Userful™: Setup Guide

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Copyright © 2018 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2018.10.19)

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Introduction

This page will walk you through setting up your Userful appliance and network zero client receivers. Please read it entirely before beginning, and ensure you have all the prerequisite components.

Please watch this video to know about basic requirements and steps for installing Userful™ software appliance and for quick tour of Userful Control Center.

Prerequisites for Userful

Userful is a powerful, flexible solution for delivering video walls and digital signage in many environments. In order to ensure your Userful deployment is as smooth and reliable as possible, you need the following:


Certified PC/Server

Userful recommends business workstation-type hardware from major vendors such as HP, Lenovo and Dell. These systems have the ideal mix of availability, reliability, affordability, and expandability to leverage the advantages of Userful to their fullest. Userful can provide you with a pre-configured PC/Server ready to meet your needs at an affordable cost. Contact a Userful Sales representative for information, and see Certified PCs for our list of recommended systems and accessories.


Network Preparation

An example of a recommended Userful network setup.

It is highly recommended that a member of your staff or a contracted professional have CompTIA Network+ certification, or equivalent knowledge and experience when installing Userful systems. For a primer on the knowledge you will need to deploy Userful successfully, please see Network Basics for Userful.

Userful Zero Client Receivers are IP-based devices and are highly sensitive to network conditions. For proper performance and system stability, the following conditions must be met for the connection between the Userful PC/Server and all Zero Client Receivers:

  • Recommended Bandwidth to each receiver device: a 1Gbps drop to each zero-client receiver is recommended for video streaming applications, however actual bandwidth used depends on the content and required frame rate. If you have legacy 10/100 network be sure to validate your use case prior to deployment.
  • Minimum Bandwidth to the server of 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for up to 20 displays @ 30fps, or 10,000Mbps (10Gbps) for 20+ displays
  • Maximum Latency of 0.500ms - one half of one millisecond
  • Maximum packetloss of 0.001%
  • Maximum number of clients on a 1Gbps subnet is 25 (10Gbps needed for more)
  • Must reside on the same subnet (virtual or physical) as the adapter in the Userful PC/Server (talk with Userful if cross subnet communication between server and client is a requirement for your project)
  • Recommended that Zero Client Receivers be separated from other network devices.

The above conditions are easily met with most business- or enterprise-grade gigabit network switches, even inexpensive unmanaged devices work well.

All Userful certified systems come equipped with two network interfaces. One interface is intended to be used to connect to the local network and/or Internet. Another interface should be used exclusively to connect to the Zero Client Receivers through a dedicated switch or VLAN.


Zero Client Receivers

Each display must have one Zero Client Receiver assigned to it. They can be mounted in any way you see fit - to the display, the wall behind the display, or up to 50ft away (maximum length of an HDMI cable).

See Supported Zero Client Receivers for a list of supported receivers.


Setup Guide

The Userful Setup Manual is a printable PDF included with all systems shipped from Userful, and can be used as documentation for most Userful hardware setups.

Once you have completed the setup process outlined in those guides, proceed to Control Center to begin managing your new Userful system.


Checklist

Before beginning, ensure you have all the necessary components.

  • A certified or compatible computer to act as the Userful Server, with temporary monitor, keyboard and mouse for installation and initial configuration.
  • A copy of the latest version of Userful software.
  • Your Userful software license key.
  • A compatible Nvidia offload card is recommended.
  • If applicable, a compatible capture card for video walls. For more details about Blackmagic capture cards, please visit How to configure Blackmagic capture cards.
  • One compatible Zero Client Receiver for each display. Note that Userful bundles a compatible Zero Client Receiver with each software license purchased.
  • Necessary accessories for each Zero Client Receiver - keyboard, mouse, display.
  • Networking equipment sufficient to meet requirements outlined above.
  • A router or gateway if necessary.
  • A network switch with sufficient ports to deliver 1Gbps connectivity to each Zero Client Receiver, and at least 1Gbps to the Userful server.
    • A 10Gbps uplink (between Userful server and switch) is recommended if the Userful server will be serving more than 25 displays concurrently.
  • Category-5e or better Ethernet cabling throughout is recommended. Category-6a or SFP is recommended for 10Gbps uplinks.
  • Userful strongly recommends an internet connection for easier access to Userful Support, sharing files, or streaming content from CMS.


Once the components are ready, refer to Network Preparation section for the network guidelines.

Install Complete

Proceed to Control Center to begin managing your new Userful system.

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