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bigguns
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Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:26 am

I've got a few hotspot at the moment but I'm thinking about adjusting the setup, and I'd like to get some feedback (pro's and con's) and tips of how/if I should go ahead with this. At the moment my I'm running various hotspots which each have different amounts of users; hence needing upto 3 WAN connections at one location.
I was thinking about adjusting my setup to use a datacenter for various reason which I've listed below. I've drawn a network diagram to show you what I mean but the finer details I'm unsure on how it would best work.

Current Setup:
Client > RB > ISP > Internet
Client's data is subjected to PCC to loadbalance over various WANS which is causing high CPU load.
Radius Server = DMAsoftlabs (held in a remote location)

Reason for adjusting the setup:
To hide all traffic from the hotspot locations
To help improve the overall speed (as data from the hotspot will only be sent to the datacenter)
To create a more secure setup
To get around any ISP bandwidth throttling which happens due to users downloading items in peak hours
To see if I can improve the end user experience.


Reasons against this:
Additional cost per month (no one like more overheads)
Hard to get working correctly?
Creates 1 point of failure

What I don't know:
If this model was used, how/what would be the best method of tunnelling the traffic.
How would this affect the CPU load (which is already high due to PCC)
Could I offload PCC to the datacenter and would that do any better?
What would be the best OS to use for the job (RB/Linux/Windows?)
What specs server would I need to do this and would be dependant on hotspots or users (i.e next upgrade)
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Feklar
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:38 pm

You are likely to have a lot more issues with it than without that setup, and I don't think it will solve anything.

What kind of CPU usage are you seeing? How many users and how much bandwidth? What kind of boards are you using? I use PCC all the time for my hotspots and I don't see a high CPU load, and they can have anywhere from 20 to 200 unique users in a 24 hour period. What kind of other services are you running on top of it?

Some of the extra issues with hosting everything at the data center, is all the extra complexity involved in it. Extra latency for services, potential bottlenecks for bonding interfaces, extra points of failure, and extra costs for bandwidth to name a few. You are looking at a lot of extra GB per day of bandwidth, and that can add up very quickly and not be very cost effective. You are basically looking into a solution that will take a ton of extra time money and effort for little gain, instead of spending ~$500 at most and upgrading the routerboard if needed.
 
bigguns
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:06 am

Thanks for your reply.

With regards to your question at the moment on my hotspot with PCC running across 3 WANS (50mb/5mb/5mb) I'm getting unto 99% CPU load from just one user (this is one a test hotspot site). Although please note in production site each WAN will have 50mb (and then possibility moving upto 100mb in 1 year).
Now if I move this into production I have at least 25 users, and considering how many more connections that would open, the RB will fail under the load.
Please see thread http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=56966

At the moment I'm using RB450G at all sites which never peek above 10% cpu load.
Services:
Local hotspot page for authorisation/login
Simple queues to limit user upload speeds (one per user)
API/Winbox login services on
1 active bridge for all data flow (WAN's > bridge > Switch > client)
All packages uninstalled which aren't needed
5.8 RoS running
2x DHCP pools (one for client the other for AP's)
134 Firewall Rules
33 NAT rules
15 Mangle rules
8 scripts checking between 5 minutes and daily.
Netwatch to each AP/Switch/Radius Server


One thing is certain I do need to use some kind of VPN service (either through my own server in a datacenter or a 3rd party service).
 
Feklar
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:51 pm

Are you doing any layer7 stuff with your 134 firewall rules, layer7 inspection is very CPU heavy? That might be the problem if the rules aren't optimized, and it is best to avoid layer7 whenever possible.
 
muhlpaul
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:19 am

Hi biggunsm, hi feklar,

i am looking exactly for the sam solution, lets say up to 4 wan connections by dsl modems (ether 1-4) and ether 5 ist the hotspot port on a rb450g.
i found a lot of samples with wan's - i will try to modify them for 4 wan uplinks but if you guys already have some tips for me or if you can post your scripts here would be nice.

kind regards,

Paul
 
rmichael
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:58 am

Check out bonding with balance-xor: http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Bonding

You should get much higher utilization with bonded link to data center than PCC. However, don't you have to pay additional for data in and out of the data center?
 
muhlpaul
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Re: Using a datacenter in hotspot setups... question

Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:37 am

Hi Michael,

thanks for the respond.
I am trying a propriatery multippp bonding solution but it is not working with more than one dsl line good enough and for sure it will also not work with mikrotik.
The only stuf who can handle this might be viprinet or peplink and they are much more expensive.

The problem is the "unconstancy" of the dsl lines, so you get very fast packet loss and buffer overflow of waiting packets etc.

I don't have a problem if all 4 lines are not used equal and optimal like possible with bonding.
I have lots of users in my hotspot and it is ok if can share them on diferent dsl lines going by vpn (l2tp seems better than pptp i think..) to the datacenter.

I am also developing a non vpn tunnel solution to avoid performance loss due to the tunnel to have more bandwidth for the users.
So i am trying to find also for this a load balancing solution and here i am traying ppc - adapted from a 2 line solution to a 4 dsl line solution - let see..

If you have further ideas let me know.
At the moment we are trying also l2tp tunnel with 2 routerboards (one in the datacenter) and user assignment over ip - but the problem is who to give ip's by dhcp to the user in an equal way to be able to separate them good on all 4 lines?

i think lots of people would have solutions likne this...

kind regards,

Paul

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