[SASAG] Load Balancing Small Office

Daniel Schwalbe sage at smackpak.net
Mon Jun 16 09:55:46 PDT 2008

There are some boxes out there that can do this, either commercial 
appliances or some Linux apps, but I would generally recommend separating 
the two Internet connections.

Dedicate the T1 to your email server (and your voice service), and put all 
your users on a business class DSL or cable modem hook-up. There really 
isn't much of an advantage to having them aggregated, the mail server 
would not benefit from having a redundant connection for receiving mail, 
and because of reverse DNS checking it would likely not help much for 
sending mail either.

A minor draw-back might be that users would have to connect to your mail 
server "via the Internet" for sending and receiving email, but that's not 
uncommon, and if you plan on using firewall rules in front of either or 
both, you can create special rules for that scenario.

The minor benefit of having the T1 provide a backup connection in case the 
DSL or cable connection goes down is likely outweighed by having to 
purchase/maintain the "aggregator" (a router, really). For the few 
occasions where that may happen, you could simply move the office uplink 
back to the T1 for the time being. Much less hassle :-)


Daniel Schwalbe, CISSP
Senior Principal, IT Security
Doktor PC - "Remedies for your Computer"

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On Mon, 16 Jun 2008, Eric Kahklen wrote:

> We currently have a T1 that is split between phone and data service.
> Unfortunately I cannot increase the speed of the data side unless we get
> an additional T1.  We currently host our own email server so I need a
> reliable and stable Internet connection.  The main need for a speed
> increase is because we now use a hosted application that requires many of
> my 30 users in the main office to be connected to the application all day.
> I was wondering if there is an affordable appliance or solution using
> Linux that could allow me to add a business class cable or DSL modem for
> general Internet use while keeping the T1 dedicated for email.  Or is this
> generally not a good design?  I'd appreciate any other ideas or comments.
> Thanks,
> -- 
> Eric Kahklen
> Lynnwood, WA
> 206-595-2934
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