Facilities Zone & Internet Enabled Appliances

Last Updated: 24 September 2015 at 17:41

A Facilities Zone can be set up on a firewall to be used with Internet-enabled appliances (IEAs).  IEAs are devices such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that are connected to the Internet. Some other examples of IEAs used in meetinghouses include door access, security, electrical, and irrigation systems. When connected to the Internet, these systems can be monitored and controlled remotely by authorized individuals.

Facility managers receive guidance on when and where to use IEAs in meetinghouses, how to install them, and how to connect to them remotely. IEAs should only be used in meetinghouses with an 800 series firewall. Firewalls activated on or after August 13, 2014 will automatically have a port reserved for the Facilities Zone (usually port 3, except in the case of the C891F which uses port 7).  On 800 series firewalls activated prior to August 13, 2014, a Facilities Zone may have been or can be added manually by contacting the Global Service Center.

Once configured, Facilities Zones should be labeled as such.  IEAs should only be plugged into the Facilities Zone (Figure 1). If more than one IEA needs to be connected, a network switch should be connected to the Facilities Zone and all the IEAs should be connected to the switch (Figure 2). The switch should be labeled For IEAs Only, and no other devices should be connected to this switch.

Figure 1

PLEASE NOTE: It is the responsibility of the stake or district technology specialist to make sure IEAs don’t get removed from the Facilities Zone and that no other devices (such as computers or wireless access points) are plugged into a network switch that is dedicated to the Facilities Zone.

Facilities managers or technology specialists should contact the Global Service Center (GSC)  if they are unsure whether the Facilities Zone is enabled on a particular 800 series firewall.

Some IEAs use a modem and a separate phone line instead of going through the meetinghouse Internet. These can often be reconfigured to work through the meetinghouse firewall, providing faster service and reducing the need for an extra phone line.

Figure 2