Following on from our last article on building N-LAN:1, today we thought it would be a good time to cover networking. We have an entirely gigabit network and cabling meaning ultra-fast download speeds from our file servers and generally lightning quick speeds from peer to peer. We actually have enough 24 and 48 port switches to support over 400 players, so plenty room for expansion!
With almost all of our servers having multiple NICs (network cards) it means we can give servers more than 1 gigabit connection, some up to 4 gigabit network connections. Combine this with specially configured file servers using DFS and disk arrays, we can offer exceptionally fast internal file hosting, which is much faster than downloading the files from the internet - saving the precious bandwidth for gaming goodness. Actually, on the subject of internet...
We've just had confirmation that our venue (The Civic Centre, Newcastle) is upping the internet from 60mb to at least 200mb for N-LAN:1. To top it off we will be bringing our own hardware firewall which will enable us to make the most from the improved net speed, including prioritising gaming traffic on the network, improved monitoring for any connectivity or network issues, ensuring that traffic is distributed fairly between those using it, and of course WiFi.
For those of you coming to the event, be sure to read our "Event Preparation Tips" page to see how you can both be best prepared for the LAN, but also do your bit in terms of keeping our internet bandwidth used for gaming rather than downloading games which could have been installed beforehand! This kind of knowledge and preparation will assist us massively in providing a network and internet which is as fast as it can be.
That's it for now; though we've got plenty to reveal in coming days, if you need us for anything we'll be in the corner drawing network diagrams.
The Northern-LAN Team