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Author Topic: Network Robustness - Dante  (Read 1256 times)

David Sturzenbecher

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Network Robustness - Dante
« on: October 04, 2018, 05:18:56 pm »

I just fielded a call from large stadium that their sound system was acting squirrely.  Amplifiers were coming and going on the monitoring page and the audio "wasn't right".

Turns out a dante card in one of the amplifiers had gone bad, and changed itself to switched mode instead of redundant,  connecting the primary and backup networks together.  As soon as I disabled the port connecting the amp to the secondary network everything straightened out.  The card was unable to be seen in Dante Controller, but the amp showed up fine in the amplifier manufactures monitoring software.   The odd thing (or not) is that the amp communication and dante primary are on the same physical port.

Is there any way to prevent this from happening in the future?

Just spit balling here but what about independently Vlanning the primary and secondary networks?   Even though the networks are physically separated (when operating correctly), this should keep them from talking if an amp goes rouge no?

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Erik Jerde

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 06:22:05 pm »

I just fielded a call from large stadium that their sound system was acting squirrely.  Amplifiers were coming and going on the monitoring page and the audio "wasn't right".

Turns out a dante card in one of the amplifiers had gone bad, and changed itself to switched mode instead of redundant,  connecting the primary and backup networks together.  As soon as I disabled the port connecting the amp to the secondary network everything straightened out.  The card was unable to be seen in Dante Controller, but the amp showed up fine in the amplifier manufactures monitoring software.   The odd thing (or not) is that the amp communication and dante primary are on the same physical port.

Is there any way to prevent this from happening in the future?

Just spit balling here but what about independently Vlanning the primary and secondary networks?   Even though the networks are physically separated (when operating correctly), this should keep them from talking if an amp goes rouge no?

Putting the ports on separate vlans won't protect against the scenario you describe because the amp card going to switch mode will connect the two vlans together.

You could look into port security and configure switch ports to only accept traffic from one mac address.  Then if a switch gets attached to one of those ports (as effectively happened here) it should reject all the traffic coming through that switch that doesn't have the correct mac address.

I'm assuming the problem here was the primary and secondary traffic being on the same network not a more fundamental network issue. 
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Andrew Hollis

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 07:30:23 pm »

The odd thing (or not) is that the amp communication and dante primary are on the same physical port.

To the outside it is one port, but inside it is switched; Dante and proprietary control would be two different things.

Scott Helmke

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 01:22:37 pm »

This is a constant worry as firmware updates might reset port behavior, etc. My usual first Dante troubleshooting item is "unplug everything marked secondary".
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Thomas Dameron

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 11:08:27 pm »

This is a constant worry as firmware updates might reset port behavior, etc. My usual first Dante troubleshooting item is "unplug everything marked secondary".

The simple solution is to eliminate the secondary network entirely.  I know that sounds like a JV option, but a few years into constantly working with Dante I've had many problems with the secondary network taking out the primary network for a variety of reasons.  I've had exactly zero examples  of the primary failing and falling over to the secondary. 

I would be curious to hear other peoples' experience on this. 

thomas d.
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Jelmer de Jong

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 03:41:05 pm »

You need spanning tree, a very intelligent version of it.
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Bryan Hargrave

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 04:51:49 pm »

You need spanning tree, a very intelligent version of it.

According to Audinate you should not use STP as it takes upwards of a minute to resolve a broken connection. Even RSTP takes around 10 seconds. Audinate's redundancy is seamless. Cisco default timing settings for STP work out this way too. So if ditching the secondary as the back up is the answer... go with analog or AES. It will be about a 1 second drop. As always, correct me if I'm wrong... nicely.

I haven't had an instance of failure that was network related so I can't comment on the secondary network mucking things up. Fingers crossed I will be able to say that for a long time to come. Now that I say it, I give myself a week.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 05:05:21 pm by Bryan Hargrave »
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Aram Piligian

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 06:04:25 pm »

Using Link Aggregation between crucial segments (FOH to BOH, etc) is more the route to go here.  The failover is much faster than even rapid spanning tree.

I've been leaning towards Thomas' mentality lately too--there's very very few problems I've had with a Dante network that are fixed by having the Secondary network.  And with the prevalence of Ultimo chipped devices which only work on the Primary anyway, I feel like Secondary is only a half safety net. 
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 06:11:05 pm »

So I am now confused. We replaced the bad amp, and the replacement too will not show up in Dante controller, yet shows up fine in the amp manufactures software.  Tried different cables, different switch ports... no change.   The previous amp was working fine for weeks... and numerous identical amps are currently working fine.   


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Andrew Hollis

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Re: Network Robustness - Dante
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 07:47:06 pm »

Using Link Aggregation between crucial segments (FOH to BOH, etc) is more the route to go here. The failover is much faster than even rapid spanning tree.

How would Link Aggregation be used to prevent a primary-secondary interconnection fault described by the OP?
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