spreading users across multiple servers

To: lvs-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: spreading users across multiple servers
From: Jimm Pratt <digitalmouse@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2006 13:11:18 +0100

I was pointed to LVS as a means of solving a 'growth' problem I have. Hopefully someone can confirm that LVS is the right tool for the job, and could point me in the right direction from here.

The scope of the problem is thus:

I'm running a little home-based game hosting service for a medium-sized group of people (about 50 or so), who run MUDs, board-games, turn-based games, PBeM games, and the like. My little workhorse of a 1.3GHz AMD box (768MB RAM) has been running Debian-based Ubuntu server for quite some time, and I've had no problems with it. I use ssh, ftp, http, and ports in the 6000-6100 range to allow people to work on their games and to host them for others.

More people would like to use my service, so I would like to offer accounts that actually reside on other servers connected to the network. I am told that LVS may be the way to go.

Current setup is with a DSL modem that routes the above ports to the server (static internal ip). Server also updates a dynamic dns name ( because the modem gets a new IP about every 24 hours. Users use a 'user@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' to access their account via ssh or ftp, and '' when hosting a game for other clients to connect to.

Basically I am looking for this kind of setup:

                       |        |
                       | client | (local or internet)
                |                      |
                | DSL Modem and router |
                |      (      |
          -----------------+--------------------------->(future expansion)
          |                |               |
    ______|______    ______|______    _____|_______
   |             |  |             |  |             |
   |   server 1  |  |   server 2  |  |  server 3   |
   |_____________|  |_____________|  |_____________|        10.0.0.n

      user 1           user 4           user 7  etc...
      user 2           user 5
      user 3           user 6

...and keep this all transparent to the user. I'm not worried about load-balancing since there is no 'real-time' cpu-intensive gaming at this point, and I do not want to 'spread all the accounts around' in a distributed cluster fashion- especially when the hardware widely varies from low-end 200 MHz Pentium MMX boxes to 2 GHz AMD's.

So is LVS designed to do a sort of virtual port-forwarding for users not on the original server? If so, please point me towards resources, links, or tutorials on how to set such a beast up.

Thanks in advance for your time!


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