Solstice is designed to leverage existing WiFi/Ethernet networks to support wireless collaboration in meeting rooms and learning spaces. Solstice can be configured flexibly to meet the requirements of your IT security policy and network topology. Deployment options range from deploying Solstice on a single, “flat” network to support for complex networks with multiple VLANs, subnets, and even secure dual-network deployment across segregated primary and guest networks. Solstice communicates via TCP/IP over three configurable ports and is managed as standard traffic, which can be optionally encrypted via RSA/SHA cipher with a 2048-bit private if required.
The network-attached Solstice hosts are available in two forms:
- The Solstice Pod is a turnkey hardware console with integrated Solstice collaboration software.
- Solstice Display Software for Windows is available as an alternative to the Solstice Pod when an in-room Windows PC exists that drives the main room display.
For the purposes of this Network Deployment Guide, the term “Solstice host” will be used to refer to the Solstice Pod and/or a Solstice Display Software instance.
Table of Contents
Before You Deploy
Host Network Performance Considerations
Although Solstice has been optimized for high performance across a broad range of network conditions, Solstice supports live video streaming over the host network. The host network should meet the minimum requirements shown below.
These statistics are to be measured between a Solstice host and end user device for two common use cases.
When Solstice is deployed on an existing network, the Solstice hosts and user devices require a wired or wireless network connection with a minimum bandwidth of 20 Mbps.
If your network does not meet these requirements you may want to revise routing tables, add or modify a VLAN, or add additional wireless access point coverage. There are many factors that affect network performance, so the numbers above should only be used as a baseline.
Solstice Security Considerations
Solstice has been deployed by some of the top financial institutions and government agencies in the world and is designed from the ground up to be inherently secure. For security-sensitive organizations and environments, we recommend you review our Baseline Security Standard before beginning your deployment.
How to Deploy
In order to allow collaborators to wirelessly connect and share content to the meeting room display, the Solstice host must be attached to the WiFi/Ethernet network in the room via the built-in standard network interface cards (NICs). The Solstice Pod’s wireless and Ethernet NICs are enabled and configured independently using separate routing tables which provides a range of network deployment options. Solstice Display Software instances inherit the network connectivity of the Windows PC on which the software is installed.
Beyond selecting a network mode, there are other setup, configuration, and customization steps that should be completed to ensure a successful deployment. For more information about the deployment steps and options, please refer to the following section in this guide.
Steps to Deploy Solstice
Windows Hosts Only:
- Load Software.Solstice Display Software for Windows will need to be downloaded and installed on Windows host PCs that meet the following requirements:
- Windows 7, 8, or 10 operating system
- Intel i5 processor (or better)
- DirectX 11 graphics (or better). Here’s how to check your DirectX version.
- Create firewall exceptions as needed to allow Solstice traffic. Refer to the Master Ports Diagram.
- Connect the Solstice host to power and the room display.
- Verify that Solstice Pods will be able operate within an ambient temperature range of 0° C (32° F) to 35° C (95° F) based on their physical location. Maintaining this range may require ventilation or active airflow. Solstice Pods should never be stacked on top of each other.
- Attach the Solstice host to the WiFi/Ethernet networks that participants will use to connect to the Solstice display. Use the host’s configuration panel or the Solstice Dashboard (requires Enterprise Edition hosts) to configure network settings.
Configure Solstice’s networking settings and customization options according to your IT policies, network topology, and use case requirements. Some important configuration options include:
- Naming your Solstice displays
- Opening the required network ports
- Enabling iOS mirroring via AirPlay if desired
- Enabling Miracast
- Enabling network encryption if desired
Set Up Discovery:
To allow users to see Solstice displays on the network available for connection, Solstice discovery must be enabled.
Validate the Deployment:
Once all other steps are complete, we suggest you test end-user capabilities in order to verify the deployment configuration is successful.
Network Deployment and Configuration
Your Solstice hosts should be attached to the WiFi/Ethernet networks that meeting participants will use to access your Solstice displays. Solstice can be deployed in a range of network modes based on the network capabilities of the Solstice hosts and configured to meet the requirements of your IT security policy and network topology.
Access and Configure Network Settings
Network settings can be accessed and configured under the Network tab of the local configuration panel or via the Solstice Dashboard (requires Solstice hosts to have Enterprise Edition licenses).
Solstice Pod: Network Options
- Ethernet Port –The Pod’s Ethernet port allows the unit to be plugged directly into an existing network jack in the room. It is best practice to connect the Pod to the primary network via Ethernet. You can rename the Network Name to match the network name your users will recognize.
- VLAN Tagging Capability – In addition to handling the usual untagged Ethernet traffic on the default VLAN for the connected switch port, Enterprise Edition Pods can also support up to three VLANs through 802.1Q VLAN Tagging.
- Wireless Network Card – The Pod’s wireless network card allows the unit to be attached to an existing network as a wireless client. This is valuable when there is no Ethernet jack in the room or when the Pod is deployed in dual-network mode to provide secure access/collaboration for users across primary and guest networks.
- Wireless Access Point (WAP) Capability – The Pod’s wireless network card can also be configured to act as a wireless access point, creating a wireless collaboration hotspot. When deployed in WAP mode, users can connect to the Pod’s SSID, which will be visible on the display. The hotspot network can be password protected or left open. For performance reasons, Mersive does not recommend use of WAP mode when more than 2-3 people need to connect and share content at a time.
802.1x Authenticated Networks
Gen 2i Pods (updated to Solstice 3.3 or later) and Gen3 Pods may attach to Ethernet or wireless networks that require a specific certificate. In the Solstice Dashboard, when Enable 802.1x is selected in the Ethernet settings, or when you connect a Pod to an 802.1x authenticated wireless network, new authentication settings will appear. Certificate upload options will change based on the EAP Method selected. For example, TLS requires both a CA certificate and User certificate, while PEAP just asks for the CA certificate. Supported certificate file types are .cer, .der, .crt, .pem, .pfx, and .p12.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 802.1x configurations can only be applied to the primary Ethernet and wireless networks, not any tagged VLAN networks. When configuring these settings, ensure there is network access between the Pod and the Windows machine running Dashboard. You must also ensure that the Pod has access to a timeserver so that it can validate the certificate.
Solstice Display Software: Network Options
Solstice Display Software instances inherit the network connectivity/access of the Windows PC on which the software is installed. This can provide access to single or multiple networks depending on the network capabilities and access of the Windows host PC.
Dual-Network Deployment Topology Example
The Solstice Pod’s dual-network mode is a popular deployment configuration that provides supports for secure collaboration among users on segregated primary and guest networks. In this mode, the Pod is attached via Ethernet to the primary network and wirelessly to the guest network. Since the two network cards use separate routing tables, no traffic passes between the two networks.
Name your Solstice Displays
In addition to configuring your network settings, you should also give your Solstice displays intuitive names via the hosts’ configuration panels or the Solstice Dashboard (requires Enterprise Edition hosts). Solstice displays are usually named based on their room or location. Additional customization options and other settings can be configured as well. For full details, refer to the Pod Admin Guide, Solstice Windows Software Guide, and Dashboard Admin Guide.
Open Network Ports – Master Solstice Ports
Solstice uses all TCP/IP standard network traffic to communicate across all the required and optional components of the Solstice system. Network ports/routes must be open for Solstice to work correctly. The full list of Solstice network ports used can be found in the diagram below.
- TCP ports 53100, 53101, and 53102: Used by default for basic communications between the Solstice host and both end user devices and the Solstice Dashboard. Three sequential ports are required, but the base port (53100 by default) may be changed on a per-host basis through the display’s configuration panel or the Dashboard.
- UDP port 55001: Used for display discovery if broadcast discovery mode is enabled.
- UDP port 123: Used to communicate with an NTP server.
- TCP ports 53200, 53201, and 53202: Used by the Solstice host and end user devices to communicate the Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) host if SDS discovery mode is enabled.
- UDP port 5353: Required for iOS mirroring via the Bonjour protocol. It is not required when using the Solstice Bonjour Proxy.
- TCP ports 6000-7000, 7100, 47000, and 47010: Should allow inbound AirPlay® traffic to the Solstice host.
- UDP ports 6000-7000 and 7011:Should allow inbound AirPlay® traffic to the Solstice host.
- TCP port 7100: Should allow inbound AirPlay® traffic
- TCP ports 80 and 443: Used if the Solstice host is allowed to connect to the internet for license activation and software upgrades.
- TCP ports 80 and 443: Used by the OpenControl API to interface with 3rd party systems.
- TCP port 7236: Miracast WiFi Direct control port used to establish and manage sessions between the source device and the Pod.
- TCP port 7250: Port on which the Pod listens for Miracast packets when Over Existing Network mode is enabled.
- UDP port 5353: If Miracast Over Existing Network mode is enabled, this port is used for multicast DNS (mDNS). mDNS is broadcasted to the local subnet of each network interface the Pod is connected to. If the computer that is attempting to make an infrastructure connection is on a different subnet, this broadcast will fail. If this happens, a workaround is to create a DNS entry to the Pod’s hostname.
Enabling iOS Mirroring on Your Network
The Solstice Pod supports mirroring for iOS devices with AirPlay® functionality (iOS 6 and higher). Mirroring is achieved through the device’s native AirPlay® feature. You can allow iOS users to mirror their devices to the Solstice Display with some network configuration.
There are two network setup options that will enable mirroring with AirPlay® on the network. For networks that allow UDP multicast traffic and Apple’s Bonjour protocol, mirroring should be accomplished using Setup 1 below. For networks that do not allow UDP multicast traffic and/or Apple’s Bonjour protocol, follow the steps for Setup 2 below.
Setup 1 //
Enable iOS mirroring with Bonjour®.
- The Bonjour® protocol is required. Bonjour® is a multi-cast protocol developed by Apple for device discovery. Bonjour® is packaged with the Solstice Pod, so no separate Bonjour® install is required. NOTE: Bonjour®, as a multicast technology, uses broadcast packets across the network. Bonjour® packets typically will not cross subnets or VLANs.
- Create network firewall/antivirus exceptions for Bonjour® traffic as needed.Network firewall and antivirus system exceptions must be created to allow Bonjour® traffic through to the Solstice Pod. NOTE: The multicast port Bonjour® uses is UDP 5353. There are several wireless technologies designed to minimize network impact of traffic from multicast technologies like Bonjour®, including Aruba Airgroup, Cisco Bonjour Gateway, etc. Refer to the specific manufacturers for more information.
Setup 2 //
Enable iOS mirroring when Bonjour® and/or multicast traffic is not allowed.
- Enable AirPlay® Proxy Discovery. The ‘Enable AirPlay Proxy Discovery’ feature should be enabled in the Solstice Configuration Panel or Solstice Dashboard for Enterprise Edition (on the Display tab or Appearance and Usage tab).
- Create network firewall/antivirus exceptions and open network ports to allow AirPlay® traffic. In order to enable iOS mirroring, AirPlay® traffic must be allowed on the network – by opening the network ports required for AirPlay® protocols – as well as through any network firewalls and/or antivirus systems – by creating exceptions. NOTE: Inbound AirPlay® traffic to the Solstice Pod should be allowed on TCP 6000-7000, 7100, 47000, and 47010, as well as UDP 6000-7000 and 7011. AirPlay® traffic inbound to the Solstice client devices on TCP 7001 should also be allowed. Not all deployments and configurations will require all of these ports/routes to be open. If you need assistance or have questions about setting up iOS mirroring, please contact Mersive Support.
Enabling Solstice Multi-Room
Solstice Multi-Room allows users in up to four locations on the enterprise network to connect and share content collaboratively. There are only a few requirements to enable Solstice Multi-Room on your network:
- Each participating room/location must be equipped with an Enterprise Edition Solstice host
- Hosts must have the same base ports configured and network routes must exist between them
- Solstice display discovery must be setup on the network (see next section)
For more information about the Solstice Multi-Room feature, please see the Multi-Room User Guide.
Step 1: Enable Miracast using the Solstice Dashboard. Find your Pod’s network configuration in the table below and apply the corresponding configuration in your Solstice Dashboard.
|Pod’s Network Configuration||Pod Configuration for Miracast via Solstice Dashboard|
|Ethernet Only (recommended)|
Wireless attached to existing network only
On the Appearance and Usage tab, enable Miracast – Stream video over Existing Network.
|Ethernet + Wirelessly Attached to Existing Network||On the Appearance and Usage tab, enable Miracast – Stream video over Existing Network.|
|Ethernet + Wireless Access Point||Miracast Not Supported. When the Pod is acting as an access point, Miracast discovery cannot operate. Contact Mersive to discuss other options like attaching your Pod to an existing network.|
|Wireless Access Point Only|
Step 2: Select Miracast Operating Mode. Mersive’s implementation of Miracast supports two different modes for how video is routed from the source device to the Solstice Pod. Once you have determined which mode(s) you would like to use, configure them on the Appearance and Usage tab of the Dashboard.
|Mode||Devices Supported||Performance Expectations|
|Over Existing Network and WiFi Direct (recommended)||Win8, Win10, Android||Allows Pod to dynamically select best video streaming mode. Most robust device connection and setup configuration.|
|Over Existing Network||Windows 10 only||Leverages existing network to support larger number of simultaneous Miracast users. All Miracast traffic is subjected to network security and monitoring.|
|WiFi Direct||Win8, Win10, Android||Good for use cases where one Miracast device will be used at a time.|
Important Note: Miracast discovery operates over a range of approximately 150-200 feet. Only Pods within this range will be displayed in the Miracast source list on the client device. Screen key support for Miracast connections is available via WiFi Direct only. Screen key mode cannot be enabled when Miracast operates over an existing network. If you require the use of screen key, please ensure that you have enabled the WiFi Direct mode only.
Set Up Display Discovery
Display discovery refers to the ability for a user with network access to ‘discover’ what Solstice displays are available for connection using the Solstice app on their user device. There are several options for enabling display discovery, and your choice will depend on how each Solstice host is deployed, how your network routes traffic, and which ports are available. Although discovery may require some initial configuration, it provides your users with an intuitive and simple method of connecting to displays as they move throughout the enterprise and enables the use of the Solstice Multi-Room feature, which will not work if display discovery is not configured.
Display Discovery Methods
Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) (recommended method)
Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) is a light-weight network application for display discovery, enabling client devices on the network to ‘see’ the Solstice displays available for connection even if broadcast UDP packets are not allowed on the network. SDS provides users the easiest method for display discovery and only requires a simple, one-time setup on the network side. If the SDS location (i.e. IP address) is set on your displays’ configuration settings, when users launch their client from a browser window, that client will also have the SDS location set. This means that once a user gets a client on your network, it will be able to display a list of all displays on the network to connect to.
Recommended for: Networks that do not allow UDP broadcast and networks that include switches or multiple subnets.
How to Set Up: Follow the instructions in the SDS Guide.
NOTE: Solstice Discovery Service for display discovery will not function across both networks when using dual network interface cards in a Solstice host PC running Solstice Software. If using VLANs (Network tab > VLAN Settings), one SDS server instance running SDS version 3.1 or later is required per VLAN.
Universal SDS Override with a DNS Entry
The basic SDS method requires configuration of the host PC’s IP address. To avoid configuring the IP address and to allow users to see available displays without entering any information into their client, you can add a DNS entry to resolve the SDS host IP address to its URL.
Recommended for: Networks with switches and/or multiple subnets. Solstice collaborators with different network access. Users are not required to enter an IP address to connect.
How to Set Up: Follow the instructions in the SDS Guide.
Solstice can utilize UDP broadcast packets to automatically populate client devices with a list of Solstice displays on the network to connect to. Broadcast discovery is enabled by default when the Solstice Pod is deployed off-network in WAP mode.
Recommended for: Dedicated network configurations and small single network configurations that do not use a switch. Users will not be required to enter an IP address to connect.
How to Set Up: Enable UDP broadcast discovery for the Solstice display by checking the ‘Broadcast display name on network’ box. This option is available under ‘Display’ in a Pod’s configuration panel, and in the Dashboard for any Enterprise host.
No Discovery (not recommended)
Even with no discovery method configured, users will not be able to see and click-to-connect to Solstice displays, nor will the deployment support the Multi-Room capability. However, users can still connect to Solstice displays on the network by entering the display’s IP address into the connect screen of the client device.
How to Set Up:
- On the Network tab of a Pod’s configuration panel or in the Dashboard for any Enterprise host, disable UDP broadcast for the Solstice display by unchecking the Broadcast display name on network
- On the Appearance and Usage tab, select the Show Presence Bar and Presence Bar – IP Addresscheckboxes, then click Apply. This will show the host’s IP address on the display so users can type it into a browser to connect. With no other discovery method in place, we highly recommend displaying the IP address on both the main screen and in the presence bar. If you do not display the IP address on a display without other discovery methods, you must give users the IP address some other way for anyone to be able to use the display. Consider listing all instance IP addresses in a DNS server so that the DNS name (not the IP address) will display in the startup instructions.
Solstice Deployment Validation Checklist
You can validate the functionality of your deployment by going through the following steps.
Step 1: Connect Devices to Network
Connect any end-user devices you will be using to verify and test the deployment to one of the networks the Solstice Pod is connected to. This may mean a Pod’s WAP, an enterprise network, or a guest network.
Step 2: Download the App and Connect
Open a browser on a Windows or OSX laptop and enter the IP address shown on the welcome screen of a Solstice display. Click the Get the App & Connect button to download the Solstice App. When launched, the app should automatically connect to the Solstice display.
Step 3: Verify Discovery
In the Solstice App, disconnect from the Solstice display. The Discovery panel should appear with a list of Solstice displays available for connection. You can click Clear to remove displays from your Most Recently Used list.
Step 4: Test Desktop Sharing
Connect to a Solstice display. On the Share panel, click Desktop to share the desktop of your user device. Move windows and content on the desktop. You should see that your desktop is updated live on the Solstice display.
Step 5: Test Application Window Sharing
Open documents and PowerPoint decks. On the Share panel of the Solstice App, click App Window, then select an open document or PowerPoint. Scroll through or make changes to the document and ensure transitions between slides and changes to documents should be immediately visible on the display.
Step 6: Test Video Sharing
(Note: Skip this step if using a Pod’s WAP without Internet access.) Open a browser while sharing your desktop and play a web video. Do the same with a video you’ve downloaded to your desktop. You should see ~22-30 fps from a 1080p resolution device, depending on its specs. Audio should be synchronized.
Step 7: Share your Android 5.0+ Device Screen
On an Android mobile device, download the Solstice App from the Play Store. Connect the device to the same network as the Solstice Pod. Open the Solstice App and tap the Solstice display’s name. Next, select Mirror Screen and ensure the device’s screen appears on the display.
Step 8: Verify iOS Mirroring (if enabled)
- Download the Solstice App onto your iOS device from the Apple Store.
- Launch the Solstice App and select the name of the display shown in the list to connect. If a list of displays does not populate, enter in the IP address for the Pod visible on the Pod’s welcome screen.
- Once connected, swipe up from the bottom or down from the top-right corner of the screen and tap Screen Mirroring. You should see the Solstice display name in the AirPlay list.
- Select the Solstice display’s name. If prompted for an AirPlay Password, enter in the 4-digit screen key visible on the display.
- Your iOS device screen should now be visible on the Solstice display. If you don’t see the Solstice display in your AirPlay list, you may need to enable the AirPlay Discovery Proxy (Solstice Dashboard > Appearance and Usage tab, or local configuration panel > Display tab) and validate that the correct network ports are open.