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azurtem
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AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:45 pm

Hi

I'm testing the mesh functionality that is present on MTRBs
The sole purpose is to understand its functionality, especially
in terms of improving user roaming.

Firstly is it possible to create a 'wired' MESH ?
It is necessary to setup a WDS network for MESH
to work i.e. is MESH an extension of WDS ?

If the answer to the previous question was no, then let's move forwards.
All APs need to use the same SSID, ok, but what about channel (frequency)
do they also need to be the same (as with a WDS setup) ?

In my setup, each AP has a bridge linking the Eth and Wlan interfaces together

Each of my three APs is hooked up to a central switch using Ethernet

In setting up my MESH I selected, on each AP, the bridge as the MESH port

The APs are all working properly, as in, they are connecting
the users to the network, but I can't access the APs anymore
their IP and MAC addresses aren't visible to me anymore.
Not really useful for maintenance access...

Thanks for any input, suggestions, ideas.
yann
 
sashavl
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Re: AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:02 pm

Forget about mesh and wds, wait for CAPsMAN release.
 
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dohmniq
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Re: AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:04 pm

Wow, I was just about to ask about this issue and do some research too.

I've been burnt before by having RouterBoards configured with meshing not being able to access them once that particular RouterBoard is meshed. I eventually swapped to a routed network but now that's becoming too much to manage and I'd really like to swap back to meshing.

To answer one of your questions, I have had RouterBoards configured with meshed ethernet ports and it works fine. The meshing traffic is sent with ether types 0x9AAA and 0x9AAB so you can spot it when doing packet dumps. See more under "How to control or filter mesh traffic?" at http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Interface/HWMPplus (nearer the bottom).

I have a couple of spare devices handy (a SXT and a OmniTik I think) so I'll try to make time today to plug them in a do some tests. Setup combinations I can think of now are:
  • wlan interfaces meshed only
  • wlan and ethernet interfaces meshed
  • wlan and ethernet interfaces meshed but the wireless connection broken (I'll change one device's frequency)
  • ethernet interfaces meshed only
Tests I could run:
  • ping after reboot, through mesh starting up and until after connection to mesh (or not)
  • arp-ping (never done this before so not sure of its use)
  • mac-telnet (same as above)
  • ssh
If you can think of any more, reply to this thread (I'll be notified).

Generally my main concern is the same as yours in that things are great when the mesh is fully working but it's hard/impossible to connect to devices if they're configured to mesh but haven't.
Last edited by dohmniq on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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azurtem
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Re: AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:47 pm

Thank you both for such swift responses

Well, I took an empirical approach to recover access to my
two APs (411); since the RB2011 was still accessible

I noticed that, upon rebooting, the AP didn't activate the MESH
immediately and thus, if fast enough, I could connect to it.

So through trial and error, I managed to connect via winbox
and disable the MESH. The MESH having been disabled, the
second AP came back 'into the light'.

yann
 
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dohmniq
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Re: AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:04 pm

I forgot about that short window just after reboot - sorry I could have told you about that. It is very hit-and-miss though.

I guess the main point is to let [at least ethernet] mesh interfaces to accept unmeshed traffic too.

Maybe there's a configuration which will allow both - e.g. virtual interface.
 
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dohmniq
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Re: AP MESH using Ethernet (not WDS)

Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:21 pm

So far:

create a virtual ethernet interface
create a metarouter instance (kiss goodbye to 24MB of memory)
assign virtual ethernet interface to metarouter instance
add virtual ethernet and real ethernet to a bridge interface

now you can ssh to the virtual ethernet's IP

not THAT useful as to use meshing you can't add the real ethernet interface as a mesh port, you have to add the bridge
which I suspect will just back to square 1 where the meshed interface won't accept non-mesh traffic once the mesh is up

it's beginning to look like there's not going to be a configuration-based work-around

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