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New Member

Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

I will just cut to the chase, I have no idea what I am doing. Out Network Admin walked off the job without training any personel on his procedures for our business. We are a small Casino and we use the Catalyst 2960 switches to link our slot machines and casino management units to our server. I have no idea what I need to do to configure these switches for our purposes.

Anyone who has experience with Casino gaming switch usage or who could walk me through the setup would be a huge help. I have approximately 4 days to figure this out and so far, I have only been able to reset the passwords on the switch to allow us to even access it.

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Super Bronze

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Disclaimer

The Author of this posting offers the information contained within this posting without consideration and with the reader's understanding that there's no implied or expressed suitability or fitness for any purpose. Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as rendering professional advice of any kind. Usage of this posting's information is solely at reader's own risk.

Liability Disclaimer

In no event shall Author be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profit) arising out of the use or inability to use the posting's information even if Author has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

Posting

Considering the time factor and all the unknowns, I would suggest you obtain a contractor to come to your casino.

10 REPLIES
Super Bronze

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Disclaimer

The Author of this posting offers the information contained within this posting without consideration and with the reader's understanding that there's no implied or expressed suitability or fitness for any purpose. Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as rendering professional advice of any kind. Usage of this posting's information is solely at reader's own risk.

Liability Disclaimer

In no event shall Author be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profit) arising out of the use or inability to use the posting's information even if Author has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

Posting

Considering the time factor and all the unknowns, I would suggest you obtain a contractor to come to your casino.

New Member

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Can u send us a topology? Or at least tell us the types of equipment you hatve connected. The only useful stuffs I see could be VLANs for security and maybe a QoS depending on what you have connected.

New Member

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Our place of business is very regulated by our state and getting a contractor on such a short notice would be impossible. I am in a serious bind and neither myself nor my co-workers are prepared or educated to handle this task.

With my lack of knowledge I don't imagine a detailed topology would be in the picture.

Equipment-wise:

Slot machines (7 of them), unsure as to the brands and models, I think they will be IGT brand machines.

Levitron CAT 49253 patch panels

Cisco Catalyst 2960 switches.

From the floor where the slot machines are to our data center i think the topology is as follows:

Slot Machines -> Catalyst 2960 (under the machines) -> Patch Panel (used for gaming data only) -> Patch panel (distribution point) -> Catalyst 2960 (in the server racks connected to the distribution point patch panel) -> Server.

Thats the best I can do. We didn't build the data center ourselves and it was quite the mess after our Admin walked off the job.

Super Bronze

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Disclaimer

The  Author of this posting offers the information contained within this  posting without consideration and with the reader's understanding that  there's no implied or expressed suitability or fitness for any purpose.  Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not  be construed as rendering professional advice of any kind. Usage of this  posting's information is solely at reader's own risk.

Liability Disclaimer

In  no event shall Author be liable for any damages whatsoever (including,  without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profit) arising out  of the use or inability to use the posting's information even if Author  has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

Posting

Our place of business is very regulated by our state and getting a contractor on such a short notice would be impossible. I am in a serious bind and neither myself nor my co-workers are prepared or educated to handle this task. 

With my lack of knowledge I don't imagine a detailed topology would be in the picture.

Well then you're are indeed in a real bind.

Unfortunately, you're lack of knowledge will make it difficult to 2nd hand troubleshoot.

At the most basic level, just connecting everything to the switches, if they are in default configurations, might allow your systems to communicate.  But also unfortunately, there are so many things that can get in the way, such as your gaming machines perhaps requiring hard coded interface settings, to additional security configurations such as ports being restricted to specific MACs.

If you can't easily get a contractor on-site, what about getting a contractor on the phone?  Your situation is such you'll likely really want to talk to someone as you examine equipment.

New Member

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

If I not misunderstanding, you have the machines, the common PCs and the server, alright?

Is there anything switch working fine right now? If you do a "sh run" command, you can see all the config from it, and have an idea of what is best and if it is possible paste here, excluding IPs, users and passwords.

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

I have only been able to reset the passwords on the switch to allow us to even access it.

This, in my opinion, is a really bad decision.

Your business is very risky.  You do not want your switches to only have static username/password.  You would want to configure your network equipment with RADIUS/TACACS.  If this had been done, it would've been as easy as disabling the person's account. 

Slot Machines -> Catalyst 2960 (under the machines) -> Patch Panel (used for gaming data only) -> Patch panel (distribution point) -> Catalyst 2960 (in the server racks connected to the distribution point patch panel) -> Server.

What stops anyone from plugging their own laptop and plugging themselves into your network?  Or better yet, man-in-the-middle?

Your old network admin walked off the job is both a bane and a boon for your organization.  Revamp your network and how it operates.  I'm not talking about buying a truck-full of new equipment.  I mean let the existing equipment work for you.  What network security do you have in place?  802.1x, perhaps?

New Member

Re: Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

I would definitely agree that it has been a bane on our business with out admin walking off the job, the boon has yet to see the light. The firestorm that was created by this has left myself and our other two technicians (all three of us are relatively fresh out of school with Associates degrees and no certifications yet). We have been thrust into this role as temporary network admins until we get a new one. We have learned a great deal walking through the fire, but some of these things are lost on us as it is.

As such speaking with the director of our Slot department, I was informed that with our new casino management system only requires the default configuration of the switch.

As for the points brought up by Leo Laohoo, I agree. But, without the training to establish this kind of security, we have to accept the vulverabilities as they are. On a physical level, only a very small quantity of people have access to our data center and the floor switches for our slot machines. Even our general manager cannot enter our data center without our consent. The only exception to these restrictions are our gaming law enforcement agents whom are on site 24/7 and monitor our own usage of the data center at their leisure. Our network security is 802.1x as well. There is definitely work to be done here but, we are expected to bring results, not failures. And, as such, not figuring out this switch is a failure. Harsh as it sounds it works as a driving force for me.

Like most businesses we have to make our equipment last, so getting a truck-load of new equipment is most definitely not going to happen. Making our equipment work for us is our only real option, that, or crawl into a fetal position and cry ourselves through our shifts.

Beyond that, i feel my best course of action would be to work with out slot department technicians. Tear up some floor and tone the CAT-5 that is running under the floor to find where it is connected in our data center (we don't have an up to date patch panel layout, our former admin saw to it that he was the only one with such knowledge), and then test the switch on the floor. I figure getting with my slot department techs and hooking up to an active switch might help if I can bring up the configuration. it would give me a good idea as to what I am working with.

New Member

Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Why on earth would you want to tear up the floor to trace some cabling as your first step?

How about this -- have one guy stand in front of the switch looking at the lights, and have the other guy unplug the slot machine network cable. Whichever port's link light shuts off tells you where the cable is going. Start writing things down on paper until you have everything mapped.

You still haven't been clear on what you're trying to accomplish. Are these new slot machines or new switches or all of the above? Are the machines connected now and working, or connected now but not working, or not connected at all?

New Member

Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

Neither the slot machines nor the switches are new. Not tearing up the floor, our carpeting is set in 1met. x 1met. sections and the "floorboards" are removed by unscrewing them from the lattice they are built on.

I am trying to accomplish a setup of a bank of machines on the floor of our gaming facility. 7 machines, linked through Konomi KCMS modules in the machines, that transmit into a Catalyst 2960 switch, which then send the information to our servers in the data centers back of house.

I wish I could explain it better. I have just been generally at a loss these past two weeks.

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Casino gaming switch configuration? I am desperate.

I would definitely agree that it has been a bane on our business with out admin walking off the job, the boon has yet to see the light. The firestorm that was created by this has left myself and our other two technicians (all three of us are relatively fresh out of school with Associates degrees and no certifications yet). We have been thrust into this role as temporary network admins until we get a new one. We have learned a great deal walking through the fire, but some of these things are lost on us as it is.

In my humble opinon, the gambling industry is one of the MOST sensitive industry.  To have a LAN operating with extremely basic security is not to be taken lightly.  For reasons only known to the old network admin, you don't have a robust and secure access to your switch other than a generic username and an equally generic password.  It doesn't take a lot of money to get TACACS/RADIUS in it, heck there's even a Linux product called FreeRADIUS.  Guess how much THAT cost?  It's a boon because now, you've got the opportunity to show management the effect after your network admin "stormed" out.  You now have ample ammunition to go to managment and say, "Give us a little bit of resources and so we can prevent this from happening again."  Aside from a TACACS/RADIUS box, you guys/gals need training and experience.  Don't bother about "certification", they are a dime-a-dozen.  How many people have I encountered to have CCNA/CCNP/CCIE and doesn't even know what is the difference between a router and a cash register machine?

Our network security is 802.1x as well.

I find this hard to believe if your switch has "default" configuration and each switchport is 802.1x enabled.

Networking is not as simple as opening a box, plugging the appliance in and walk away.  You need to know what you need, you need to know where you are going and you need to know what is required.  (Notice I did NOT mention "you need to know HOW to do it", we can offer assistance here at the Forum.)  Most important of all, you need time.  Without time, it's basically impossible. 

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