Network Considerations When Using Multiple Virtualbench Units

Updated Dec 6, 2019

Reported In

Hardware

  • VirtualBench All-in-One Instrument

Issue Details

I am trying to set up test benches or a lab with multiple VirtualBench units, and I would like some information or test results regarding how many units can be run concurrently. Has NI done any testing to see how many devices can be run on either an existing network or when running in access point (AP) mode?

Solution

NI has done some tests based on average use to determine the number of VirtualBench units you can expect to be supported on the network at one time. The following results apply only to use the VirtualBench Windows application and not the driver or iPad app.

We performed testing in a regular office/lab setting that had a multitude of other WiFi devices and Ethernet devices also on the same network. Your results will vary from the ones shown below based on:
  • The amount of transmitted data (MSO/Logic Analyzer channels, digital channels, etc.)
  • Router performance/link speed
  • Other WiFi interference

 
To enable adding more devices, you can enable communication on different WiFi channels. In the US, WiFi channels are numbered 1-11, with adjacent channels overlapping slightly. For example, channel 6 overlaps with channels 4, 5, 7, and 8. Channel 6 is also used as the default channel for many devices. This makes channel 6 less desirable to broadcast all devices on. Channels 1, 6, and 11 do not overlap with each other, and are less frequently used. You can expect to roughly triple the number of supported VirtualBench units by selecting WiFi channels with less interference. Refer to your router’s user manual or your IT department for more information on WiFi channels.

Additional Information

Wireless networks other than in the US may be able to broadcast on channel 12 or higher. The frequencies corresponding to channels 1-11 are the same for both the US and international wireless networks.