What do I need: Smart switch, network load-balancer or firewall??


I have a tricky network dilemma, and I’m not sure what product I require to solve it.

I believe it will be one of the following three:

-      Smart switch
-      Firewall
-      Network load-balancer

I’m putting a 100MB fibre internet connection into an office.

The office is shared between 4 companies.

The ISP will present the internet connection as Ethernet, via a router.

We have 16 usable (public) IP addresses.

All 4 companies in the building have their own firewalls.

I realise that I could easily configure the firewalls to go through the router, and thus all the companies would have internet access.

But, if I simply do that, then it’s possible that one company would be able to dominate the bandwidth.

I’d like a device (or technique) that stops this from happening.

Ideally I’d like to (if everyone was using the internet to its maximum) divide the bandwidth up: 25% each (per company). But generally I’d like the device to simply divide the bandwidth up as connections are made. So if only one company was online then they would get 100% of the bandwidth, and two 50% each, three 33% and so on.

Please let me know your thoughts,

Thank you so much for your help,

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Hello Dave,

what you actually need is an (Linux) Router with traffic shaping functionality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_shaping). I've made the best experience with the HFSC scheduling algorithm that is included in the Linux kernel. With this algorithm you can not only limit download and upload bandwith and priorize packages but also look (control) for latency of interactive services (http://linux-ip.net/articles/hfsc.en/).

With other words you can split up the bandwith of all four companies. But if only one company is needing the full resources the algorithm will give full bandwith. Also you can set max latency for an interactive service like SSH or VOIP and still you can priorize packages for example ack packages.

hope this will help you

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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
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