SonicPOINTS connected to Switch versus specifically to SonicWALL Appliance

Posted on 2013-01-25
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello E-E,

Here wer go!

I have a customer that recently purchased a building next door.  The current building is: 'Building One' and the new building is: 'Building Two'.

Building One -

* Sinlge Firewall TZ 210 [Lattest Firmware]
* Single Dell Switch 2800

* SonicWALL Port XO: ( [LAN ZONE] -- patched to Dell Switch 2800.
* SonicWALL Port X3: ( [WLAN ZONE] -- CAT5 run about 85 feet to switch number 2 [Dell 2800] in building next door.

Builing Two -

I have two SonicPOINT NDR's connected to switch 2 in next door building [Dell 2848].  The SonicPOINTS come right up with no issues on the SonicWALL.  I am able to configure them with no problems.  That said, I could have a major problem too.  Something that would normally be a problem with larger networks and not so much with smaller ones like what I have described above.

Other devices are also connected to both switches.  I am concerned because the article below states that this should not work or is not supported.  Basically the article below states that I **MUST** connect SonicPOINTS directly the SonicWALL Appliance.

Please help me understand so that I can modify sites in this config.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Question by:BygRob
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Accepted Solution

Ugo Mena earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
SonicWALL uses two proprietary protocols (SDP and SSPP) and both *cannot* be routed across any layer 3 device. Any SonicPoint that will be deployed must have an Ethernet connection back to the provisioning SonicWALL UTM appliance, in the same broadcast domain/network.

Tested switches
Most Cisco switches work well; however SonicWALL does not recommend deploying SonicPoints using the “Cisco Express” switch line.
SonicWALL does not recommend deploying SonicPoints using Netgear PoE switches.
If you are using D-Link PoE switches, you will need to shut off all their proprietary broadcast- control/storm control mechanisms, as they will interfere with the provisioning and acquisition ¿mechanisms in the SonicPoint (see section regarding this).
Dell; make sure to configure STP for fast start on SonicPoint ports.
Extreme; make sure to configure STP for fast start on SonicPoint ports.
Foundry; make sure to configure STP for fast start on SonicPoint ports.
HP ProCurve; make sure to configure STP for fast start on SonicPoint ports.
Wiring Considerations
Make sure wiring is CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 end to end.
Due to signaling limitations in 802.3af and Ethernet cable runs cannot go over 100 meters between PoE switch and SonicPoint.
You will need to account for PoE power loss the longer the cable run is; this can can be up to 16%, and due to this that port will require more power to be supplied.
When an Ethernet port becomes electrically active, most switches by default will activate the spanning-tree protocol on the port to determine if there are loops in the network topology. During this detection period of 50-60 seconds the port does not pass any traffic – this feature is well-known to cause problems with SonicPoints. If you do not need spanning-tree, disable it globally on the switch, or disable it on each port connected to a SonicPoint device.

If this is not possible, check with the switch manufacturer to determine if they allow for “fast spanning-tree detection”, which is a method that runs spanning-tree in a shortened time so as to not cause connectivity issues. Please refer to the switch-specific sections at the end of this technote for programming samples on how to do this.
Many switches have port aggregation turned on by default – this causes a lot of issues and should be deactivated on ports connected directly to SonicPoints.
PAGP/Fast EtherChannel/EtherChannel – turn this off on the ports going to SonicPoints.
LACP – turn this off on the ports going to SonicPoints.

Author Comment

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So can I keep the SonicPOINTS connected to the Dell switch? Then a patch cord from the Dell switch back to the port on the Sonicwall UTM appliance?  This is how I have many of my locations now.  Some of the Dell switches have up to 4 SonicPoints connected to a switch.  That said, the switch would have two cables that physically go back to the SonicWALL applicance.  One to X1 for LAN and one to X3 for WLAN.  

The other items on your reply have already been dealt with in the very beginning - i.e. Spanning Tree.  None of my switches are Layer Three and I don't use any routers.  I use the SonicWALL other avilable ports to create subnets.

Also, the switches are not configured for VLAN's.  Other devices, like PC's and printers are connected to the same switch.  If you are in agreement that my configuration is OK, should I VLAN the access points? Benefits?
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Expert Comment

by:Ugo Mena
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As long as your switches are not L3, then you should be ok.
Based on your description, it sounds like you have a fairly solid setup.

How is the cable run between buildings installed? Are you using outdoor rated wiring?

I am assuming there is only 1 switch in building 2? you stated it is a 2800 or a 2848.

Pretty safe to say that if your SonicPoints are powering up and connecting to your TZ210, then your switch is not blocking (SDP and SSPP) SonicWall's two proprietary protocols.
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Author Comment

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Cool.  The buidling are litterally attached.  I had professional conduit ran then contractor to run CAT6.  With slack on both ends the run is under 80 Feet.  

There is one switch in the main building and one switch in the new building.
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Expert Comment

by:Ugo Mena
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Right on. Nice work!
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Expert Comment

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Your electrical ground systems in the two facilities need to be bonded since you are bridging the two together with a non-current carrying conductor (the network cable).
Otherwise, you have a ground potential difference that can cause an uncontrolled discharge of energy across the network cable.
For small projects, it's cheaper to use a fiber converter at each end, and remove the copper conductor from the equation.  A metal conduit joining the two structures is going to introduce the same problem if there are two separate electrical systems.

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