[TriLUG] Consumer-grade dual-home Internet connection options
tpb at dyncloud.net
Thu Dec 31 13:41:31 EST 2009
On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 10:47:15AM -0500, Paul Bennett wrote:
> At home, I currently run two DSL lines. Right now, we just have two
> separate LANs, one connected to each line, with my wife's devices
> attached to one, and my devices attached to the other. For a while now,
> I've been thinking about setting up a load-balancing routing solution to
> give both of us access to both lines.
> I have the opportunity to acquire a refurbed Cisco Catalyst 2960 at a
> ridiculously low price. I also have access to a (nominally) spare
> quad-core 64-bit PC with 8GB of RAM.
> What are your opinions?
The 2960 is as I recall an industrial strength *LAN* switch, really
overkill (in terms of power, fan noise, embedded management s/w, etc.)
for most home environments from a layer-2 switching standpoint, but at
the same time insufficient at layer-3 (routing, nat/ip-masquerade,
etc.) for a WAN-to-LAN box. I can't swear that there's no way to
shoehorn a version of IOS with sufficient L3 capability into the box,
but to get layer-three capabilities in this (Cisco Catalyst) product
line I think you need a 3XXX switch. IMO a better Cisco fit would
be a low-end ISR router (800 series) with two WAN interfaces and a
built-in LAN switch.
I agree with what others have said about using pfsense and a low-end
A fun Linux alternative along the same lines is Vyatta, which offers a
full set of open source router software based on Debian. For my home
router I downloaded the Vyatta community edition sources
(http://www.vyatta.org), compiled them, and put the result on a very
small fanless low-power PC (I'm using one from CompuLabs). They have
binary images as well, including a Live CD iso you can try out. I
only have one WAN connection myself, but there are a number of
articles in the Vyatta forums on how to do WAN Load Balancing.
And FWIW, someday when your WAN connections involve multiple BGP
peers, etc. you can configure the Vyatta to handle that too, more or
less as you would a Cisco or Juniper router.
tpb at dyncloud.net (wuz tbarron at cisco.com)
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