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Affordably Aggregating ISP Connections? 180

Posted by timothy
from the glob-glob-glob dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Has anyone setup a system to aggregate multiple ISP connections to form a high bandwidth site-to-site link? Load Sharing SCTP looked interesting, but it doesn't look like it has been widely adopted. Multi-Link PPP appears to be more widely supported for clients, but I can't find any good guides for setting up both sides of the connection for a site-to-site link. The hardware solutions I've found are expensive for a small business. Does anyone have experience using hardware solutions from Mushroom Networks (Virtual Leased Line, p2 of this document), Ecessa (site-to-Site Channel Bonding), or others?"
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Affordably Aggregating ISP Connections?

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  • The hardware solutions I've found are expensive for a small business.

    And leasing the line is too if you want multiple ISP's on it. One is easy, after that it gets hard.

    If you want something fail-proof, just go for co-location in an established datacenter with many peers.

    The more interesting question here is that if someone has done *peering* outside of major datacenters? It's of course costly, but it's something the submitter is looking for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think that the poster was intending to agreggate a cable, DSL, and satellite link to make a more reliable connection, not get multiple ISPs on one line.

    • I had an idea for how to do this - has anyone tried using a HTTP proxy, and having it split up large downloads across multiple HTTP range requests, each going out of a separate WAN connection?

      In other words, given N connections to the internet: Small requests are load balanced by simply doing round-robin. When the response starts coming in, if the object size is more than say 10MB, the proxy goes and issues N-1 additional range requests across each of the other WAN connections for equal sized chunks (or si

      • How do you think download accelerators work? They use the Range [w3.org] header to tell the server they only want a chunk of the file. Then, they ask for multiple chunks, each one using a different TCP connection.

        In conclusion, what you're saying can already be done using HTTP 1.1, as long as you make a download manager that uses each connection in a round-robin fashion.

    • by wgoodman (1109297)
      I know linksys has a couple routers (both the RV042 and RV082) that supports 2 incoming broadband connections with link aggregation (or it can use it as failover) if you used two of these and set up a VPN it would be fairly cheap/easy (under $500 easy) I just looked on their site but since the Linksys business stuff is now buried in Cisco's crappy site, i was unable to find a link. I've seen them at Fry's plenty of times. I've used several of them and they tend to be fairly stable.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by hardwarefreak (899370)

        I know linksys has a couple routers (both the RV042 and RV082) that supports 2 incoming broadband connections with link aggregation (or it can use it as failover) if you used two of these and set up a VPN it would be fairly cheap/easy (under $500 easy) I just looked on their site but since the Linksys business stuff is now buried in Cisco's crappy site, i was unable to find a link. I've seen them at Fry's plenty of times. I've used several of them and they tend to be fairly stable.

        I looked into the RV082 a while ago and found that you can get reasonably close to doubling your _outbound_ bandwidth, but not inbound. Bonding the inbound links would require both WAN lines be provided by the same ISP, so they could configure round robin across your two links.

        The RV082 is a great little SOHO router and does pretty good load balancing/aggregation of outbound traffic. The OP seems to be looking for true bi-directional link aggregation of dissimilar ISP WAN links (cable/dsl or two of one of

        • by wgoodman (1109297)
          if it's primarily there to provide a secure link for site to site transfers though, then both external IPs are already configured once you set the VPN in the router config. I agree though that it gets far more messy to use the link aggregation in a non site to site configuration.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by unity (1740)

        I've been using the hotbrick LB-2 for years to aggregate dsl and cable lines. Works like a charm.
        http://www.hotbrick.com/produto.asp?tipo=3&catpro=2 [hotbrick.com]

        I thought they had up to a 4connection version, but I don't see it anymore.

      • Re:Pering (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lamapper (1343009)

        Its long, at least read about Greenlight in N.C. and learn!

        I am 100% positive you could do this with hardware that will run the DD-WRT, here is a list of DD-WRT supported devices [dd-wrt.com], they have a search link, but I find that it does not work very well if you do not know the name of the router / firewall that you are looking for. So use the list and find a supported device.

        You would need two of them and two different providers. You could even get a third one and do some special VLAN stuff to put some ports

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          A friend of mine was pissed that he was throttled back to less than 100K down and 0K up 85 - 95% of the time.

          No kilobytes per second? So how do you make an HTTP request at all? That's upstream bandwidth. If you're truly not getting any outbound traffic, this likely indicates that there is something electrically wrong, not that they are shaping traffic that hard. Either that or you have a clogged pipe from your ISP up to the outside world.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      It's fairly simple. Get yourself an IP range, get some connections and do some BGP over it. Sure it's relatively expensive but if you need that type of connectivity on location, then you should be able to pay for it. There are many small data centers out there that have this setup. In open source you can find a solution called Zebra but many ISP's give/lease/sell you the hardware for it from Cisco or Juniper.

      For other setups refer to this: http://linux-ip.net/html/adv-multi-internet.html [linux-ip.net] - if you need site-

  • Bonded VPNs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:08PM (#29763929)

    I have bonded 2 IPSec VPNs running over 2 ISP's to create a bigger (and cheaper) site-to-site link on the cheap.

    http://www.zeroshell.net/eng/faq/vpn/

    Read Point 5 in the link

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:12PM (#29763969)

    What you have presented us with here is a "B C" problem. You want to achieve C, so you ask us how to do B. Unfortunately, you never specify what A is, so the best we can do is give you some pointers for B which are probably going to be irrelevant and useless to what you are really trying to achieve.

    Most of the comments will probably be about trying to figure out what your A problem is. To that end, why don't you just get a faster line in the first place and forget about this line aggregation stuff you're asking about?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus (799657)

      Unfortunately, you never specify what A is...

      As the other poster noted, it's not always easy to just add more bandwidth. Where I live, the absolute fastest DSL line I can get is 1.5 Mbps. Fortunately, my cable company offers faster options, up to 22 Mbps. If they didn't, I'd be screwed if I actually wanted a decent connection relatively cheaply.

      Also, one nice thing about having multiple links over multiple ISPs multiplexed together is that you have redundant links. If one ISP is having problems, you sti

      • by Vancorps (746090)

        If I provisioned secondary services and let them sit idle then accounting would report it and then I wouldn't have a secondary link anymore. I have Ecessa WAN Load balancers and they get the job done on the cheap compared to the alternatives I researched from Fat Pipe for instance. I put on a show that requires real-time streaming of video among many other Internet features required to perform. The only Internet I can get is 3meg DSL which hurts at that location. Every other location I can get optical Inter

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 16, 2009 @05:46AM (#29766829) Journal
        But that's the grandparent's point. What does he actually want from this setup? There are a lot of factors that will affect the best solution. Does he want:
        • Individual connections to be faster?
        • Total throughput to be more?
        • Overall reliability to be better?
        • Transparent fail-over if one connection goes down?

        If he wants the last one, does he want:

        • Existing connections to continue working?
        • New incoming connections to keep working?
        • New outgoing connections to keep working?

        Some of these are trivial, some require a little bit of client-side configuration, some require additional support from the ISP. Without knowing what he actually wants to achieve, it's impossible to make a recommendation. You can do all of these things relatively easily with a stock OpenBSD install on your router, but exactly which ones you want depends a lot more on the requirements. For somethings, you want to run a VPN between the two sites with packets sent over some of the link with the most bandwidth. For others, you could get away with just a couple of routing rules. If you want more than just the two sites and you want existing connections to work then you need the ISP to support updating the routing tables when their link to you goes down.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We've been using 2 Powerlinks from Ecessa (back when they were Astrocom). They work really well, and the price is tough to beat. We have one in our Dallas branch (with a T1 and business cable ISP) and one at our home office in Baton Rouge (a dual bonded T1 and business cable). They are channel bonded with each other, so the site-to-site VPN is more stable. They made my life a lot easier!

  • tomato (Score:3, Informative)

    by angelbunny (1501333) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:17PM (#29764033)

    The cheapest way to do this is use the mlppp version of tomato on a wrt type router. You can check it out here: http://fixppp.org/ [fixppp.org]

    • Re:tomato (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:49PM (#29764305)

      Only works if you've got DSL, and then again only if they use PPPoE. Then the remote DSLAM needs to support mlppp as well.

      I would suggest OpenBSD + PF and just load balance the connections using PF. Takes all of 10 lines of code to get it up and going and is well documented. This won't aggregate your bandwidth, however if you have multiple streams open, it'll bounce those between two or more connections. I've personally done 4 lines like this (2x adsl2+ and 2x DOCSIS 2) and hit about 95% utilization across all lines.

      Also with PF, both lines don't need to be the same speed, or even with the same provider, which gives you some additional fault tolerance.

      • by geniusj (140174)

        Psst.. If DSL is not PPPoE, then it's typically PPPoA. Should work either way.. You just have to find an ISP that will support you.

        • by Vancorps (746090)
          Very few ISPs will support you, you should never rely on a 3rd party providing a special service for you when you can load balance it yourself with two cisco routers using BGP or with Ecessa Powerlinks should your budget be constrained like mine was. Then you don't have to worry about what the hopefully various ISPs that you use support.
  • pfSense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adairw (1338775) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:17PM (#29764035)
    Unless you can get your ISP to bond several connections together about the best you can do is load balancing across multiple connections. I use pfsense (http://www.pfsense.com) as my router/firewall VPN solution that's free, you only supply the hardware to run it on. with it you can load balance and fail over to 2 or more connections automatically. Specif connections can even be setup to have certain traffic routed over them while all other traffic gets load balanced round robin style. there are of course other free *nix distros out there that will let you do the same type of stuff however I and many others have found pfSense to be far batter than most. AW
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by angelbunny (1501333)

      I use pfSense too for my multi wan needs and it really is a wonderful distro imho.

      However, there is a difference between grabbing a bunch of wans and throwing them together vs linking them together like one giant pipe. I'm not completely sure what the author is trying to do but if this person wants the multi lane freeway approach instead of multiple separate parallel roads than pfSense does not currently support protocols such as mlppp and may not be what they are looking for.

      However, if the person wants to

    • by atamido (1020905)

      I also use pfSense, and while I don't have multiple WAN connections, I am satisfied with it's other features (such as traffic shaping).

  • Talari Networks? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Have you looked at what Talari Networks (http://talari.com/ [talari.com]) is doing? I'm pretty sure their products do EXACTLY what you're talking about. Might be pricy for you, but it should do the trick.

    • by EvilRyry (1025309)
      A Talari will do it. I'm using a pair now with 3 links and its been working quite well.
    • Have you looked at what Talari Networks (http://talari.com/ [talari.com]) is doing? I'm pretty sure their products do EXACTLY what you're talking about. Might be pricy for you, but it should do the trick.

      I was wondering what pricey is, and it turns out that the smallest appliance costs $4K, with the biggest one costing up to $30K.

  • printers/newpapers (Score:3, Informative)

    by shareme (897587) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:25PM (#29764129) Homepage
    Your local newspaper or medium sized printer will have such a setup. Buy their IT staff diner to get the information..
  • Dreytek (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rainwulf (865585)
    The higher end dreytek business modems support at least two aggregate DSL links. The real question is, do you want a wider pipe, or a faster pipe. One is easy, the other not so easy. Bigger trucks in your tubes, or faster trucks in your tubes :) (sorry couldnt resist that analogy)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @08:10PM (#29764453)
    Wired has an article on Willie Nelson's setup in his tour bus running, http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/willie-nelson-broadban/ [wired.com] "Willie Nelson has tossed the satellite dish off the back of his corn-powered tour bus in favor of a little box that fuses wireless data cards from a variety of networks into a single connection."[Mushroom Networks PortaBella 141]
  • Need More Infos (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347)

    Sounds like you're trying to take a DSL, cable, and possibly a T1 or other technology and trunk them for combined throughput. That isn't possible because you'd have packets in the same stream taking different routes and TCP/IP doesn't allow for that, that I know of. I don't think any technology allows for that. For example an 8mbit DSL, 6mbit cable, and a T1 can't be combined to make a 15.5mbit connection. I suppose the same would be true if you were wirelessly connected to multiple networks.

    You can, howeve

    • Re:Need More Infos (Score:5, Informative)

      by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @08:55PM (#29764735)

      "TCP/IP doesn't allow for that, that I know of"

      It sure does - it doesn't care what route the packets took - just that they got there. THe problem is if you split the stream over 3 links with varying latency - you won't see the performance gains you wan t- it'll more likely hurt.

      If the goal is to end up with a virtual point-to-point link between two offices using multiple ISPs, you can certainly leverage multiple connections to do that. It also depends on the nature of the traffic.

      You can set up multiple VPN tunnels and then run whatever protocol you want - you could do MLPPP - but that'll get ugly if the links don't have very similar characteristics.

      The solution you mentioend in the end - Iv'e found that' susually the best - you can get most common *nix systems to do some kind of weighted load balancing of outgoing sessions... whether it's per-source, per-destination, per-protcol, or based on any other weird usage combination you had.

      For an office situation Iw as once in - we had 1 2mbps and 1 x 4mbps lines (from separate providers) and a very high latency 1Mbps satellite connection.
      I gave them a web page that had four buttons on it.
      The first was "normal operation - 2MB + 4 MB". TCP sessions would be randomly routed over one orhte other, with double rpeference given to the 4 meg line.
      The ohters were "ISP1, ISP2, and Satellite" respectively. At the push of a button the routes would flip, the state tables would flush, and everything would work. For practical puproess, it worked really well.

      There is no magic way to simply aggregate bandwidth from separate providers over consumer connections with meaningful results... not like bonding multiple direct lines or anything like that.... 2 + 2 won't equal 4.... but depending on the use case, it can be just about as good.

      • by ngg (193578)

        "TCP/IP doesn't allow for that, that I know of" It sure does - it doesn't care what route the packets took - just that they got there. THe problem is if you split the stream over 3 links with varying latency - you won't see the performance gains you wan t- it'll more likely hurt.

        The problem is that many stacks treat out-of-order packet reception as packet loss, which causes the sender to throttle the outgoing stream. When the GP said "TCP/IP doesn't allow for that," they probably meant, "The congestion-

        • What stacks are those?

          • by don.g (6394)

            I've heard claims Windows gets upset by out of order TCP, but never had the chance to try it out.

            • Doubt it. At least not for any current version of windows.
              XP supports selective acks which pretty much requires support for out of order packets to be of any use.

    • by Leto-II (1509)

      Sounds like you're trying to take a DSL, cable, and possibly a T1 or other technology and trunk them for combined throughput. That isn't possible because you'd have packets in the same stream taking different routes and TCP/IP doesn't allow for that, that I know of. I don't think any technology allows for that. For example an 8mbit DSL, 6mbit cable, and a T1 can't be combined to make a 15.5mbit connection. I suppose the same would be true if you were wirelessly connected to multiple networks.

      I think you need to review your basic networking knowledge. We use packet switching, not circuit switching. Different packets within a single TCP/IP connection can most definitely take different routes to their destination. It might not be the optimal situation, but it is built to work that way.

  • I'm not one to yell at noobs but I really can't imagine timothy did more than a Bing search because I see that pfSense comes up on the first page of results on Google when you query "multi wan".

    PfSense is probably the go for this, but you are free to choose any other BSD or Linux based distro which gives you a nice pretty point and click web interface out of the box and good online documentation on how to use the features.

    Hell, you don't even actually need physical hardware for this provided that you have

    • by Vancorps (746090)

      I think you missed the point as the question wasn't about having multiple WAN connections, that's easy, it was about bonding those connections so they are one big pipe. I'm sure there are products out there that will allow you to do it with Linux, I know there are BGP routers available that could handle the bonding necessary. Of course Ecessa is a less problematic approach as it's clustered and pretty easy to use right out of the box. I use them to bond 12 Internet connections in Florida when I do an event

  • Mac OS X? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by appleguru (1030562) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @09:16PM (#29764867) Homepage Journal

    Admittedly, I have no idea if it works, nor do I have any idea how it decides to load balance between the connections.. But I ran across the feature the other day and it looked pretty cool.

    In Mac OS X you can create a new "Aggregate" network device from any other devices and, in theory, do exactly what your describing. Again, I just ran across this the other day in Network Preferences and have no idea if/how it works, but it might be worth a shot (especially since it seems a lot easier to configure than a roll your own router with dd-wrt or tomato, though those likely offer more fine-tuned configuration).

    • G'day Apple Guru,

      The aggregate network device won't work for WAN connections. It's channel-bonding, or NIC teaming using LACP [wikipedia.org] and needs to be explicitly supported by the switch at the other end of the Ethernet leads. It operates between an Etherhet switch and a host and requires that both endpoints of the connection are on the one switch (or on the one group of stacked switches, if appropriately configured)

  • If you're trying to combine different types of access (leased-line, cable, DSL), I think you're out of luck with trying to aggregate everything into a single "super circuit". However, you can certainly utilize all of those individual circuits. Look up policy-based routing. Most every platform out there should support it through some method. Set it up so that email goes over the DSL, your database queries goes over the cable connection, and your VoIP goes over the leased-line. You'll probably need to tweak i

    • by Vancorps (746090)

      The original question mentioned products that performed this task so no, they aren't out of luck. Bonding WAN links into a super circuit is something we've been doing for years as remote sites simply can't get the level of bandwidth that I have at HQ. HQ has a gig Internet connection, some events I put on are in areas where I can get 3meg DSL. I ended up bonding 8 DSLs and 4 T1s just to get enough bandwidth to function since I stream live video during out event and we use SIP trunking for all phone calls th

  • Linux & iproute2 should be more than enough for what you want.

    "Routing for multiple uplinks/providers" [lartc.org]

    Once the load balancing has been stablished you can set up OpenVPN to encrypt the traffic between the two (I like using openvpn + brigde to do a Layer 2 vpn). You can even get more fancy and add traffic shaping to distribute bandwith, prioritize packets (for a lower latency in ssh or terminal server traffic for example).
  • LISP Routing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by paul248 (536459) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @11:32PM (#29765565) Homepage

    Some people (Cisco, etc.) are working on developing the Locator/ID Separation Protocol [google.com] as a core component of the Internet infrastructure.

    If that ever takes off, you'll be able to buy a Provider Independent IP address block, advertise it through multiple ISPs (even Cable/DSL), and transparently load balance your upstream and downstream traffic across them, without bloating the core BGP tables.

    The downside is, you'll have to use an MTU that's smaller than 1500, but I'd say it's a fair trade.

    • You might have thome trouble with thome of the documenth you thend over the interneth, though.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @11:54PM (#29765657)
    The Advanced Routing Howto on tldp.org - nuf sed.
    • Spot on!

      Wish i saw your post before posting my own in iproute2, this howto was the bomb a few years back when I had to solve this exact problem, our custom iproute2 based solution beat a number of commercial options when we had to get a working load balanced connection solution that needed to support 150+ IPSEC vpn's with full seam-less failover between 3 ADSL connections!

      Ahhhh, the memories, all this iproute / ipf talk takes me back to my NetBSD / Linux ipchains days.. :)

  • An Internet Service Provider (ISP) isn't involved in a point-point. It's just a service provider at that point. Multiple links from the telco for redundancy is silly as the vast majority of problems will take down both links (cut fiber, local CO issues, etc). If you're talking mixing Telco, Satellite and Cable for redundancy as someone else mentioned, then I'd guess you are are talking about an ISP and running VPN then? In that case there are options such as mlppp, etc.

  • I don't work for Barracuda, but their link balancer (http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/products/link_overview.php) is ~$3700 US for the 3 connection device, with full support.
  • Link aggregation made easy (_easy_ as in ZFS making filesystems easy)

    http://opensolaris.org/os/project/crossbow/ [opensolaris.org]
    Any opensolaris distribution with the latest builds should have this (including Nexenta).

  • by SectoidRandom (87023) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:50AM (#29766425) Homepage

    A few years back I did this with a colleague, we actually investigated 3 solutions; 2 commercial and one linux script based, in the end the one that won easily was the Linux script.

    Basically using iproute2 and some nice scripts gives you the ability to load balance your outbound packets and then using some relatively simple scripts to monitor each remote peer for automatic failover.

    A quick google turns up this blogger who sounds (from a quick skim) like he's doing the same thing: http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/how-to-load-balancing-failover-with-dual-multi-wan-adsl-cable-connections-on-linux/ [taragana.com]

    Unfortunately I can't remember the commercial solutions we tested (this was 4-5 years ago!), but although they did exactly what you wanted perfectly, our problem was that we were doing this for a managed services company who ran 150+ IPSEC VPN's over those (at the time) 3 bonded ADSL connections, needless to say the commercial solutions had never imagined anyone trying to statefully balance that many VPNs! However with some tweaking (to be honest a LOT of tweaking) we got the Linux solution working a treat, even with nearly seamless failover.

    Google is your friend on this one.

  • First you need a well connected end point. Here for example you can buy very cheap (30€/month) unlimited bandwidth colocated servers. You just start an OpenVPN connection between that host and your Linux router on the site through each of your DSL lines. Using iptables random match, you mark each packet with one of two values. Then you use policy based routing to direct packets to one connection or the other based on the mark.
    Then you just configure nat on the colocated host and add the proper default

    • This is actually the way that we are considering doing things. Basically using a rackspace cloud server, for the well connected end point, and then openvpn'n from there. The other option that we have on the table, is a simple roundrobin type DNS server to hit any of our 3 end points. Seems like the later would have less overhead due to not going over the openvpn, but the former would give us a chance to instantly deal with situations where we had to switch IP's w/o for extended periods of time, w/o waiting

      • Can't you just host the servers somewhere appropriate?

        • It's too cost prohibitive. Extremely large redundant DBs Extremely High traffic. Level 1 PCI compliance, because we are a payment gateway. Which adds up to more than we make on the services we offer. I have checked every year for colocation services etc, and they are always more than we can afford.

          • Interesting; that's exactly what I'm working on. We have a huge infrastructure with hosting in 2 datacenters in each of 3 countries, replicating across a high speed MAN.

            I also manage servers in another DC; it costs less than $2000/month for a full height rack, including traffic. I'm surprised you can't afford that much, or are prices much higher in your location?

            • I have about 5000/mnth of income to work with. I have to get paid as well. Our clients have little or no money, so we run things just a little above cost. This kills the obvious solution, which is that we don't charge enough. Our nearest competitor is 100 times more expensive than we are. The end result is that my life here is devoted to squeezing every dollar out of everything we do. Plus any profits are rolled into the rest of the company for our other product developers. Our current costs are 800/month

  • Although not with any of the solutions others have offered.

    Two DSL links from different providers (would have worked with cable or satellite or GPRS/HSPA) -- the router uses iproute2 to set up multiple default gateways and use them in a round-robin fashion. Now I was going one step further; they wanted a single IP, so I extruded a multihomed IP from a colocated server and routed traffic for it over these multiple links (over L2TP tunnels, IIRC).

    It worked really well, and you could aggregate more bandwidth

  • I really don't see why all the head scratching here is about. A proper bit of research on Google would answer this. This is a fairly trivial task with most any linux distro on both ends (Tomato or similar flashed routers would likly be able to do it also). I guess the limit on this is how many connections can you plug in (your hardware or kernel handle), and how many will your isp sell you.

    I have to use multiple ISP where I live because none are reliable for 100% up time, and none will sell much more than

  • Obviously direct aggregation isn't possible, as each line will have a different source IP. What works is load balancing, but load balancing sucks. If you do per-TCP-connection load balancing on multiple lines, lots of sites will give you problems, as multiple requests for the same session are coming from different IPs. Online banking doesn't like this, ads-supported sites often don't like this (as the ad was loaded from a different IP). So this leaves you with per source-host load-balancing, and this only m

  • We use BGP to combine multiple circuits into a single bound circuit. We have outbound and inbound traffic working over this.

    We have the routers set to not cache routing. But you can't expect to turn two 1.5Mb/s T1's into the same thing as true 3Mb/s connection. It is close, but a single video stream is only going to traverse one of the two T1's. A P2P download will use all 3Mb/s.

    If all you really want is to speed up outbound connections (not inbound to a webserver for example) you can use something lik

  • We switched from M0n0wall to PFsense (a fork of the BSD-based M0n0) because PFsense supported aggregation. Our experience has been very positive. We aggregate two biz class Comcast 50 Mb (down) x 10 Mb (up) (& eventually will include a Verizon T-1) on an COTS PC stuffed with server grade NICs. The PC is driveless and boots off a USB. Rock Solid, out of pocket expense ~$400 for the Lenovo PC but you could probably find a much cheaper hardware platform.
  • I heard about a backpack-sized setup that you can get which takes a video input, compresses to HD quality, then splits the outgoing signal onto six separate cell phone data links (three are 3G, three are standard).

    This was pretty expensive for 30 hours/month service but in theory would let you do high quality video without a satellite uplink or other special gear.

    Presumably stitching the data streams back together is a pretty big hat trick especially with low latency.

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