How we tested HughesNet's service

We used two Dell 1950s (8 core Intel Xeon server running XenServer), one as a host for a Vyatta router and the other clustered to the HP DL580 G5 (16 core Intel Xeon server), along with another non-clustered HP DL585 G5 (16 core AMD server as SharePoint VM host), all running VMware ESXi 4.1.

Two networks were developed for the test, one for each scenario. Two switches (D-Link) were used, one connected to the satellite (network 2) and one connected to the NFrame network (network 1). A site-to-site VPN was setup between our Vyatta software router (Vyatta Core 6) to Hughes NOC in Georgetown, MD., which in turn connected to the satellite dish to our second network. Multiple Windows 7 client virtual machines were used to connect to a Windows 2008 Small Business server at NFrame through a Hughes 7700S router (and modem link) using the satellite circuit as a data link.

At HughesNet's suggestion, a second Windows 2008 Server was used as a secondary domain controller on the satellite network for faster logins. For testing downloads and uploads, we used Ubuntu 10.04 server on the satellite network to connect to our lab using Comcast broadband and also our extremelabs.com site (located in a different cabinet at nFrame) using scp and http. For general Web browsing, connecting to the local domain, e-mail and SharePoint services, we used the Windows 7 client VMs mentioned above.

For the failover scenario, we used a secondary Vyatta router which used VRRP to switch over to the satellite's router which would then route all the traffic through the satellite to nFrame. We tested connectivity similarly.

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Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

This story, "How we tested HughesNet's service" was originally published by Network World.

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