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Centralized Model

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Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:29 pm    
Post subject: Centralized Model

I am interested in a centralized deployment of FirstSpot. In that model, it seems to indicate that the incoming connection is separate from the outgoing connection. I suppose this works OK if you are running multiple T-1's or something. But, if I wanted to have the incoming and outoing connection where the server is located to be the same connection (a commercial cable Internet account, for example), will it work?

I place wireless VPN routers at the points where I want to offer the service and have them all come back to a central office via the VPN tunnel to reach the FirstSpot server. I direct all incoming traffic to one of the NICs (via port mapping or some other method that would create a static route to direct all incoming traffic to the server). Could I then direct the outgoing traffic to the Internet through the same cable connection used for the incoming VPN tunnels? I realize it has to go across the second NIC (although I would think you could multi-home a single NIC and let the OS handle routing). I guess the server's two NICs would be connected to two separate ports on the same switch in the VPN router. I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work. Do you?

I noticed that the advanced version of the software has the ability to limit each user's bandwidth. Does it also have the ability to limit the aggregate bandwidth for all users? Since all incoming traffic would cross the same Internet connection twice (once incoming from the Internet to the server, then the second time back out over the VPN tunnels), I would want to restrict total bandwidth.

The only concern I see with this model is that most of the cable service here is 3 mb/s down, but I don't know the upload speed. Since the traffic from the server to the hotspots will be limited to the outgoing bandwidth of the cable connection (I'm guessing it is maybe 512k/bs or 1 mb/s on a standard 3 mb/s circuit) I think that's probably enough for web surfing. I just have to be careful of heavy downloaders hogging bandwidth.

I realize that better service could be provided by placing distributed servers at each location, but that drives the hardware and FirstSpot licensing costs up. And I worry about having the hardware distributed to a location where it is outside of our control. If hosted centrally, I could ensure that there is power backup, etc.

What are your thoughts? Do I have any holes in the plan here?

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