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Network redesign for Audio and more: A work in progress

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Like many others, my network has grown up over time.  Starting with Dial-up on to DSL modems hooked to a single computer or a small wired network and many different networking methods that sort of worked.

 

Today my network is on Comcast cable using my modem with three Netgear Orbi devices on wired backhaul.  There is a 24 Port TP link switch in the basement network shelf and an eight-Port switch in the family room for all the TV gear, and a temporary eight-port switch in the office.  There is a point-to-point wireless network link to my in-law's house to provide them with internet access.  On an average day, there are 55 devices on my network.   

 

The wired part of the network is solid with no issues, well none that I usually see.  The Orbi gear works great, and now that their wired backhaul is in place I have the same WiFi configuration between the two houses.

 

All is well until tomorrow.  If the nice FedEx folks do not freeze my TLS audio switch will arrive.  I do not think my network is ready for it.  I do not know where I will place it.  Near the Server?  Near the "best" endpoint?  Time will tell if my ears can hear the difference.   But; Wait! There is more.  As soon as I can get my hands on the UpTone Audio EtherRegen, I will want to test that.  I now have a dilemma. 

 

 

It is time to "tear down that wall" and redesign the network systems.   I have evolving ideas in my head.  

 

Design #1  Tear it all down and build up with Ubiquiti UniFi.
Design #2  Keep the core Netgear Orbi Mesh system and leverage that.
Design #3   Isolate the audio system network and leave the rest alone.

 

I always like to start a project like this with some requirements.  These are pretty high level to allow the most flexibility.  

 

  1. Provide Internet Access for two related families.
  2. Implement seamless WiFi so that devices can roam between the two homes. 
  3. Ensure that multiple concurrent audio and video streaming services work well.
  4.  Provide for "isolation" for the Audiophile network.
  5. The network is flat between the two homes.  Should we change that somehow?  VLAN?  
  6. Should we eliminate the wireless backhaul between houses and replace it with fiber?  (less than 100ft run)  
  7. Support PC gaming on one computer
  8. Decide about VLAN support and isolation of some devices for security.  (IOT, Amazon Echo, others)
  9. Develop a support document so others can manage the network. (Unifi would help this a lot)
  10. Add optical networking for in the design now or for future planning

 

 

Audio Subsystem

 

The audio system that I want to isolate consists of three or four sub-systems as follows. 

 

1. LR sit down music system:  NUC/AL to YGGY/AYRE
2. Office desk system: UltraRendu to LYR3 Multibit
3. Server backend: Roon on a Sonic Transporter  (10TB internal storage)
4. Possible need for NAS on this nework depending upon the server.

 

NOTE: The iPad, etc. controlling Roon will not be isolated. I will want to stream to other devices on network outside of the isolated group.  

 

I will be tinkering over the next little bit.

1. TLS Switch configurations
2. Wireless on the NUC/AL
3. Fiber to the  NUC/AL ( will need an FMC)

 

The next phase may involve the following
a. EtherRegen
b. OpticalRendu

 

 

The network re-design may be next. The server portion of the audio system comes after that.

I am very open to other thoughts on my intentions!

 

Bob

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I don’t envy you!  That is a lot of moving parts.  I regularly utilize Ubiquiti products in setting up networks both in residential and commercial projects so I can vouch for their simplicity and robustness. I have only run across the Orbi devices a couple of times in my work and both times they were replaced with either Ubiquiti (if there was wiring infrastructure) or EERO products which I have found to be a better alternative. 

 

Good luck in your overhaul!

 

PS.  Be sure to start with their Security Gateway router and a Cloud Key into their switch. Makes everything a snap to setup from there. 

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Thanks for the note.  I have been happy with Orbi and EERO.  I have found the performance of the Oribi to be a bit better but the smartphone app and EERO combination is dead simple for a lot of people. My problem is that there are too many moving parts.  A single pane of glass to run it all is nice 

 

I have an older cloud key that just will not software update and the base model Unfi Security gateway,  two LR 2.4gh APs, and one AC AP.  I am thinking of getting the new V2 cloud key and the switching gear.  I have to parallel this up before I drop in.  

 

The WISP link between the houses has been running for three years with no issues so I hate to mess with that.  But I should get it under the single console.  OR bury fiber...  

 

It is really nice to share and see what others are thinking or have done.  

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