Bridging&Load Balancing using two (2) links …

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    We have two sites, separated by 350m. We have two microwave connections between the sites. Currently the two (5GHz) links are independant and on separate physical networks. These act as transparent bridges (layer 2) and work fine. However, of course, the networks are and must be separated physically. We are renumbering our universe and all systems will end up on the same subnet (10.x.x.x).
    I wish to put a ZeroShell box at each end and of the radio links and utilise the fact that I now have two links – so I can balance the traffic between them. Each ZeroShell box will have three (3) NIC’s and essentially be identical – effectively being a ‘bridge-using-two-links’. I do not want to use one link as a failover I need to utilise both – however if one link goes away I obviously don’t want the system to crash ๐Ÿ˜€
    Obviously I would like the ZeroShell boxes to act exactly the same as the existing wireless bridges – transparent, layer 2 – just faster as we now have access to twice the bandwidth between the locations.
    I have been reading through your documentation and this BB but am not really clear as to how to proceed with the configuration. I do not need ‘hand holding’ just a point in the right direction as I cannot see how the information presented here can be used for what I want to achieve! I know I’m missing something really simple here because it must be possible!
    Diagram, to help explain the system :-

    Office 0 Network <-> [ZSBox0] <-> Wireless 0 <==/==> Wireless 0 <-> [ZSBox1] <-> Office 1 Network
    [ ] <-> Wireless 1 <==/==> Wireless 1 <-> [ ]

    Were it me I’d investigate having the wireless links bonded into one interface (check out bonding). And the treat the rest of the problem as a transparent bridge between the local LAN interface and the bonded interface.

    I would not try to use the load balancing and failover logic which is designed for routing between multiple ISP links. Bonding supports load balancing failover at the Ethernet level below the IP level. For that reason a single TCP connection can be balanced between the links. If you use the TCP level load balance and failover you lose that and each TCP connection will be constrained to a single microwave link.


    Bonding, Trunking, Aggregating – That was the ‘simple trick’ that I had forgotten that I knew. Thanks atheling, I can solve the problem now …

    I knew that I had the information somewhere in my scraggy brain… it is just that the last time I trunked ethernet ports it was under SCO Xenix on Intel ‘286 boxes using coaxial thin-net or AUI talking to 3Com bridges with 5.25″ floppy drives in them! Circa 1987 IIRC ๐Ÿ˜†

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