Routing livewire protocol through firewall

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Routing livewire protocol through firewall

Post by markus »

We bought Axia and actually i nearly finished the IT-network-design. I will use two separeted networks, one for Axia and one for the other applications. different c-classes and physically seperated only connected by a firewall.

My question is if i can route ONLY the livewire protocol through my firewall or if i have to have 2 network cards in every pc with the axia ip-driver? i would like to do this for all non-critical-audioworkstations in the non-axia-network so they can use a stereo ip-driver but only that.


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Post by Maciej »

Axia nodes and drivers use multicast Internet Protocol to send and receive audio channels. Since Axia transports PCM uncompressed audio the streams are very high bandwidth (2.4MBit/s - Standard, 4.5MBit/s - Livestreams). Also Livestreams require strict quality of service treatment, essential for reliable low-latency audio.

In order to route audio streams from Axia network to your office network, or vice versa, you need network equipment which will support the key features:
- Multicast routing (most popular: Protocol Independent Multicasting)
- Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) and multicast filtering
- Quality of Service*
* Standard streams may work without QoS, but are susceptible to LAN congestion which can lead to audio drop outs.

Many firewalls will not sustain the amount of traffic produced by Axia Driver. They may drop packets which will cause audio drop outs.

Routing of Axia streams will require high performance firewall (Layer 4 switch) and use network equipment with enough power and multicast support on the office network side (e.g. Cisco Catalyst 3560).

A final note. Configuring multicast routing is not a trivial task. It requires good understanding of IGMP, PIM and switch configuration.

You may consider keeping your audio workstations on Axia LAN. Configuring unicast IP routing for those machines to provide office LAN and Internet access will be much easier than routing multicast. Also, this solution can be made using any office network equipment.

Another possibility is keeping the audio workstations on Axia switch, but separate virtual LAN (VLAN) to provide better separations of the devices. But this solution requires Layer 3 switch with multicast routing (e.g. Cisco Catalyst 3560).

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