Option to select Sonos node as Spanning Tree root bridge

  • 9 February 2010
  • 64 replies
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The guy of sonos support told me that wifi interferences are possible, even although everything is wired.
I see from another post that you tried inSSIDer, but that won't tell you anything about non-WiFi sources of interference. In your circumstances it might be worth getting something like the Wi-Spy 2.4i and seeing what that tells you.
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And your STP report confirms that the ZPs are indeed talking to one another via wired connection.

Perhaps I misunderstand you, but from what do you derive that conclusion?
Perhaps I misunderstand you, but from what do you derive that conclusion?
Turbotulpe reported his system as
My system: Router --> ZP90 --> ZP120 --> Switch with NAS and PC-Laptop.

And his latest STP status said:
ath0 (2) - tunnel to 00:0E:58:30:AE:F5 (remote STP state = forwarding)
port id 8002 state blocking


Since he has just the 2 Sonos nodes, this wireless tunnel must be between the two. The local port is 'blocking', so they have to be communicating via wire.

Does that sound sensible?
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Since he has just the 2 Sonos nodes, this wireless tunnel must be between the two. The local port is 'blocking', so they have to be communicating via wire.

Does that sound sensible?


It does, but I wonder why the remote port isn't also blocking. Or is it never the case with STP that both ends of a tunnel would be blocking?

I suppose not, because there may be nodes between the two ends of the tunnel. In this case, however, there are only the two ends themselves.
I suppose not, because there may be nodes between the two ends of the tunnel.
In the general case of switches serving segments shared by a number of stations, this would be true.

In this case, however, there are only the two ends themselves.
Yes, but from the format of the STP status report it looks rather like standard bridge stuff. See here for example.
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HAving read through this thread I am left with one question.

What is the basic function of a Zone Bridge?

Is it not to form a routing bridge between wireless sonos components and wired sonos components/ a network router?

If so would it not be logical to have an algorithm in place that tries to keep the ZB as root bridge, based on signal strength and quality of connection to the internet.

Regards
Peter
peterbr,

Mostly, the ZoneBridge is a ZP80 without the audio section.

The ZoneBridge is simply another node on the sonosnet mesh. As such it can be the only wired connection to the router, a simple wireless relay used to extend the wireless coverage area, or another wired point on the mesh.

Note that you can also plug a network component into any SONOS component and SONOS will share its connectivity -- even if the SONOS unit is wireless. For example, you could plug a printer into a ZoneBridge or ZonePlayer in order to attach the printer to the network.
would it not be logical to have an algorithm in place that tries to keep the ZB as root bridge, based on signal strength and quality of connection to the internet.
A couple of points:

1/ A node that happens to be the wired component might not be the best root for the tree.

2/ Dynamically re-assigning the root bridge could lead to another level of instability as RF conditions fluctuate, though some kind of long term averaging might be feasible.

As has been noted here and elsewhere, Sonos Support can in fact re-assign the root bridge in circumstances where the customer suffers from an unstable spanning tree.
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peterbr,

Mostly, the ZoneBridge is a ZP80 without the audio section.

The ZoneBridge is simply another node on the sonosnet mesh. As such it can be the only wired connection to the router, a simple wireless relay used to extend the wireless coverage area, or another wired point on the mesh.


Hello Buz,

I understand the configuration options/functions of a ZB.

I'm playing the devils advocate here.
If the ZB's function is to be a relay and/or bridge would it not be logical for it to try to be the root node in the mesh?

Last night I have reset all my units to factory default (5 of them ) and reconfigure the music services to accomplish this. My ZB was 3rd in the hierarchy. I had numerous long ( hrs ) drops of sound.
All the units have the same level of wireless signal strength (5).
Things seem to be stable now.

What does the red color indicate in the matrix view? What should I drill down to to figure out where the red status comes from?
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A couple of points:

1/ A node that happens to be the wired component might not be the best root for the tree.

2/ Dynamically re-assigning the root bridge could lead to another level of instability as RF conditions fluctuate, though some kind of long term averaging might be feasible.

I agree it should be a long term average type metric to use as trigger.
Is it possible to detect drops in connectivity in the mesh as part of the algorithm to decide to start the reassignment of a root node?

If the reassignment of a root node is considered to be a high risk to instability would it be an option to allow it to be changed ( under some form of expert menu with the usual disclaimers) once per 24 hrs with the option to revert back to the original situation?
If the ZB's function is to be a relay and/or bridge would it not be logical for it to try to be the root node in the mesh?
Not in all cases. If the router/ZB is to one side of the house, and a more physically central (unwired) node has good wireless signal strength to its surrounding neighbours, that might be the optimal root.

All the units have the same level of wireless signal strength (5).
You presumably mean the OFDM Weak signal level? As far as I know it's another measure of signal-to-noise, and 5 is good. It's not signal strength; those are the numbers in the cells of the matrix.

What does the red color indicate in the matrix view?
Bad news, I suspect. Orange is okay, but I've not seen red so can't calibrate it with signal strength. Depending on local interference one can get away with signal strengths in the low-mid 20's. If you've really got red cells, I suggest you dispatch a diagnostic to Sonos Support and talk to them.

If the reassignment of a root node is considered to be a high risk to instability would it be an option to allow it to be changed ( under some form of expert menu with the usual disclaimers) once per 24 hrs with the option to revert back to the original situation?
These points have rather been aired in this thread. The consensus view is that for the vast majority of customers the system sorts itself out, and to expose a facility to re-assign the root bridge would be to provoke an increased volume of support calls as a result of inexpertly botched spanning trees. Personally I'm not sure it's that dangerous, but I can understand why Sonos might want to keep it under the hood.
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Bad news, I suspect. Orange is okay, but I've not seen red so can't calibrate it with signal strength. Depending on local interference one can get away with signal strengths in the low-mid 20's. If you've really got red cells, I suggest you dispatch a diagnostic to Sonos Support and talk to them.
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It was the unit with the 'red' status that was the root node.
If there is a way to flag this node with a red status ( over a long period of time) and it is set as root node, would that not be a valid reason to change the assignment of a root node ( manually or automatically)?

Would it be possible to enhance the matrix info with info on why a node has a certain color ( I have seen Green, yellow, orange,red ) and suggestions on what to do to get a node to a better grade.
May be things like changing channel ( 1, 6 or 11) or reposition a node if possible ( thick concrete walls ), changing the router wireless channel setting.
This all could be explored before taking the step to change the root node allocation.
It was the unit with the 'red' status that was the root node.
If it's the box in the left hand column, I believe the colour reflects the value of the Noise Floor and/or OFDM Weak signal level. (For cells in the body of the matrix, the colour reflects the values of the signal strengths between the two nodes.)

If there is a way to flag this node with a red status ( over a long period of time) and it is set as root node, would that not be a valid reason to change the assignment of a root node ( manually or automatically)?
In a situation with a lousy noise floor, I suspect this would be too simplistic an analysis. The diagnostics - which, let's remind ourselves, are undocumented and not designed for user consumption - contain other info which would allow a Sonos Support tech to analyse the situation in more depth. It could be that spanning tree paths are quite sensible and that adjusting the position of the 'red' node is the answer.

Would it be possible to enhance the matrix info with info on why a node has a certain color ( I have seen Green, yellow, orange,red ) and suggestions on what to do to get a node to a better grade.
May be things like changing channel ( 1, 6 or 11) or reposition a node if possible ( thick concrete walls ), changing the router wireless channel setting.
This all could be explored before taking the step to change the root node allocation.

The standard information on ZonePlayer positioning can be found here, and the mantra of checking and amending Sonos and/or WiFi channel settings is repeated all over the forums. Most users probably wouldn't have a clue what a root bridge was, hence the policy that Sonos support get involved and provide advice in troublesome situations, based on what they can see in a diagnostic.

It sounds like you're really asking for the internal diagnostics to be documented. That's unlikely to happen I'm afraid, by definition. What you find discussed here in the forums is essentially the accumulated wisdom of a number of Sonos users from poking around in the diagnostics, although admittedly the Sonos support chaps do occasionally throw in some helpful guidance.

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