Load balancing for 8 WAN connections



  • Hello,

    Due to some special conditions at my office, I need a load balancer for 8 wan connections. As a normal PC often has at most 2 conventional PCI slot, I will buy two adapter Intel I340 (http://tinyurl.com/3eo2358) that would work as 8 NICs. (The module for this adapter can be compiled as mentioned in some threads of the forum.)

    8 WAN connections –> 2 adapters Intel I340 --> pfsense as load balancer

    I've searched and I see that most documents mention setting up a load balancer for 2 WAN connections. I don't think that my case is similar to known problem, as fail-over setup is more complex.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you for your reading and helps.



  • You don't need 8 physical Ethernet ports. You can use VLANs on just one Ethernet port of your pfSense router to connect to all 8 WAN ADSL/cable modems.



  • @dhatz:

    You don't need 8 physical Ethernet ports. You can use VLANs on just one Ethernet port of your pfSense router to connect to all 8 WAN ADSL/cable modems.

    Thank you for your reply.

    I am sorry if I made any confusion. In my office, I have 8 (physical) fiber cables, so I just think of 8 ethernet ports (or 2 adapter Intel I340).

    Another problem is that: in the dual-wan documents, the setup is as below

    • 1 load balancer for 2 wans A, B
    • 1 fail-over (when A is up, B is down)
    • 1 fail-over (when A is down, B is up)

    If I have 8 wans A1, A2,… A8, how can I set up fail-over links?

    Thanks again


  • Rebel Alliance

    Check the Docs

    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Multi-WAN_2.0

    hint: read the "Tiers" part



  • You really don't need 8 ethernet ports.

    Get a VLAN capable switch, add 8 VLANs on the pfSense and multiplex your 8 incoming connections.
    –> For the pfSense it looks like 8 different interfaces (each VLAN is seen as a interface), but you don't actually need that many NICs.



  • Thank you (GruensFroeschli, ptt and dhatz) very much. I will try with your helps, and will give feedback when I am done :)



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    You really don't need 8 ethernet ports.

    Get a VLAN capable switch, add 8 VLANs on the pfSense and multiplex your 8 incoming connections.
    –> For the pfSense it looks like 8 different interfaces (each VLAN is seen as a interface), but you don't actually need that many NICs.

    I am not familiar with VLAN technique. I intend to buy the switch "HP ProCurve Switch 1700-8 (P/N: J9079A)" which supports "IEEE 802.1Q VLANs". Is that possible to use it with pfSense?

    Thanks



  • I'm not 100% sure that this switch performs well, but IEEE802.1Q tagging is the guideline you should follow



  • @rocky:

    I am not familiar with VLAN technique. I intend to buy the switch "HP ProCurve Switch 1700-8 (P/N: J9079A)" which supports "IEEE 802.1Q VLANs". Is that possible to use it with pfSense?

    Thanks

    I learnt the hard way about the switch to vLAN's and posted here http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,11913.0.html so others wouldn't have too.
    If you have a spare morning give it a read.
    Funny to read back on old posts now and again.

    cheers



  • Also, last time I checked, the 82580-based cards didn't work in pfSense unless you manually compiled the driver and copied it to your system.



  • The switch you want to buy is an 8 port switch, so you'll lack one port (you need 8 ports for your 8 fiber adapters plus one port for your pfSense box)

    I would recommend a J9450A which is a 24 port gigabit switch (if you load balance 8 WAN, you'll need more than 100mbit on the pfsense port)



  • not to complicate this more for you, but you many also want to get two switches and split the 8 lines.
    Both switches would have 4 lines and 1 pf port (pf port running vlans)

    That may give you a little more redundancy at the switch level.


Log in to reply