Two P engineered and deployed a network design that provided reliable WiFi, phone service, and related connectivity in the remote wilderness of western Nevada.
Burning Man is an annual temporary festival held on Bureau of Land Management federal land. The event is well known both internationally and domestically, with over 70k participants.
The BLM acts as the lead incident command agency, with close collaboration with The Burning Man Project organization. Two P partnered with High Desert Internet Services for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 event seasons.
The BLM operates a mission critical 24/7 compound that encompasses all public and private life safety organizations under one unified command. This physically manifests as approximately a dozen “construction trailer” buildings which need reliable WiFi, phone service, and related connectivity.
Because support resources for power, trenching, and HVAC technicians are often stretched thin during the event, rapid deployment and tear-down is key for the underlying infrastructure.
Two P engineered and deployed a network design which was cost effective, facilitated rapid installation, and highly available routing. All equipment is staged, configured, and inventoried prior to being transported to the event. Equipment is inventoried, cleaned, reset and restocked post event.
A fiber based ring topology is used, where each building receives at minimum: an indoor 802.11AC WiFi access point(s), SIP phone(s), and battery UPS backup. Larger common areas receive outdoor WiFi and LTE Femtocell nodes. A central location houses two routers, two core switches, two Proxmox VM servers, and other redundant hardware. Equipment is split between two physical racks and unique power circuits. An NVR captures camera footage from an on-site Pershing County jail facility.
Ancillary users of this network have also included Burning Man’s Emergency Services Department “ESD” satellite office, along with Bearcom, a 2 way radio vendor. All of these network users are critical for the safety and day-to-day operations of the event.
Close collaboration happens months before the event cycle, where RF channels, BGP routing, and related coordination occurs. The event utilizes a mixture of licensed and unlicensed microwave radios.
Security is critical to protect sensitive information as well as the need for high availability. Since this connection is critical, redundancy, load-balancing and failover is built into the deployment.
Rigorous testing and quality control must be executed before deployment. There are no hardware or electronics stores on the plays, so it is essential that enough gear is brought with spares to address all contingencies.
Juniper SRX, Proxmox hypervisor, Aruba controlled WiFi, Asterisk PBX w/ Polycom SIP phones, Verizon Femtocell, Ubiquiti/Axis cameras, etc.
United States Bureau of Land Management
Burning Man Organization
High Desert Internet Services