Multi-WAN - Add NIC or use VLANs?

  • Hi all,

    I have a multi-wan setup on an older Dell PowerEdge 2650 Server.  Currently, the server has 3 NICs.  1 LAN, 1 WAN to a 40M Fiber connection, and 1 WAN to a 10M DSL connection for failover.

    I'm building a new Dell PowerEdge R410 server that has 2 internal Gigabit NICs.  I'm wondering if it would be better to purchase an additional PCI-E NIC for the 2nd WAN connection or if I would be just as well to create VLANs for the 2 WAN connections?

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!



  • Hi,

    if you are using VLANs und WAN site than you need a VLAN capable switch to which you can connect your ISP's modems.

    MODEM1–-untagged VID10----
                                              ---switch----tagged VID10+20 ---- pfsense------LAN
    MODEM2---untagged VID20----/

    If I think about the costs it would be perhaps better to use a dual port or quad port NIC for "less" WAN connections and if you are using more than 4 WAN than it would be perhaps cheaper to use a VLAN capable switch and one NIC.

    But if you are using one NIC for many WANs than you should use a good intel server NIC to handle th sum of bandwidth of all you WANs.

  • Thanks Nachtfalke,

    I should have mentioned that we already have a good HP VLAN capable switch that I can use.  Regarding the bandwidth, I figured I would be OK since the sum of the 2 WANs is 50M (I wouldn't be using the DSL either except for failover events).  The built-in broadcom NICs are gigabit.  Even though I will be plugging it into a 100M port on the HP Switch, I still have headroom for bandwidth.


  • I think this should work and perform well.

  • I would go with vlans and not bother with another NIC.

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