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Archive for the ‘Wireless mesh’ Category

…And The Meshin’ is Easy

July 29th, 2014

As someone who has walked more than a few miles in a network administrator’s shoes, I’m all too familiar with the challenges of configuring and troubleshooting mesh environments. In my last position, as an administrator responsible for 300+ mesh nodes, I know the stress and frustration of dealing with dropped connections along with the other problems associated with mesh environments.

Our approach here at AirTight has always focused on making IT managers’ lives easier, and our Wi-Fi mesh implementation follows in the same footsteps.

Mesh profiles in management console

Mesh profiles in management console

As you may have already noticed, a new feature is now available in the AirTight Networks cloud console under configuring the SSID for your templates.

Since its release to the Wi-Fi product line, this enhancement has received lots of positive feedback regarding its innovative visual capabilities of managing mesh links, as well as the new options that offer both indoor and outdoor flexibility.

Ease of Configuration and Administration

Mesh configuration and administration

Mesh configuration and administration

Configuring your mesh network is now as easy as making decisions on what requirements need to be met, with the flexibility of controlling hops in mesh with Max Hop Count and number of child links for any node with Max Downlinks parameters.

Once this template is applied to a group of APs that are to be part of mesh, the formation of mesh links is fully automated. The configuration is also self-healing; if a node in the mesh were to go down, the APs automatically recalculate the mesh connections around the failure point.

Visual Display of Mesh Links

Visual Display of Mesh Links

Visual display of mesh links

The benefits of visually seeing your mesh topology with a simple click on your location brings troubleshooting to a new level. It’s hard enough when you have to manage multiple mesh links, but if your only means of troubleshooting is relying on descriptions to determine associations, or relying on CLI access to recall MAC addresses to Root & Non-Root Bridges, it can create huge challenges.

As professionals, we know to document everything efficiently. How often do we need to revisit that one site to see the mesh topology or remind us of the physical placement of each mesh operating mode in an environment? A comprehensive visual display of the mesh topology would have saved me an extraordinary amount of time!

Supported Mesh Environments

Wireless Backhaul and Access Service

Wireless Backhaul and Access Service

Wireless backhaul and access service

In the above configuration, mesh includes two access points to provide a simple wireless backhaul solution.

Point-to-Point Wireless Bridging

Point-to-Point Wireless Bridging

Point-to-point wireless bridging

In this application, two mesh access points connect a Layer 2 network through a wireless bridge.

Point-to-Multipoint Wireless Bridging

Point-to-Multipoint Wireless Bridging

Point-to-multipoint wireless bridging

More complex topologies involve multiple mesh access points to extend the edge of the network to wireless clients such as mobile devices, PoS (point of sale) tablets, and computers alike.

Multipoint-to-point Wireless Bridging

Multipoint-to-point wireless bridging

Multipoint-to-point wireless bridging

Occasionally, mesh can also be used to connect roaming mobile platforms to the wired network. In the AirTight mesh configuration this is achieved by leveraging the Min RSSI threshold.

Mesh Designed with IT Admins in Mind

Network administrators are always on the lookout for tools that deliver ease of deployment and monitoring of their networks. The way we designed our wireless mesh is just one such example. With visual tools that allow you to remotely see how your mesh topology is connected, and by eliminating the expense and maintenance of the controller, not to mention costly licenses, the reduction of time and money (and stress) is game-changing.

/To put you in a good frame of mind, here’s “Summertime” from Erik Sumo

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The Growing Prevalence of Wi-Fi Extension with Mesh

April 21st, 2014

Industry professionals have tended to view mesh networking from a “realist” point-of-view as a niche solution to be avoided if possible, and have never considered the technology the most popular of Wi-Fi capabilities. This pragmatism is rooted in the typical negative performance implications of mesh networks. Just a few years ago mesh capability was limited to a few highly targeted products that served niche markets for large-scale outdoor deployments or service provider environments. These solutions typically relied on multi-radio mesh units, which provide frequency separation between uplink and downlink traffic paths as well as between upstream and downstream hops, in an attempt reduce the negative performance impact for high bandwidth backhaul links.

AirTight-Mesh

However, there exists a growing market for mesh networking that utilizes single-radio mesh units to provide an extension of network access across limited mesh hops for hard to wire locations.

Read more…

Wireless mesh