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Using SBS2008 with two internet connections (redundancy).

Posted on 2015-01-18
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Last Modified: 2015-01-19
I'd like to aggregate two different ISPs to make a client's internet access redundant. They run a small office with SBS2008. What is the best way to accomplish this?

Can we use the SBS to do the aggregation? or are we looking at something like a Peplink? What's good for a small office?
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Question by:Elixir2
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Unlike SBS 2003, SBS 2008 and later do not support being at the network edge. So all NAT routing, including link aggregation, must be done with another device or appliance. Most good SMB UTMs now support dual WAN connections for failover or load balancing.
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by:Elixir2
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Ah, yes. Good point. So that brings up the configuration challenges with SBS2008 and any UTM box. How do you keep email routing for example if your WAN IP address changes?

I'm looking at these three boxes in order of price. Any comments? More the merrier!

Am I moving in the right direction?

TP-LINK TL-R470T+ Load Balance Broadband Router, 3 Changeable Ethernet WAN/LAN Ports, 64MB DRAM < $100

ZyXEL ZyWALL USG50 Internet Security Firewall with Dual-WAN and 3G WAN Support $250

Peplink Pepwave MAX BR1 4G LTE Mobile Router for Verizon $500+
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40556910
Mail is relatively easy. Multiple MX records have long been supported. As far as specific products, I try to avoid brand recommendations here. Each had their pros and cons.
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by:Elixir2
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Can you give me a pointer to a reference on multiple MX records, or should I just search away...
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VB ITS earned 250 total points
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Create A two records in your external DNS zone:
- mail.company.com which should point to public IP address of ISP #1
- backup.company.com which should point to public IP address of ISP #2

The DNS records above are just an example, you can opt to use whatever name you want. i.e. mail2.company.com or backupmx.company.com, etc. etc.

Configure your MX records so that:
- mail.company.com has a priority of 10
- backup.company.com has a priority of 20

Wait for DNS to propagate (which can take up to 48 hours) and you're done. If the mail.company.com connection goes down, backup.company.com should take over and accept emails until you fix the mail.company.com connection.

One thing to note here is when you have a single device handling both WAN connections, email delivery can stop functioning if the device locks up or goes offline. For this reason, it is recommended you use a third-party backup MX service such as DNS Made Easy's backup email service on top of the above. This particular service from DNS Made Easy does have it's limits though so do some research and pick one you think suits you best.
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