Can a router be put into routing mode and use EIGRP for load-balancing?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by SAPo57, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    Instead of buying a load-balancing router, can I just use routing protocols to do that for me.

    Should each ISP (ex: DSL & CABLE) be connected to a switch and then to the router or just directly connected to the router?

    How does load balancing work, in advance (like if it will lower latency), and since the router being put into routing mode won't function as a gateway how can I setup my network so that clients can reach the internet?
  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Ok now we are getting into the fun stuff, there is so much here that we dont know its really hard to answer this one with any clarity. Can this happen, yes, however unless your ISP's give you connections whereby you connect to them via the protocol in question there is no way to do this directly. If you have both connection via different IP's comming into the same router you can kind of achieve this on certain router by setting them up for per-packet or per-flow load balancing. Then a third alternative would be too if your router can, use policy-routing to load balance how you choose. For instace you can tell the router via policy routing, to send all gaming traffic over one link and all of your other traffic over the other. Again this will totaly depend on your equipment. I know we are in a linksys forum here, but i do not believe to date that linksys currently has any offering that do that. can you be a little more specific about your setup and perhaps we can help to come up with something that will meet your needs.
  3. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    I'm looking forward to buying a Cisco Sytems router that supports EIGRP, but right now all I have is a mixed type of topology with regular linksys equipment.

    I have a LAN switch, one wireless cable modem (signal isn't strong enough so I disabled or bridged it), one DSL modem with a static IP address, one WRT54GS v4 (supports wireless connectivity) and one BEFSR41 V4 (Ethernet connectivity only).

    I've tried various network topologies, but the most frequent one being used is having the WRT54gs as the gateway for both the DSL and cable connection and a switch in between which connects all of them seperately, so that I may choose which Internet connection I want if an ISP fails or something.
  4. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    If you want a Cisco device to learn then im all for it, however if you buy it in an attempt to set up dynamic routing between you and your isp, do not. I dont know any ISP's (not saying they dont exist), but i have personally never had an ISP that ran any type of dynamic routing protocol with home users. If you have a big enough buisness pipe, potentially but for the average joe this is not the case and it just makes administration on the isp end a potential headache as the user could inject something into the ISP backbone that needs not be there.

    Now to your topo, I dont know if your dsl is pppoe or not, but here are a couple of ideas. Linksys now sells a router that supports loads balancing over 2 wan links, i have read some good reviews but also i have heard about the firmware not being the greatest at the moment. Cisco as you have stated on the other hand would do this nicely depending on the model that you get. DHCP on the wan side can be a little tricky to set up but you would readilly beable to load balance how you chose to over either or both links. Now i am not sure if any cisco devices run pppoe for DSL links and i know they have a whole new home user, i believe they call it ISR class routers. Something else just came to mind, depending on the firmware you are using with one more device you can essentially get what you are after. I will try to explain this the best i can. Both your devices now will run RIP, if you connect each to its own ISP and turn on rip you can essentially share both links with with your internal network depending how creative you want to get. Now if you are still following me, you will have to be sure that both isp connected devices use the same internal network space, say for instance / 24, making sure the internal side it is different for each device and 0.2 for instance, make sure both are sending rip updates to the lan and then connect both to your switch and this is where the 3rd device comes into play. The 3rd device will connect your internal network to either isp, you will need to run rip on the wan side of that device and plug it (wan side) into the switch the other 2 are plugged into. Then you can manipulate the routing table on the 3rd device to router traffice how you see fit, or just let rip decide. If one link goes down the other will take the load and vice versa. I know it seems kinda complicated but really its not to bad. If anything else comes to mind i will repost.......
  5. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    I made some notes from what you said, but the part where you stated:

    -Then connect both to your switch and this is where the 3rd device comes into play.
    -3rd device will connect your internal network to either ISP
    -Need to run RIP on WAN side of that device and plug it (wan side) into the switch the other 2 are plugged into.
    -You can manipulate the routing table on the 3rd device to route traffic how you see fit, or just let RIP decide

    For my understanding the 3rd device is the BEFSR41 router or the WRT54GS router and only one router can connect to only one ISP from which I choose.

    And the WAN side interface of each router is the only interface that says "Internet" on the port(these linksys home routers function differently), right?

    Also, how will I connect to the internet since now the routers aren't in gateway mode (these linksys firmwares are different from real network routers)?

    Last question...This type of network setup that you gave to me only works for an Ethernet network, right? How can I have the wireless router (WRT54gs) control either ISP instead of the BEFSR41 when an ISP fails or will clients be able to connect wirelessly to the WRT54GS if the ISP connected to it fails to operate properly? Basicly I want a wireless network since all my computers (15 PC's) connect through access points.
  6. pablito

    pablito Network Guru Member

    Easiest to do wireless on the 3rd device that connects the internal net if you can still do the RIP on the WAN side going to the second switch on the LAN side of the other two units. The wireless routing is then handled the same as the wired net.

    Getting true dynamic routing is very rare at the consumer level. My first high speed was a burstable 10M ethernet with a dynamic routed ISDN for backup. Worked a treat but the days of that kind of bargain are long gone (it was business class but very cheap for what you got). An RV0x plus basic AP with two ISPs or accounts is as close as we get now. The client application drives how efficient that works.
  7. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    Alright never mind the questions I gave right now I kind of got the idea.

    When you or Ifican specifically said "3rd device" it meant a third router, right?

    So, if I use the BEFSR41 and another router, RT41-BU (not wrt54gs), for Dynamic routing using RIP I can then use the WRT54GS to connect to both LANs through the switch?
  8. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Yes i was specifically talking about a third router, i cant think of any other way to connect 2 different isp with your current set up, the other option for you is to get one of the linksys devices that does load balancing over for you over 2 links.
  9. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    Big problem now....This might be possible...

    Well, now it gets more complicated than what you had in mind for me.

    First of all I do have three routers now to setup that type of network, but unfortunately one of the linksys router doesn't support advance routing to enable RIP nor disable NAT (I don't want double NATTING).

    Only two routers with RIP...

    The wrt54gs only supports RIP2 and the BEFSR41 supports both RIP1 and RIP2.

    The wrt54gs is fairly easy to configure, but the Befsr41 options got me confused. In the BEFSR41's RIP/Dynamic routing configuration screen it ask's for which version of RIP I want to transmit and which to receive.

    Also, now since there are only two routers to perform RIP updates, wouldn't it be possible to configure each router to connect to its own ISP and then using RIP/Dynamic routing to select the other router it is connected to as the Gateway to the internet over the Lan segment?

    In other words, each router already has an internet connection as they're connected to an ISP, but also the RIP updates are letting the routers know there's another router hosting the internet.
  10. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    A more clear description of my network.

    Alright Ifican What you didn't know was that all the modems have built-in routers.

    Here's a better description of my network now...

    Internet==WESTELL router(bridged)-----BEFSR41 router(gateway)-----

    WRT54GS router(DHCP&NAT disabled)-----SBG router(gateway)==Internet

    WESTELL network address=
    BEFSR41 network address=
    WRT54GS network address=
    SBG network address=

    SUBNET MASK for each is

    Only BEFSR41 and WRT54GS support RIP, static routing, and dynamic routing.

    All my clients connect to the SBG gateway "wirelessly" from the WRT54GS.

    I want to have an alternate gateway like when the SBG gateway fails then the BEFSR41 can automatically tell the WRT54GS router to connect to it as an alternate solution.

    "Any thing is possible in this world if you put a little more thinking into it."
  11. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Yes my friend you are correct on many fronts, especially in the fact that anything is possible if you put enough thought into it. And I had not had in mind that you were connecting via wireless though, having said it again i remember in another thread you did actually say that. So yes again this changes the dynamics completely and yes you should beable to do what you want its just going to take a little configuring. You will need to use RIP2 and in order to get that to work both routers are going to have to be put into router mode. No biggie but you will have to configure the routes for both. On the other router just turn RIP2 on for sending and recieving, making sure you are sending the advertisements out the lan interface, you can send it out the Wan but your isp will ignore it. The biggest catch to this puzzle if you will need to configure both lan ip space on the same subnet, for instance just make sure you use a different lan ip for each router. Say .1 for router 1 and .2 for router 2. I have not played to much with the routing tabs on linksys devices so if you run into any issues please let me know and i will look at it. I would ahead of time but im an furiously working on two other projects that are taking up lots of my time at the moment. Oh generally you would need a cross over from lan swith side of router 1 to switch side of router 2 however i believe the switches are smart enough to cross over the cable on its own. If i am unclear at any point just ask as i have written this in a rush and will get back to you when i can. Good luck let me know......
  12. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    Well, This Stinks...

    It looks like the problem is the firmware installed on my WRT54GS, that 3rd party firmware called DD-WRT v23-sp1 doesn't let the router receive RIP updates nor transmit them to my other router I even had to call my uncle, who is a network specialist, to see if he can fix the problem.

    He tried every other way to setup the network I wanted from using static to dynamic to bridging to "DHCP-Double crossed" as he called it. But, there was nothing he can do because he said the WRT54GS router has a problem with the software or hardware by not using RIP properly.

    The only thing he did was to use static routing and use the gateway addresses of each gateway as a static DNS put together with some other weird configuration. Whatever he did seemed to work and have both ISP's connect to the WRT54GS only and not use any other router. He also disabled DHCP on both gateways and NAT on the WRT54GS, but everthing works, I guess.:thumbup::redface:
  13. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Thats great to hear, I do have to admit i am quite curious on what he came up with. The routing i follow, even the DNS to a point, it feels like he bridged the one router letting it do the DHCP for your network and used routing to pass traffic. But if you dont mind getting a little more detailed for me to follow i would appreciate it. Please feel free to send a not offline so this string can expire on down the road. Overall great work, great question and great direction.
  14. foq99

    foq99 Network Guru Member

    I've been looking to do something like this forever. Here's my post from a while back on the subject:

    This thread was definitely more useful than the one I started. I'm not in the same situation anymore, but would love to have played with this stuff when I was trying to do load balancing/reduncancy. GL with this, I hope things stay working.
  15. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    The issue doesn't stop...

    Well, me and my uncle have been Investigating the network we created and found that since each gateway wasn't rebooted at the same time after the WRT54GS routers' configuration was put into place that when we did reboot both at the same time (to see how both gateways will operate together with the WRT54GS router when both their configuration settings try to function at the same time) there was a DHCP conflict with the WRT54GS's Ethernet Interface IP address and the SBG modem was using a different LAN IP address settings from its' interface.

    This may have been the issue that denied the WRT54GS from working properly and that using RIP now may work after all.

    I'll find out more about the current problem and see if the type of network I'm making is possible to accomplish.:thumbup:
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