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34 posts

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# 20715 3-Apr-2008 20:12
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Hello

I am about to try VFX, and with all going well moving to Fusion. In the meantime I've been running the Linksys SPA2102 I've bought. My network consists of ADSL --> Dynalink RTA1025W (192.168.1.x) --> Linksys SPA2102 (192.168.0.x) --> Linksys WRT54Gv8 (10.1.1.x (currently running dd-wrt firmware)) --> Xbox/PC's. Our household has 2 Xbox 360's connected to Xbox Live. The routers are all on DHCP.

Before the SPA was introduced all was well. Simply introducing the SPA resulted in regular & frequent disconnections from the Xbox Live service. I tried setting up Port Forwarding (ports 88, 3074 UDP, TCP) on the SPA (the other two routers use UPnP) but this didn't seem to make any difference. So I have set the WRT54G to be in the DMZ zone on the SPA, and this *seems* to have cured the Live dropping, but I am wondering if this going to affect the quality of the VFX/Fusion service. Can anybody offer any guidance?

Thanks,

Plx

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40 posts

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  # 120915 3-Apr-2008 22:46
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Have you tried

WRT54G --- SPA2102
             --- XBOX
             --- PC's
             --- etc

?

Putting the 54 in the 2102's DMZ isn't really adding much value as far as I can see.

If you google around for a while you should encounter a reasonable number of references to not using the 2102 as a router in any situation where a bit of bandwidth across the WAN is needed, which describes XBOX Live, I think.

I've got this setup and XBOX Live worked fine in an earlier incarnation of the wireless WAN I'm plugged into. I'm having a few issues at the moment with NATing across the newest incarnation of the WAN though, can't get at the router built into the wireless aerial ... yet ... and this is messing my head up a bit. I have the 54 running as an AP not as a router.

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  # 120922 3-Apr-2008 23:05
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As for affecting the Fusion service, do you specifically mean the data bandwidth or the VFX bandwidth?

I've got VFX working fine through Skynet,  a wireless provider, -after a bit of difficulty- and it appears that the 54 plain doesn't support QoS in any functional way and by inference from testing, whatever the 2102 does by way of QoS doesn't get noticed much in the first dozen or so hops from here.

So, as I'm getting good results across a slushy wireless network with lots of hops and with QoS essentially not running,  you shouldn't have any issues at all talking direct to WxC with very few hops, even if the packets from the 2102 are  messed with by the 54 to remove any possible QoS flag info, which I rather doubt would happen anyway.


Anyway, even if there are problems, everything you want to do is inside WxC's purview and those guys rock when it comes to customer service, so just go ahead and talk to them.

 
 
 
 


Plx



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  # 120927 3-Apr-2008 23:24
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I have them set up in this order so that the SPA's QoS for VFX will actually work - putting the SPA on the WRT wouid probably be what I'd like to do but from other posts I've read, not what I should. Before I put the WRT in the SPA's DMZ, I'd get logged out of Live (myself from the dashboard, my son during games) within 15-20 mins; after it being in the SPA's DMZ, I remained logged on for about 40 mins, until I tuned the console off. Some longer term testing may be required. I am wondering if I could run the SPA & the WRT on different ports on the Dynalink, and use the Dynalink's QoS to prioritise the SPA...

As it's currently setup, I am concerned that having the WRT in the SPA's DMZ will affect the throughput of the VFX service, causing interruptions to conversations.

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  # 120932 3-Apr-2008 23:41
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Plx: I am wondering if I could run the SPA & the WRT on different ports on the Dynalink, and use the Dynalink's QoS to prioritise the SPA...

I think you will almost certainly discover that the Dynalink's QoS doesn't prioritise the SPA.  I tried using the QoS in my ZyXEL router and it didn't recognise the VFX traffic as SIP traffic, so consequently no prioritisation was given.

Plx: As it's currently setup, I am concerned that having the WRT in the SPA's DMZ will affect the throughput of the VFX service, causing interruptions to conversations.

From my experience using a SPA2102, I think you have done the correct thing so far as VFX call quality is concerned.  In this configuration, you are using the SPA2102 as a router and it has the final say over which outgoing packets get prioritised aka QoS.  In effect, it buffers other traffic until pending VoIP packets have been sent from its internal ATA circuitry.

The fact that you have connected the WRT into the SPA's DMZ won't make any difference so far as VFX traffic is concerned.  SPA2102 will always give highest priority to its own Outgoing VoIP packets.  A DMZ only affects Incoming traffic and it saves you having to open specific ports through your NAT router.  If you are an Xnet customer, Incoming VFX packets are automatically given priority over all other traffic.  It's your router's job to prioritise the outgoing traffic.

The trade-off you are making with your current setup concerns bandwidth across the WAN.  SPA2102 is not a very powerful router at all.  It seems to have a pretty under-powered CPU as I noticed the internal setup web pages take noticeably longer to load than a WRT.  Fortunately you are using the WRT to connect various other devices, so the load on the SPA will be minimised.  However, you may notice that the download result on a Speedtest to your nearest local server is significantly slower than what you would get while using a direct connection via your Dynalink modem.

If that trade-off doesn't bother you, then carry on using the setup you have.  But a better solution would be to use a WRP400 which has the functions of your existing WRT + SPA box all rolled into one.

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# 121094 4-Apr-2008 15:03
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Yes, what grant_k says.

I've not had the chance to fiddle with a WRP400 but the spec's make it look like the next iteration of their standard (pick several) modem, router, wireless router, access point, wireless access point, analog to VoIP translator, firewall, web server, ummm probably other stuff too, in the style of almost all of Cisco's development of new gear.

I'd just put on a rider about ensuring that the 400 has enough horses to support 2 XBox Live connections, there are a bunch of gaming oriented access points and routers that would do the job and carry the VoIP traffic as well, i.e. in the

network ... router    ... 2102
                            ... XBox
                            ... PC
                            ... printer
                            ... etc

configuration, and could be hooked together with gear that WxC will approve of for their Fusion network.

But again, talk to WxC direct, they're cool people there.

The other thing I'd emphasise is that I'm getting quite acceptable -good cell phone sort of thing- quality during parallel network activity, without QoS being involved (apparently) in quite a few hops before I hit WxC's APE server.

QoS is an evil, black art carefully nurtured by ISP core teams to keep the acognoscenti like us on the back foot (eh Phil >:-) ), but regardless of that, QoS only needs one hop to not play the game and all of what you're trying to achieve can randomly fall apart anyway.

QoS can be looked at as

1. best effort - or basically none at all

2. differentiated - statistics based on all manner of ideas to probably improve throughput, which can include taking notice of the 3 IP precedence bits in the ToS byte of the IP packet header, or which port the packet arrives on, or what the device's MAC is, or ditditdit

3. guaranteed - like WirelessNation's business plans where there's a dedicated 64k channel for voice that (theoretically anyway) sits idle if you're not on the phone. Notice that figure as well - VoIP doesn't really need much bandwidth, particulary if the mobile-like codecs are used.

I've got this personal theory that we'll never see real end to end QoS on public networks because there will always be tossers out there who will figure out how to mark their torrent packets as high priority and completely munge it for everyone else, until some ubergeek figures how to differentiate only those abusive packets, then the tossers will, oh, I don't know, maybe encrypt the content to prevent internal analysis, then the ubergeeks will circumvent that problem, then ditditdit, and all the while Cisco are making money hand over fist producing faster and faster gear to allow all this analysis and filtering and rewriting.

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  # 121116 4-Apr-2008 16:24
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Pix,

Try this setup:
1. Disable wireless on the RTA1025W (if you haven't already). Then put this into half-bridge mode (IP Extensions).
2. RTA1025W into SPA2102 WAN
3. Disable DHCP etc on the WRT, so it is just a dumb wireless AP
4. SPA2102 LAN into WRT LAN (WRT WAN port not used).

See how you go with that.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


Plx



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  # 121215 4-Apr-2008 22:58
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Thanks people. I might have a crack at the half bridging in a day or so. I guess I should have mentioned that I do occasionally have a Linux (web) server running on my network, and that I am on a static wan IP. Out of interest, wouldn't half bridging put a lot of routing tasks on to the SPA? I'm a little concerned given grant_k's comments on the lightweight nature of this device. Also to keep in mind, is that it's important to maintain what Xbox describe as 'Open NAT' - this is why I use the WRT - the Dynalink wasn't so good in this area (as a good a modem as it is).

I did look around the DD-WRT settings and there does seem to be some variety in QoS options. It will be interesting when the SPA is finally provisioned & I can do some actual testing.

 
 
 
 


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  # 121242 5-Apr-2008 08:45
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With dd-wrt on the 54, and UPnP enabled, the XBox will add the entries it needs for port forwarding etc, when it attaches. This was another driver, apart from the 2102's performance, for my having the 2102 on the same side of the 54 as the XBoxes.

It'll take a fair amount of googling and testing, but you'll find that the release of dd-wrt that was current as of February this year doesn't do much at all with QoS, hence my comments before about running comfortably without QoS enabled. It was by necessity, not by choice.

Note to self, check if the dd-wrt beta has hit rtm yet.


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  # 121311 5-Apr-2008 15:00
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A further couple of notes that I didn't add before.

1. If you configure the 54 with dd-wrt as an access point rather than a router, you'll have to power off, not just reboot, to get the UPnP configuration to work again, ... well, that was the only way I could get the configuration to talk to me again, may work fine for your particular hadrware/software pairing ... and

2. You may have to change the MTU to 1488 to deal with some of the heavy https sites out there.  Now, this doesn't actually make a lot of sense to me that running as an AP needs 1488 and as a router needs 1492, but I spent many hours beating my head against the proverbial brick wall before trying this (thanks to Grant @ skynet)  and all problems were magically resolved ... and

3. The 54 appears to work a lot more comfortably with OSPF than RIP, can any of the cognoscenti shed some light on this?



Plx



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  # 121320 5-Apr-2008 15:37
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wldhrs: If you configure the 54 with dd-wrt as an access point rather than a router,


Isn't this going to push more of the routing task's on to the SPA?

wldhrs:
The 54 appears to work a lot more comfortably with OSPF than RIP, can any of the cognoscenti shed some light on this?


From what I remember from Cisco class, OSPF is a more efficient routing protocol than RIP - I may be wrong though, it was a few years ago.

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  # 121370 5-Apr-2008 19:20
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Plx:
wldhrs: If you configure the 54 with dd-wrt as an access point rather than a router,


Isn't this going to push more of the routing task's on to the SPA?

wldhrs:
The 54 appears to work a lot more comfortably with OSPF than RIP, can any of the cognoscenti shed some light on this?


From what I remember from Cisco class, OSPF is a more efficient routing protocol than RIP - I may be wrong though, it was a few years ago.

I guess it depends on what your priority is. If it is VFX voice quality, then the SPA2102 needs to be in control, if not then put the WRT in control and plug the SPA2102 WAN into a LAN port on the WRT.

Either way, the Dynalink should be in half-bridge mode and connected to either the SPA2102 WAN or the WRT WAN.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


Plx



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  # 122396 9-Apr-2008 19:58
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Hi all. An update.

Well, Firstly, I put the Dynalink in half-bridge mode in the weekend - that's working fine. I connected that to the WRT. All good but DNS lookups take an eternity. Hmmm, the Dynalink used to get the DNS servers automatically but apparently not the WRT, so I entered those, look-ups function fine now.

I hadn't heard from Wxc with the VFX provisioning details by Monday past so call & found it had been emailed to an incorrect address. Once I get the info I put the SPA between the Dynalink & WRT, & enter the info in the SPA - the phone works fine. However, my son complains he's being disconnected from Xbox Live every 10 mins, which is odd since that stopped when I put the WRT in the SPA's DMZ. I log in to the SPA & find the DMZ is off, turn it on, 'Apply Changes', it applies the setting - and the phone light doesn't come on, restart the SPA phone light comes on, but DMZ back off. I conclude from this that the WXC configs disable the DMZ, would this be correct?

SPA Port forwarding doesn't work properly for Live, so now I've put the SPA running off a port on the WRT, turned on QoS on Mac address, but will have to test that.

I would really prefer to have the SPA *between* the other two, but Live disconnecting would drive me nuts too.

I take it that once the SPA is provisioned, users can not use the 'Admin Login' area?

Thanks again.

Plx

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  # 122417 9-Apr-2008 20:59
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Plx: However, my son complains he's being disconnected from Xbox Live every 10 mins, which is odd since that stopped when I put the WRT in the SPA's DMZ. I  log in to the SPA & find the DMZ is off, turn it on, 'Apply Changes', it applies the setting - and the phone light doesn't come on, restart the SPA phone light comes on, but DMZ back off. I conclude from this that the WXC configs disable the DMZ, would this be correct?
Plx

The WxC configs shouldn't overwrite the LAN settings, but sometimes they do. The SPA2102 is rather complex to setup beyond simple Internet out the other side of it.

Send an email through to Xnet explaining the overwriting of your DMZ setting, and they should be able to prevent your settings being overwritten, or lock in your required settings.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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