normal Sideout's Network Debrief LANOC v13

09 Sep 2013 17:58 - 09 Sep 2013 18:54 #32711 by Sideout
Just a brief overview of my mental notes on Monday , will have add a more formal post later once I get all the numbers looking pretty.

1. Pros
a. Steam Caching - was a big reason for our success. Cached 108G of games and saw at several times it as the #1 talker on the network to local clients.

b. Traffic Shaping configuration - we had some times were there was high latency to Internet traffic and servers but overall it was a workable config and it can and was tweaked when needed to get better results.

c. No issues with table switches / main switch / cabling.

d. DNS spoofing for * - this made the caching work and might look to do this with other domains as well if we can expand on the caching that nginx does for us.

2. Cons
a. TWC got us with same gateway for both modems till we change NIC MAC's and resolved that. Need to remember MAC's for future use so we can have both modems on different gateways.

Once we had both modems working and load balancing on Sunday - LoL pings were under 100 and BF3 server pings were under 80 even to Euro servers. This will let us bring in a 3rd modem and do some even more advanced configurations with traffic segmentation and optimization. (Did I mention I am always looking to do things better than I did the last time down to the nth detail??)

b. Alias configuration of port map in PFsense - Looks like I will need to tweak that a bit as the big configuration of ports was working from some games but not for others it seems. I will have to consolidate ports by Protocol and then re-segment by game type I think for a cleaner configuration. I had to tweak the qNerf queue a couple of times to not block some legitimate traffic for some of the games.

c. PRTG stat monitoring - I was not able to do as much as I wanted with PRTG this time. I had bigger plans for it but with all the other stuff going in , it goes pushed to the side. I will work on it for next time. If we can get Trendnet to give us that switch then we can pull stats from that like I plan on doing. My goal was to make PRTG a link on ALP so that people could go to it and using a generic login - look at stats on their PC and even find their IP / workstation name and see what their machine was doing on the network.

Overall I am pleased with how the event ran from start to finish. We showed that we can run on one modem , granted ping times were higher than we wanted to and some games had latency but I did troubleshoot those for the most part and resolved a lot of them for the attendees.

Here is my wish list for the next event:

1. Mini-ITX motherboard for firewall / router - being worked on now
2. Better switch from Trendnet for core switch - prefer a L2 / L3 switch to pull SNMP
3. Make or purchase new cables for staff area - use orange for the color
4. Find a small rack to use for network equipment - so we can look like we are pro's
5. Fully develop PRTG for stat monitoring
6. Ban LoL as a LAN party game!!!! (just had to put that in there)

Please add anything you guy's saw or heard and also any areas that you feel that I can improve upon from the event.

I am the LAN!!!!
Last edit: 09 Sep 2013 18:54 by Sideout.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dreyvas, Kelf, Rhythmatic, parall4x

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09 Sep 2013 18:24 - 09 Sep 2013 18:26 #32712 by parall4x
I love the idea of getting the network hardware racked in a small 8U or 10U unit; maybe even with casters on the bottom so it can be easily rolled in and out of the venue.

Regarding general caching of web traffic, you can install squid in pfSense and provision a cache size of your choosing to take caching a step further. It would probably be worthwhile to find a way to exclude Steam-destined traffic from Squid so we're not double-caching or negating the benefits of the Steam reverse proxy.

I think that the PRTG integration to ALP would be very helpful for responsible LAN participants that want to be aware of their usage and help minimize harmful network traffic/Internet usage. If I saw that I was still pulling 2Mbps I might realize that I left my BT client running (I'm not really a BT user, that said) and could shut it down. As this is a web integration, if you'd like me to look into the implementation I'd be happy to take a look at the ALP source and the PRTG API and see what we can do.

All in all, I think the network performance at v13 was a great improvement over some of the obstacles that were faced at the two prior LANs. There's a clear path of improvement already set for v14 and I'm excited to see what other innovations like the Steam proxy are implemented in LANs to come.
Last edit: 09 Sep 2013 18:26 by parall4x.

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09 Sep 2013 18:50 #32713 by Sideout
Yea I have played with Squid for PFsense and the only downside to using it is I find it is pretty CPU / disk intense in a high PPS situation like that LAN is.

Nginx can do it but I would have to play with it and then we would be eating into the space I have on the server for that as well as steam caching.

We would automatically be excluding Steam traffic from the cache as we are DNS spoofing the domain on our internal DNS server so all non steam requests would go out PFSense and not the cache server.

We can take a look at with we can do with ALP and PRTG for sure and see how to make it pretty. Right now I dont have a dedicated PRTG box , I just install it on my laptop and use it like that.

If we are going to tighten the intergration with ALP then I would want to have a standalone PRTG box to maintain a constant configuration.

I am the LAN!!!!

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09 Sep 2013 19:10 #32715 by Lersar
I'd just like to reiterate that the network was incredible at v13, thank you for all your hard work leading up to and at the event Sideout.
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10 Sep 2013 01:00 #32719 by Plague
I very much agree with what everyone has said. Sideout you did an awesome job with the network, made my life easier when it came to running the tournaments. Can't wait to see what you do next. :) But for now, take a break for a few days at least. :cheer:

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10 Sep 2013 18:45 #32748 by Ropplestiltskin
I thought the network was amazing, You had some really reat ideas, cant wait to see what is next.

Ok so I need a bottle of nitro, a stick of Dynamite, a roll of duct tape and ... Oh yeah! a squirrel
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