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2 internet connection on 1 xserve

Posted on 2006-06-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
Hi.

We recently had major internet problem at the office. Our ISP gave away our ADSL to another customer ... (how dumb was that).

Anyway, to make sure this never happen again my boss:
1- changed ISP
2- ordered a second internet connection from a different ISP.

Now i have to figure out how i can have 2 internet connection on the same xserve and have the server decide on witch one to use. maybe use both when they are available to speed up the network ? the xserver is NAT/Firewall/DHCP/VPN of the office.

any tips/tricks would be much appreciated !

thanx
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Question by:stakabo
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Expert Comment

by:matheweis
ID: 16948333
There are a lot of ways you can connect / use multiple internet connections...

The absolute easiest solution to what you're wanting to do would be to purchase something like the Linksys RV042, and use that for your router (Firewall, DHCP, NAT, etc)

While it is possible to connect both ADSL connections to your X-Server, you will have to mess with the routing tables, make modifications to the internet sharing scripts, and more - a whole lot more trouble than spending the ~ $175 on the RV042

What exactly are you trying to accomplish with a second ADSL line beyond basic redundancy? How redundant do you want the internet connections?

(For true redundancy, you need to make sure the telco's use different wire paths (Probably they haven't), you will need a block of static IP's, and you will need to get both your ISP's to work together to make sure packets get routed properly - a lot of work, complex, and often expensive)

(Basic redundancy is a simple as connecting both connections are setting the route metrics equal. If one connection dies, the internet will "go down", for a split second, but then resume as the router (or your X-serve) realizes that internet path is down)

Does the X-Serve host anything or need to be accessed from the internet in any way? (E-Mail, Web Sites, etc.)

Read this (http://www.vicomsoft.com/knowledge/reference/bondteam.html) for an explanation of the different ways you can get a speed increase using multiple internet connections. Some of them are very basic and easy (Like using the Linksys RV042 - essentially bandwidth aggregation), and others will be very complex and expensive.

Hope that helps.
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Author Comment

by:stakabo
ID: 16951005
hi.

the second internet connection is cable. i would be surprise that both phone line and cable fail at the same time.

the xserver does not host any service for the outside world except VPN, but we can live with the fact this might not work if the "main internet connection" fail.

here is a quick graphic of what the network look like.
http://ethicalproject.com/ee/network.png

basically what i want is to find a way for the xserver to detect that his "main internet connection" is no longer available and then change the configuration so the "backup internet connection" continue to make internet available to the office.

i was thinking of using a device such as Linksys RV042 but the VPN in it would have to be setup to be exactly the same as the VPN in the xserve(witch i don't think would be possible). we have many people working from home (about 20) and i don't want to have to re-configure all of them.

hope this help you understand what I'm looking for.

thanx
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Accepted Solution

by:
matheweis earned 2000 total points
ID: 16955884
It is good that your backup connection is Cable - I was under the impression you had two DSL connections.

It is also good to know that you can live with your VPN not working if the "main connection" goes down... Otherwise, you would have to set up bgp, which can get quite complicated.

The OS X routing system is very dynamic and easy to use, and has built-in multihoming support. If you simply connect the DSL and Cable, it will automatically detect and use the appropriate connection, and even utilize both for extra badnwidth if they are both working. (You can read all about it here: http://www.apple.com/enews/2002/features/pogue.html) Unfortunately, this will only work on the X-Serve itself, not with the basic internet sharing features built-in to OS X Server.

That said, there are a few third-party solutions that should do what you are looking for:
IPNetRouterX from Sustainable Networks ($99)
http://www.sustworks.com/site/prod_ipnrx_overview.html

Visicom has a product called InterGate that will also do what you are looking for. The licensing options are quite confusing and the software a bit on the expensive side, but if you can get past all that, it is actually a decent software suite.
http://www.vicomsoft.com/
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