IT & Network

The physical setup of the IT and network structure is not a big deal, however it is always helpful to have a plan and possible further extension should already be considered. To get the required connectivity you might find some hurdles on the way, especially with firewalls and their configuration.

IT & Network Configuration
The IT & network configuration is straight forward. The network of the flight simulator room and the home office are separated as good as possible. A complete separation was not possible due to the  jointly used internet access and of a network storage device. The network storage device acts as interface for flight plans, which I usually prepare off-line on the home office PC. With the power-on the flight simulator room,  a script, installed on the Admin-PC, fetches the flight plans from the network storage device and deploys them to specified directories (fsplan and IVAO) of the FS Server.

IT & Network configuration of the flight simulator room with connection to the home office network and internet. All network components have a fixed TCP/IP address.

Click the item to expand the illustration

The bottleneck is the network path over the power line. However, it is within an acceptable range. The net data rate varies typically around 25 MB / sec. This is absolutely sufficient for data and voice communication during  on-line flying.

One of the challenge with the network is the policy for file and directory access rights. The easiest way is to grand full access right for everyone.  But you can't have the cake and eat it, too. Full access right for everyone inherent high security risks. So the best way is to grand access right for specific user.

Connectivity Test
Once the physical connectivity is set up and tested with simple ping commands on the WINDOWS command level interface, the next step is to check the connectivity on application level. This will show whether all necessary ports are open and access rights are granted as required by the applications. This test is more difficult and typically requires that the applications are running. The tests have to be performed on function level.

For a check of the Project Magenta requirements regarding access rights  'pmfilecheck.exe' is very helpful. The utility is provided on the PM website.

Information Security
Information security is a broad field and applies to computers and networks. Typically it involves the following aspects:

- Confidentiality
- Integrity
- Availability

What does it means to a flight simulator installation? No matter how big/extensive/complex the flight simulator installation might be, some basic security measures should be implemented.

I have implemented the following measures:

- No installation of Office programs and mail clients on any of the flight
  simulator PC's
- Check for hot fixes every week
- Installation of a distinguished IT security suite
- Regular backups on a dedicated backup server
- Use of the MS Internet Explorer only at the Admin PC

Tip: No automatic hotfix update, because this could cause to an emergency
       situation during a flight. Happened once to me, when one of the computers
       did an automatic reboot as last step of the update procedure.

WIDEFS, AES Remote, and Open Cockpits IOCP server need some open ports for their communication:

- WideFS use port 8002 as default primary port

- IOCP server port by default 8092
- AES Remote uses port 19540
- IvAp uses port 6809

Depending on the used firewall a requester will pop up and ask you to confirm the port usage. If not, use the expert mode of the firewall and set it manually.

Continued on next page >

Last Change: September 2011