Wikimania 2005 network

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Internet connection


The following possibilities present themselves for Internet connectivity:

  • DSL (copper telephone lines)
  • Radio (microwave)
  • ATM (fiber)

Any solution must be temporary, and affordable given this consideration. It's important that we secure an adequate upstream link of at least 768 Kb/s: this bandwidth will be needed for editing, and more will be required for uploading files.

Currently the most promising option is a transient microwave link. Broadnet has confirmed that they can provide 10 Mb/s connectivity to the HdJ.

Network services


Network address translation (NAT) will likely be used to a greater or lesser extent. If our IP connectivity solution only allows us a single externally routable IP address, NAT can easily service the entire network. Ideally, a subnet as large as a /24 (class C) would allow us more flexibility in network planning, but this is not a requirement.

Server hosts internal to our network will use static IP addresses. Other addresses will be assigned via DHCP, with static addresses available to those who request them (developer types) and provide the MAC address of their network device(s). All others will be dynamic, and possibly NATed.

A caching nameserver, and possibly an http proxy server, will be run locally to improve performance. Local DNS will also provide for dynamic as well as static LAN hosts.

Architecture notes

  • Make use of wireless connectivity wherever feasible. This will likely be necessary to provide coverage to some awkward areas, and 802.11g bridging with directional antennas can save us a great deal of cabling.
    • 802.11g equipment is backward-compatible with the 802.11b standard, providing 54 Mb/s links where available and 11 Mb/s links to those with older devices. (This is WiFi.)
    • Use range extenders where sensible; an entire army of APs is not needed.
    • Maintain a stock of 802.11g client devices (PC card, USB) to lend out to those who need them.
    • If possible, provide a https-http gateway so that passwords won't be sent over unencypted radio links.
  • Bridging over power lines also an option, where necessary.
  • Primary links will be 100baseT. Expensive GigE equipment and higher burden of maintenance not warranted given projected light internal traffic and even the most optimistic hope of a 10 Mb/s Internet link.
  • 16-port switches will certainly be adequate, except where (and if) we have a network of "community" PC workstations. Smaller 5- and 8-port workgroup switches can be chained off larger switches for special needs, and a stock of these provides for much greater flexibility in network planning (not to mention a lighter budget).
  • A single "primary" server can easily handle DNS, DCHP, IP routing/filtering. A second server would be nice as a backup, and for any other needs that might arise (servers for ad-hoc gaming sessions, &c.).

Rooms to connect

  • 2 conference rooms (a large one for 400 people, smaller one for 50)
  • 3 workshop rooms on first floor
  • 1 workshop room on fourth floor
  • 1 "hackcenter" (Terrassensaal ("conservatory?"))
  • a small house in the garden for network operating center and organisation team
  • yard (WiFi)

Required devices


Itemized list removed until exact needs can be more precisely assessed.

Total list of networking devices (current estimate; liable to change)

  • 2 24-port switches
  • 8 16-port switches
  • 12 workgroup switches
  • 6 wireless access points
  • 10 range extenders
  • 2 802.11g bridging devices
  • 4 Homeplug-compatible 10/100 bridges
  • 2.4 GHz antennas
  • equipment for IP link
  • 2+ white box servers

Other equipment

  • meters and meters of cat5e (need better figure on length)
  • 8-pin modular connectors; crimp tool (multiple)
  • cable tacks; hammer (multiple)
  • test equipment for cabling
  • 2-3 dozen power strips