pVLANS, something like that--or maybe that's just network virtualization I picked up somewhere else, I know pfSense has one of those but I'm not sure which. My switches, they all have these functions but now I've learned not to not obey warning signs even after having just read consequences would cripple the F out of everything within packet-switched reach. ha-ha.  >:( Therefore I've been focusing my ADHD on something else but like I said in the beginning every few months there's like a reminder where I'm listening to myself, VLANs are layer 2, all of this is layer 2 with lots of smarts on top. What am I missing.

    Since obviously I'm not a Cisco engineer, could you guys explain why I can't do this? Or if it's doable, how?!