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2.03 Advanced Network Configuration

Setting up the MDA in a organisational network

Setting up the MDA in an organisational network might involve some settings to be done by a network administrator. The MDA web-interface makes use of external communications to an external website, to a ftp server and to an sql database server. The external website is the Thinkable website, hosting the manual and help pages for the MDA. In order to register the MDA, your user data is send and saved to a database server. In order to make use of the image request system MyImages, which is part of the MDA web-interface, also access is required to the database server, which keeps track of image requests, status of the requests and provides messages to the requester in case of an image becoming available from a designer based upon a request. The actual file transfer between the designer and requester is handled by a ftp-server, with the designer uploading the completed image to the ftp-server, and the requester having the image automatically downloaded from the ftp-server when the MyImages page is opened. For those external connections, which will use the organisational networks communication channels, the following provisions need to be made:

  • in order to access an external webpage, the organisation’s firewall should grand access to internet communications, i.e. port 80 should be opened on the firewall and users should have access to use this port for external communications (which is more or less a default in all organisations).
  • in order to have ftp access, ports 20 and 21 should be opened on the firewall, and the MDA web interface should have access to use these ports.
  • in order to have database access (i.e. access to an external mysql database server), port 3306 should be opened on the firewall, and again the MDA web interface should have access to use this port.

In addition, just as a precaution: the MDA’s wired RJ45 network connection has a maximum speed of  100 Mbits. Although almost modern switches to which the MDA will be connected will automatically determine the speed of the device connected to it, some switches are set to a fixed speed of 1 Gbits. Please make sure that the switch port speed to which the MDA will be connected is set to auto-configure, or is manually set to 100 Mbits, otherwise the wired network connection between the MDA and the switch will fail.

For the WIFI network connection, the MDA has been configured for both a WPA pass-phrase connection (only a single pass-phrase is needed for a connection, like for standard home WIFI networks), or for the so-called WPA Enterprise WIFI connection, based on a Radius access control server, for which both a username and password are required to make a connection. When selecting a WIFI connection from the MDA, the MDA will automatically determine which kind of WIFI network it is connecting to, and will automatically come with the request to enter either the single WPA pass-phrase for the single WPA pass-phrase connection, or the username and password for the WPA Enterprise connection,