[SOLVED] Network Diagram Sanity Check

mikerockett

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I'm no expert by a long shot in networking but I do enjoy dabbling and think this might be a useful setup for the home network. I'd just like to get an idea if this potential network is running in the correct sequence and nothings out of place in the chain.

Any help would be appreciated.

Diagram
 
Load balancers all sound good but lets say you are the load balancer how would you make that choice. Someone has to write a program that can do this and somehow you must get all these strange conditions programmed into it.

You can of course have all the traffic from different machines use different internet connections but that more or less is the same as plugging them into different routers.

Many of the load balancers have some ability to do this with what is called a sticky connection where they will send all traffic for a particular internal machine to a single internet connection. It will try to spread the different machines over the connections. This sounds good until you consider that traffic load for a machine is not fixed. If 1 machine all the sudden starts using all the bandwidth you can not just move the other machines to the other connection. They have open connection using the IP from the first ISP. All those connections would close. What happens to the machine using the connection when you tried to move it depends a lot on what is being run. It maybe just reload a web page but it may also require to relog into things since the IP is now different.

No simple ways to fix this. This is why when every connections are bonded together it is done a layer 2 or even physical levels to hide the IP issues.
 
You are going to connect all your network to internet through file server?
If server goes down (maintenance reboot, hardware failure or something else), all connectivity to internet goes down as well.

And what device did you have in mind for network load balancing?
 

mikerockett

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You are going to connect all your network to internet through file server?
If server goes down (maintenance reboot, hardware failure or something else), all connectivity to internet goes down as well.

And what device did you have in mind for network load balancing?
Thanks for the response. I was very unsure about the server placement but lots of diagrams I'd looked through seemed to have the server placed there, but perhaps a misunderstanding on my part. Would you set the server off of the switch?

The load balancer I'm in the middle of researching at the moment. I'm not even 100% I have the correct terminology. But it's purpose there is to control the 2 internet connections (for increased speed and redundancy, 2xISP's) Edit: I'm leaning towards Tp-Link TL-R480T+ but still in the process of ensuring it does what I want.

Another one is would the hardware firewall sit before or after the router?

Final one is will the wireless router be redundant, can I just make the initial router wireless?

Any other recommendations you can make I'd be interested to hear.
 
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You are making this too complex and you actually increase you chance of a security exposure since there are many more places you can make a mistake.

The firewall and the router perform the same function....at least in a home environment. You generally do nto even need a firewall unless your plan is to put a server on the internet. A simple router by default blocks all incoming traffic from unkown ip addresses. This is why you have to put in port forwarding rules etc.

A load balancer is a complete waste of time unless your goal is purely for redundancy and even then it can be questionable. .

How does the device know the connection went down. In most cases the modem will always provide ethernet even when the connection is down. The load balancer would have to have some method of seeing sending traffic to test both connections. And again what happens if it is losing 50% of the data is that bad enough to switch. Commercial implementation use routing protocols to solve this issue. For home users it is generally easier for the person to notice the internet has issues and manually switch over. You would hope this does not happen often.

There is no realistic method of combining 2 home internet connection to provide more bandwidth on a single session. The IP addresses are different so machine on the internet assume they are different users. This is a fundamental restriction that you can not get around. Now you could try to send some sessions one connection and some on others but this tends to have large issues. The example I give is a game company since many people on this forum know about this. Say you use 1 connection to log into the authentication server. You then use the second connection to log into the world server. You now have connected with 2 different IP addresses. The game company will detect this has hacking. How can any load balancer know all the game companies and make sure this does not happen. This is far more than game companies, think about web sites that use different servers for their credit card processing.
 

mikerockett

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You are making this too complex and you actually increase you chance of a security exposure since there are many more places you can make a mistake.

The firewall and the router perform the same function....at least in a home environment. You generally do nto even need a firewall unless your plan is to put a server on the internet. A simple router by default blocks all incoming traffic from unkown ip addresses. This is why you have to put in port forwarding rules etc.

A load balancer is a complete waste of time unless your goal is purely for redundancy and even then it can be questionable. .

How does the device know the connection went down. In most cases the modem will always provide ethernet even when the connection is down. The load balancer would have to have some method of seeing sending traffic to test both connections. And again what happens if it is losing 50% of the data is that bad enough to switch. Commercial implementation use routing protocols to solve this issue. For home users it is generally easier for the person to notice the internet has issues and manually switch over. You would hope this does not happen often.

There is no realistic method of combining 2 home internet connection to provide more bandwidth on a single session. The IP addresses are different so machine on the internet assume they are different users. This is a fundamental restriction that you can not get around. Now you could try to send some sessions one connection and some on others but this tends to have large issues. The example I give is a game company since many people on this forum know about this. Say you use 1 connection to log into the authentication server. You then use the second connection to log into the world server. You now have connected with 2 different IP addresses. The game company will detect this has hacking. How can any load balancer know all the game companies and make sure this does not happen. This is far more than game companies, think about web sites that use different servers for their credit card processing.
Thanks very much for the info. The firewall was for your indicated potential. In the future I was interested in expanding to include a web and mail server to carry my partner and I's websites/email.

I'm keen to hear any more info you have regarding the IP as I thought this was entirely possible and half the purpose of this device (and/or software I've seen as well) to mimic your network traffic as to all appear from 1 IP.

Ok as I was typing that and thinking, yes, I see where you're coming from. In terms of your gaming example I can see the issue.

With regards to other items I assume it would still work for things like P2P file transfer and I suspect downloads if utilising a download manager?

Regarding redundancy, my assumption was that if one went down then internet would at least still be available through the other. I'm not sure how manual switching would be required?

Perhaps I just don't have a great enough understanding yet.
 
You have to realize almost all companies have moved to hosted servers. You get all the firewalls, network redundancy, and even server redundancy since it is all virtual. These large data centers can lose complete ISP and just move their ip blocks to another within seconds. It tends to be cheaper unless you ignore the costs of downtime when you do it yourself.

Bit torrent is one of the very few things that can use multiple internet connections. There is very limited support for this and other download managers. It is a very niche thing. You have to look at the how much of your actual traffic is downloads and if this justifies the cost of a second internet connection.
 

mikerockett

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You have to realize almost all companies have moved to hosted servers. You get all the firewalls, network redundancy, and even server redundancy since it is all virtual. These large data centers can lose complete ISP and just move their ip blocks to another within seconds. It tends to be cheaper unless you ignore the costs of downtime when you do it yourself.

Bit torrent is one of the very few things that can use multiple internet connections. There is very limited support for this and other download managers. It is a very niche thing. You have to look at the how much of your actual traffic is downloads and if this justifies the cost of a second internet connection.
Thanks again for the response. This won't be for a company/business, it is for myself at home. As with a lot of things I do, I'll admit it's mostly doing it for the sake of doing it and it's interesting to learn along the way.

If you believe it's not feasible though I'll take that on board. Do you have any other recommendations or criticisms to the network structure?

A thought on the load balancer/dual ISP - The way you've looked at it is from a single computers perspective it seems with the examples given. Is there any benefit when considering a multi user scenario. So as an example one PC is doing something that's maxed the bandwidth on 1 connection. If someone else joins the network and proceeds to access the internet, would the other connection not pick up the load?
 
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Load balancers all sound good but lets say you are the load balancer how would you make that choice. Someone has to write a program that can do this and somehow you must get all these strange conditions programmed into it.

You can of course have all the traffic from different machines use different internet connections but that more or less is the same as plugging them into different routers.

Many of the load balancers have some ability to do this with what is called a sticky connection where they will send all traffic for a particular internal machine to a single internet connection. It will try to spread the different machines over the connections. This sounds good until you consider that traffic load for a machine is not fixed. If 1 machine all the sudden starts using all the bandwidth you can not just move the other machines to the other connection. They have open connection using the IP from the first ISP. All those connections would close. What happens to the machine using the connection when you tried to move it depends a lot on what is being run. It maybe just reload a web page but it may also require to relog into things since the IP is now different.

No simple ways to fix this. This is why when every connections are bonded together it is done a layer 2 or even physical levels to hide the IP issues.
 

mikerockett

Distinguished
Jan 16, 2012
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Load balancers all sound good but lets say you are the load balancer how would you make that choice. Someone has to write a program that can do this and somehow you must get all these strange conditions programmed into it.

You can of course have all the traffic from different machines use different internet connections but that more or less is the same as plugging them into different routers.

Many of the load balancers have some ability to do this with what is called a sticky connection where they will send all traffic for a particular internal machine to a single internet connection. It will try to spread the different machines over the connections. This sounds good until you consider that traffic load for a machine is not fixed. If 1 machine all the sudden starts using all the bandwidth you can not just move the other machines to the other connection. They have open connection using the IP from the first ISP. All those connections would close. What happens to the machine using the connection when you tried to move it depends a lot on what is being run. It maybe just reload a web page but it may also require to relog into things since the IP is now different.

No simple ways to fix this. This is why when every connections are bonded together it is done a layer 2 or even physical levels to hide the IP issues.
Duly noted, I think my coding is worse than my networking so I guess I'll give it a miss. Time to think of something else to tinker with. Thanks again.
 

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