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Load balancing over two T1'a

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I've seen similar questions have been asked before, but what is the best way to load balance across two T1's.  I am running a cisco 2800 series router with 2 WIC's.  Each T1 is going to a different ISP.
Thanks.
-Kris
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Question by:kjmeldrum
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by:xcromx
ID: 17014244
Depending on how many servers and workstations you have and what you are going to be doing.. The trick is going to be configuring your VLANS...
You should post as if you want them on the same subnet or they going to be different...
Hosting web servers ? Email ?

Simple answer would be put production servers on 1 T...and the workstations on another..

Think about your backup environment also  ? ? ?
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by:kjmeldrum
ID: 17014305
The company I am doing this for wants both lines to be used equally for as much bandwidth as possible, so seperating with vlans, or workstations and servers is not an option.
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by:xcromx
ID: 17014355
what kind of switches are you using ?

for as much bandwith as possible you want them on different vlans..
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by:giltjr
ID: 17015179
Are they going to host servers or are they just accessing the Internet?  If they are not hosting anything, then the router MAY be able to be configured for round robin route selection.

However, if they are hosting servers, then you have issues.  You need to get they ISP's on the phone and talk to them.  Load blancing outbound traffic is something that you can do, but load blancing inbound traffic gets tricky.

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by:onlinerack
ID: 17015458
Do you have two different providers for redunduncy?
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by:The--Captain
ID: 17016187
BGP (or another appropriate routing protocol) should do the trick for you.  

>then the router MAY be able to be configured for round robin route selection.

I think 2000 seriers ciscos can be configured to do that, however it's less than ideal (but may be the only option).

Cheers,
-Jon
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by:kjmeldrum
ID: 17019441
Is there anyway to bridge the interface or divide via session?  I need to be able to load balance independant from the ISP's (I know this makes it harder but it wasn't my choice), while still providing failover capability.  BGP is not supported on the T1's so any other ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Kris
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by:giltjr
ID: 17019784
Are you hosting any servers: Web, FTP, eMail?  

If all you are doing is outbound access, if BGP is not supported, then sometype of round robin routing is your only choice.  I am not sure if IOS supports this.  I know that PIX does, but PIX is not IOS.

If you are hosting servers, then you have an issue.  Hosting servers means you are tied to IP addresses and IP addresses are tied to a ISP.
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by:kjmeldrum
ID: 17020234
As far as I know they are not hosting any servers, and how would you configure the round robin?  Another idea that maybe someone could confirm or deny is if I bridged the two interfaces together and added them to the same circuit-group, could I make the default route point to the BVI interface and get a load balance in that form?  Could this work, or am I going to run into other problems by doing this?
Thanks,
-Kris
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giltjr earned 125 total points
ID: 17020376
I don't think you can do that.  I am fairly sure that in order to do that, both of the remote ends not only must not only go to the same ISP, but must  also terminate in same router with it configured the same way.  Basically making it look like 1 3Mbps connection and not two T1s.

On the PIX you just configure multiple (up to 3 ) default routes.

However after thinking about it, I don't think this will working going to two different ISPs.   You could encounter problem because you will to do two different NAT's.  One NAT with an IP address allocated from ISP #1 and another NAT from the block allocated by ISP #2.  If you only use 1 IP address, then all traffic will return on the T1 from that ISP (the one whose block you are using the IP address from).
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by:kjmeldrum
ID: 17186186
After looking at this problem, I found that the customer is hosting web servers making it almost impossible to complete this task.  For this reason we are suggesting a hardware solution like fatpipe to handle the load balance.  Thanks for the help!
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