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    U.N. Internet summit draws rights groups' fire | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 30 comments | Search Discussion
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    incompatible with campus network ? route around it
    by Anonymous on Friday July 29 2005, @06:24PM (#15751)
    Title: Microsoft Xbox: System Link function incompatible with campus network

        SYNOPSIS:
        Microsoft Xbox: System Link function incompatible with campus network

        SOLUTION:
        The Microsoft Xbox gaming console has a built-in Ethernet adapter that allows multiple consoles to be connected together for System Link capable multiplayer games. The System Link function uses a specialized protocol for the discovery of other Xbox consoles, and it is intended only for direct communication between two or more Xboxes that are physically attached to one another using Ethernet.

        Xbox System Link is not allowed on the campus network for the following reasons:

            * All devices attached to the campus data network must be registered in the Host Database.
            * In some cases, System Link does not use a single hardware address, but instead appears to change its hardware address often, generating random (?) hardware addresses beginning with 0:50:f2: OIT requires that each physical interface attached to Ethernet or Wireless networks use a single globally-unique IEEE 802 hardware address.
            * System Link transmits traffic using IP source address 0.0.0.1 and/or 255.255.255.255. Neither is appropriate. (If the device were registered in the Host Database properly, OIT would assign an IP address. The device would then need to be configured to use the assigned IP address.)
            * At times, System Link broadcasts at an elevated rate (e.g. 1-2 packets per second for several minutes at a time, or even 80+ packets per second for several seconds at a time). Either level of broadcasting (continuous low-rate broadcasts, or short broadcast spikes) is not appropriate on the the campus network; it impacts performance for everyone else on the subnet.

        If the System Link function is used on the campus network, OIT may take action to block service to the port where the Xbox is connected.

        Xboxes can be connected directly to one another, using either a "System Link" cable (Ethernet crossover), or an Ethernet hub that is not attached to the campus network.

        Certain third-party services such as GameSpy Tunnel have made it possible to use System Link to connect multiple Xboxes over the Internet. It is possible to use such tunneling software on campus; however, care must be taken to isolate the Xbox(es) from OIT wiring. For example, a NAT or dual network cards can be used, provided that System Link traffic is not bridged to OIT wiring. OIT does not provide support for making this work.

        Microsoft's Xbox Live service allows compatible Xbox games to be played online. This mode of operation is distinct from System Link, and it is permissible on the campus network. For details, see Solution 9333.
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