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C4 network configuration?


DonFromCanada

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I'm just in the planning stages of my C4 network right now...

Is there anyone out there who has had a look at how chatty the C4 components are?

I am considering a 24 port 10/100/1000 intelligent switch that has VLANing ability. From what I understand, the C4 devices only need to talk to each other, not to the internet?

I want to segregate any traffic between my regular computers and traffic between C4 devices.

Has anyone made an attempt at this, or is it best to keep everything on the same LAN?

Also, should I get a switch with POE built in? (Such as a Cisco SLM224P)

On that note, what is the POE power consumption of the various touchpanels?

Thanks!

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I use PoE injectors, I don't have a PoE switch as I don't have many PoE devices. I use a Dell 2724 Powerconnect and I do not have any VLAN's setup. The devices are chatty from what I can tell, although I don't really do much network analyzing. I just know that when I launch WireShark the log goes bonkers.

They'll need to talk to the internet for Rhapsody and cover art/album info lookup for your music and movie libraries. I would just leave everything on one big gigabit switch and be happy. Just make sure you get everything a static IP.

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I use PoE injectors, I don't have a PoE switch as I don't have many PoE devices. I use a Dell 2724 Powerconnect and I do not have any VLAN's setup. The devices are chatty from what I can tell, although I don't really do much network analyzing. I just know that when I launch WireShark the log goes bonkers.

They'll need to talk to the internet for Rhapsody and cover art/album info lookup for your music and movie libraries. I would just leave everything on one big gigabit switch and be happy. Just make sure you get everything a static IP.

I think I'll put them on a separate vlan and just make sure that RIP is on for that subnet. That way the traffic is separate but they can still talk to the Internet.

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I think I'll put them on a separate vlan and just make sure that RIP is on for that subnet. That way the traffic is separate but they can still talk to the Internet.

Two things:

1. Why would you want to use RIP when you only have two (or even a small handful) subnets? Routing protocols like RIP are useful in networks with many subnets so you don't have to manually keep track of all the possible routes and subnets, especially when there might be multiple routes between subnets. If this is a home, you almost certainly are not going to be in that situation.***

2. I think a disadvantage of separate VLAN/subnet for the C4 stuff is if you plan to use Composer. How does it find the Controller? I don't know precisely but I assume it uses some kind of broadcast protocol and that won't cross VLANs so you'll have manually connect (assuming that's possible to a non-local address in Composer) or you'll have to move your Composer computer to the C4 subnet anytime you want to use it.

*** You may know this but RIP has nothing to do with whether devices on a network can reach the Internet. RIP advertises routes that exist, it doesn't have anything to do with creating those routes. But I would be surprised if 1 in 1000 home networks have any practical use for multiple subnets. Don't overcomplicate things by adding VLANs without a clearly understood and compelling reason. "Chattiness" of C4 devices is not compelling.

That said, I plan to implement a guest wireless network sometime before the end of September that I want kept separate from my primary network. I'll either run it into a separate physical interface on my router or buy a pair of VLAN-capable switches to trunk it to the router over a single interface, depending on the cost to get some extra Cat-5 between my office and mech room. Firewall rules will block it from reaching my primary network. But that's not a common need in home networks and even then I won't need RIP.

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I think I'll put them on a separate vlan and just make sure that RIP is on for that subnet. That way the traffic is separate but they can still talk to the Internet.

Two things:

1. Why would you want to use RIP when you only have two (or even a small handful) subnets? Routing protocols like RIP are useful in networks with many subnets so you don't have to manually keep track of all the possible routes and subnets' date=' especially when there might be multiple routes between subnets. If this is a home, you almost certainly are not going to be in that situation.***

2. I think a disadvantage of separate VLAN/subnet for the C4 stuff is if you plan to use Composer. How does it find the Controller? I don't know precisely but I assume it uses some kind of broadcast protocol and that won't cross VLANs so you'll have manually connect (assuming that's possible to a non-local address in Composer) or you'll have to move your Composer computer to the C4 subnet anytime you want to use it.

*** You may know this but RIP has nothing to do with whether devices on a network can reach the Internet. RIP advertises routes that exist, it doesn't have anything to do with creating those routes. But I would be surprised if 1 in 1000 home networks have any practical use for multiple subnets. Don't overcomplicate things by adding VLANs without a clearly understood and compelling reason. "Chattiness" of C4 devices is not compelling.

That said, I plan to implement a guest wireless network sometime before the end of September that I want kept separate from my primary network. I'll either run it into a separate physical interface on my router or buy a pair of VLAN-capable switches to trunk it to the router over a single interface, depending on the cost to get some extra Cat-5 between my office and mech room. Firewall rules will block it from reaching my primary network. But that's not a common need in home networks and even then I won't need RIP.[/quote']

Well, you've answered a question.. but I run a business out of my home.. and I have a guest house as well. So I was hoping to keep C4 traffic on one vlan, guest traffic to another, home traffic to another and my business computers and printer on another. The business has a wifi hotspot, a web/email server as well as two POS terminals, two receipt printers and a multi-function network printer.

The home network currently has a wifi hotspot on a different SSID than the business, four laptops, one desktop, all my current AV equipment that is IP-enabled and another network colour printer. The guest house gets internet through wifi to the home network.

It's all cat6 gigabit where it isn't wifi.

Adding C4 to this mix will force me to add a bigger switch - so I was looking at the Cisco SLM2024..

I have

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Then you are approaching my "1 in a 1000" status. ;)

Still, you probably don't need RIP. Separating the Guest, the Business and the Home into separate networks and VLANS is probably reasonable. I'm still not sure I'd make the Control4 a separate VLAN from the rest of Home, but it's not unreasonable to do so.

However, you are going to need a router or a layer-3 switch that can support 4 subnets and route between them, either through separate physical interfaces on the router or through multiple virtual interfaces on either the switch or the router. The 2024 is a nicely-capable switch but it doesn't do any layer-3 routing as far I can tell.

Edit: What are you using as a router today?

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Then you are approaching my "1 in a 1000" status. ;)

Still, you probably don't need RIP. Separating the Guest, the Business and the Home into separate networks and VLANS is probably reasonable. I'm still not sure I'd make the Control4 a separate VLAN from the rest of Home, but it's not unreasonable to do so.

However, you are going to need a router or a layer-3 switch that can support 4 subnets and route between them, either through separate physical interfaces on the router or through multiple virtual interfaces on either the switch or the router. The 2024 is a nicely-capable switch but it doesn't do any layer-3 routing as far I can tell.

Edit: What are you using as a router today?

Hmm. May be an issue then.. I think I'll go the route of putting home and C4 on the same net, and keep business and guest separate.

Thanks for the assist!

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Hmm. May be an issue then.. I think I'll go the route of putting home and C4 on the same net, and keep business and guest separate.

But how will you do that? Do you have separate Internet access for them? Because if you don't they aren't really separate.

For example, my current "quick and dirty" guest network is simply a different access point with a different SSID (network name). It still dumps people into my one subnet; it just saves me from having to give out the security key to my home wireless network. Sometime in the next couple of months I'll actually separate it into a different VLAN and subnet so there's no access from it to my other network.

This is easier for me because I run an open-source (but full-featured business-class router/firewall) called pfSense. Because it's built on BSD, it supports multiple VLANs on a single physical interface and because I run it on an HP Thin Client computer with a PCI expansion module, I have a multi-interface NIC so I can have multiple physical interfaces.

It sounds like you need something like that, but I don't know if there's an easy off-the-shelf router like a Linksys/Cisco that give this capability. That is, until you step up to the "real" Cisco products that run IOS.

If you are interested, I might have some time to help you with some of this design.

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For commercial installs we do Vlans.

For a residential project we will do multiple physical lans for most jobs instead of vlans. For hardware we use Fortinet Routers/Firewalls (non enterprise models) and HP Procurve Switches. As far as models go that depends on the project but in short you will need a router that can handle multiple subnets and routes which any Fortinet model can do.

As far as addressing goes for multiple physical lans, we have the developed following standard that we use.

1) Root Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.1.xx

2) Data Network Non Guest (Non DHCP, Wired & WiFi) - 192.168.2.xx

Non-Guest WAPs, Computers & Mobile Devices

3) Data Network Guest (DHCP, Wired & WiFi) - 192.168.3.xx

Guest WAPs, Computers & Mobile Devices

4) Gaming (Non DHCP) - 192.168.4.xx

5) HA Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.5.xx

WAP’s, Controllers, Touch Panels, etc

6) AV Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.6.xx

WAPs, Receivers, Media Servers, Displays, etc

7) VOIP Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.7.xx

SIP & IP Phones

Hope that helps a bit.

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For commercial installs we do Vlans.

For a residential project we will do multiple physical lans for most jobs instead of vlans. For hardware we use Fortinet Routers/Firewalls (non enterprise models) and HP Procurve Switches. As far as models go that depends on the project but in short you will need a router that can handle multiple subnets and routes which any Fortinet model can do.

As far as addressing goes for multiple physical lans, we have the developed following standard that we use.

1) Root Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.1.xx

2) Data Network Non Guest (Non DHCP, Wired & WiFi) - 192.168.2.xx

Non-Guest WAPs, Computers & Mobile Devices

3) Data Network Guest (DHCP, Wired & WiFi) - 192.168.3.xx

Guest WAPs, Computers & Mobile Devices

4) Gaming (Non DHCP) - 192.168.4.xx

5) HA Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.5.xx

WAP’s, Controllers, Touch Panels, etc

6) AV Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.6.xx

WAPs, Receivers, Media Servers, Displays, etc

7) VOIP Network (Non DHCP) - 192.168.7.xx

SIP & IP Phones

Hope that helps a bit.

I'm doing it like that, but with a bit of a modified install.. I'm using a Cisco SLM2024 switch - it's classified as a small business 'Smart' switch. (Really, just a heavy duty Linksys with some lower-end professional options on it.)

As above, the business, guest and home/C4 will be on separate networks. There's also a management network vlan (the switch can only be managed from that subnet) and an internet vlan. Each of the vlans can route to the internet, but I won't allow routing between any of the vlans so all the traffic stays separate. The business, guest and home/c4 networks each have their own wireless access point, each with a unique SSID and key/password.

Sounds easy - just have to stretch my config muscles to get the static routes done right.

Nice thing about the switch is that it has both a web interface as well as a SSH/Telnet console for command line interface. (according to the docs anyways - I'll probably never see the CLI)

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I'm doing it like that, but with a bit of a modified install.. I'm using a Cisco SLM2024 switch - it's classified as a small business 'Smart' switch. (Really, just a heavy duty Linksys with some lower-end professional options on it.)

As above, the business, guest and home/C4 will be on separate networks. There's also a management network vlan (the switch can only be managed from that subnet) and an internet vlan. Each of the vlans can route to the internet, but I won't allow routing between any of the vlans so all the traffic stays separate. The business, guest and home/c4 networks each have their own wireless access point, each with a unique SSID and key/password.

Sounds easy - just have to stretch my config muscles to get the static routes done right.

Nice thing about the switch is that it has both a web interface as well as a SSH/Telnet console for command line interface. (according to the docs anyways - I'll probably never see the CLI)

Just from the thread, this is the type of setups that the RIP Standard was written for. The spec was modified to do bigger networks. RIP Prevents you from having to change or add static routes every time you make a change or grow your local network.

Rather than invest in the "CISCO IOS" look at getting a better router that will support the functions your looking for (Watchguard, Sonic Wall) Are just a few. With running a business out of your home (And that is how we started) I would recommend highly that you run C4 on its own VLAN.

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I'm doing it like that' date=' but with a bit of a modified install.. I'm using a Cisco SLM2024 switch - it's classified as a small business 'Smart' switch. (Really, just a heavy duty Linksys with some lower-end professional options on it.)

As above, the business, guest and home/C4 will be on separate networks. There's also a management network vlan (the switch can only be managed from that subnet) and an internet vlan. Each of the vlans can route to the internet, but I won't allow routing between any of the vlans so all the traffic stays separate. The business, guest and home/c4 networks each have their own wireless access point, each with a unique SSID and key/password.

Sounds easy - just have to stretch my config muscles to get the static routes done right.

Nice thing about the switch is that it has both a web interface as well as a SSH/Telnet console for command line interface. (according to the docs anyways - I'll probably never see the CLI)[/quote']

Just from the thread, this is the type of setups that the RIP Standard was written for. The spec was modified to do bigger networks. RIP Prevents you from having to change or add static routes every time you make a change or grow your local network.

Rather than invest in the "CISCO IOS" look at getting a better router that will support the functions your looking for (Watchguard, Sonic Wall) Are just a few. With running a business out of your home (And that is how we started) I would recommend highly that you run C4 on its own VLAN.

I think we may have a difference of opinion a-brewin'

EagleMoon seemed to leaning towards RIP being overkill for a small network like this, and the consensus seemed to be that the home network and the C4 could co-exist happily. It should be noted, I do a lot of heavy duty video and large picture editing on my home network (which is one reason why I upgraded to CAT6 - Wifi wasn't cutting it anymore) so I didn't want the C4 network to flood that network, or vice-versa.

I really don't see the harm in segregating C4 from the home network. I have a rack-mounted thin PC (Think laptop, but is permanently mounted in the rack) that I 'inherited' from work a few years ago that runs WinXP that I could use to manage the C4 network, if required?

As an aside, has anyone ever done any traffic analysis on observed network throughput for C4? I know each system is custom, but there should be at least a base measurement for a HC300 with x number of managed devices?

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Just from the thread' date=' this is the type of setups that the RIP Standard was written for. The spec was modified to do bigger networks. RIP Prevents you from having to change or add static routes every time you make a change or grow your local network.

Rather than invest in the "CISCO IOS" look at getting a better router that will support the functions your looking for (Watchguard, Sonic Wall) Are just a few. With running a business out of your home (And that is how we started) I would recommend highly that you run C4 on its own VLAN.[/quote']

I think we may have a difference of opinion a-brewin'

EagleMoon seemed to leaning towards RIP being overkill for a small network like this, and the consensus seemed to be that the home network and the C4 could co-exist happily.

:D It's not a difference of opinion. It sounds like a misunderstanding about what RIP is. I'm not exactly saying RIP is overkill, I'm saying if someone builds a home network where RIP is even useful, they most likely made a design mistake.

RIP is a routing protocol and is how gateways (routers) advertise their routes among themselves. It's only used between gateways, i.e. routers. The only reason you would need RIP, or any of the other routing protocols, is when you have a complex network with multiple subnets separated by *multiple* gateways. RIP allows the various gateways to tell each other about their networks (and about networks on other downstream/upstream gateways).

I'm suggesting that creating that complexity (multiple layer-3 devices) in a residence such that RIP might be useful is unnecessary in all but the rarest of cases. And please, do NOT take a SOHO-type wireless "router" and use it to create one of your subnets, connecting to the rest of your network through it's "Internet port". If you do you're almost certainly using NAT between your subnets and you'll regret it.

I like the idea of a cookie cutter design template like GoGoDelicious describes even though I think it's unnecessary for most people. I'm sure as a dealer it makes his support much, much easier. And though he didn't specify it, I'll bet all the routing is done either in the HP or in the Fortinet. In that case there'd be a single layer-3 device routing between all the subnets and there'd be no routing protocol required. Even in a complex home network, if you don't do the routing in a single device, then have a good reason. And good reasons are going to be extremely rare. But if you find one, by all means turn on RIP between those gateways.

Oh, and I stand by my opinion that for 99.99% of home networks, putting C4 on a separate VLAN is not worth the configuration and support headaches you'll cause yourself. But anyone who really has the knowledge to do so and wants to do it has my blessing. Dealers with real network expertise who are delivering turn-key solutions are exempt from that. ;);)

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If you are interested' date=' I might have some time to help you with some of this design.[/quote']

Beware. I may take you up on that offer.

:)

The good news is it would be free. The bad news is it might be worth what you paid for it. :lol:

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I like the idea of a cookie cutter design template like GoGoDelicious describes even though I think it's unnecessary for most people. I'm sure as a dealer it makes his support much, much easier.

We have a default Fortinet file we upload that has all the configuration all ready done. Even if a client is not using VOIP for example, it's still setup on the router side so we do not have to come out and add the "VOIP" network configuration to the Fortinet.

As far as support goes it is much easier but their are other reason. Specifically VLANS are more difficult for clients to manage on their own especially if they are not network savy and don't usually "mess" with their systems. This is 99.9% of our NON commercial clients. When we show them how to take a IP DHCP address, say from the "Guest" network side, and make it a static IP for a guest it much easier. Same goes for adding a static IP to a new device, say a new iPad, to the "Non-Guest" network. They pretty much just assign the MAC address of the iPad to the IP address they want to use and manually input that IP Address. The client does not have to deal with VLANS, assigning, tagging, etc.

And though he didn't specify it, I'll bet all the routing is done either in the HP or in the Fortinet. In that case there'd be a single layer-3 device routing between all the subnets and there'd be no routing protocol required

All rotung is handled by the Fortinet. The HP switches forward all traffic, no matter what IP network it's on, and sends it to the router, which in our case is the Fortinet, and the router manages the traffic. As it should.

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Specifically VLANS are more difficult for clients to manage on their own especially if they are not network savy and don't usually "mess" with their systems.

I make my living helping enterprise customers with their IP networks and even I'd prefer to avoid most of the stuff we've been discussing here in my home network.

All rotung is handled by the Fortinet. ... As it should.

Exactly.

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I've done everything from scratch. Myself. Using an Apple network. All cisco/linksys switches. No subnets. No VLAN's. Don't even understand what they are! 4 x C4controllers/mac's/pc's/iphones/ipads/other video devices/video server/9 zones of Sonos/cbus interface/an ethernet blu ray. 35-40 devices in total. Pretty much all DHCP except my imac server, and the C4 controllers. 192.168.1.1...256. I rarely have problems. Certainly no conflicts b/w C4 and Video devices/macs or Sonos anyway :) But I'd take Go Go's advice on ANYTHING. That guy really knows what he is talking about. I really appreciate the insight on how to take the next step if it all falls in a heap, or I go over 256 devices!!! :D

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No VLAN's. Don't even understand what they are!

Yes, for the life of me, I can't understand why people want to make things complicated. But then I frequently run into "smallish" corporate customers where the network person has learned a little bit about some feature and felt he just had to implement it, often with "less than optimal" results. KISS!

Anyway, most people should just get a high-quality LAN switch capable of wire-speed throughput from/to every port and be done with it. In a switched network, that gives you a dedicated 100Mbps between every pair of ports at the same time. Those smaller "web-managed" Dell/HP/3Com/Cisco-Linksys switches will do this. The $50 Netgear/D-Link/Linksys from BestBuy may not. If you have video or file servers that need more than 100Mbps, then get a model with gigabit ports. Not all servers will need that, so be sure you really understand the requirements.

Separating things into different VLANs isn't going to help you noticeably with bandwidth, it only isolates the small amount of normal broadcast traffic on a network. But don't worry about broadcast traffic unless you are well beyond 24 devices. In fact, unless you design the VLANs and what goes into them properly, you may actually dramatically reduce throughput between some devices and cause problems.

I will say this: try to connect everything into a single LAN switch so that traffic stays on the one high-speed backplane/switching fabric rather than crossing a relatively low-speed Ethernet link to another switch. If you have to use multiple switches, try to get one with a couple of gigabit ports you can use as uplinks, preferably as a link aggregation group so that the inter-switch link is not a congestion point. 10Gbps fiber ports are better, but I'm not sure how affordable for home use that is today.

GoGoDelicious is serving a very, VERY specialized market. Things they are doing do not apply to virtually anyone's network that I've seen described here. A handful of computers, a few printers, two or three wireless access points and a few file/media servers with some streaming media do not remotely reach that level.

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Yes, for the life of me, I can't understand why people want to make things complicated. But then I frequently run into "smallish" corporate customers where the network person has learned a little bit about some feature and felt he just had to implement it, often with "less than optimal" results. KISS!

Ok, guilty as charged. I do know a bit more than the average layman about routing and switching. I wanted to try and play with it as much as self-education would allow, and still keep my business and personal systems separate.

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I wanted to try and play with it as much as self-education would allow.

Actually, I accept doing it for a learning exercise as a valid reason. It's people's mistaken idea that it has to be done for performance reasons in run-of-the-mill networks that gets me going off on a rant.

Take VoIP, for example. Not a lot of bandwidth per call, but otherwise, nothing in a home network is really any more critical that this real-time traffic in a corporate environment. Yet, we tell people to limit themselves just to 250 phones per VLAN, 500 if necessary. Typically, those phones will share the same LAN switch port as the user's PC; the PC on a different VLAN from the VoIP but still using switch and network bandwidth. Why people think they can't run a couple of media servers, some IP cameras and some computers on single VLAN and switch is ... well, it drives me crazy, as you can tell.

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^ I run two media servers, four IP cams four computers (one doing nothing but rendering to a NAS) all through a switch and single VLAN. Please help me :)

I can see how you might have problems with that. You need to put each device on its own VLAN and that'll solve your obvious throughput problems.......it'll virtually eliminate it. Your throughput, that is. :D

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