The Gathering Technical blog

TG 13 network design

10 Mar 2013, by Håvard Staub Nyhus from

First of all, we would like to thank Cisco for sponsoring us this year as well. Without them, there would be no network!

This years internet connection will be delivered by Blix Solutions in Oslo, with transport of the optical signal from Hamar to Oslo handled by Eidsiva Bredbånd.

As many of you already know, we have used a collapsed core design for the past five years. This collapsed core has its advantages with its simplicity and ease of management, but for the 2013 design we decided to do something a little bit different. We are moving away from the old model, replacing it with a three-tier model of core-distro-edge.

The major reason for this change is simply that the collapsed core does not scale to the levels we want this year, especially not when it comes to cabling. We are increasing the uplink bandwidth to every edge switch by 50%, from 2Gbps in 2012 to 3Gbps in 2013.

Also, we are increasing the wireless coverage a LOT, by building a huge wireless network with 160+ access points spread out all over the Viking Ship, each with 802.11n support and 1Gbps uplink. This is a first for us, and we honestly have no idea how well it will perform, so please do not expect speeds of 300Mbps or plan to use this as your primary connection to the network.
The gear is good though, so if it doesn't work, you can blame us guys in the NOC ;)

Anyway, this means that to every seat row, we will need 8 TP cables, which is double of what we have had before. To accommodate this, there will be 5 distribution switches placed strategically down the middle of the hall.

In the core we have decided to go with simplicity, and we are using two 4500-X switches to do this job. These switches only take 1 rack unit of space each and will be probably be the simplest, most lightweight core at The Gathering to date.

A preliminary design drawing is also ready:

TG13 Full Design

All red links on the picture are 10 gbps, all green links are 20 gbps with exception of the internet link which is 30Gbps. For more information, look here

And finally, some numbers from the Cisco kitlist:
5 4507R+E switches with redundant supervisors
166 wireless access points (mix of mainly 3602 and 2602, aswell as 3502 and a few 1142)
2 5508 wireless controllers
7 4948E switches
2 4500-X switches
2 6500 switches
150+ optical 10G transceivers

Håvard Staub Nyhus

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