About Q-LAN

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Q-SYS leverages the Q-LAN protocol suite for audio and video distribution as well as device discovery, synchronization, control and management. Q-LAN is a collection of open, IT-standard protocols and solutions designed to allow Q-SYS to integrate easily with modern IT networks. Equally adept on either standalone or converged IT networks, Q-LAN relies on the performance of modern network switches to ensure real-time delivery and synchronicity of media streams across all connected Q-SYS devices.

During system installation, it is sometimes necessary to optimize the performance of network switches for use with Q-SYS by configuring QoS and other management functions in order to support real-time media distribution. To improve the deployment experience when installing your next Q-SYS system, while also saving time and money, QSC has several new networking options for the Q-SYS Platform.

Select the option that best describes your installation needs


Plug-and-Play Setup

  • I’m installing a local AV network
  • I intend on using Q-SYS audio and video peripherals
  • I have limited experience with networking
  • I want a simplified installation experience

 

 

Option A


Larger Installations / Existing Enterprise Network

  • I’m installing into an existing infrastructure
  • I’m installing this on a large enterprise network
  • I intend on using Q-SYS audio and video peripherals
  • The IT team has preferred switch vendors


Option B


Manual Network Switch Configuration

  • I want to manually configure my network switch to operate with the Q-SYS Platform
  • I have experience with custom network configurations
  • I have successfully used this network switch on past Q-SYS deployments
  • I’m looking for a specific switch configuration example

Option C


Q-SYS NS Series
Network Switches


Q-SYS NS Series are a range of enterprise-grade network switches that have been pre-configured specifically to meet the performance requirements of the Q-SYS Platform.

  • Expedite Deployment - The NS Series network switches provide an out of box, plug-and-play networking solution for Q-SYS integrators looking to install local AV networks. 
  • AV Infrastructure for Today’s Modern AV Ecosystem and Beyond – QSC has paired rock-solid Dell EMC network switches with finely tuned switch configurations, created by QSC, meant to ensure your AV infrastructure will support the expansion and evolution of your Q-SYS system for years to come.
  • Flexible Network Scenarios – NS Series network switches support Q-LAN, AES67 and Dante audio streams, in addition to Q-LAN video streaming and distribution simultaneously within the same VLAN without the need for manual configuration of switches or end-point devices.

Q-SYS NS Series


Independent Network Switch Qualification


For deployments where the Q-SYS NS Series network switches are not suitable, QSC now offers independent network switch qualification services through the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry.

The lab features a newly defined Q-SYS network protocol test suite, offering a complete test and validation of your network switch within the entire Q-SYS ecosystem. This is recommended if you are deploying Q-SYS on a converged network and need to verify that your network switch meets the performance needs of Q-SYS.  Contact the UNH-IOL for more details.

 

UNH-IOL InterOperability Lab


Manual Network Switch Configuration


There are a number of managed Ethernet switches on the market today that provide the necessary performance for real-time media distribution on your Q-SYS network. Though QSC is unable to provide live configuration support for third-party switches, we have created a Q-LAN Networking Overview Tech note, that can be used to determine if your chosen switch meets the performance requirements.  It will also aid in configuring the required custom network settings.  This is only recommended for experienced integrators and/or IT administrators who are comfortable assessing network switch configuration capabilities.

Q-SYS Q-LAN General Switch Requirements

Q-SYS Q-LAN Networking Overview

Additional Supporting Documents

QSC also offers a number of switch configuration examples* intended to act as guidelines for setting up your Q-SYS network, a collection of Q-LAN supporting documents, as well as a list of switches with known incompatibility/poor performance issues.

*Please note: these switches have not been qualified by UNH-IOL and QSC will not be able to provide advanced support on these network switches.

Keep in mind ...

  • Quality of Service (QoS) and latency are vitally important when using Q-SYS to transport audio and video across the network. However, if there are edges of your network that are only being used to transport Q-SYS Control data (for example, if you have a particular switch on your network that is only providing control transport for Q-SYS touch screen controllers and/or networked third-party projectors), then QoS and latency become less of an issue at which point you may find you can use a switch that does not meet ALL Q-LAN requirements.  
  • IGMP snooping may not be required if there are no high-bandwidth multicast services running on the network.
  • If IGMP snooping is enabled, one and only one switch or device must be enabled as IGMP querier.
  • In some situations, it can be easier to manage your network if Q-LAN, Dante, AES67 and Q-SYS Video Streams are separated into different VLANs. The Q-SYS NS series of network switches does not require that these media types are separated, they can share the same VLAN. 
  • Q-LAN packets can be configured to carry ‘Audinate’ DSCP markings such that a single QoS queue can be created for PTPv1/v2 and another for audio packets.
  • PTPv2 can be disabled on the LAN B ports of Q-SYS Core processors if those ports are required to be placed on corporate infrastructures for softphone interfaces, etc. where PTPv2 is not required.