I am a local WISP Operator in my area and have a ALL Mikrotik network, Core, APs, CPE, all is Mikrotik. Only thing not Mikrotik yet is Switches, but will have a look at that when they need next replacing. I have only fixed clients! I also work togheter with a National WISP Operator as a service technician, servicing their network in the areas surrounding me.
Well, one of the most obvius uses of VirtualAP is if you use a main ssid for all APs in your network for CPEs to connect to and need to connect a Repeater to a main AP(AP1) somewhere for better coverage in a particular area. With a large network it is important to be able to use same SSID so CPEs can be produced and distributed without having to tailor evry CPE for particular area it is going to.
This Repeater will get same SSID on its outgoing/AP wlan, so it is mandatory to have another SSID on inlink from the main/feeding AP(AP1). This is easily done by creating a Virtual SSID on the main/feeding AP(AP1). Then Repeater can connect to AP1 without risk of internal loop.
This setup also makes it possible to move Repeater around between different Main APs. F.ex. the repeater can see two main tower APs, AP1 and AP2, but AP1s signal is best and therefor should normally be used. Repeaters SSID is then created on AP1 and Repeater connects there.
Now lets say, for some reason Main AP1 goes down(Power outage, bad radiocard whatever), then you have the possibility to put in the Virtual AP in AP2 to get Repeater(And all its customers) online again. Maybe a little less bandwith due to weaker signal, but still a lot better then leaving your customers offline untill AP1 is fixed. Also it is possible that customers that normally connect to AP1 could get signal through Repeater while AP1 is down(Depending on distances and Topology ofc).
This kind of setup is not possible with NV2
, since you only can have the Main SSID on interface. Thereby excluding NV2
on all APs that have atleast 1 repeater connected, even if these APs actually could benefit higly from NV2s advantages because of higher amount of CPEs in PtMP topology.
The workaround would be to put in more physical cards/and antennas in each location for each Repeater, but this would be a VERY costly workaround since you would need extra antennas, Towerslots, getting Technician to toweres each time u need to setup any size of RP and so on. + Loosing the ability to move Repeater around if need arises.
So as I said in my last post; I really hope and URGE Mikrotik to reconsider this choice if it is a choice and not a technical issue!
If it is a technical reason that makes it impossible to do, then well sadly just have to live with it and keep using Nstreme.
But if it is a choice based on what Mikrotik want to use resources on or believe is useful or not to their customers, then I think this is a issue that should definitly be adressed and worked out since it has real world applications value form day1 and is a total showstopper for many to be able to fully utilize NV2
and its benefits.
And I think it is sad not beeing able to use NV2
since Mikrotik has put resources and effort into creating NV2
, and then we the customers cant use it because of this little flaw.
Especially since VirtualAP is one of (In my mind atleast) Mikrotiks real engenius advantages, making MT way better and faster deployable than most other systems on the market today! Therefor it is sad that MT make another new proprietary protocole that excludes one of its former BIG advantages!
Also you have the issues with replacing Wireless cards and configs and so on that VirtualAPs make a lot easier, wich is one of the reasons I normally never place any production SSIDs on physical WLAN Interface but rather in a VAP
. Making it way faster to replace card or even entire AP if necessery, since u get all VAPs(And their SSIDs) in the export and backups files.
Also have a read above several uses described.
I really hope it is possible to get this to work as it would make my world alot easier to be able to use NV2
fully in most of my crowded PtMP envirnoments.
Hope I havent done too much misspellings and jibberich this early in a sunday morning.
Have a nice day!