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Old 07-20-2005, 12:19 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: Debian, Gentoo, self-built [not LFS]
Posts: 109

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Unequal load balancing on two interfaces

At the company I work for, we have two internet connections at each of our two branches. Each branch has a standard 1.544 Mbit T1 line and a 384/384 business class SDSL line.

I am planning to replace our current hardware routers with Linux machines. We are currently using Xincom XC-DPG603 Twin WAN series routers. They have a nifty feature that allows you to balance traffic on the two WAN interfaces. However, you can specify what amount of traffic goes through each. For instance, you can have 70%/30% by bytes [which is what we're using right now]. You can also do it per connections and so forth.

Basically, I am wondering if there is a way to do this using Linux traffic scheduling. I have been able to use the TEQL qdisc to do 50/50 balancing between two [VPN] interfaces on a local net, but I am much more interested in doing a non-symmetrical load balance. I have scoured the net and googled everything I could think of to no avail.

Note: if it's just possible to do it with point-to-point type links, such as a VPN, then that is fine. Our primary use of this system is redundancy for the inter-office VPN connections.
Old 07-20-2005, 04:31 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: US
Distribution: Fedora, FBSD, Solaris
Posts: 46

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I hate to suggest a non-penguin solution, but being open source I guess it's ok. Using "PF" on OpenBSD is one of the most reliable things on earth, and amazingly configureable. Google it.

Have fun.
Old 07-21-2005, 05:57 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: Debian, Gentoo, self-built [not LFS]
Posts: 109

Original Poster
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I am quite familiar with PF, though I never thought of it. Thank you for the suggestion.

As I'm sure this will probably come up again, I seem to have found a solution that works at least in theory. Assuming the kernel has multipath support [under advanced routing services], iproute supports weighted routes:

ip route add nexthop via weight 7 nexthop via weight 3

This causes the kernel to choose the routes in a proportion of 7 to 3 when it does routing lookups. I have not been able to get it work as I'd hoped, however I have done only very preliminary testing. In the long run, however, when it has to re-look up the table, it should probably have an effect.

Cisco's EIGRP does unequal multipath routing, but it is [as far as I know] patented. In any case, there is no working implementation in the OSS world [i.e., as a part of Zebra or Quagga]. Cisco's specs don't go into any detail that would be useful for implementing it, either.
Old 08-22-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Munich, Germany
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Have a look at the Linux Advanced Routing and Traffic Control Howto:


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