Load balancing multiple internet feeds



  • Hello,

    I am not sure if this topic has been specifically addressed yet therefore I am posting this; sorry if this is a repost of a same question.

    We currently have 3 DSL connections, each running at 12 Mbps down and 768 Kbps up. We are using a Barracuda Link Balancer 330. It does a PHENOMENAL job of load balancing these connections. This set up is providing internet to our office which is always fast and virtually never has any slow-downs, even under heavy load (we mostly download data).

    Our network is connected like this:

    DSL1: WAN port is DHCP from provider. LAN port: GW: 192.168.127.1 / SM: 255.255.255.0
    DSL2: WAN port is DHCP from provider. LAN port: GW: 192.168.128.1 / SM: 255.255.255.0
    DSL3: WAN port is DHCP from provider. LAN port: GW: 192.168.129.1 / SM: 255.255.255.0

    The Link Balancer 330 has 3 WAN ports, configured as 192.168.127.11; 192.168.128.11 and 192.168.129.11. They are connected to LAN ports of DSL1, DSL2 and DSL3 routers. The LAN port of the Link Balancer 330 is configured for the network: GW: 192.168.1.1 / SM: 255.255.255.0 and is uplinked to our network switch.

    It is NOT using any bonding (VPN or otherwise). It strictly finds the least busy WAN port and connects users through it. We never have issues where clients are logged out of web sites due to changing ip addresses between 3 DSL links. During busy times I can see that all 3 WAN ports are running at 9 Mbps or higher so I know each DSL is being put to heavy use at those times.

    If any connection goes down, the Link Balancer 330 detects it (through various methods, ping, dns, http check, etc.) and makes that WAN port unavailble and re-routes traffic to the remining WAN ports.

    I would like to know if PFSENSE has this functionality available right now; and is there an article describing how to set something up something like this. I came to know about PFSENSE because I am a M0N0WALL user and would love to stick with the same look and feel of it. I would like to replace the Link Balancer 330 with PFSENSE if possible because I can run PFSENSE on a solid state drive and have more hardware reliability; and use some of its other advanced options not available in the Barracuda product.

    Thank you for any help!

    Rizwan



  • Hi,

    pfsense can do the LoadBalancing and the Failover ability you know from your actual system.

    The difference between LoadBalancing in pfsense and Barracuda is, that - as you wrote - Barracuda can detect the less busy WAN and redirect traffic to this WAN.

    pfsense is "just" doing a round robin. There is no difference if a WAN has high load or not.

    To configure this in pfsense 2.0 just create the three Gateways, put them all into a Gateway Group with same Tier and chose this Gateway Group in your firewall rules as the Gateway for outgoing/outbound traffic. This is a really easy setup in pfsense 2.0


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