ESXi 4.1, pfSense 2.0 and Huawei E220 failover - It actually works!

  • Hi everyone,

    I've been hanging around the forum for a while to find solutions to various problems but finally decided to register so I can share some results of my last experiment.

    I am running a Vmware ESXi server at home and have a virtual pfSense installation for my firewall needs. When USB passtrough was introduced in the new version 4.1 released a couple of days ago I got an idea to try get a 3G modem connected as backup link. It wasn't really plug and play, but I have actually got it running without to many complex steps. Here's a short summary of what I did:

    After upgrading to ESXi 4.1 I tried just hooking the modem up to the server and assigned a USB controller to the pfSense VM. I then tried to add the modem as a passtrough device but it didn't show up in the vSphere client. Took me a couple of days to figure out that I had to use a serial console (Putty can do this in Windows) and send a AT-command to the modem to turn off the virtual CD feature. AT^U2DIAG=0 if I remember correctly. After that I could just add the modem to the VM and set up the PPP connection against /dev/cuaU0.0.

    I'm now trying to understand how the gateway groups works so I can have a cheap backup link when my ISP has a bad day.

    Feel free to comment with questions or hints on how to improve this.


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