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NetTecture
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Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:32 pm

Yes, this is special, still.

* Given a remote location with 2-4 uplinks from different ISP's
* AND the connection going to another RouterOS box on a central location (data center)

What is the best way to get good load balancing here?

* I can create 4 different PPTP connections, but then I am stuck
* I can NOT create a 4 leg PPTP client connection, as MLPP is not supported for PPTP.
* I can NOT create a 4 leg PPPOE link as Mikrotik does not deliver the server component, only the MLPPP enable client.

My best bet would be hainvg 4 different PPTP connections, but then I am stuck with stupid load balancing between them. Is there no provision to get some queue driven packet distribution? Note that I say packet - as this is a link between known networks, stuff like firewall, NAT, sessions do not enver, I can have packets for one TCP conenction being distributed between 4 locations. I would be perfectly OK with distributing th e packets based on a queue, or using a queue that all 4 connetions pull off.

I am a little at a loss here. Efficient multi link handling and routing seems to be at the core of a more complex mesh type provider (and my case is only a degenerate case) and it seems Mikrotik provides nothing here. I understand this being a problem with different ISP's WITHOUT a cetnral location, but my case seems a pretty normal standard scenario. At the end, if I would run a wireless ISP and would like dynamic routing and trafic distribution I would get the same problems. All I seem to get is a PPPOE bonding scenario that does not seem to take physical differences into account, so it is pretty much highly unsatifactory. I thigns fail, it looks like I will have to:

* Generate multiple PPTP links for security
* Then generate multiple EOIP tunnels over them
* THEN use "bad" bonding (no load balancing, no visibilita oy of links down)

to handle a 100% standard scneario.

Any chance the main problems here get fixed (bonding not seeing speed differences and / or recognising link down).

I would even go with a virtual MPLS implementation - but would it handle proper load balancing between 2-4 different links (different PPTP connections)?
 
odge
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Re: Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:22 pm

Hi, Did you manage to find a solution to this... I also think MPLS might be the way. But does then is MPLS able to split a TCP connection and rebuild it on the other side. (Or is each connection going to go down one tunnel at a time... that will be no good).

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Re: Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:37 pm

I always choose per-connection load balancing to avoid drop in TCP performance that may be caused by packets traveling over different links or bonding over not-same and not-consistent links.

This gives me the speed of one link as max speed for a single TCP connection. But the combined bandwidth when multiple users download.
Is this usable for your case?


If I had good consistent quality and speed over a couple of links which are exactly the same, then I could bond them if I want to.


I don't like overhead so I try to use straight Layer 3 without any tunnels and BS.



ANY ONE WITH BONDING EXPERIENCE OVER NOT-SAME and NOT-CONSISTENT LINKS ?!? WHAT PERFORMANCE SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM THIS ?!

Thank you.
wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/NetworkPro_on_Quality_of_Service
 
odge
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Re: Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:39 pm

I'm also very interested to know if this can work using MPLS.

EoIP did not work well in our testing. When links became jittery, or high in latency, the bond fell apart, and struggled to come back up successfully, we tried with all variants of link checking, and intervals. The links are just broadband, and latencies can differ etc at any given point in time.

I don't know a lot about MPLS, but a requirement would be that a single TCP connection can be balanced/bonded down two links?

Some products seem to claim they can do this sort of site to site bonding over multiple links. (Peplink routers for example).
 
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Re: Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:19 pm

MikroTik Support on the topic:
As you already answered in the forum, best way is per-connection load balancing.
Bonding will be efficient only on links with exactly the same speeds as it was
designed for ethernet interfaces. If bonded links do not have the same bandwidth
then total bonded bandwidth will be 2x slowest link's bandwidth.

Regards,
Maris
wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/NetworkPro_on_Quality_of_Service
 
odge
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Re: Best way to couple 2 ISP links to a central location?

Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:47 pm

Thanks, I assume no one is interested in other types of link aggregation like the ones peplink provides?

Its not quite the same as bonding... but what about MPLS networks, are they are not able to provide this sort of solution?

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