Looking for 3 WAN devices - Does the Balance 30 fit my needs?


#1

Hi there, While looking for a multi WAN failover/load balancing device, I have came across interesting devices such as the Peplink 30, the Draytek Vigor 3220 or 3900: Balance 310 & Mushroom Truffle…too expensive!
Each of them with pros and cons, but the Balance 30 although seems old (are there new hardware versions, maybe faster that the first gen?) is in our budget range.

So this is my case:

  • small school with 2 ADSL ISPs (very bad, effective 1/0,3M), 1 Satellite ISP (16/4M with high latency 700ms). NOTICE: 3 different ISPs!!
  • a lan with 37PCs and mobile devices (phones and tablets) that make a pack of roughly 60 devices, most of them connected through WIFI.

The whole pot can be logically segmented into:

  • 15pc in the lab,
  • 15pc in the classrooms,
  • 7pc in the office,
  • mobile phones and tablets everywhere.
  • No VPN requirements, just Internet surfing.

We are currently working on possible solution to increase bandwidth (unfortunately we are located in a very bad area in country side), and in the meanwhile studying a device that would fit our needs.

Logical units/devices priority

  1. Office (fixed IPs)
  2. Classrooms and lab (fixed IPs)
  3. Mobile devices (DHCP assigned)

Content priority

  1. email (80% web based)
  2. browsing
  3. video playback
  4. downloading - cloud sync

Targets

  • Failover: each group of devices must be redirected to available WAN on fail
  • Balance: eventually optimize IP pools traffic over WANs
  • Shaping: prioritize protocols or IP groups
  • Limiting: set limits per single user/IP

Questions!

  1. Can Balance 30 manage all these requirements inclusively?

  2. Can some devices/IP be excluded from multi WAN management and be dedicated to a specific WAN (with failover, so that these devices will only use one WAN at time, no round-robin), in case some multi-WAN-affected sites should cause disconnections or timeouts.

  3. Can the balance 30 use specific WANs depending on urls? For example: youtube ,facebook, etc -> always route through WANx ** OR ** assigno low priority to traffic going to a list of greylisted sites?

  4. Is it possible to configure WAN assignment per protocol/request? For instance, DNS requests could be routed to low latency WANs, while downloading and video streaming to high latency and faster WANs

  5. can Balance 30 distinguish from HTTP browsing and HTTP download or this is impossible due to the nature of HTTP?
    Maybe this could be achieved setting the firewall to differentiate the traffic inspecting the HTTP header ‘content-length’ and then use it’s rules to segregate the traffic above a certain threshold?

  6. Can the Balance 30 be configured to assign a specific WAN for video streaming?

  7. Can the Balance 30 be configured to avoid disconnections when using round-robin with multiple WANs (Sticky WAN or SSL persistance)?

  8. Is it possible to limit bandwidth dynamically? This would mean that a percentage used for bandwidth limiting (per device/IP) is related to the currently available bandwidth and not the nominal value assigned to a specific WAN. This translates to: no traffic, give all the available bandwidth to user/IP; with multiple users, assign bandwidth accordingly.

  9. In my scenario I would configure all mobile devices to be grouped in a low priority IP pool. Does the balance 30 features a DHCP server and can the Balance 30 limit performance of an IP pool (or assign an IP pool to a specific WAN)

  10. Is speed fusion bonding limited to VPNs, or is there any performance benefit using multi WAN although not in a VPN scenario?

  11. As the satellite connection is the fastest, but with worst latency, can the Balance 30 be fooled from this, giving unpredictable results on the performance side?

  12. Does the Balance 30 4G modem may be included as a fourth WAN? Does it supports dual antennas and if so what is the recommended maximu cable length?

I hope some peplink staff member may answer. I am buying a device in the next two days depending on this!

Thanks!


#2

Good Afternoon
The Balance 30 has been phased out and replaced with the Balance ONE Core with 5 WAN licence (the Balance 30 LTE is still current though)
To answer some of your questions;

  1. I can’t see anything mentioned above that wouldn’t be possible on a Balance ONE Core
  2. You can define out bond polices by IP address, MAC address or IP range and creat rules defining which WAN each group uses
  3. Outbound policies can be used for destination as well e.g. all traffic to google.com enforced to WAN 1
  4. You can use the local DNS cache to speed up DNS requests and us an outbound policy to send youtube traffic to a high latency link
  5. There is a DHCP server built i the the Balance and you can define the IP pools by VLANs then specify a VLANs network to use a specific WAN
  6. In your scenario, it docent sound like you need SpeedFusion. SpeedFusion is helpful if you have WANs the fail regularly and you require you traffic to failover flawlessly.
  7. You can specify the speed available on each WAN (up and down) so this should also the router to effectively use each WAN
  8. The Balance 30 LTE has 2x WAN ports, 1x 3G/4G modem with dual external antennas and 1x USB modem. The Balance 30 has 3x WAN ports and 1x USB modem. The Balance ONE and Balance ONE Cores have by default 2x WAN ports and 1x USB modem but can be upgraded to 5x WAN ports and 1x USB modems.

I belave a Peplink Balancer will be great for you situation and would be recommending the Balance ONE Core with 5 WAN licence.

Thank You


#3

Thanks for your replies!

  1. Couldn’t I simply select an IP range for DHCP and use that range for a lower priority avoiding vlans?

What is the price for the 3-5 license?