Solved: Dual ISP issue

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sabrefreak

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Hi there,
We're running an experiment with a new ISP to see how they perform vs our old ISP. So we will have both running in the building, some on one line, some on the other.

The old (lets called it A to avoid confusion) has the standard modem, router, switches, access point, and network devices (printers, NAS, etc). And the users of course.

The new (or B) will have a modem and router, possibly an access point, and whatever users are assigned to it. This is actually a multi-line using a router that can take multiple lines thru MLPPP. We are seeing if this is a faster and more reliable method.

My question is how to ensure that the users on B can see and use the devices (NAS, printers) on A. We don't care about accessing computers directly; we transfer files through a NAS, so whether the users are even seen at this point is (almost) irrelevant.

Again, for simplicity, let's assume A is on 192.168.1.x and B is on 192.168.2.x to separate them.

I was thinking at first of subnet - maybe 255.255.0.0 - but since they are going through different routers they wouldn't see each other any ways right?

Then I thought about port forwarding the devices on A through its router but I've never done that and not sure if it would work and what kind of security holes it would open up.

Appreciate any advice you have!
 

TerryNet

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My question is how to ensure that the users on B can see and use the devices (NAS, printers) on A.
One way is to give the devices on B a (second) connection to A (using a static IP with Gateway and DNS servers blank).
 

sabrefreak

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Hi TerryNet
Thanks for the idea. Would this not require each of these to have 2 Ethernet cards though?
For a laptop could I use the LAN connection in this manner and connect to B via wireless (assuming a wireless AP).
 

zx10guy

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How you set this up really depends on the capabilities of your routers.

My home network/lab isn't your typical home network setup....for that matter it isn't typical for small and many medium sized businesses. But I technically have 10 routers on my network and I lose track of how many subnets I have running.
 

TerryNet

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Would this not require each of these to have 2 Ethernet cards though?
Two ethernet adapters, two wireless adapters, or one of each.
 

zx10guy

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The mention of building in the original post gives me pause about adding additional network adapters to the workstations. If we're talking about a couple of workstations or even a handful, dual homing the workstation is probably ok. But if you're talking about a large number of workstation, this method just doesn't accommodate scaling. If the network connections are wired, you end up consuming too many switch ports which then causes a cost to the switching and cabling infrastructure. If the network connections are wireless, you're now adding additional load on the wireless network which may or may not cause performance issues.

As I said before, this scenario is easily fixed via a proper routing solution. What that routing solution is depends on the hardware you all have. It may require purchasing an additional router and slight changes to your subnet topology.
 

TerryNet

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My assumption was that there would be only a handful of users needing the second connection and that the experiment would be for a limited time only.
 

zx10guy

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My assumption was that there would be only a handful of users needing the second connection and that the experiment would be for a limited time only.
Valid point. I guess there's just not enough information to make an assessment. And I did forget this is going to be temporary. I guess what the OP can do is just use one box as the gateway into the other subnet making it dual homed. Then on the new subnet B's router, create a static route which points to the IP of this dual homed box as the gateway to subnet A. On subnet A's router, there would be a reciprocal static route pointing to this dual homed box as the gateway to subnet B. I haven't turned a Windows box into a basic router in a while so I'm not sure what's involved. I do know IP forwarding has to be enabled. This is another alternative to temporarily get the routing to work between the two subnets.
 

sabrefreak

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Hey there,

Sorry I was away.. Didn't mean to be absent from my own post fro so long.
You both make good points and I take the advice seriously.
For the record, we have about 40 users normally, plus printers and such.
During this phase only a few users will try out internet B - the small cost of a couple of extra ethernet cards doesn't concern me so much against the greater plan.
We are in an area that is considered somewhat remote by ISP standards and some of them are loathe to upgrade in this part of town. So we need to experiment with a new provider who says that they will provide. If it works out, then a switch will occur.
But, for those on the trial, they still need to access the server and printers regularly.

Appreciate everything.
 

Triple6

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Does your current router by chance have dual WAN ports? With a SonicWall for example you can assign certain computers to a specific connection.
 

sabrefreak

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Interesting idea Triple6. My old router (system A) does have dual WAN, which until now has never been needed. However, will this not bring all the new traffic through the old router? I'd like to verify which ISP is faster and more reliable, in addition to being able to access the network peripherals of course.
 

Triple6

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Yes, but you can create rules for that second WAN and only allow certain computers to use that connection. You'd also want to disable WAN rollover or balancing so that each group uses the connection you want them to use and never switch over to the other connection. The advantage is that all your network resources will still be available.
 

sabrefreak

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Thanks Triple6. I appreciate everything you and the others have told me.
I will design an appropriate temporary network for this system beard upon our needs and your suggestions.

Again, my thanks.
 

sabrefreak

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Hello again. I hated to have to re-open this post but I needed the help and hope that you can point me the right direction (again).
Little background on the last month or so - it took a long time for the ISP to get us the equipment they promised for an MLPPP setup and once it did arrive it didn't work properly. So I spent a lot of time going back and forth with them to get to where it should have been on day 1. But I suppose everyone's been there :)

Anyways - now that its (mostly) operational this is what's happening:
1. I can only use the new faster internet by using it on a fixed IP, not DHCP, out of the router, and never thru the AP (going back and forth with ISP on why this is happening still)
2. the AP does deliver an IP, just won't forward DNS

3. My main concern here: I tried TerryNet's solution (above) to use 2 network cards to have access to the new faster internet and to have access to the server. One uses 192.168.1.x, the other uses 192.168.88.x addressing. All that I get is that when I turn on my internal NIC and put in a static IP it forces whatever I've written into the internet NIC back to automatic. It does this whether I'm using 2 ethernets or an ethernet and a wireless card. Should I change the numbers I'm using to something else?

Thank you very much.
 
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