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Hardware needed for a LAN-Party

Hi. I and some of my friends are planning on hosting a LAN-party for the youth of my hometown. Based on the numbers from previous years, the total amount of attendees will be around 120. Does anyone here have any experience hosting LAN-parties and which equipment would you suggest us using (switches, routers, servers etc....)

We will rent a local community center for the occasion.

65 comments
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level 1
71 points · 8 days ago · edited 8 days ago

old lanparty organizer here (~10yr exp, with upto 500pc events)

keep it as simple as possible. try to use as much out-of-the-box solutions as possible. time is precious on lanparties, so any "tuning" is out often of question. remember, you might need to return stuff too, so you'll then need to remove any old configuration.

what you need (for networking)

- only ONE Layer2 segment for gamers, 'cause many games still need broadcast based discovery. For 120peeps, there's little need to segregate mgmt traffic as well. 100m per user port is okay. pc-to-pc sharing is mostly gone nowadays and latency is non-issue on 100m lan. tip: configure less common network (not 192.168.0.0/24, instead like 172.19.240.0/22 etc), so any old fixed ip ip conflicts are less likely

- ability to throttle public inet traffic per PC. Depends ofc on your internet bandwidth. Remember, there 100% certain, peeps will activate their steam and start updating or installing new games = inet link utilization. There's a ton of games which need online connectivity or there's only online servers (pubg, fortnite, etc) so you need to take care of inet link congestion. Link full = huge latency spikes and gamers are not happy. Communicate to players, so they'll try to update/download all their games at home beforehand.

- dhcp protection is the most important feature for lan parties. peeps still have "internet connection sharing" enabled NICs and plugging it to the network is a major disaster. So if you can implement one feature, it's dhcp snooping. STP and root stuff is less important. rarely if ever had any issues. if anything, configuring broadcast storm is second most imporant in case of faulty hardware/nics.

- have at least one decently qualified staffer for lan/desktop techie to help peeps, especially for the first evening. Stuff will happen and 100% there will be "cannot connect to network" issues, like plugging into wrong NIC, old fixed address etc.

- power is critical. We've had everything thrown at us. Todays PC is ~1Amp @220v (about 2x at 110V) per device running or even more (higher for startup). That's like 3x64A (220V) breaker minimum for the event. This type of equip is generally not available for general use. We even built own own electricity closets and cables for that. Get qualified and experienced (public events) staff. There's electric stuff that you cannot experience for typical home/SMB scenarios. Single phase is only for the "last mile", any electricity backbone has to be high current 3 phase. Pre-build/pre-wire every table beforehand to balance users between separate phases as much as possible.

-separate table for network devices and backbone power. peeps really like to put their cokes and sodas and energy drings onto the switches. AARGH.

-prewire network per user runs beforehand, after peeps are already seated, it's a hassle to run cables. But have spares: people will break rj45 connectors or few will be faulty.

there's ton more tips, just ask away.

level 2

This is great and very detailed advise!

level 2

I've been hosting LANs since the 90s. /u/highqee just saved me lots of typing.

The only "nice to have" item that wasn't mentioned in the post above is a "Steam Caching server" ... If you do find time to setup a steamcache or LANcache then 1gbt ethernet will be useful for faster installs.

level 1
Network Intern/Higher Ed Helpdesk/MDU Tech28 points · 8 days ago

You might want to look into setting up a steam/origin/etc caching server, I don't normally recommend this but LTT did a recent video on this that is a good starting point

level 3

LANCache is generally considered better, but they do the same thing
https://github.com/bntjah/lancache

level 1
CCNP, F518 points · 8 days ago

Enable bpduguard and switchport mode host (aka portfast, no trunking, no lacp) on all participant facing ports, unless you really trust them not to plug in their own switches. For non-cisco switches, use whatever settings they have available to tell it to block any edge ports were spanning-tree BPDUs are received.

Better to have a single participant kicked off the LAN than have everyone down while you hunt for an STP loop

level 1

Everyones going to need a switchport. 10/100 doesnt cut it these days, get gigabit or better. Call some big businesses and see if they have any decomissioned hardware they may be able to donate or sell for cheap. Or call some grey market hardware brokers.

Ive used pfSense successfully as a router and firewall. It also includes a captive portal and a bunch of great security tools you can leverage. Run this on a dedicated box, or in a really powerful VM.

For game servers, you can use esxi or hyper v, or if you have linux guys they can use kvm but Im sure theyd rather use vmware. Another box for the hypervisor host. Only needed for teamspeak or mumble, most folks like using discord but id suggest you encourage they use your own voice server to reduce outbound bandwidth.

As for internet, see what the venue offers and tie into that.

As for wifi, this always sucks so you can look at Ubiquiti and their offering or consider rolling your own

Also dont forget about electricity. This is another beast altogether. Hire pros with diesel generators or again look into what the venue suggests.

First time lans and ongoing have big capital costs so I hope your budget is prepared for this. Feel free to reply or PM for more info.

Source: planned many large lans.

level 2
28 points · 8 days ago

I agree with all you said, except the gig ports.

For 120 people having gigabit ports for everyone will saturate the uplinks when people start torrenting and downloading from steam/origin and the likes. It is also not really needed. The only time you need gigabit is if you expect people to distribute warez and not play games.

100mbit ports with a gigabit uplink should be fine and is much cheaper with no real downside.

level 3

Yes this, gbit is not needed at all.

level 4
CCNA7 points · 8 days ago

To play a little devils advocate. It isn't so much about the speed but the hardware you get with the upgrade. Switch interface buffers are significantly better with gigabit switches. While gaming can often be very small stream when stepping back a bit, you can end up with hyper short micro-burst traffic that a 100mbit interface with a small buffer behind it.

Plus you can easily find amazing 1-gig that can handle some pretty crazy burst traffic like the extreme x460 for around $200 for non-poe versions.

Just a devil's advocate statement.

level 5

You can always lock it down to 100mb, but then again, I have seen sone network cards then need to be set to that speed due to auto negotiate fails (I'm calling out realtek here)

level 6
CCNA2 points · 6 days ago

At least for the buildings that I buy internet in now. I almost always will take a 1gb service that rids a 10gig interface but is QoSed down to 1gb. You may not believe it but you will get functionally better service than a 1gb on 1gb interface.

level 7

Sure, but they arent desktop network cards, some are just terrible.

The same can be said of 40g circuits running off 100g optics. Then again all of these things are enterprise hardware setup by professionals. Not a built in realtek card with the wrong drivers installed by little Johnny.

level 4
esteemed fruit-loop-3 points · 7 days ago

This is total bullshit. GBit is absolutely a requirement.

Each player doesn't need to download more files; each player needs to "download your shit and get playing faster".

Consider:

Someone yells "hey, we are going to play CS:Go" and 6 people haven't installed it. they fire up steam, and start installing it. Now they have (it's not 10, but i'm using 10 for easy math) 10GB to download.

at 100Mbps, 10GB takes 13.3 minutes at 100% saturation (not realistic).

at 1000Mbps, 10GB takes 1.33 minutes.

"who the hell cares, the internet is only 100Mbps"

... you install a LAN cache server on your network. The morning of the event, have a staffer format/reinstall their computer and then install everything. This will seed the caching server with all the steam, microsoft, blizzard, etc... etc... game files and updates.

Then, when 6 players start installing CS:Go, they start and finish installing in under 2 minutes.

Get a LanCache server with 4x 250GB SSDs and 2x 10Gbps network adapters; plug it into your core switch with LACP; distribute 2x10Gbps with LACP from core switch to each access switch.

Run each access switch at 1Gbps per port.

Now 20 users on your lan can simultaneously download from the cache server at wire speed.

Now, consider:

Do you want 6 players sitting around for 14 minutes downloading CS:Go or do you want them installed and playing after 3 minutes?

level 5

Your also assuming he has the bandwidth to handle 6Gbps of downloading..

level 6
esteemed fruit-loop3 points · 7 days ago

NO, that's the point.

The cache server CACHES.

you download the steam catalog, windows updates, and whatever other game files at 50Mbps over say 2 days during setup.

Then, during the event, the cache server serves the files at line rate.

level 7

i see what your saying, and i'd totally setup a cache server too- but i dont really care if they are playing after 14 minutes or 3 minutes. their own damn fault for not making sure their version is current before leaving the house.

Your right, but I don't agree I suppose is what i'm saying.

level 8
esteemed fruit-loop2 points · 7 days ago

I don't care if it takes 14 minutes or 3 minutes.

I do care if they are all downloading games off of steam without a cache server, meaning those 6 players are saturating the 100Mbps link with 6 copies of the download for 84 minutes.

I also don't really want that amount of bandwidth on the inter-switch links for that amount of time.

The faster their downloads are from the cache server, the less time they spend downloading.

The less time they spend downloading, the fewer downloads are overlapping on top of each other from the cache server.

If a player can install a 50GB game from the cache server in 10 minutes instead of 100 minutes, the odds that that transfer impacts latency-sensitive games is that much lower.

I could give 2-shits about players who forgot to install their games; but what I do care about is having playable ping times for everyone else while they are downloading, and that is why you want 1Gbps ports everywhere.

level 9

That's a fair condition but in all likelihood not impactful. If my switch is capable of moving ~30gbps one guy moving 200megs aggregated through the switch isn't going to matter much.

I'm not even sure it's possible to still get 100meg switches (Sure if you really dug on old craigslist) anyway so this is all probably a moot point.

level 3
.ılı.ılı.5 points · 8 days ago

You can setup a cache server for steam (not sure with origin). Limit everyone but the cache server and they're good to go.

level 3
esteemed fruit-loop3 points · 7 days ago

This is wrong.

Get a LanCache server. Get 1Gbps ports.

The morning of your event, seed your cache server by having one of your staff members format/reinstall their computer, then installing every single game they own.

During the event, people will be downloading from your cache server at 1Gbps each, not downloading from the itnernet using your (relatively tiny) internet connection.

This is extremely important for 2 reasons:

  1. they can install in 1/10th the time so when $Tournament is starting and JimBob69 hasn't installed the game yet, they can install it in 5 minutes, not 45 minutes.

  2. Those downloads won't touch your internet connection, so they won't saturate your connection, so the connection latency won't increase as you approach link saturation.

Gigabit is essential.

If you believe otherwise, you are wrong.

level 3
1 point · 8 days ago · edited 8 days ago

I dont know. What you described can be throttled via qos on the firewall. Folks would be distributing whatever they want between one another. I suggest using a captive portal from pfSense to force users to accept a user agreement agreeing they wont do any warez or piracy, along with accepting if they are caught with a virus or something they are going to be kicked off.

Id feel much more comfortable with gigabit. Ymmv.

level 4
7 points · 8 days ago

I am not even talking about traffic through the firewall. I am talking about traffic between switches, switches that all are going to have uplinks to some distribution switch or router.

With gig access ports you need to bundle the uplinks or preferably use a 10gbit port. Does the OP have access to this kind of equipment? Probably not.

It is much easier to just have a gigabit distribution switch and then have the rest be 100mbit switches with a gigabit uplink. No need to qos and no configuriing of any equipment, just plug and play.

Remember: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.

level 5

Just use a few switchports for an LACP between the switches. Use MLAG or whatever proprietary multi link VLAN trunking protocol you desire.

I think you are over estimating here, but regardless I agree with your point. I would use stacking cables in the past so not sure what OP is working with.

level 6
3 points · 8 days ago

The way that OP writes about networking it seems like he doesn't know a whole lot about networking and bundling ports. So cheap and foolproof seems to be the best option.

Just running 100mbit switches with gig uplink is the best in this case. Less configuring, and less cables to put down.

level 7

Yeah I agree. If he can find em, use em!

level 4

Yeah but then you’ve got people MAC spoofing and rummaging around all over the network across the switches, if you only monitor the egress points you leave the intranet open to pure chaos. Oh man, I signed a Eula, I can’t tunnel into bobs machine!

level 5
ay boo lemme sniff yo packets2 points · 8 days ago

For sure, a LAN party full of people moving warez back and forth is pretty much the poster child for a zero trust environment.

level 4

+1 pfSense w/captive portal and a forced end user agreements

level 2
8 points · 8 days ago

Just wanted to reiterate the importance of power. With these numbers you will likely need to start looking into getting some generators to add to whatever the venue is capable of handling. Take about 300Watt per pc when gaming + infrastructure (network/servers) + lighting etc + consider you'll probably be cooking some food (oven/microwaves etc). Which adds up to a lot. I remember one of our first LANs where we ended up taping some breakers fixed...

level 3

Seriously. Power planning needs to come first IMO, and once you are confident you can swing this then start planning networking.

If you dont plan enough amperage and then experience brown or blackouts, you will have a lot of pissed off attendees with potentially burnt equipment

level 3
3 points · 8 days ago

taping some breakers fixed

This is dangerous and stupid, don't do this

level 4
2 points · 7 days ago

Thanks for stating the obvious, I agree :). That's exactly why I was specifically reinforcing the power part.

level 3

It worries me at the lack of comments about how much focus needs to be placed on power. We run a 100-200 person event and we're lucky due to great wiring. You really need to look first at power, everything else comes second. Don't underestimate how much power you will require for 100 computers.

Also don't underestimate the costs and repercussions of a failed event. At the very least you will need to provide refunds, at the worst you could be liable for damages to machines or the center. Make sure you audit the facility and the power available.

level 2
2 points · 8 days ago

Can I host teamspeak and game server on the same physical box, using vmware ?

Atm I have one game server running, is there a way to virtualize it and use it as à vm ?

level 3
Sysadmin also responsible for network sorry1 point · 8 days ago

Absolutely.

level 2
1 point · 8 days ago · edited 8 days ago

For game servers, you can use esxi or hyper v, or if you have linux guys they can use kvm but Im sure theyd rather use vmware.

Id recommend proxmox or the like. No license costs.

Id also recommend looking into setting up a steam cache (docker) or lancache(nginx rproxy). That way you dont have to download a game more than once.

level 2

Share some of these 10G uplink switches with me man, why you never bringing them out to LANs

level 1
esteemed fruit-loop4 points · 7 days ago

I build the network for https://aybonline.com/baselan/

We have ~150-325 people per event.

Step 1: BIG HONKING INTERNET PIPES.

You will want the biggest internet connection you can get; at least 150Mbps down. For 120 people, we try to get 3x 150Mbps down, 15Mbps up cable internet connections, then use a router to load-balance the 3.

Step 2: A firewall/router with a high number of concurrent sessions. Your home linksys won't cut it; you need a device or computer that can handle millions of simultaneous sessions with at least 1Gbps lan/wan routing speed. I suggest a Fortigate 60e (not 30e, because 30e is software based). If you are running on a budget, use a laptop with an i5 processor and 2x 1Gbps network adapters, and put a router OS like m0n0wall or PFSense on it.

Step 3: Switches. Anything managed. You will want 1G ports everywhere, no 100Mbps. See step 4 for reasons. All your switches should support LACP and 2x1Gbps uplinks (or 2x10Gbps uplinks) with 24 or 48x 1Gbps ports. Connect your core switch to your access switch with 2x1Gbps cables in LACP. This will prevent 1 damaged cable from taking down 48 players.

Step 4: Caching server. You want to have 1 computer with 2x 1Gbps network adapters, about 500-800GB SSD storage, and ~ 8GB ram to run a download caching server. It will cache all the Steam, Origin, Blizzard, Microsoft, etc... etc... downloads. When someone yells "hey, we are all playing CS:Go" you want your caching server to turn 20 downloads into 1. Everyone will be able to install faster, and that download will get on and off your internet connection faster, mitigating latency issues of maxing out your internet downloads.

See: https://github.com/multiplay/lancache

Step 5: DHCP and DHCP protection: choose a large IPv4 subnet. I suggest something like 10.69.0.0/16. Don't bother trying to choose "The right" size subnet; just use a /16. you don't need to be conservative for any reason. Setup DHCP on your router/firewall or a windows or linux DHCP server, define your scope. Set the address pool to be about 50-90% of your subnet. Save 50-256 addresses for static assignment. Setup all of your end-user switches to trust DHCP on their uplink ports and block DHCP on their downlink ports.

Step 6: DNS: Setup your DNS server to direct to your caching server. Setup your firewall to redirect requests for DNS to the internet to your caching server to force users to use your DNS. Setup your DHCP server to give out your DNS server. Set your caching server to use OpenDNS or 9.9.9.9 or 1.1.1.1.

Step 7: Register your IP space with appropriate organizations. Tell Blizzard, Steam, et. al. that you are going to be running a lan party so that they don't shut your IP address down when all of a sudden 100 users sign in from 1 IP.

Step 8: Power. You will need 1x 15a 110v circuit for every 4 players, or 1x 20a 110v circuit for every 6 players. Run separate power for your switches, don't just plug your switches into a player's table. Otherwise when a 5th or 6th person plugs into a 15a circuit and blows a breaker, they won't take out the switch that has 48 players plugged in. It'll take down 6 players, not 48.

Step 9: Registration software. Use some software to deal with seating locations, tournament advertisement and registration, results scoring, etc... I suggest lanhub.net. /r/thestamp is the man developer; he's a mod in /r/lanparty.

Step 10: Cooling. Most convention/community centers are designed to hold 120 people. They are not designed to hold 120 people with 120 computers giving off collectively 10's of thousands of BTU. Get some fans or talk with the building operator about the capabilities of the air conditioning.

level 1
Moderator | Infrastructure Architect3 points · 8 days ago

Will this be constructed as a pay-to-play event or just a for-fun all-volunteer event?

level 2
Original Poster3 points · 8 days ago

Yes it will. The price pr ticket will be around 45$

level 3
CCNP, F58 points · 8 days ago

$45 x 120 people = $4,500, which may not even cover the venue hire, especially if each person is going to need space for a PC and monitor(s), and will need power.

Have you looked into getting some corporate sponsorship ?

level 4
5 points · 8 days ago

$5400, but you're right that it likely won't be profitable.

level 5
CCNP, F52 points · 8 days ago

I blame my fingers:)

level 5
esteemed fruit-loop1 point · 7 days ago

Sources of funding for lan parties:

  1. ticket sales. obvious.

  2. municipal government. Many cities offer funding for events that bring people into the city. If you can show that you are bringing "hundreds" of people together for an event and that some of them are coming from outside your city, you might be able to get 4-5 figures from your city council.

  3. Advertising. this one is dying off; there used to be more sponsorship dollars in lan parties but those dollars are going into esports streamers now.

  4. Merch Sales Booths. You can sell, say, a 10x10' booth space at your event for $500-1000. This will be dependent on the size of your venue/event. When we have events with 350 players, we sell 10x15' booth space for $2,500 each and we sell out of them (6 slots).

  5. run a fundraiser. Get your lan players to sell chocolates or something. If they want to make it happen, you can make it happen.

level 3
Moderator | Infrastructure ArchitectModerator of r/networking, speaking officially12 points · 8 days ago

Ok, then it's a small business networking question, and we'll let it fly.

(It's already been reported for violating Rule #1)

level 4
esteemed fruit-loop2 points · 7 days ago

Suggested: (s)he should take this thread to /r/lanparty

level 4
CCNP R&S | CCDA | JNCIA1 point · 7 days ago

I think even if money wasn't involved this isn't a home networking question.

What if it was a charity-run network? Does it count on whether he's getting paid or not as to whether it's a home network?

I don't think anyone at /r/networking or /r/HomeNetworking would say this comes close to home networking, and is definitely "enterprise".

Going further, what are the "rules" for it being "enterprise"?

level 5
Moderator | Infrastructure Architect2 points · 7 days ago

I don't think this community wants to talk about 12 Frat-mates setting up a game-event for themselves.

It has to be a larger event or a larger sized network, preferably for a business or commercial event of some sort.

level 6
CCNP R&S | CCDA | JNCIA1 point · 7 days ago

I don't think this community wants to talk about 12 Frat-mates setting up a game-event for themselves.

Who's talking about 12 frats?

I'm concerned that people are reporting this post where there's "120 attendees" and based on a whole town. A

significant amount of effort needs to go into design, implementation and operation, and mods will "let this fly".

I don't understand why this post was ever under consideration for being home networking. Also why money being involved or not was a deciding factor.

level 7
Moderator | Infrastructure ArchitectModerator of r/networking, speaking officially1 point · 7 days ago

I don't understand why this post was ever under consideration for being home networking. Also why money being involved or not was a deciding factor.

Maybe you like giving away free consulting to hobbiests who don't have funding to buy anything intelligent, but a lot of the members of the community don't want to listen to an OP whine whey they are encouraged to buy something that solves the problem they describe.

So, we filter out the nonsense.

"I'm starting a new company and I need gigabit to the desktop and awesome wireless for 80 computers spread out across 5 buildings. My budget is Ten dollars. Please help me."

You know why you don't see many threads in here like that? Because we delete them.

This community is for professionals to talk about professional-grade problems that can be solved with professional-grade solutions.

Not everything needs a Nexus switch. Sometimes UBNT or TP-Link is an acceptable answer. Sometimes refurbished or second-hand ProCurve is the right tool for the job.

But there has to be a filter. There has to be something that helps quantify a reasonable request for assistance from a bad one.

Every now and then we totally let a thread for a non-profit church or youth camp fly.

But we're not going to let Moe, Larry and Curly waste everyone's time with their $50 budget for a 2,000 user LAN Party event.

"We're just gonna use Larry's cable modem and Moe's NightHawk... should be good right?"

No. That shit is getting deleted in 30 seconds.

/r/TechSupport or /r/Ubiquiti can help them, or not. I don't care.

level 8
CCNP R&S | CCDA | JNCIA1 point · 7 days ago

Fine. But you need to make that clearer in the rules or change the advertised scope of the subreddit.

"No home networking" doesn't mean "this is only a sub for experienced professionals working in mid-large organisations that are only interested in problems with budgets of upwards of $100k".

I used to work for an enterprise that used Cisco Small Business Switches and a pair of ASAs as their entire DC network infrastructure. Would I be allowed to post a problem I had with upgrade/migration/improvement? By your rules above, no.

If those are the rules, then fine, but that's not what's written down. So you don't have a right to be aggy when people post those.

level 9
Moderator | Infrastructure Architect1 point · 7 days ago

Fine. But you need to make that clearer in the rules or change the advertised scope of the subreddit.

I think I speak for the modteam pretty well when I say that this is adequately defined in the sidebar, wiki, and Rules Pages (that nobody ever reads).

"No home networking" doesn't mean "this is only a sub for experienced professionals working in mid-large organisations that are only interested in problems with budgets of upwards of $100k".

The sidebar also quite clearly says:

This subreddit allows:

Enterprise & Business Networking topics such as:

Design
Troubleshooting
Best Practices
Educational Topics & Questions are allowed with following guidelines:

Enterprise /Data Center /SP /Business networking related.
No Homework Topics without detailed, and specific questions.
Networking Career Topics are allowed with following guidelines:

Topics asking for information about getting into the networking field will be removed. This topic has been discussed at length, please use the search feature.
Topics regarding senior-level networking career progression are permitted.

This subreddit does NOT allow:

Home Networking Topics.

We aren't here to troubleshoot your "advanced" video game latency issues.
Home Networks, even complex ones are best discussed elsewhere like /r/homenetworking

HomeLab discussions, as a tool for learning & certifications are welcomed.

If you are going to throw the content of the community rules at us, please make sure you are looking at all of the rules, and not just the bits & pieces you want to focus on.

I used to work for an enterprise that used Cisco Small Business Switches and a pair of ASAs as their entire DC network infrastructure. Would I be allowed to post a problem I had with upgrade/migration/improvement? By your rules above, no.

That sounds like a perfectly valid thread according to the ACTUAL rules of the community.

If those are the rules, then fine, but that's not what's written down. So you don't have a right to be aggy when people post those.

Those are the rules. And they are written down.
The modteam is here to enforce those rules.

level 10
CCNP R&S | CCDA | JNCIA1 point · 7 days ago

It's still not any clearer to me, despite having the rules regurgitated at me, why this post was apparently close to being inappropriate and because being a paid-service it can be let go. There's no mention of that in the rules.

Clearly my points aren't being taken constructively, so this will be last reply, and hope I don't ever post anything that isn't letter perfect.

level 1
Higher Ed NetAdmin7 points · 8 days ago

Based on the numbers from previous years

So what changed? Why can't you reuse the setup/equipment/etc from previous years?

level 1
CCNP3 points · 8 days ago · edited 8 days ago

when I was still a student, we used to host LAN Parties every year with cc 100-200 people; there was no participation fee in our case and we've tried to find as many sponsors as we could. We usually asked local Cisco academies to lend us several 2960 and 3560 switches (and they were also giving out some vouchers for CCNA classes as prizes at the LAN party) - this was good marketing for them as well, as lots of students went to take classes at their academy afterwards.

We had 2x1G connection from the University and we've used one for gaming and one for streaming. We usually had CS:GO, LOL, DOTA2, HearthStone and FIFA. The routing was done a linux VM on top of ESXI and using tc for traffic shaping (iirc we did it on a per IP basis), you can also use KVM as others mentioned. If you don't have a server, you could buy a cheap Dell PowerEdge or HP Proliant from ebay for example; you should be able to find one for 200-300 bucks, or you could just use a PC and buy an extra pci NIC and bundle them together (NIC teaming on windows) and bridge it to the VMnet, or install your favorite linux distro as dual boot and use KVM.

We separated the mgmt, the gaming and the streaming vlans and used portfast and bpduguard on ports connected to PCs as others already advised. In any case, try to find sponsors! local network academies, local IT shops (they might also give you giveaway prizes and banners for publicity).

level 1
2 points · 8 days ago

It would depend.

What games?

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 8 days ago

No games specific. The attendees can play whatever they want. There will be competitions tho, in games like csgo, fortnite, league of legends etc. The network speed is 1GB down and 1GB up.

level 1
Switchstack bug attracter2 points · 8 days ago

OP if you're doing this on east coast I can provide support/servers I'd just need a heads up.

level 1
CCNA2 points · 8 days ago · edited 8 days ago

As an aside, I've wondered about how BYOD events like this (for PCs) are managed on a network nowadays (I used to LAN party it up back in the 90s). Is there posture assessment done in any shape or form for formal events?

level 1

Depending on the games you’re playing trying to pipe 120 players out to the internet on a 1gb connection could be dicey.

If you can host some game servers locally that would certainly help. Especially if some games are being played on the local network while other games are hitting servers on the internet.

As far as gear.... I’m assuming the convention center has a router capable of supporting their 1gb connection, so they’re giving you a connection back to that...

I would say you’ll need:

A few host servers to act as, well, hosts. If everyone is bringing their own computer I would just set up work groups per game or maybe 1 big work group, I’ll defer to other commenters on that front.

5 x 48 port 100mb or better switches. Use 4 switches to connect participants too, and connect those back to the 5th switch. (This can be a 24port switch, preferably with gb uplinks) and connect this switch back to the router.

Make sure all the switches can communicate with one another (ports all on the same vlan, etc. you’ll probably want to segregate the management and gaming vlans)

Make sure only 1 device is working as a DHCP server

Make sure spanning tree is enabled

Otherwise keep it simple.

Keep your wires organized and clean, and enjoy your night.

I’m sleepy and probably left out important bits, but this should get you started.

level 1

You’ll probably need some onsite servers to host the larger games. Not sure you’d want to send all 120 users to the internet for hosts. As regards switches just 3x48 port 10/100 switches would suffice. The packet size of gaming packets is tiny so you’re never going to need gig. You could get away with daisy chaining those together too but to make best use of the switch fabric site each one near a group of 40 people.

level 1

Look to businesses, schools or collages for any used equipment destined for retirement. There's probably a local electronics recycling company nearby where you can grab some old managed switches too.

level 1

If you need switches I have about 8 24 port gigabit switches to sell. I can get you details if your interested.

Edit: also have a few 10/100 if your not worried about gigabit.

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