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Networking question (not really WHS exclusive)


BigSpenderNOT
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OK guys, this probably is not the forum to ask this, but hey, it kinda fits into stuff we discuss and plus, I like you guys!

Anyways, I'll try and keep it short...

I've got a server in my closet (sounds like the start of some children's book) along with the cable modem and a wireless router and it feeds out from there to my office over cat 5e where I have a 5 port GreenLink D-Link Gigabit switch. Connected to the switch are my main computer and an Ooma Hub. Now, when the Ooma hub is working (has a dial tone) there is a little blue light that stays on. When there is trouble with the Internet connection and what-not the light flashes red. So... when I'm moving 2 or more DVD folders over to the server (let's say 5 GB a piece or so) the traffic seems to cut off the life line to my Ooma telephone device and it starts flashing red causing it to flake on me!

I've got Qos configured on the router (and if there are any other Ooma users on the forum, I know that you should technically put the Ooma hardware directly after the cable modem and before the router, but my setup just does not allow for that). Basically I am asking the following (sure didn't end up short did it?):

1. Can a switch cut off the life to another piece of hardware if there is a lot of traffic from a different piece of hardware?

2. If so, is there any way to prioitize traffic on a switch... or better yet, is there a switch that would allow me to do that?

3. Does this make any sense at all or am I just losing my mind? :-)

Thanks for any thoughts!

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Guest no-control

I'll take a wild stab at it.

1. No it's just a traffic cop directing data down the appropriate pipe.

2. Managed switch might allow this.

3. I don't know either I'm not a network nerd

To me it sounds like you're dropping packets, if the buffer is full everything backs up from there. Maybe you're exceeding your throughput capability?

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1/ Is it supposed to? No. Can it? Stranger things have happened.
2/ what no-control said
3/ I'm not a nerd either ;-)

A couple of troubleshooting steps I would suggest if possible:
*Try plugging your server and computer into the switch with the Ooma plugged into the router. That way, any computer-computer traffic won't even be seen by the router, and the Ooma can work straight
*Try putting the Ooma into a DMZ

Also, let me understand this right. The server is plugged into the router. Is this 100mbps or gigabit? Either way, what type of network speeds are you seeing?

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Thanks for the suggestions. This is going to show my network "non"-knowledge, but how do I test the network speeds? I have a Gigabit switch and a Gigabit Router(and both the WHS and main computer have Gigabit network ports). The switch shows a green light if the connection is Gigabit and orange if it is not. The main computer shows green (the Ooma connection on the switch shows orange, but that makes sense since that hardware is just 100mbps). The server in the closet is plugged into the Gigabit router in the closet and then feeds out to the Gigabit switch in the office.

I'm also not that familiar with DMZ settings. I followed an Ooma tutorial that I found on the nets to put the Ooma IP address into the DMZ zone within the Ooma hardware settings, but I have not done any DMZ stuff on the Gigabit router itself... do you think I should? And if so, what would I do?

I have the Qos set up on the Gigabit router where the Ooma is set to "Highest" and every other machine is set to low. That seems to be working as I have no issues when talking on the phone and others are surfing the web... only issues when transferring large files through the aforementioned switch.

I can't plug the Ooma directly into the router because it is in the closet and I need access to the Ooma Hub hardware to be outside of the closet. I just have one hardwired network outlet coming out of the closet to the office, thus the need for the switch in the office.

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@BigspenderNOT Assume your Router is 2 devices in 1 shell, Router and Switch. I believe in most cases the switch in these devices are just simple multi-port switches that are hardwired to the router essentially and the software applies to the router aspect only not the switch itself. When you transfer data from PC to Server this is handled by the switches at each end and never leaves the network so QOS and settings in the router are not relevant to the local LAN traffic. I don't think doing a DMZ or other logical solutions configured in the router are going to fix this. IMHO you are transferring large amount of data along a single CAT5 run that connects the 2 switches and 1 of the switches is flooded essentially and packets are getting dropped and the Ooma goes down.

My suggestion for best resolution would be to make a second run to the closet. You could then put the server on it and have all traffic running thru 1 switch except internet traffic that would go to the router or you could try putting the Ooma device on the 2nd run and see if the problems still exist. Before making a second run you might just try taking the Ooma device to the closet and plugging it up to router and then start a file transfer and test and see if it drops or stays up. By the same token you could take server to the PC switch and test before making any runs. This may at least confirm if my suggestion would work.

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I just saw ebkayes post, it went up while I was writing mine. I thought about this as I have a similliar setup with multiple subnets and routers at home (so my lab is on a different physical network). I just figured that was a lot more work then making a second run and introduces more points of failure but it is neverless a viable option if you can't add a second CAT5 run.

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Miket.mcse,

I agree with you the best solution would be to place the Ooma between the Modem and the Router.

Modem --> Ooma --> Router --> Network.

All the basic traphic is local traffic and is hidden behind the router. This would require 3 runs of Cat5.

I like your idea of testing this by placing the Ooma in the closet for a test.

I also have my test equipment on its own network.

There is one more solution. Mikrotik has a new SOHO managed switch 250GS for $40. This would allow you to limit any hide any traffic not ment for the Ooma. The setup would look like this

Modem --> Router --> 250GS --> Network
--> Ooma

Regards
Ethan

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Oh man, thanks a lot guys, those are great suggestions. I do have an extra router lying around to possibly try ebkayes' dual router suggestion if it comes down to that, but actually his first suggestion of just moving the cable router to the office may make the most sense for my situation. I can't believe I did not even think of that as a possible solution! I set up my closet to be the "server closet", you know, which logically would then contain the wireless router and cable modem as to try and keep those things out of sight, but maybe it will literally be the "server closet" with only the server in it. That way I can hook up the Ooma exactly as recommended (Modem --> Ooma --> Router) and bring my WAF factor, in regards to the home phone, back into the positive range! I've been experimenting with our home phone line for probably the past year or so... 8 months of which was a losing battle with the MagicJack (don't even ask how my hard-headed-ness caused me to fight with the thing for that long of a time period). I'm about 2 months into the Ooma service and have been very happy with the quality and have only had a few minor glitches (this being one of them). Wish me luck and I will report back once I have the time to make these changes!

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Miket.mcse,

I agree with you not very easy. The best solution would be to have the Ooma between the Modem and router.

A second solution would be to use a managed switch like the Mikrotik 250SG ($40).
This would allow you to filter the traffic going to the Ooma.
Modem --> Router -- 250GS Port 1-- Network
250GS Port 2-- Ooma

You then just have to configure the rules on the 250SG to restrict traffic to the Ooma

Regards,
Ethan

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