Preferred demarcation point

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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Preferred demarcation point

Postby DeeGardiner » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:33 pm

Is there a preferred demarcation point for Internet access to ward buildings?

My original thought was to place the DSL router and firewall in the mechanical closet where the phone patch panel is. My theory was that either ward could get at it if necessary for maintenance. But neither ward has keys to those closets.

Another option is to place the equipment in one of the ward clerk's offices. This may simplify wiring, and it places the equipment where the clerk's can keep an eye on it. But the other wards would need to contact the primary ward clerk for support, and it adds clutter to the primary clerk's office.

What are other stakes doing? And are you satisfied with your implementation?

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:50 pm

Good question. You want the equipment where it's not too available - otherwise it becomes trivial to bypass the firewall. I would hesitate to put it in a clerks office for that reason.

I'd also be careful about what closet it's put in. I find many modems run hot and heat is the enemy of electronics. So it needs to be somewhere that has enough size for ventilation and not in too hot a room. Also, I wouldn't put it where cleaning chemicals are stored as they might be corrosive.

I'd think the closet the phone panel and circuit breakers are in would be worth considering. If the wards don't have a key, is there anything preventing them from getting a key?

One poster suggested placing the equipment in the library. He had the librarians activating/deactivating the jacks as needed. Typically all wards would have keys, but they'd be tightly controlled.

Another thought is to place the equipment in a cage with just a external on/off switch to reset it.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:22 pm

On one building we were considering having the DSL brought in to the demark point in the basement, then punching it down to an unused telephone pair going to one of the clerk's offices where we would locate the modem and Church firewall. Besides Russell's good points discouraging this, we ran into a problem with our professional CAT5e installers. They refused to run the cable where it could not be properly terminated on at least one end to a patch panel. This would mean adding a patch panel to the clerk's office, which was out of the question. We ended up having an electrician run some AC power to the demark point in the basement, so we could have everything located there. All in all, I think it was the best decision, at least for our building.

Also, Russell was not kidding about heat. The power brick for the Cisco ASA 5505 is capable of delivering 100W of DC power to the unit. Granted, some of that is reserved for PoE (which we aren't using), but I can verify the ASA box get quite hot during normal use and should probably not be stacked with other gear.
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Postby lajackson » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:12 pm

DeeGardiner wrote:Is there a preferred demarcation point for Internet access to ward buildings?

Just a technical clerification here. For DSL, there is already a demarcation point for your building. Judging from the comments so far, it seems that the question is whether or not to put the rest of the equipment there.

The phone company already has a demarc point and is responsible for the line, phone or DSL, to that point. The only real issue is how helpful they are willing to be after that point, if at all, and/or how much they will charge to help you with the "inside wiring", as it is called in the business.

But please keep up the comments on suggestions and challenges for locating the rest of the equipment. More often than not, the demarc is probably a bad place to put the boxes, environment-wise.

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Postby rpyne » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:38 am

lajackson wrote:But please keep up the comments on suggestions and challenges for locating the rest of the equipment. More often than not, the demarc is probably a bad place to put the boxes, environment-wise.

I have installed four buildings in the last few months, and every one was different, largely due to the difference in building layouts. The first was the stake center, which already had DSL into the FHC, so that was simply a matter of wiring. We installed a router with WiFi in the satellite equipment room next to the Stake Clerks office and then ran from there to each of the Ward Clerk's offices. The WiFi covers the Stake offices and High Council room nicely.

The other three buildings are all Fiber Optic (iProvo/Broadweave) connections.

The second building was one that had all three wards sharing one clerks office. That was an easy decision to put everything under a counter in the clerks office.

The third building was a fairly new building that had a closet containing the telephone dmarc and the sound system. This was our choice for the fiber and firewall location. From there we ran CAT 5e to each of the clerks offices.

The fourth building was a 1928 vintage building. For this one we chose to put the fiber modem and firewall in the boiler room mounted on top of the sound system cabinet and then run the CAT 5e from there to each of the clerks offices.

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