My original router was Vyatta running on a virtual machine on at PC. 100baseT connections
I upgraded that to an EdgeRouter X by Ubiquiti. The base software was built on Vyatta.
The EdgeRouter X is dual core 800Mhz MIPS cpu with 4 (or 5?) Gig-E ports.
The EdgeRouter X was unable to keep up with 1GBit/s traffic between two ports with NAT running.
The EdgeRouter X was just replaced with an EdgeRouter 4.
The EdgeRouter 4 is a four core 1Gz MIPS cpu with 3 Gig-E ports and one 1Gbit SFP port.
The Edgerouter 4 is keeping up with the current traffic load.
Things will likely break when I upgrade to the Fidium 2Gbit/s services.
(950 words)
One of the things I enjoy doing is teaching English as a Second Language to some of my client’s employees. (You in the back, stop sniggering, yes, I can actually teach dis stuf.)

I have written a custom program that tracks the progress of each student in their book of choice. There is a screen for reading which displays a bit more than a paragraph. I have buttons to show definition or to play a pronunciation sound bite.

It tracks each session, recording which paragraphs are read, what words we look at. At the end of a session, I can click one button and email them the automatic notes along with any notes I might add.

To do the actual communication, we use Google Hangouts/Meetings. Unfortunately, switching between different displays is not easy.

Enter Open Broadcast Studio, or OBS for short. OBS allows me to set up scenes. Each scene has different sources. These are combined to create a single output.

The output is then streamed to a streaming service, or it is recorded. Or you can use the virtual camera to export the image.

This thing is so neat that I created a short animation of Sonic popping up over my shoulder as I sat at my desk. Then, in a video chat with my grandson, I clicked the button that made the animation run. My grandson was over the roof to see Sonic in the same room as me.

I set up OBS to follow the window that has focus, of an allowed subset, which makes it easy for me to run three windows and have my students see exactly what I want them to see.

The problem that started to crop up was the network was dropping out. Two or three times per session.

In addition to that, we’ve had significant issues with the upstairs getting good signal since the new roof went on the house.

When we upgraded from Comcast to Fidium, we got a 100x speed up in our uploads. This means that we can do regular backups of the machines at the house.

Except I can’t. I’m topping out at 20 Mbits/second on the backups. This is much too slow.

Tuesday, I had had enough. I had communicated with my cloud provider, verified bandwidth in and out of my instances. From there I followed up with Fidium. Fidium said, “that’s slow” and sent out a tech.

Wednesday the tech arrives. We do speed testing with all of my equipment out of the loop. 995Mbit/s. Close enough to 1Gbit/s to make no difference.

The problem is with my equipment.

My equipment is commercial grade stuff. It should not be failing. So I do testing. Sure enough, my router is the bottleneck.

My original router was a virtual machine running on a PC with Vyatta router software. It worked fine, but that PC needed to retire. It was replaced with an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X. That was a fanless box about 4x5x1 inches. 5 ports with PoE. Great little router. 800Mhz Dual core. It replaced my old PC box and just worked.

That is, until I tried to move 1Gb/s in and out of that poor little box.

It crapped its little pants. Up to and including locking up hard.

As I’m investigating, my wife screams from the kitchen. When I went to investigate, the door of the front-loading washing machine had broken off.

That’s ok, It is mostly plastic with some metal bushings for the hinge.

NOPE. It is mostly plastic. The outer frame runs $250, the inner door panel runs $250, the hinge is cheap at $55.

And I can’t get it apart because one of the screws has rusted and stripped while I was attempting to take it out.

Which leads to ordering new and better tools.

The next day we were in the garage, on a 20ft extension ladder leaning against the slope of the roof, drilling and cutting a hole in the roof.

When we had the roof replaced, I had the guys go into the garage and mark where it was safe to cut through into the space between the house and the garage. So I was able to drill it safely.

We then spent nearly 3 hours trying to pull cable from the house side to the hole we had cut. It didn’t help that my son got his left and right mixed up and was yelling at me to move my tape to the right when he really wanted it to go left.

In the end, we stuck a 6 ft length of aluminum rod through the hole at the house side. My son then fished a zip tie loop over that rod and then that was pushed back to the wall. Then we feed the other fishing tape out from the house and through the loop. Then my son pulled his tape back to the hole we had cut, finally pulling it back into the garage.

10 minutes later, I had cable upstairs and the PoE access point powered up. It all just worked.

Network win! We finally have good connectivity in the upstairs again.

This left the washing machine and router to deal with. After discussions with the family, I ordered a new router.

It arrived Saturday. I was able to transfer the configuration from the old router. Did some other magic configuration. Then simply unplugged the old router, plugged the cables into the new router.

The upgrade was so seamless that connections to my remote instances stayed up while I did the switch over.

So I now have 950Mbit/second in and out of the router. My backups might run faster. The world is getting network better.

Oh, no glitches in network traffic since I replaced the router.

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By awa

4 thoughts on “Networking Glitches – Update”
  1. Okay … but what’s happening with the washing machine?
    And re parts cost, I hear you! I’ve been told a large part of the cost is simply having them available (e.g. warehouse space, potentially for years, until somebody needs one).

  2. I’m getting lost in the mix of ambiguous pronouns and tense…

    >> It crapped its little pants.

    The VM router or the Ubiquity? The Ubiquity was mentioned last and uses the past tense “replaced” so “it” appears to be referring to the Ubiquity. Yet if it’s the Ubiquity, why tell us about a the VM router that wasn’t a factor in this round of problems to begin with?

    >> It arrived Saturday.

    Are we talking about the Ubiquity which was previously referred to in the past tense? Or some even newer router? And if it’s an even newer router, replacing the Ubiquity, why don’t you tell us make and model of the new router that worked for you since you had that detail about the previous router (or routers)?

    All I’m saying is that you lost me. I’m not sure if it’s the Ubiquity that solved your problem or some new secret-squirrel router you don’t give us details on.


    Ps. No, I’m not a grammar Nazi, I just follow router stuff (I’m a DIY pfSense fanboi) and I honestly did get lost in your writeup.

  3. I’m also curious which router you have replaced, and is the replacement the same model of Ubiquiti that you had trouble with, or a newer version.

    I run a Ubiquity Dream Machine at home, and it handles 100 mbs / 100 mbs just fine, (I have fiber so I can get 1gbs / 1gbs if I want, just really don’t have a need for it, or want to pay the $.) The WiFi controller part handles the switchover between APs mostly based on signal levels and so far, has done a really good job of it.

  4. All my years in IT have taught me that there is nothing quite so satisfying as updating your network and having everything working properly.

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