Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users?

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
Ryebrye
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Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users?

Postby Ryebrye » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:06 am

I'm the STS in a rural stake in Vermont. In a couple of weeks on the Saturday prior to the evening seesion of Stake Conference, the stake is putting on a family history training session and expects to have around 50 people with laptops or ipads connected to familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

The stake presidency contacted me to find out what could be done to make sure that the network isn't horrible during that time. The internet connection is a decent speed cable modem - but they have concerns because sometimes the bandwidth seems extremely low.

The FM group suggested to them that they might want to "bypass the firewall" for the two hours that meeting is going on to make sure there was enough bandwidth.

I'm guessing that you can't just "bypass" the firewall and have the existing wireless access points still work.

Has anyone put on such an event before? any suggestions?

I could have sworn I saw a post recently about a firewall update that was intended to help increase bandwidth, but I don't see any information on that anymore.

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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby russellhltn » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:40 am

Ryebrye wrote:I'm guessing that you can't just "bypass" the firewall and have the existing wireless access points still work.

I doubt if that would work either. The firewall is also the router which hands out a large number of private IPs. I doubt if your cable system will hand out 50 IPs to one modem.


Ryebrye wrote:I could have sworn I saw a post recently about a firewall update that was intended to help increase bandwidth, but I don't see any information on that anymore.

It's the New 192.168.x.x subnet option for MH firewalls thread. From what I've been told it will speed up connections that are faster than 20 Mbit. Not sure if that helps you or not.

But ultimately it falls into two area: Your ISP and the load that the users place on the system. You don't have that much control over either. I'd recommend that you tell users to download any videos ahead of time and not rely on web connections for playback.

The only other thing I can think of is to shut off the church WiFi and install a personal unit with a different SSID/Password for the duration of the event. That way you limit who is on the network. Specifically, you keep all those smartphones that automatically switch to WiFi off the system.
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johnshaw
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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby johnshaw » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:59 am

russellhltn wrote:
Ryebrye wrote:The only other thing I can think of is to shut off the church WiFi and install a personal unit with a different SSID/Password for the duration of the event. That way you limit who is on the network. Specifically, you keep all those smartphones that automatically switch to WiFi off the system.


This is what I'd do. Bypassing the firewall will increase your experience
for 50+ users I'd make sure there were at least 2 wifi devices
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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:44 pm

My experience with the 881W firewall is before the upgrade I was getting around 50Mbs throughput (both up and down) and after the upgrade it was around 100Mbps. That's with the building empty and a single machine running speedtest.net. I don't know the the total throughput when loading it with multiple users, but I'm told from HQ that aspect has improved considerably. (For the techies, I'm told the speed improvements in the new script is mostly due to changes in the way they handle SPI.)

My recommendation is to call the Global service Center and request your firewall get the new script (it takes all of 10 minutes) and keep the firewall in place during the event. If you have any machines or devices with static IP addresses assigned, they will have to be manually updated. If not, you should be good to go. With a typical cable modem connection and the new script, I seriously doubt you will notice any difference with or without the firewall.
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Biggles
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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby Biggles » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:54 pm

Don't forget to make sure that the Firewall ports are correctly assigned to their respective zones and if you have an official FHC that it is also assigned in the scripting, otherwise you might end up with some unhappy patrons!

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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby aclawson » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:03 am

Glad I caught this thread. Our stake is doing the family history fair next weekend - how long does it take them to make the switch when there is an FHC in the building?

pcardelli
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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby pcardelli » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:25 am

due to how our buildings were wired we are waiting to upgrade till we get a switch added as well as moving the Distrobution center network. Some buildings are more complicated then others.

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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:10 am

aclawson wrote:how long does it take them to make the switch when there is an FHC in the building?

I'd imagine that the re-scripting it almost immediate. The question is if your building is ready for the change? Keep in mind, the FHC itself will be on a separate port on the firewall, so you may have to change the wiring setup of your building.
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Biggles
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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby Biggles » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:29 am

russellhltn wrote:
aclawson wrote:how long does it take them to make the switch when there is an FHC in the building?

I'd imagine that the re-scripting it almost immediate. The question is if your building is ready for the change? Keep in mind, the FHC itself will be on a separate port on the firewall, so you may have to change the wiring setup of your building.

Rescripting for our Firewall, took about ten minutes including applying the FHC patch. Make sure GSC are aware that you require the FHC zone added.

When ours was done they had to go elsewhere for that, but it might be incorporated by now.

Prior to rescripting I had configured the wiring. We were fortunate that all our FHC computers are hard wired and we had two 16 port switches, so it was relatively simple to split up the connections to the correct ports on the Firewall.

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Re: Suggestions for ensuring good connectivity for 50+ users

Postby aclawson » Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:16 pm

I'll have to make sure the wires are on the right ports. Which port is for the FHC? I don't think that building has dedicated FM appliances yet - and quite complicated indeed. We had to run the Cat6 cable to the FHC through conduit that was mounted on the outside of the building because it just wasn't possible to run it through the walls.


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