[plug] Shotguns, Masq and ISPs

The Thought Assassin assassin at sleepless.south.networx.net.au
Sun Jul 19 14:13:48 WST 1998

On Sun, 19 Jul 1998, David Campbell wrote:
> Here is something for people to chew over...
> Last night someone asked me if Linux can:
>   a) Act as an internet access gateway (I know the answer to this one)
>   b) Load balance between two modems
>   c) HDD space required for the above
Been there, done that, don't need an HDD. One read-only floppy.
Look up the Linux Router Project for a readymade one, or bug me for help
on a roll-your-own.

> He has a couple of 56k modems and is wondering what is required to load
> balance between the modems (aka "shotgun" approach using both "barrels".
> I admit here that I have heard Linux can load balance between two modems
> but the exact specifics I am not sure about. He mentioned that the ISP
> has to do something at their end to support this (at least for Win95/NT 4
> machines). Can Linux do this without any specific configuration at the
> ISP end?
It can, and it works to an extent, in that if you open two connections you
will find that they each use a different modem, which is effective for
some purposes. Support at your ISP's end (which should not be hard to get
at all) will mean that a connection can be shared across both lines,
leading to a far more balanced and efficient use of bandwidth. In
practise, speeds scale _better_ than linearly for most internet traffic.

> Off topic bit for ISP people:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> What are the ISP attitudes when dealing with such a case. I know that 
> iiNet police the "one account, one dialin" strictly (I don't blame them). 
If an ISP doesn't enforce that, I would not put such an investment in
their services.

> What sort of rates (compared to the standard accounts) would this incure.
It _sounds_ like what he is after is a "permanent acount" which, more
often than not are charged by the Meg, and incur costs for dedicated
modems/lines at the ISP end. If it is only in use during business hours,
though, it will most likely be cheaper than two normal accounts.

The cheaper solution may well turn out to be getting two accounts with an
ISP/ISPs, but bear in mind that this will not provide the same bandwidth,
and so might be more expensive proportionally.


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