Community discussions

MUM Europe 2020
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:19 am

I have included a picture of how I am imagining laying out my wireless network for a wisp I am setting up. I am a rookie when it comes to this and don't have the best grasp on the router os software yet. Still learning :) .
I want to use mikrotik hardware(RB433 and RB600's) for all of my AP's. For my CPE's I am leaning toward ubiquiti hardware, nano and powerstations.

I want to manage bandwidth. I probably won't be giving out public ip's but I might in the future.
For right now I want to set up my network right and I am not sure what settings to use. I know there are hundreds of ways to skin a cat, just looking for input from some experienced users.

Some questions I have off the bat are
Do I want to do bandwidth shaping at each AP to prevent unnecessary traffic on the network or do I want the bandwidth shaping to be done at a centralized location?

If I decide to give certain customers public ip addresses, what would be the best way to get that to them?

Are sector antennas a better investment than omnis?

What are benefits and negatives of using wireless g over wireless b?



If I need to list more info please let me know.

Thanks,
Chris

Image
 
User avatar
nest
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:52 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:14 am

I appreciate I have a vested interest here, but strongly suggest that if you are going to set up a wisp, that you hire in a consultant who knows about Mikrotik, wireless engineering (antennas, link paths), network routing, QoS / traffic management, CPE hardware.

Learning this stuff as you go along may give you a major headache later on when you find yourself up against a brick wall as you hadn't thought of the problem you're now up against at the start when you designed your wisp setup.

A consultant does not have to do everything for you (you will probably not be able to afford that! :-) ), but it would be wise to have someone to call upon and to push you in the right direction, that way you get to do most of the hard physical work (i.e. setting it all up and then sitting back and watching it all actually work - also the fun part?), but know you have someone there in the background who knows the pitfalls and is someone you can lean on when you get stuck or there is a problem. Someone who could also turn up on site or connect remotely and figure out why something that should work in theory, doesn't. Consultants are also useful as a sanity check. E.g. "I am planning on connecting two sites at 100MB/s that are 20km apart on 2.4GHz, where the two antennae are 10m off the ground. Can you foresee any problems?" The sound of laughter is usually a good sign you're not quite ready to fly solo just yet!

Of course, there is also the requirement to know long the string is? :-)

Ron.
Ron Touw - Mikrotik Certified Trainer
LinITX.com - MultiThread Consultants
Get your MikroTik RBs and Training: http://linitx.com/category/166
Largest Official UK MikroTik Distributor
IRC channel: #routerboard on irc.z.je (IPv4), 6.irc.z.je (IPv6)
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:03 am

I don't think I will be hiring a consultant. While I do have my share of headaches :D I am usually able to work through them, and it always ends up being a learning experience.
I'm afraid if I hired a consultant that initially it would be nice but in the end I wouldn't learn near as much, and I would be too reliant on that person.

Regarding my network layout, I can think of a couple of different ways I could do it but I was looking for input from people that have set up similar layouts and what setting they had the most success with.

The routeros software is extremely powerful but the documentation is lacking in some aspects. It leaves alot of questions to be asked by the end user.
 
User avatar
nest
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:52 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:14 pm

Chris

I agree the documentation is lacking on details such as zillions of howtos, because (IMHO) the assumption is that as a "networking guy" you've bought Mikrotik as the solution to the job you have already decided you need to do and you already know how networking works, you just need to know how the Mikrotik ROS interface works. I.e. you may have already decided you know about BGP, OSPF and MPLS or Mesh and now need to crack on with implementing it more cheaply than certain other manufacturers such as Cisco.

That is also why there are so many Training courses available. Because it is much easier to learn about what Mikrotik can do while being trained than doing it the hard way, on your own. But, then again, how did I learn in the first place? By playing with it and building real networks - which occasionally broke! But what better way to learn?

However I quickly found that the Mikrotik ROS was capable of so much more, there were loads of things I wasn't sure with all the options available so started going on Mikrotik training courses.

Never looked back.

Anyway, some ideas for your network plans. If you have RB's as the CPE it will be easy to implement bandwidth limitation and perform remote diagnostics of your client network. I.e. you can more easily see what is going on when they complain of no internet. I would always throttle bandwidth hogs at source rather than when it is already too late on your backhaul.

Have used the nanostations - very good and very cheap. But due to their popularity, it has brought down the price of Routerboards, so you may find it isn't so huge a difference any more. Depends on how many you buy. Their Bullets are interesting too. But not used them in anger yet. Just 'on the bench'.

Interconnect AP sites on 5GHz, 2.4 to the client.

To feed public IPs through to the client, it depends on what you have used for your routing method or if you will be using PPoE for Authentication. You can make a PPoE session give your client a public IP. You could use Proxy-ARP (but don't). If you are an AS and have a large enough block of public IPs with BGP routing to your ISP, then you can just use 'plain routing' to get the small subnets through to your clients router interface.

3 sectored aerials see 1/3rd less noise than an omni. Also your clients will hopefully be spread equally amongst the three, therefore improving the service provided to them all, so each client will see 1/3rd less traffic on the AP. Also means you can put in downtilt. Not easy with an omni as they cost a lot more and you can't get much downtilt - usually only of the order of 3-5 degs. Also means you can use horizontal instead of vertical polarisation to help with seperation if getting interference.

Whether to use 802.11b/g for the provision to clients is a harder one to decide on. Personally I use b for client connections as it supports more hardware (we do hotspots to mobile users rather than fixed clients) therefore we don't exclude anyone with PDAs or phones that do not have 802.11g. If you make a decision stick with just one mode. Don't use mixed b/g. Any connected users using 802.11b will bring a 802.11g user's connection to it's knees.

For fixed clients, 802.11g is better as the modulation allows for better error correction due to interfering reflections, plus it's usually faster.

Good luck with your plans. Where are you located?

Ron.
Ron Touw - Mikrotik Certified Trainer
LinITX.com - MultiThread Consultants
Get your MikroTik RBs and Training: http://linitx.com/category/166
Largest Official UK MikroTik Distributor
IRC channel: #routerboard on irc.z.je (IPv4), 6.irc.z.je (IPv6)
 
rmichael
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Need help with network layout

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:26 am

I have included a picture of how I am imagining laying out my wireless network for a wisp I am setting up. I am a rookie when it comes to this and don't have the best grasp on the router os software yet. Still learning :) .
I want to use mikrotik hardware(RB433 and RB600's) for all of my AP's. For my CPE's I am leaning toward ubiquiti hardware, nano and powerstations.

I want to manage bandwidth. I probably won't be giving out public ip's but I might in the future.
For right now I want to set up my network right and I am not sure what settings to use. I know there are hundreds of ways to skin a cat, just looking for input from some experienced users.

Some questions I have off the bat are
Do I want to do bandwidth shaping at each AP to prevent unnecessary traffic on the network or do I want the bandwidth shaping to be done at a centralized location?

If I decide to give certain customers public ip addresses, what would be the best way to get that to them?

Are sector antennas a better investment than omnis?

What are benefits and negatives of using wireless g over wireless b?



If I need to list more info please let me know.

Thanks,
Chris

Image
Hi popcorn

I'm in similar situation as I'm researching for my project as well. Here's a few things I learned that might be of interest:

- using RB433 with multiple 11b/g cards to save $$ appears to be a bad idea due to board design (interference), however it works fine for 5Ghz backhaul and 2Ghz AP.
- if you're looking for cheap repeater check out ECB3500 or EOC1650. Both can run openWRT.
- your design seems to call for WDS AP bridge mode. The issue with it is that client isolation does not work in that mode. However, someone sugested to use firewall to stop people from accessing other people's computers...
-one more thing...if you are using one radio per AP you'll cut your bandwidth in half with every hop
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:09 am

Chris


That is also why there are so many Training courses available. Because it is much easier to learn about what Mikrotik can do while being trained than doing it the hard way, on your own. But, then again, how did I learn in the first place? By playing with it and building real networks - which occasionally broke! But what better way to learn?
I would really like to go to one of the courses but it's hard to get away and I am also a cheap skate.:)
I do feel like I am starting to turn the corner and information from guys like you is sure valuable.


Anyway, some ideas for your network plans. If you have RB's as the CPE it will be easy to implement bandwidth limitation and perform remote diagnostics of your client network. I.e. you can more easily see what is going on when they complain of no internet. I would always throttle bandwidth hogs at source rather than when it is already too late on your backhaul.
I have toyed with the idea of using the RB's for the CPE for the compatibility reasons and the ease of limiting bandwidth. I suppose the cost factor is what is steering me towards the ubiquiti products.
Thanks for solidifying my thoughts on where to limit the bandwidth.

Interconnect AP sites on 5GHz, 2.4 to the client.

To feed public IPs through to the client, it depends on what you have used for your routing method or if you will be using PPoE for Authentication. You can make a PPoE session give your client a public IP. You could use Proxy-ARP (but don't). If you are an AS and have a large enough block of public IPs with BGP routing to your ISP, then you can just use 'plain routing' to get the small subnets through to your clients router interface.

3 sectored aerials see 1/3rd less noise than an omni. Also your clients will hopefully be spread equally amongst the three, therefore improving the service provided to them all, so each client will see 1/3rd less traffic on the AP. Also means you can put in downtilt. Not easy with an omni as they cost a lot more and you can't get much downtilt - usually only of the order of 3-5 degs. Also means you can use horizontal instead of vertical polarisation to help with seperation if getting interference.
You say I should use 5ghz to interconnect AP's. So would you use a radio to connect to the previous hop and use an additional 5 Ghz radio to allow other AP's to connect, and of course additional radios for each sector that clients will connect to? I suppose that might allow for the best throughput but would I be sacrificing alot by doing it how I have it diagramed?

I am currently using a PPPoE server and I think that is the way I will go. I didn't know if there were other better ways but I think it will allow me to easily switch from a private ip to public ip down the road if I need to.
I want to use sectors but I might deploy a few omnis and then switch to sectors when I start adding more customers.
Whether to use 802.11b/g for the provision to clients is a harder one to decide on. Personally I use b for client connections as it supports more hardware (we do hotspots to mobile users rather than fixed clients) therefore we don't exclude anyone with PDAs or phones that do not have 802.11g. If you make a decision stick with just one mode. Don't use mixed b/g. Any connected users using 802.11b will bring a 802.11g user's connection to it's knees.

For fixed clients, 802.11g is better as the modulation allows for better error correction due to interfering reflections, plus it's usually faster.

Good luck with your plans. Where are you located?
Thanks for all of your advice. I want to use G as the throughput is greater but I get stronger signals with B so there is a tradeoff. I am still undecided. But I will heed your advice and stay away from a mixed network.
I am located in the Midwest.
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:18 am


Hi popcorn

I'm in similar situation as I'm researching for my project as well. Here's a few things I learned that might be of interest:

- using RB433 with multiple 11b/g cards to save $$ appears to be a bad idea due to board design (interference), however it works fine for 5Ghz backhaul and 2Ghz AP.
- if you're looking for cheap repeater check out ECB3500 or EOC1650. Both can run openWRT.
- your design seems to call for WDS AP bridge mode. The issue with it is that client isolation does not work in that mode. However, someone sugested to use firewall to stop people from accessing other people's computers...
-one more thing...if you are using one radio per AP you'll cut your bandwidth in half with every hop
Does the RB433 experience interference when the b/g cards are on different channels? Does the RB600 have the same problem?

Wouldn't I only need to use WDS bridge mode between AP's and not to the clients? Also can't the forwarding be turned off from the access list menu?

I planned on using multiple radios on each AP to avoid cutting my bandwidth in half. :)

Thanks for the input and for model #'s on the repeaters. I will check those out.
 
rmichael
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Need help with network layout

Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:41 am

Does the RB433 experience interference when the b/g cards are on different channels? Does the RB600 have the same problem?

Wouldn't I only need to use WDS bridge mode between AP's and not to the clients? Also can't the forwarding be turned off from the access list menu?

I planned on using multiple radios on each AP to avoid cutting my bandwidth in half. :)

Thanks for the input and for model #'s on the repeaters. I will check those out.
[/quote]

Aparently the noise is prevalent on all the chanels. I thought if perhaps there was a "shield card" for the middle port I could use two cards but I'm not so sure now. Designs by MT - rb6xx, ubnt -routerstation, wiligear boards do not stack cards. Note however that it seems OK to stack a and g radios.

If you're using separate radio for backhaul you will not need WDS between APs. I have a lot of locations to cover so my design calls for single radio repeater due to cost.
I have toyed with the idea of using the RB's for the CPE for the compatibility reasons and the ease of limiting bandwidth. I suppose the cost factor is what is steering me towards the ubiquiti products.
Thanks for solidifying my thoughts on where to limit the bandwidth.
I'am leaning towards RB AP solution as well. Advantage is the dude and option to use nstream for ptm (fixes hidden node problem among things). On the other hand the cost is almost double...

Btw, the following does not bode well for MT's QC: http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29815

Michael
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:08 pm

On the RB433, if I put an A card between 2 b/g cards will I still experience the interference? I tried searching the forum and I didn't see any information on the interference issue.

Edit: Whoops, I didn't notice you already had thought of the idea of using a shield card to isolate the 2 radios. Maybe I will try it out and report back. Can anyone else speak from experience on this issue?
 
User avatar
nest
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:52 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Need help with network layout

Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm

I can confirm that placing two same band radios immediately next to each other is not a good idea. They cause interference to each other. How much interference they cause to each other is variable as there are many factors involved. (Exact makes of card, power level set, frequencies used)
Ron Touw - Mikrotik Certified Trainer
LinITX.com - MultiThread Consultants
Get your MikroTik RBs and Training: http://linitx.com/category/166
Largest Official UK MikroTik Distributor
IRC channel: #routerboard on irc.z.je (IPv4), 6.irc.z.je (IPv6)
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:18 pm

Does separating 2 of the same band radios with a radio of a different band work fine then? Otherwise it seems that the RB433 is only suited for a 2 radio setup. I suppose you could also use 900mhz but that would be a less common scenario.
 
User avatar
nest
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:52 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Need help with network layout

Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:54 am

I have found that placing 2 cards of the same band, even if separated by a card using a different band can still cause interference, but it was not enough to break the links as I was operating two APs on 2.4GHz and a single 5GHz link. The 5GHz link was not a problem, it was cross interference between the two 2.4Ghz cards. But as the traffic was low, there was plenty of air time for clients to get more than a good enough service that they never knew that every now and again a packet was re-requested due to noise from the other card. Sometimes you have to learn when to stop and just be happy with "it's not perfect, but it works" ! :-)

If you want the best performance and are unlimited in funds and want to use Mikrotik, use completely separate boxes for each radio card. Personally, for the application I had put the three cards to, it worked plenty well enough. I would not suggest you operate three same band cards on a RB unless they were well shielded and grounded.
Ron Touw - Mikrotik Certified Trainer
LinITX.com - MultiThread Consultants
Get your MikroTik RBs and Training: http://linitx.com/category/166
Largest Official UK MikroTik Distributor
IRC channel: #routerboard on irc.z.je (IPv4), 6.irc.z.je (IPv6)
 
popcorrin
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Topic Author
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:24 pm

I have found that placing 2 cards of the same band, even if separated by a card using a different band can still cause interference, but it was not enough to break the links as I was operating two APs on 2.4GHz and a single 5GHz link. The 5GHz link was not a problem, it was cross interference between the two 2.4Ghz cards.
Actually this is the exact same setup I was planning on utilizing. I think I'll give it a go, keeping in mind that there may be some cross interference.
If you want the best performance and are unlimited in funds and want to use Mikrotik, use completely separate boxes for each radio card. Personally, for the application I had put the three cards to, it worked plenty well enough. I would not suggest you operate three same band cards on a RB unless they were well shielded and grounded.
That's the kicker. I want to try to keep costs down without sacrificing stability. I can deal with some imperfections as long as it's minor.
I was actually contemplating using 3 same band cards on an RB600. I'm assuming the board layout will help reduce interference as compared to the RB433. Do you have any experience with the RB600?
 
rmichael
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:27 am

Does separating 2 of the same band radios with a radio of a different band work fine then? Otherwise it seems that the RB433 is only suited for a 2 radio setup. I suppose you could also use 900mhz but that would be a less common scenario.
Note that 900MHz cards are actually 2.4GHz radios with freq converter. So they not only leak 900 but also 2.4...
 
User avatar
nest
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:52 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:38 am

Never tried a RB600. Can't say.
 
RK
Long time Member
Long time Member
Posts: 560
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Winnipeg, Canada and Central America

Re: Need help with network layout

Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:52 am

I never put more than two radios in a RB433.
Especially when using high power radios, they won't even fit.
 
Tanker
Member Candidate
Member Candidate
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:46 am

Re: Need help with network layout

Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:52 am

as an aside...

We have PLENTY BST's with 3 x R5H's installed on RB433AH - plenty!!!

/T

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests