Virtual IP NAT reflection



  • I am getting ready to setup a new pFsense box for a web/email hosting infrastructure.  My needs are more met by the features available in the 2.0 series and I am considering using the 2.0 RC-3 for production.  The most important feature here is NAT reflection.

    1. Would you consider the basic functions (NAT & Routing) of the 2.0 RC-3 stable enough be used in a production environment?
    2. The only advanced feature I would need (for now) is NAT Reflection for 1:1 (or virtual IP's), and Port Forwards.  Is this feature functional without any known or foreseen issues?

    Thanks


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @tuaris:

    1. Would you consider the basic functions (NAT & Routing) of the 2.0 RC-3 stable enough be used in a production environment?

    Yes. Even more so than 1.2.3 in almost every case.

    @tuaris:

    1. The only advanced feature I would need (for now) is NAT Reflection for 1:1 (or virtual IP's), and Port Forwards.  Is this feature functional without any known or foreseen issues?

    I haven't seen 1:1 reflection work, personally. NAT reflection in general works better than it did on 1.2.3, but be aware that it only works properly for TCP. NAT reflection for UDP hasn't ever worked properly that I'm aware of, even on 1.2.3.


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    I never could wrap my head around how there would be an actual NEED for nat reflection, I see it as a shortcut or a lazy way to have local machines access a inside ip by the public IP normally because admin is too lazy to setup name resolution correctly for other inside machines that want to access the resource that is meant for outside access.

    If you don't mind could you explain your NEED for NAT reflection..  I am most curious to why you believe you NEED it, maybe you do and I am just not able to think of the scenario where it would be required.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    There are some cases out there where devices require an IP instead of a hostname (silly, I know…) or in the case of certain game servers, the server is listed in a public list by its IP, and if you try to connect with a console on the "inside" to the server in the list, it won't work. DNS doesn't help there...

    In almost every case, however, Split DNS is better.


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    Those scenarios do indeed make sense.  And now that you mention them its DUH why did they not come to mind when I was racking my brain for when nat reflection would actually be needed.

    Thanks!  That quenches my curiosity thirst ;)

    I can understand both of those scenarios, but they still seem pretty lame - why would you actually require the connection to be an IP?  And why would you not use DNS to resolve a game server your trying to connect too ;)



  • A web, DNS, email, mysql infrastructure hosting hundreds of domains is placed behind pFsense.  In the following setup web, dns, mysql, and mail are each on their own dedicated server.  NAT is setup so that 1 IP address can shared across web, email, and DNS.

    Now, consider the following cases:

    Multisite Drupal based websites need cron.php run every hour.  The cron.php script must be accessed using the hostname. (http://www.domain1.tld/cron.php, http://www.domain2.tld/cron.php, http://www.domain3.tld/cron.php).  DNS will resolve using the external IP address.

    A web form is filled out and sends email to a hosted domain (someone@domain1.com), DNS resolves the MX to the external IP address.

    Sure, split DNS could solve the issues, but would it really be feasible to run split DNS for hundreds of domains?



  • tuaris, a mix dns would be a PIA, but fruitful…however, i am running internal DNS with reflection/NAT on many websites, mail servers, etc. i have yet to run into a problem with RC3.

    i only allow dns through my dmz and all is grand. reverse lookups havent had a problem.

    ofcourse i have more than one static (200+ statics at the moment) ...but i still havent run into a problem you might be worrying aboot.

    also, the hardware i am running is prehistoric compared to the hosting environment..and it runs like a top.

    i replaced TWO paloalto 5500's with pfSense (not load balanced, but failover setup) ...and not only do i have LESS work to do compared to the paloalto's ...i have better performance on VPN, email, and www.  ...so...i was a skeptic at first, but i have quickly become a big ol fan of pfSense.


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