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Any ideas why my SonicPoint NDR's stops allowing connections after a few days of activity?

Posted on 2014-11-05
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Last Modified: 2014-11-15
I've been working on an issue with Sonicwall technical support for awhile and am hoping to get a few new ideas here.

I have a Sonicwall NSA 3600 and a bunch of SonicPoint NDR's provisioned for wireless.

The issue is, after a few days of use during which everything is working absolutely normal, a SonicPoint just drops all connections and does not allow anyone to connect.  I have to reboot the SonicPoint and then it comes back online and all is well again.

I have my Sonicwall WLAN setup on X10, and it is plugged into an HP Procurve switch, the same physical switch that my X0 is plugged into.  I created VLANs for the provisioning traffic to go over VLAN 10, and setup other VLAN IDs 20 (2.4ghz Corporate), 30 (2.4ghz Guest internet), 25 (5ghz Corporate) and 35 (5ghz guest).   My VLAN 10 traffic is untagged on the X10 port, and the rest tagged.

One thing I have noticed, is that it is the same 2 SonicPoint NDR's.  The same group of users connect to these SonicPoints, and migrate between the two.  I have 6 others SonicPoint NDR's that have not yet went offline, however they are underutilized in comparison to the 2 that keep dropping.  I'd say at any given time, I have 12 users on a SonicPoint that goes down which doesn't seem like alot.

Any suggestions why the SonicPoints are going offline?
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Question by:jmchristy
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40425986
The normal cause for this is heavy traffic against firmware that cannot keep up. When it is frequent (as you suggest), upgrading the router firmware is often the answer. Try reducing the traffic load on the problem router by splitting the traffic into 2 routers.
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 40425995
So are you saying put in another SonicPoint just on a different channel?

It could be the case I guess - but I would think that the SonicPoint's performance would blow a NetGear out of the water.  

The Sonicpoint is replacing a NetGear WG302 that performed basically the same task, in the same location, for almost 3 years and never dropped.  The Netgear had at times, 20+ wireless devices connected to it and didn't skip a beat.

I'm starting to feel buyers remorse....
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40426009
So are you saying put in another SonicPoint just on a different channel? <-- To lessen the traffic load per device - yes, that is what I am suggesting.

The Netgear had at times, 20+ wireless devices connected to it and didn't skip a beat

That is why I suggesting firmware upgrade.

See if you can find the overall throughput specification for both your SonicWall and the Netgear.

I had to replace my home office VPN and wireless routers with higher throughput devices. That solved all issues and is very stable.
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 40426124
I am running the latest firmware, version 6.1.1.9-30n

There is an early release 6.2.0.0-20n, however there are a lot of known issues with it and the Sonicwall technician did not recommend upgrading to that firmware.

I may look at returning these devices if that's the solution.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40426135
I do not use Sonic Wall, so if they do not work in your environment and they are new, then yes, consider returning them.

I use Cisco and Juniper and do not have issues with modern firmware.
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 40426168
After a follow up call and being elevated to Tier 2 support, I am apparently not the only one who has reported this issue.

It is an issue with this firmware, and they said there Engineering team is working on a hotfix for the problem.  He said they should have a hotfix ready in 48 hours.

I will report back what happens, and hopefully the tech wasn't just blowing smoke!
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Accepted Solution

by:
jmchristy earned 0 total points
ID: 40433654
I received a hotfix, which involved taking the firmware to version 6.2.0.0-20n with HF140677-1n attached.

It's only been 3 days since I applied this hotfix - but the access points haven't dropped anyone yet whereas before I was rebooting SonicPoints twice maybe three times per day.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 40444250
I split points because your solution of upgrading to the latest firmware did in fact do the trick - the only thing that wasn't available with the firmware was a hotfix that specifically fixes this flaw.  It's not your fault.
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