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Thread: Possible LAN Party Setup




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    So I'm planning on hosting a LAN party for between 10 and 20 of my friends sometime in the next few weeks/months (probably the latter unfortunately:( )

    Anyways, I'm trying to figure out how to do the network, so I put together a graphic

    Does that look like it would work? Or is it completely whacked? BTW, the "Firewall" would be my router with DHCP turned off. Or I guess I could put it on the DHCP/file server, or use one of my other macs for it. I'm planning to use my iMac for the DHCP server right now.

    Or, depending on where I have this thing, I may just not have a connection to the outside world.

    So, whaddayathink?
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
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  2. #2
    Beefy Guest

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    Looks fine to me. I'm guessing there's a reason you're using so many switches?

  3. #3
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    Well, it's sorta an unknown number until i figure out what kind of gear I'll have and my friends can bring. My plan was to use as few switches as possible and still acomodate everybody, and that's the best way I could think of to do it.

    EDIT: Realized that one of my friends has a Netgear 16 port switch, so between him and me we'll probly be fine. Assuming I can get him to come... Looked at some 24 port-ers on newegg, found some reasonable prices ($92-$108 or so). Anyone have any opinions on these?
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    Shuttle AK39/N
    Some sort of DDR RAM...

  4. #4
    Beefy Guest

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    I'm yet to see a 'bad' switch. Most of them do the job they are supposed to. I've been using a lot of Netgear products, and haven't had any issues with any of them.

  5. #5
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    Looks fine to me as well but then its also very similar to my setup here except that my internet connects straight to a PC I use as an internet/firewall/file/print server then a gigabit link to an 8 port gigabit switch which then goes to 5 x 10/100 switches to cut back on bottlenecks to the server.

  6. #6
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    Gandalf, the only problem I see is that you will have quick bottlenecks when people begin copying files. You should have the 'file server' on the same switch as the person/people copying, or you are going to have problems if someone is trying to game over the same cat5 cable that is being used for multiple massive file transfers.

    Or you should just instruct them to not copy stuff until a coordinated time, and then remember that a single hard drive can only efficiently send one stream of data out at 100 megabit, (and so goes the network card) so coordinating who is busy copying what is key. These lans that use FTP's to transfer stuff is rediculous.

    If you have something huge on computer A, you should first transfer it to Computer B, which is on a different switch, THEN have computers A and B begin transferring that stuff to computers on the switch they are on. That is the fastest possible way to do it, as opposed to everyone just copying from Compter A, that is ultra slow.

    Know your bottlenecks and work around them.
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  7. #7
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    zeradul: Thanks for the suggestion. That's pretty much how I was planning to do it (the coordinated timing bit), but now that you mention it, I could probably spare another machine (my dad's PB) as a secondary or even primary file server on the 2nd tier switches. I also hadn't thought about bottlenecking on one switch. I suppose now my plan is to use the biggest switch for the game server and the file server (which will be samba, not ftp, and only serving stuff like patches should they be necessary) and as many of the gaming computers as possible. The other switches will also have priority being plugged into that switch, and the DHCP server will go on a secondary switch.

    If none of this makes sense, fear not. I'm not sure I completely understand it yet, either. I'll post another graphic in a few.

    Thanks for your advice everyone, it'll be really helpful in making sure I don't have any problems and get lauged at/ridiculed/otherwise by my geek friends.:cheers:
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    Shuttle AK39/N
    Some sort of DDR RAM...

  8. #8
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    Here we are: LAN_v2

    Note that I may or may not (probably won't) be able to use the notebook. It seems like to me that there really isn't a need for multiple file servers, and they really aren't that critical anyway in this situation.

    EDIT: spelling.
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    Shuttle AK39/N
    Some sort of DDR RAM...

  9. #9
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    I also hadn't thought about bottlenecking on one switch.
    Not what I meant. A single wire is limited by the network speed, therefore, attempting multiple transfers on it will just result in (Wire Bandwidth) Divided by (Number of transfers)

    The bandwidth within a switch is much higher on a good switch. It still is limited by the network speed per port though, so keep that in mind.

    Ideally, you should separate the gamers, from the file transfer'ers.... The people transferring files should be on their own switch, and it does not matter one bit where the internet connection comes into. It is ultra low bandwidth in comparrison, so it doesn't matter.

    If you get all the people transferring files on the same switch, that will leave the entire rest of the network for gaming, which is ultra low bandwidth. I would also suggest that the file transfer switch not be the switch that the other switches connect to. Doing that will ensure the best environment for gaming packets.
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  10. #10
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    Agreed, but the file server is there for really only about one reason: to serve patches etc. It won't be used during a gaming session. Since this is only for >15 of my friends, I don't forsee it being used extensively.

    Besides, if we need to do a mass file transfer, we'll probly just get it going and if its going to take a minute, go grab something to eat/drink, talk normally, shoot the spudgun, or something similar.
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    Shuttle AK39/N
    Some sort of DDR RAM...

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