A big consumer of my time this week (and last week) is building a pilot implementation of a new internet-facing DMZ. Well, that's understating the requirements a bit. Corporate requires a special "reverse proxy" system to be sitting in the internet-facing parts, so we have to make some major changes anyway, but I wasn't happy with just having a DMZ out there, it needs to be reliable. Preferably more reliable than our internet feed. But we have more than 1 datacenter, with more than 1 internet provider, why not take advantage of that?
Basically, the goal is to have a single IP address (for www.dom.ain) that is internet-routed through both datacenter ISPs, and have Linux do some magic so that packets can come or go through whichever pipe. Apparently, there are companies that make such magic happen for lots of $$$ but in this economy, they aren't an option. And since Linux is free (and my time is already paid for) here's a chance to save the company money. That's what I sold to management anyway.
It should be simple enough: advertise that magic netblock out both pipes, put a Linux router on the link as the gateway for that block, NAT the magic.xxx address of www to the internal IP address of the apache server, and toss out of state packets over to its peer so that the firewalls between this box and the apache server wouldn't see them.
Internet --- Linux ---- FW --+-- LAN --- apache
Internet --- Linux ---- FW --+
(We've assumed that the WAN is important enough internally that if it's down, our external site is going to have problems anyway. Which is true, unfortunately. WAN outages between our 2 main datacenters tend to break everything even for local users.)
So far I've gotten 3/4 of the packet-handling stuff working for a single system using just iptables. nat PREROUTING DNAT rewrites the magic.xxx to apache's address, POSTROUTING MASQUERADE gives apache something routable to return the packets to, and I can see the entries in the /proc/net/ip_conntrack file. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find how nat is supposed to de-masquerade the packets back according to the state that caused them.
I have a packet coming in from 10.0.05 (client) -> 192.168.1.13 (www) (magic block is 192.168.1/24). It leaves my box as 192.168.5.182 (lx-int) -> 192.168.6.13 (www-web0). www-web0 gets the SYN, and sends its SYN+ACK back 192.168.6.13 -> 192.168.5.182. I see those packets on the wire, and it's what I'd expect.
What I don't see is a way to take that SYN+ACK, look up in the connection tracking table for the original client and rewrite it to be 192.168.1.13 -> 10.0.0.5.