Technology Integrator January 2013 : Page 20

IPIQ Martin Boulter Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking: Part 1 By: Martin Boulter, Luxul Customer Services Manager O nce you understand the primary components that go into an IP network, how do you determine which components to choose? As an installer, the first thing to understand is that all networking gear is not made equal, and equipment choice will impact installation complexity, network perfor-mance, and the overall customer experi-ence. Let’s further explore each of these components and discuss the various options and things to look for in selecting the right products for your installation. Modems Most Internet service providers (ISPs) have limited modem options available and it is important to research those options in order to best meet the custom-er’s needs. Many ISPs also offer an “all-in-one” option that includes a modem, router, and wireless access point in a single device. These devices are good for small networks of perhaps five to 10 cli-ent devices, but as the number of devices in the network increase, these all-in-one devices are quickly overwhelmed and per-formance is compromised. Think about the number of IP devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming systems, media servers, etc.) an average family of four might use on the network, and that number gets above 10 very quickly. Because of this, we always recommend stepping up to a standalone modem either from the ISP or from a third party (check with the ISP to see what standalone modems are supported). This option does require a separate router to perform the local area network (LAN) functions, but results in a network that can handle a significantly higher load. The next step up from the standalone modem is a mul-ti-connection gateway. However, this is something most custom installers would not need to be familiar with, as such systems are typically only viable in large business environments. Routers including: • Domain Name Service (DNS), which allows a website name (rather than the public IP address) to be typed into the Web browser’s address bar. • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which issues an automated IP address to client devices that connect to the private network. As An instAller, the first thing to understAnd is thAt All networking geAr is not mAde equAl, And equipment choice will impAct instAllA-tion complexity, network performAnce, And the over-All customer experience. • Firewall services to protect the private network from attacks targeting your pub-lic IP address. • VPN for secure remote access into the local network. Because the router is such a critical When a modem connects to the Internet, it is issued a single publicly routable IP Address. A router is then used to allow multiple devices to share that one pub-licly routable address through a process called network address translation (NAT). In addition, routers typically provide a number of other network services, Wide Area Network WAN Modem Local Area Netwrok Router 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch SYS SFP2 LAN XMS-1024 S-1024 SFP1 SFP2 Switch 2468 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Access Point 15 17 19 21 23 23 24 24 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 LINK/ACT SPEED SFP1 RESET POWER 13 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 LINK/ACT SPEED SPEED: 10/100Mbps 1000Mbps 1357 911 13 Wired and Wireless Client Devices Internet via ISP Typical IP Networking Components and Topology 20 CustomRetailer • January 2013

IPIQ: Installer’s Guide

Martin Boulter

Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking: Part 1<br /> <br /> By: Martin Boulter, Luxul Customer Services Manager<br /> <br /> Once you understand the primary components that go into an IP network, how do you determine which components to choose? As an installer, the first thing to understand is that all networking gear is not made equal, and equipment choice will impact installation complexity, network performance, and the overall customer experience. Let’s further explore each of these components and discuss the various options and things to look for in selecting the right products for your installation..<br /> <br /> Modems<br /> <br /> Most Internet service providers (ISPs) have limited modem options available and it is important to research those options in order to best meet the customer’s needs. Many ISPs also offer an “allin- one” option that includes a modem, router, and wireless access point in a single device. These devices are good for small networks of perhaps five to 10 client devices, but as the number of devices in the network increase, these all-in-one devices are quickly overwhelmed and performance is compromised. Think about the number of IP devices (smartphones, Tablets, computers, gaming systems, media servers, etc.) an average family of four might use on the network, and that number gets above 10 very quickly. Because of this, we always recommend stepping up to a standalone modem either from the ISP or from a third party (check with the ISP to see what standalone modems are supported). This option does require a separate router to perform the local area network (LAN) functions, but results in a network that can handle a significantly higher load. The next step up from the standalone modem is a multi- connection gateway. However, this is something most custom installers would not need to be familiar with, as such systems are typically only viable in large business environments.<br /> <br /> Routers<br /> <br /> When a modem connects to the Internet, it is issued a single publicly routable IP Address. A router is then used to allow multiple devices to share that one publicly routable address through a process called network address translation (NAT). In addition, routers typically provide a number of other network services,including:<br /> <br /> • Domain Name Service (DNS), which allows a website name (rather than the public IP address) to be typed into the Web browser’s address bar.<br /> <br /> • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which issues an automated IP address to client devices that connect to the private network.<br /> <br /> • Firewall services to protect the private network from attacks targeting your public IP address.<br /> <br /> • VPN for secure remote access into the local network.<br /> <br /> Because the router is such a critical Component of the network, router choice can make or break the network. A device that combines multiple functions (i.e. the 3-in- 1 device mentioned above, or a wireless router) can make for a less than stellar user experience due to insufficient memory and/ or processing capability. Using separate dedicated devices that handle the processing and memory load for each specific function can significantly increase the number of devices a network can accommodate, and improve the user experience. Additionally, the ideal placement of the wireless AP may not be the best location for the modem and/or router. Separating these functions allows you to optimize the performance of your AP. As a general rule:<br /> <br /> • Multi-function devices are good for small networks with five-10 devices.<br /> <br /> • Consumer class standalone routers typically handle 10-50 devices.<br /> <br /> • Business class routers are more robust, often supporting 250 or more devices<br /> <br /> Having a solid understanding of various router options and capabilities, while also being able to select the right router for your customer’s requirements, is essential to the overall network performance and user experience. Next month we’ll cover ethernet switches, wireless access points and more.<br /> <br /> As An instAller, the first thing to understAnd is thAt All networking geAr is not mAde equAl, And equipment choice will impAct instAllAtion complexity, network performAnce, And the over- All customer experience.

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