More Control over network settings

  • 29 November 2009
  • 59 replies
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I would like to see the option add to the desktop controller software to be able to modify the network settings of the ZonePlayers.

For example - specify which ZPs use wired connections, which uses wireless and which uses both.

And maybe even the option to specify a static IP address and default gateway.

thanks
Steve

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59 replies

Sigh.
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Wow, 7 years and still nothing. It is now one of the top search results for "how do i keep an auto-ip device from ruining my network" yet here we are still ruining things. Good job sonos. Hey thanks for ruining the whole interface for integration by "partnering" with automation companies too. Meanwhile HEOS has become what you were before the integration. So long!
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Again, I'm not talking about devices that are "roaming devices" as in not on all the time or not in the network all the time.
And I'm not talking about typical home networks.

I'm talking about home infrastructure. If a clients xbox that they bought and configured themselves wont get on the network that is their problem and they know it. If, however a home automation, lighting, security, music, access control system won't function right because the network got taken down by a rogue client device, it's a problem.

Yes, these systems are self sufficient, except sonos, without the network so they will survive much like your car without keyless entry working... but whether you paid for a bentley or a kia, If your keyless entry system doesn't work, you're calling the dealer.

And I can guarantee anyone who has ANY of these systems has them static for no other reason than to keep them out of the DHCP kiddie pool.

and for the quote below especially, it's called web config, telnet, and rlogin. That proves you have no idea what real network management is. Again, roaming devices are what DHCP pools were invented for, so that they can be rotated in and out of the network efficiently. Things that are there to stay until removed by the network admin who is also the equipment installer, those are static devices. And yes, it works for any good printer or NAS drive which are both what I would consider important, always on devices. The rest are client devices and part of the DHCP rotation.



"You CAN fix static IP from a central point if you know what you are doing.

Err, how? By definition, static configuration requires manually configuring the IP address on the device itself. The only way to avoid actually having the device in your hands is to pre-cable the device with a serial console, and that only works with PCs and servers.

It doesn't work for printers, home NAS devices, Playstations, Xboxes, Wii's, or any of the many portable handheld devices like PSPs, tablets, or mobile phones that are in a typical home network."
Keith - can you send me a link to this miraculous UPS that never runs out of battery? Of course it's on UPS but what happens if the outage is more than 20 minutes, an hour, whatever it lasts for?

No, but if my power fails for more than an hour, having to reboot my Sonos systems (along with every other device, because auto-IP is pretty standard on almost all kit these days) or wait for them to spot that DHCP is available and to start acquiring one, is a minor issue to me.

It has happened to me once in the last 20 years.

I realize Auto-IP is a fallback, that's what I want to avoid. A static IP address negates auto-ip alltogether.


... and introduces many other problems, which is why is is almost universally avoided on home/enterprise LANs.

You CAN fix static IP from a central point if you know what you are doing.


Err, how? By definition, static configuration requires manually configuring the IP address on the device itself. The only way to avoid actually having the device in your hands is to pre-cable the device with a serial console, and that only works with PCs and servers.

It doesn't work for printers, home NAS devices, Playstations, Xboxes, Wii's, or any of the many portable handheld devices like PSPs, tablets, or mobile phones that are in a typical home network.

If your router is set up right you never have to change anything with a static IP, if the router becomes wrong setup and you can still access it, you can change it to the right settings and all those static IP's will come online.


Of course, by definition the router will have a static IP (it's one the few cases where static IP is essential in a home network).

The problem comes if you want or need to renumber or rearrange your network. Believe me I have done this more times than I have needed to reboot my network. DHCP makes this easy. Static IPs make this very, very hard, which is another reason why clued-up people don't use them.

[quote]If you need to change it for some reason, you change all the static IP's first then migrate the router to the new setup mask and you're done.[quote]

Which requires a field visit to manually configure the IP addresses... a huge hassle (especially if the device is in an inaccessible location) and prone to errors.

You cannot, however fix DHCP from afar because they will not take the changes until you reboot them individually so THAT requires a site visit.



And this shows why you are running your network in such a half-assed fashion. Not only don't you understand how auto-IP works, but you also fundamentally don't understand DHCP either.

I honestly don't see any point making circular arguments with someone who has a fundamental lack of expertise and experience in the subject.

I don't care, just make it an OPTION. key word OPTION!!!


It would be dumb to make such a significant and potentially support-intensive change on the irrational whim of someone with little understanding of the subject.

Keith
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As Ratty said, AutoIP is only assigned by the unit itself, to itself. Most network devices incorporates this.

If they don't request a DHCP assigned IP when a DHCP becomes available later on, I would say that it's a faulty DHCP client implementation which doesn't check for devices in a timely manner. If Sonos suffer from that, I'm not sure. I do no that my QNAP NAS is horrible at this, if I unplug the network cable, it will never get back up without a reboot.

I don't know about others, I've had a few outages at my home, don't have an UPS, and I have never needed to reboot anything in a "correct" order to get it to work.

I however do have had trouble if trying to reserve IPs in my windows 2008 R2 dhcp server at work (some players refused to recieve an IP after a while), but not with my simple Linksys router at home. I never made much effort to make it work though, since I couldn't point out the exact cause (the DHCP was firewalled and and the firewall relayed DHCP requests for multiple subnets which I assumed intervened with the leases).

If the network stuff you install is so proned to fail, maybe you should try and find the root cause of it instead of trying to rely on statically configured IPs. I can't help think that is like fixing a remote control with a sledgehammer (or whatever the saying is).

You cannot, however fix DHCP from afar because they will not take the changes until you reboot them individually so THAT requires a site visit.


This is also wrong, if this is the case, something is wrong with the clients. also, the DHCP server controls lease time, so you should keep it short if you are planning on doing such changes. Or lower it, in advance. Like you do with DNS-records.
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Keith - can you send me a link to this miraculous UPS that never runs out of battery? Of course it's on UPS but what happens if the outage is more than 20 minutes, an hour, whatever it lasts for?

I realize Auto-IP is a fallback, that's what I want to avoid. A static IP address negates auto-ip alltogether.

You CAN fix static IP from a central point if you know what you are doing. If your router is set up right you never have to change anything with a static IP, if the router becomes wrong setup and you can still access it, you can change it to the right settings and all those static IP's will come online. If you need to change it for some reason, you change all the static IP's first then migrate the router to the new setup mask and you're done. You cannot, however fix DHCP from afar because they will not take the changes until you reboot them individually so THAT requires a site visit.

Of course it's too much for the average user, that's why everything defaults to DHCP, so a monkey can ram cables into slots until things work. For the rest of us who prefer systems to never falter even under heavy abuse and misuse customers can inflict, lets make an advanced setting... put 3 levels of are you sure, are you sure you're sure, seriously you really want to do this... I don't care, just make it an OPTION. key word OPTION!!!
your network will come up completely unuseable because sonos will have started giving out autoIP addresses to every device it sees before that DHCP server comes online.
This is the first I've ever heard of Sonos starting a bootleg DHCP server. It's not the way AutoIP works:
In the automatic address configuration process, network hosts select a random candidate address within the reserved range and use Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) probes to ascertain that the address is not in use on the network. If a reply is received to the ARP, it indicates the candidate IP address is already in use; a new random candidate IP address is then created and the process repeated. The process ends when there is no reply to the ARP, indicating the candidate IP address is available.

If non-Sonos devices revert to AutoIP it's nothing to do with Sonos.

Why would you ever set your backbone to automatic? laziness? craziness? a bit of both? How else would they know which AP is down? or even IF an AP is down? How can you do ping tests to watchdog the system if you don't know where to ping? How can you remote-manage anything? I'm sure you'll come back with address reservation, well if you'll do that, why not just make it static?


No-one uses auto-IP in professional networks. That would be silly. Auto-IP is designed as a fall-back mechnism for SME and consumer networks to be used in conjunction with consumer "plug'n'play" protocols like Bonjour and UPnP. These protocols aren't designed for, or commonly used, in office networks.

Everyone in (well run) enterprise networks uses DHCP. For devices which require fixed IP addresses, DHCP has an excellent solution for that, which is a hell of a lot easier to manage and (ultimately) more flexible and reliable than static addresses: most DHCP servers will make it difficult to completely misconfigure them, and it is very easy to fix any issues from a central point, whereas if you get static configuration wrong it's extremely difficult to diagnose and requires a site-visit to resolve.

The reduced effort, easier configuration, easier diagnosis and fix, and reduced need for site visits is why people who know what they are doing use DHCP wherever practical. On top of that DHCP also gives a lot of additional control, management information about usage, and the ability to easily reconfigure when your network changes.

Things like UPnP, DHCP and Auto-IP were developed for a reason: a customer demand for easier to set up and maintain networks for home users. When you claim they achieve the opposite you stand pretty much alone in that opinion against the weight of the whole industry and in the face of more than a decade of evidence.

Cheers,

Keith
Keith, go home tonight to your extensive network setup, turn it all off, boot your sonos equipment first, then 5-10 minutes later boot the rest of it. (I can turn off my sequencers and boot it all at once but in the name of science, do it this way) I can almost guarantee your network will come up completely unuseable because sonos will have started giving out autoIP addresses to every device it sees before that DHCP server comes online.

Actually it doesn't. It comes up just fine, because my DHCP server (and my other important servers) are on UPS.

Even when I was using a cheap home gateway router, that always was up and running before the Sonos gear requested an IP. Obviously it depends on the router.

When I switched to a more sophisticated setup based on Smoothwall, I recognised the potential problems and put a cheap UPS on it.

Realistically, it would be unmanageable for me to assign statically configured IP addresses to all my devices. It would just take too much of my time to do properly and to debug the inevitable problems.

And realistically it's totally out of the comfort zone of the "average homeowner" to do this even with a couple of devices. Heck, back in the day some of my customers were telecoms managers for large Banks and Financial institutions, and even they struggled to get this stuff right.

If you think the average homeowner can come close to being competent enough to configure static IP addresses, you're living on a different planet from the rest of us.

Yes it's true that some people do have problems, but if the number of support requests we see on these forums are in an way indicative of the scale of the issue, it is extremely small, given the large customer base that Sonos has.

If you are unlucky enough to have a router that boots slowly, a cheap UPS can solve all your problems.

Cheers,

Keith
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1995 called. They want their network administration manual back.

In this decade, no network admin in his right mind uses static IP. None.


Of course they do... anything they have direct control over and access to in the server room is all static, there is no reason not too. Sure all the computers in the office would be DHCP because the first thing they are going to say when they answer the phone is IT dept, have you tried turning it off and back on again...

Why would you ever set your backbone to automatic? laziness? craziness? a bit of both? How else would they know which AP is down? or even IF an AP is down? How can you do ping tests to watchdog the system if you don't know where to ping? How can you remote-manage anything? I'm sure you'll come back with address reservation, well if you'll do that, why not just make it static?
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Keith, go home tonight to your extensive network setup, turn it all off, boot your sonos equipment first, then 5-10 minutes later boot the rest of it. (I can turn off my sequencers and boot it all at once but in the name of science, do it this way) I can almost guarantee your network will come up completely unuseable because sonos will have started giving out autoIP addresses to every device it sees before that DHCP server comes online. Now imagine you are average homeowner who had all this installed by someone else and when asked about a switch starts flicking the lights on and off... what do you do?
There is a reason IT guys always use static for anything they have control over... IT IS FAIL-SAFE!!!

1995 called. They want their network administration manual back.

In this decade, no network admin in his right mind uses static IP. None.
This illustrates my point, you don't like to use the firewall because you prefer the added level of control of a dedicated DHCP server, yet you can't wrap your head around the idea that someone would want an added level of control....

This is why they need to stop asking WHY and just do it.


It doesn't illustrate your point at all. In fact it's actually a good argument against your point.

You are arguing against DHCP. DHCP is a very powerful and flexible mechanism for device maangement as well as being very easy to use. I chose to use a separate server because I want a DHCP implementation that is better than the one my router gives me. That's a criticism of my router, not of DHCP.

The fact is, as you have so kindly pointed out, DHCP provides a solution ranging from the simplest to the most complex. With the right DHCP implementation there is simply no reason to mess around with the legacy way of manually configuring IP addresses.

I could give a hoot about the IP address, I realize i can reserve one, it is not the reason for static.

It may not be your reason for wanting static, but static IP addressing is there primarily for legacy reasons. It does still have specific uses and benefits, but these days it is largely deprecated in favour of DHCP and for good reasons. Increasingly new devices are entering the market with no capability for manual IP address configuration.

In IPv6 this is even more the case, as multiple auto-configuration/IP address discovery mechanisms are supported, and only a masochist would want to go around manually configuring devices with IPv6 addresses.

Static IP is so there is no confusion about who is the DHCP server.


That is not true. In a well administered network, there is never any such confusion.

When sonos goes auto-ip in a multi room environment, it starts a dhcp server of sorts to give addresses to all it's other players.


This is totally wrong. This isn't what happens at all. What actually happens is the devices randomly select an IP address for themselves from a reserved /16 network (with some simple mechanisms to detect duplicates and avoid them).

By going static, you remove the possibility of this happening.


That is true, but the cases where your DHCP server fails should be so rare as to make this mostly irrelevant.

If you are manually turning off or otherwise rebooting the router, it's simple: stop doing it.

If your router frequently crashes or reboots on its own, it's defective: get a new one.

If you get a lot of power outages in your area, put a UPS on the router (small ones are usually pretty cheap.

If all else fails, run a separate DHCP server from a small Linux or Windows box. Heck you could use a Raspberry Pi for that.

DHCP is an elegant, manageable solution if done correctly. Manually configuring static addresses in devices is ugly, awkward, and highly error prone. Fixing IP addresses is a hack and will, in the long term, take longer and cause more problems than fixing the DHCP server issues.

Yes it is best practice to have a dhcp pool on a network for roaming and new devices but it is never supposed to hold the backbone of always on devices.


What a load of rubbish. DHCP is heart of IP address assignment for pretty much all devices, at least in well managed LANs. In almost every LAN I have seen in the last 12-15 years since DHCP became standard on most routers, DHCP has been used on all except a tiny proportion of devices, including on devices which are "always-on".

This has been because the network administrator has either known what they were doing, or known not to try and second-guess and mess things which more clued up people have developed and deployed for good reason.

Sonos may like getting all the IT calls and all they have to tell them is "have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in?" but I don't. Our customers expect things to work without having to run around unplugging things and plugging them back in after a power outage, aka unplanned shutdown.


As someone who has worked in and with IT and ISP support roles for the last 15+ years, I can tell you that DHCP dramatically reduces support issues. In the cases I have seen the option for DHCP reduced the support issues to around 1/10th compared to networks using static addressing, and drastically reduced the time-to-fix (rebooting the whole network almost always cures problems in a DHCP network in a few minutes, whilst finding a duplicate IP in a manually configured network can be very hard and time consuming).

Cheers,

Keith
Isn't that what we are here to discuss, things that might not be in sonos' future plans but should be.... if it was in their plans I'd be sitting back waiting for the development teams, not spending my time searching for other cost effective systems to replace my sonos lineup with. It's a penny holding up a hundred dollar bill issue. Quick fix to not lose your CI market. As a custom integrator who warranties everything he sells, it's one thing to send off a defective product, it's another to deal with little problems that surface due to little quirks of a product. If it generates more service calls than the profit margin, which with sonos is tight, it's out. You're getting close and the only thing that's saving it is IP power management devices that detect network problems such as an auto-ip address and kill power to a bank of outlets assigned to sonos, but that is only cost effective on larger projects.

Isn't discussing something ad infinitum, expecting a result that isn't going to come the very definition of insanity?

By the way, good luck finding another cost effective product to replace Sonos. 😃
I could give a hoot about the IP address, I realize i can reserve one, it is not the reason for static. Static IP is so there is no confusion about who is the DHCP server. When sonos goes auto-ip in a multi room environment, it starts a dhcp server of sorts to give addresses to all it's other players. This pulls in other devices on the network. By going static, you remove the possibility of this happening. By reserving, the device still goes auto-ip and starts handing out addresses. Yes it is best practice to have a dhcp pool on a network for roaming and new devices but it is never supposed to hold the backbone of always on devices.

As I said, Sonos is not going to give you static IP addresses. People have been asking for them for 7+ years and they have not done it yet. Several reasons for this fact have been discussed ad infinitum. Your best bet is to read ratty's link (above) to Sonos FAQ on details of the way Sonos units handle DHCP after booting; it may help your situation.
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Sonos may like getting all the IT calls and all they have to tell them is "have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in?" but I don't. Our customers expect things to work without having to run around unplugging things and plugging them back in after a power outage, aka unplanned shutdown.
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Shutting off wireless is also not in Sonos' future plans:

Option to disable built-in WiFi


Isn't that what we are here to discuss, things that might not be in sonos' future plans but should be.... if it was in their plans I'd be sitting back waiting for the development teams, not spending my time searching for other cost effective systems to replace my sonos lineup with. It's a penny holding up a hundred dollar bill issue. Quick fix to not lose your CI market. As a custom integrator who warranties everything he sells, it's one thing to send off a defective product, it's another to deal with little problems that surface due to little quirks of a product. If it generates more service calls than the profit margin, which with sonos is tight, it's out. You're getting close and the only thing that's saving it is IP power management devices that detect network problems such as an auto-ip address and kill power to a bank of outlets assigned to sonos, but that is only cost effective on larger projects.
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They aren't going to "just do it." Which is why you should stop asking WHY and just accept it. Use your router to reserve IPs and be done with it.

I could give a hoot about the IP address, I realize i can reserve one, it is not the reason for static. Static IP is so there is no confusion about who is the DHCP server. When sonos goes auto-ip in a multi room environment, it starts a dhcp server of sorts to give addresses to all it's other players. This pulls in other devices on the network. By going static, you remove the possibility of this happening. By reserving, the device still goes auto-ip and starts handing out addresses. Yes it is best practice to have a dhcp pool on a network for roaming and new devices but it is never supposed to hold the backbone of always on devices.
Turning off the wireless mesh would be a nice touch as well. We have certain applications where we can't use them because of rules against any and all wireless communications. Not to mention a job I just finished gutting an old elan music system and installed 9 (yes 9) ZP90's in a rack with 2-12channel amps serving audio to a 4000+ sqft home. There is no need to be wireless hopping between each other and with static IP I would sleep better at night knowing that it CANT ever get messed up with all those hops in a tight area along with other sources of RF interference in close proximity (wifi AP, Cable boxes, Sat boxes, Zigbee Comms, etc)

Shutting off wireless is also not in Sonos' future plans:

Option to disable built-in WiFi
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Turning off the wireless mesh would be a nice touch as well. We have certain applications where we can't use them because of rules against any and all wireless communications. Not to mention a job I just finished gutting an old elan music system and installed 9 (yes 9) ZP90's in a rack with 2-12channel amps serving audio to a 4000+ sqft home. There is no need to be wireless hopping between each other and with static IP I would sleep better at night knowing that it CANT ever get messed up with all those hops in a tight area along with other sources of RF interference in close proximity (wifi AP, Cable boxes, Sat boxes, Zigbee Comms, etc)
This is why they need to stop asking WHY and just do it.

They aren't going to "just do it." Which is why you should stop asking WHY and just accept it. Use your router to reserve IPs and be done with it.
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JohnCAndrews,

Welcome to the forums.

There was in fact a related thread, so I've merged your post here. You might want to have a gander at the previous posts.

There's also a similar discussion in another forum.

A FAQ has details of the way Sonos units handle DHCP after booting.


This seems to have nothing to do with my topic. I was talking about internal addressing, he seems to be talking about a TWC modem which would give out one public address trying to act as a router to hand out multiple addresses to multiple pieces of equipment... I'm not talking about NAT, I'm talking about Static IP internal addressing.
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[truncated as he goes on and on about how he never DHCP's anything but the router and DHCP server]

Even in this case where I can (for instance, the servers) I will assign addresses via DHCP. In this case I'm using proxy DHCP through my firewall, but this is far from your typical setup. I could also have got the firewall to do the DHCP, but the server gives me more control and better integration with DNS.

Cheers,

Keith


This illustrates my point, you don't like to use the firewall because you prefer the added level of control of a dedicated DHCP server, yet you can't wrap your head around the idea that someone would want an added level of control....

This is why they need to stop asking WHY and just do it.
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For those giving the excuse that you don't want it or need it and it's too complex without an IT guy, let me ask this... What's the first thing an IT guy will tell you to do when something doesn't work? Shut down everything on the network, shut down the switches, shut down the router, shut down modem. Reboot in reverse order of shutdown and wait for each device to come online before booting the next.

The reason is because if network gear such as sonos boots out of order, it goes auto-ip and locks that as a valid address until the network cord is unplugged, even if you do that, it only fixes the one unit, all your wireless hops are also locked into the wrong scheme. More reboots. OK, you got the sonos system up, what about other hardware you have inadvertently added to your auto-ip scheme in trying to build your sonos device net?

There is a reason IT guys always use static for anything they have control over... IT IS FAIL-SAFE!!! you can't scramble it, if it boots out of order it takes it's address and waits for the ability to use it. If it can't communicate it keeps trying until it can, it doesn't ever give up and bury it's head in the sands of auto-ip.

I've requested this simple feature so many times it's not even funny. I'm actually very close to dropping the brand from 99% of my jobs and I'm the leading company in sales in our region. I love the product but I can't have customers calling every time there's a power outage. It's a simple fact that switches boot faster than routers and sonos will see the switch and think it has access to a dhcp server and can and has auto-ip'ed before the router and dhcp server come online.

It's a simple fix from Sonos' end. Stop asking why and just DO IT!

Make it a back door super advanced setting so the populous can't mess it up by accident. make it one of the hidden ht(t)p://[sonos ip]:1400/static-ip pages for all I care, put a disclaimer on the page, whatever, just make it so I can tell it exactly what to do.
JohnCAndrews,

Welcome to the forums.

There was in fact a related thread, so I've merged your post here. You might want to have a gander at the previous posts.

There's also a similar discussion in another forum.

A FAQ has details of the way Sonos units handle DHCP after booting.