Understanding load balancing and fail over



  • Guys I have a few concerns in regards to pfesene's load balancing and failover support. Right now I have 2 connections I work from home so I can't afford to be down with that said I have a cable connection which is 10Mbps/1Mbps dsl is 1.5 Mbps/256 Kbps. With that said I don't see the point in me load balancing pfsense since my cable is so much faster than dsl.  However,  I would like the ability to do failover so that if one connection goes down all traffic will route to the dsl line.  My question is this can I just use the failover ability or do I have to load balance in order to have failover? Also guys please correct me in thinking that by me having a 10meg connection load balancing would be pointless btw I'm about to upgrade my cable connection to 16 sometimes over the the next month. Also how does load balancing know when to go over to the next connection for example with my 10 meg I’m assuming I would have to max the line out before it would go over to the dsl.



  • Load balancing is after the "round robin" princip.
    If you have asymetric bandwidths just enter the line with more bandwidth more than once in the balancer list.

    example:
    2 lines with each 1Mbit
    line1: 1 times in list
    line2: 1 times in list

    2 lines with 1Mbit and 5Mbit
    line1: 1 times in list
    line2: 5 times in list

    You have to specify for each entry a monitor IP. This monitor IP will be pinged regularly. If The ping is unsuccessfull, the line will be marked as down until pfSense is able to ping again.

    Failover is nothing else than:
    line1 will be used until the monitor IP is down,
    then it fails over to line2 (given that it's up).



  • Thanks for the reply however I would like to ask something else my cable and dsl both are dyanmic ips. According to this article  http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/MultiWanVersion1.2 with dynamic ips you should be using a router when you have dynamic ips. My question is this do you only need to use routers when you are load balancing because I do not plan on doing load balancing I just want the fail over. My hook up is as follows router connected to dsl modem router has ip of lets say 192.168.15.1 pfense would take 192.168.15.2 and use gw of 192.168.15.1. I was than just going to connect my cable directly to the wan interface of pfsense and just let it pull dhcp. So my question again is do I need the cable to be configured like the dal basically connecting it to it to a router also



  • DHCP should work for Loadbalancing as well (it always did in my tests but those have been under lab conditions as I only have pppoe wans or static IPs on my installs).

    There is just one thing to note about this: You only can add an interface to a pool if the interface has a gateway set, which means that dhcp opt-wans have to be up and have to have a dhcp assigned IP with gateway before you can add them to the pool.

    In case that you encounter problems with that setup do like the doc recommends and use simple modemrouters in front of the wans.



  • Ok I would like to ask one more thing in regards to this article http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/MultiWanVersion1.2 basically about bridged mode and router mode.
    What is the problem with having dynamic ips in this setup the article suggest using routers if you have dynamic ips. Basically this introduces multiple levels of natting.
    I plan on using routers since I have some laying around but can't this entire setup be done without using routers basically by briding all modems and running them direct to pfsense.
    What problems do you run into by using dyanmic ips in bridged mode

    I'm basically asking what the below statement is about
    If you have a fixed IP address from your ISP you can also use bridged mode for some or all of your connections. (If you do not have a fixed address it makes life complicated in pfSense)



  • Bride the modems and use dhcp at your pfSense. Make sure all WANs have DHCP assigned before starting to configure pools and it should work. The main problem with that config is if a link goes down as pfSense will add static routes for the monitor IPs to the corresponding WAN. However, if the interface goes down and the lease is released the gateway's disappear and it might be problematic to detect a linkup then. As far as I remember from my labtesting it still worked for me though.


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