normal Configuring a LAN party network

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01 Dec 2011 18:10 #21257 by garfi3ld

titleNearly five years ago when we hosted our first LAN party we had no idea what to expect or any idea on how much it would grow in the future. Research online as far as what other LAN’s were using was one of the most helpful things. Because of that, as we prep for our 10th event I wanted to give everyone a look behind the scenes at our network. This should help give you an idea of what to start with if you plan on growing in the future.

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Wes
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01 Dec 2011 19:12 #21258 by garfi3ld
A peak into our LAN's network and a few times for those of you who want to run your own LAN's

Wes

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01 Dec 2011 19:24 #21259 by Angrypirate
This is exactly what I've been looking for...

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01 Dec 2011 19:44 #21261 by Angrypirate
I am very curious to know how all of the internet traffic is handled and what you use for load balancing, if needed.

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01 Dec 2011 19:50 #21262 by garfi3ld
I was planning on doing a second writeup on internet and handing the internet traffic if this was well received

Wes

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01 Dec 2011 20:50 #21264 by L0rdG1gabyt3
Nice writeup. Thanks for the info! Looking forward to v10!

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02 Dec 2011 00:38 #21295 by DrDeath
Good article man (read the whole thing). The only thing I would consider, is hanging all dedicated servers off their own switch, which is uplinked directly to the primary switch. The reason for this would be, if anyone is transferring anything from a server, it's usually a large file (i.e. gaming, movies or music). You don't want that traffic propagating the entire network, from one table to another. Instead, traffic is going from the server switch to the table switch that requested it. It's not a huge deal, and you're not going to see great benefits from it, but it's considered best practices.

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02 Dec 2011 00:55 #21297 by garfi3ld
Unless I'm confused by your post, we already do that. The backbone switch is where all of the servers are hooked up along with the uplink from each table switch.

Wes

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28 Mar 2012 04:35 #24316 by Angrypirate
So Wes, how's that followup on handling the internet traffic coming along?

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28 Mar 2012 05:46 #24322 by Twodavez
Too bad you couldn't show the actual stats while at the LAN and condense it down to a nice 10-15 min video. It could be someting you could post on Youtube and even generate a little revenue for your efforts. ;)

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” - Mark Twain

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28 Mar 2012 05:49 #24324 by garfi3ld

Angrypirate wrote: So Wes, how's that followup on handling the internet traffic coming along?


we were waiting on the new router that we got for this event. But as you all noticed the new router had problems when we hit about 100 people. Once I get through all of our sponsorship followups I will be working with TP-Link to track down the problem.

Once we do that, we can finally do the writeup

Wes

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28 Mar 2012 05:51 #24325 by garfi3ld

Twodavez wrote: Too bad you couldn't show the actual stats while at the LAN and condense it down to a nice 10-15 min video. It could be someting you could post on Youtube and even generate a little revenue for your efforts. ;)


I really want to get setup and cleanup videos to show what goes into it all also. I have a feeling we will be following up with this specific writeup a few times until we have covered everything needed to know about setting up a LAN

Wes
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29 Mar 2012 21:51 #24375 by Angrypirate
Good to hear. Can't wait to get all of your magical secrets...

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29 Mar 2012 22:14 #24377 by garfi3ld
keep the feedback coming, I'm interested in what else you guys would like to see. To help me break up the writeups

Wes

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04 Apr 2012 05:31 - 04 Apr 2012 06:49 #24469 by Sideout
I think you should look at using PFSense for your router. Not only will you not reach a performance block with it but since it is open source , you can get some nice addons , bandwidthD is one , that will give you some interesting stats.

Here is the link ( www.pfsense.org/ ) . You can run it on basically any type of PC you have and you can add in multiple NIC's for different interfaces.

I use it at work to provide a captive portal on our public WiFi network.

An x86 based router is going to be able to handle the higher PPS compared to a router like a TP-Link.

Back in the day (2004 / 2005), we ran PFsense on an Intel PII-400 with 512MB of RAM and 2 NIC's with a small hard drive and at one lan party we logged and passed 16 TBytes of LAN / WAN traffic. Additionally we had two cable connections that were load balance and QoS based on traffic type.

It might take a bit more to setup but it is a much better solution imo.

I am the LAN!!!!
Last edit: 04 Apr 2012 06:49 by Sideout. Reason: corrections to grammer
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10 Apr 2012 20:08 #24581 by neokeelo
Nice article.

Im trying to help some buddies out with planning a LAN in a few months back in Tennessee.

If you wrote another article explaining how to manage the internet and also the name and settings of that LAN Check-In system you guys were using, it would be very helpful I think.

What is the name of that program you use to check everyone in and register for events?

From all of the events I have been to (probably over 50) LanOC was definitely the smoothest running event I have been to so far. Nice job guys.
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12 Apr 2012 22:22 #24610 by Sideout
Not to give a spoiler alert but you might be able to see live LAN / WAN network stats at the next NeXus LAN event.

If the LanOC guys are there and are interested in doing something similar , I can help them out on setting it up.

I am the LAN!!!!

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12 Apr 2012 23:03 #24611 by Dreyvas

Sideout wrote: Not to give a spoiler alert but you might be able to see live LAN / WAN network stats at the next NeXus LAN event.

If the LanOC guys are there and are interested in doing something similar , I can help them out on setting it up.


Wes, I'm sure Alex and I could lend a hand with getting this set up as well if you are interested.

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28 Jun 2012 20:47 #25930 by mianosm
Just surfing/browsing the web and stumbled upon this site.

Coming from another community that is actually doing the same thing as you guys - and just wanted to let you know the write up was great, and I look forward to any future installments for comparison and contrast to how we're currently setting things up. :)

The network for us seems absolutely solid, the issues we seem to run into more often than not is power issues (and mainly that comes about from the 4 guys with high performance quad-sli/xfire daisy chaining off of one outlet). ;)

Keep up the great work!
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18 Apr 2015 08:15 #36613 by CNO
Replied by CNO on topic Configuring a LAN party network
Would it had been more advantageous to configure each switches ports bandwidth restrictions prior to deployment at an event? Granted, I haven't managed a LAN Party, however, the same considerations are at work in academic labs with 50+ workstations. We manage port traffic to limit web access, let alone LAN traffic, the same considerations are at work. Albeit, the majority of the students are 2-year IT students interfacing with mainly Cisco products. So, the decision not to configure the table switches, and configure the master switch, is a decision based on best practices pertaining to LAN Party experience? My thought here is without managing the local ports near the gamers, there is the potential for one or more clients to dominate a branch below the master, degrading neighboring clients. Were those ports also managed as well, balancing is insured, both at the master, as well, as each branch.

Computer Network Operations

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18 Apr 2015 13:51 - 18 Apr 2015 13:55 #36614 by garfi3ld
Running managed switches on every table at a LAN event isn't really the best idea financially, at least early on. More to your point though, we haven't ever run into an issue where any one person or table has dominated the traffic the LAN traffic to the point where it caused slowdowns for people around them. File transfers up until very recently have always been limited by the transfer speed of the host and the write speed of the person pulling them, keeping any big transfers slow enough not to be a burden on users around them. With SSD's becoming more popular it is possible that we might run into the issue in the future, but like I said before the cost of buying managed switches for each table is huge and out of reach for most mid sized events.

That said, in a perfect situation setting a cap on each port at the table is a great way to prevent any one person from dominating network traffic for those around them

Wes
Last edit: 18 Apr 2015 13:55 by garfi3ld.
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18 Apr 2015 17:37 - 18 Apr 2015 17:44 #36615 by CNO
Replied by CNO on topic Configuring a LAN party network
From the perspective of network management, I can see it is not a 'genre' consideration. I assume network monitoring played a role in your decision. Do you have that data that supports this? My interest in your decisions is looking at the statistics over the net, over the entire event. Armed with this info I might gain a greater understanding of the network traffic, bandwidth load, and node considerations.

Computer Network Operations
Last edit: 18 Apr 2015 17:44 by CNO.

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18 Apr 2015 22:26 #36617 by Sideout
2. How much aggregate (inbound and outbond) traffic did we pass at LanOC v16?

a. WAN traffic - 1.6TB Aggregate
b. LAN traffic - 6.02TB Aggregate

This is a new LanOC record. We had 3 TWC 50/5 modems in a load balancing round robin config and most of the time , we were at a solid 35Mbits on all 3 modems with it peaking to 45Mbits at times.

This gives you an idea of how much traffic we were pushing at the event. We ran a Dell 2824 Switch at the core feeding into PFSense on a 1 gigabit connection. The Vmware was using a LAG group on the Vmware / Switch side at 4Gbit.

In a perfect world , yes you could get managed switches and limit bandwidth at that level. I dont see any sponsor ponying up that hardware though.

Another factor we have is that with multiple modems , it is not possible to get a true load balanced solution so while we have 3 modems to the Internet , it is not a true 150Mbit. Again having one pipe to manage for that would make things simple as well but that is not the hand we have been dealt.

The goal with any QoS / Filtering / Throttling should be to balance the game play with the users ability to download or surf as needed. This last LanOC , it was the best one we had from that aspect. It is not an exact science when you factor in 140+ people in the room running all kinds of stuff like Spotify , Hamachi , Bit Torrent , UTorrent , and others on their PC - all leeching for the best amount of bandwidth they can get. Factor in as well game updates the day of and other download needs and you have a large amount of demand for a small pipe.

Not to mention we had one modem pretty much dedicated to streaming the LAN live so that cut into the bandwidth we had available.

if your interested in my setup I used for PFSense you can find it in the forums here or over at the pfsense forums.

I am the LAN!!!!

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