It is critical to define the network connectivity requirements for the AV systems and components and work with your wider ICT teams. ICT policy may require that AV network traffic be routed, and treated differently to other network traffic:
- Dedicated VLAN for AV network traffic – AV devices must be connected to specific switch ports for AV VLAN as specified by the organisation’s ICT policy. Subnet is reserved for AV devices only.
- Converged LAN for all network traffic – AV devices must be connected to specific switch ports as specified by the organisation’s ICT policy. Subnet is inclusive of multiple departments and device categories
- Strictly no AV network traffic – AV devices must be connected to a dedicated network switch air-gapped from the ICT architecture
It is a requirement to determine the quantity of network-connected devices and required IP addresses for the AV systems. Coordinate with the ICT manager so an IP address range can be allocated for AV devices
Identify which devices require a static IP address and use an IPAM (Internet Protocol Address Management) tool to manage these assignments. At a minimum record this information in a spreadsheet or database of network connected devices
Consider using hostnames as a means of communicating with devices from your control system and determine whether it is a suitable approach to be used at your organisation. Consider the additional services required such as DNS (Domain Name System) as compared to static assignment of addresses and determine if it can improve deployment and support capabilities whilst maintaining a robust control system
Devices requiring a specific network configuration should have very clear instructions, protocols and port details, typically presented in a ‘white paper’. This document should be reviewed by the AV designer and provided to your network teams for review to ensure that device requirements and operation are fully understood.
Identify the network ports used by the AV system. Coordinate with the network teams whenever a device requires a specific firewall or security policy to operate. Present these requirements early on in testing of a new device to ensure that it meets the requirements of your organisation.
Identify which devices require an internet connection to function correctly, assess whether it is definitely required and coordinate this requirement with your network teams