WiFi Mesh (EasyMesh) technology and products

1.The summary of mesh technology

1.1. Whats mesh

WiFi Mesh network (wireless mesh network), also known as “multi-hop” network, is a new wireless networking solution developed based on WiFi technology. Unlike traditional WiFi network, WiFi Mesh network is a network technology based on multi-hop routing and peer-to-peer network, which is a new network structure.

Compared with traditional wireless networks, the transmission distance and mobility of WiFi Mesh network will be greatly improved, especially, it is compatible with the WiFi function. Therefore, WiFi Mesh network is very helpful to increase the transmission distance and mobility of wireless networks, expand the application of wireless networks, and has intelligent features such as network self-organization, automatic repair and roaming.

 

1.2. Why use Mesh technology

In the traditional wireless network, WiFi technology constitutes the internal network. The terminal joins the network through WiFi. The connection port on the device is Ethernet or optical port. In the network deployment, once the wired distance is determined, the location of the device WiFi will also be fixed. If you want to change the location of WiFi, you need to adjust the corresponding wired network, which is more difficult to operate and consumes a lot of time and wiring costs.

Therefore, the traditional WiFi construction method has the shortcomings of high cost, poor flexibility, complex operation, etc. It is not suitable for building online services in scenarios such as high wireless quality and aesthetics, less maintenance investment and weak wired network. Mesh network only needs to install corresponding subnodes, no need to change the wired network, and it is very convenient and fast to set up a network.

 

1.3. What are the advantages of Mesh networking over traditional WiFi networking?

Compared with traditional WIFI networking, The scalability and mobility of WiFi Mesh networking has significantly improved. Its self-organizing, self-governing, roaming seamless switching characteristics make WIFI Mesh networking have the following significant advantages:

Simple and fast networking: The installation of Mesh network is very convenient and simple. Connect the main device (controller) to the Internet, place the area that needs online business from the routing agent, and complete the network setup, which is time-saving and convenient. In traditional networking, wired connections are required between each node, which is complex and time-consuming to operate.

Dynamically modify the network layout: When an area needs to add or delete network nodes, only join or remove the corresponding nodes through the ad hoc network nodes. Adding or deleting nodes in traditional networks requires changing physical wiring, which requires a lot of time and material resources.

Flexibility and robustness: When a node in a region fails, the Mesh network will automatically rebuild the network structure to ensure the normal use of the network, without troubleshooting, to avoid the phenomenon that a node fails and results in network congestion in one or more regions.

Suitable scenarios and cost-effective ratio: Mesh network is basically suitable for the current scenarios in traditional networks. In addition, Mesh network has obvious advantages in some scenarios that require fewer wiring, more network nodes and lower costs.

   2. The Mesh products of C-Data

2.1 Introduction to C-Datas Mesh product model

C-Data, as a professional provider of access network products, provides a variety of network construction solutions. In the abundant product line, some C-Data’s ONU products and its subsidiary Ceres router products already support Mesh technology, such as ONU FD604GW-DX, router WR625G, WR535, etc.

2.2 The features of C-Datas Mesh Product

2.2.1 MESH networking method

Mode 1: controller<—>agent1As shown in the diagram, agent1, agent2, and controllers form a WiFi mesh network, in which agent1 and agent2 are child node of the network, and controllers are the primary nodes and the parent nodes of agent1 and agent2. In other terminal devices, such as pc, can enjoy online services through WiFi connection with agent1, agent2, controller.

Mode 2:controller<—>agent<—>agent

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As shown in the figure above, controller, agent1, agent2, agent3, and agent4 form a WiFi mesh network. Where agent4 and agent3 are the outermost child nodes, their parent nodes are agent1 and agent2 respectively. Agent1 and agent2 are the innermost child nodes, which share a common parent node controller.

 

2.2.2 MESH network setup

MESH Network Limitations:

(1) WIFI MESH network has only one controller and can have several agents.

(2) Each node (controller and agent) allows WiFi connections such as phone and PC.

(3) Only one parent node is allowed per agent node.

 

2.2.3 Features and functions of MESH

a. Role Self-Adaptation

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ONU devices have four role attributes:

(1) Run in controller mode as primary node

(2) Run in agent mode as a child node

(3) Run in auto mode, it can play the role of both agent and controller. When the device is connected to the Internet, it plays the role of controller. Otherwise, play the role of agent.

(4) Run in disable mode,turn off the function of EasyMesh

b. Flexible networking

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(1) Paired networking

One controller and one agent, after two devices are powered on, press the WPS button of that two device within two minutes, and the two devices will start to automatically network. After successful networking, the two devices turn on automatic networking after power failure, without the need to press the button again.

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(2) Network Switching

There are three devices, controller1, controller2 and agent1, among which controller1 and agent1 have been successfully networked; If you want to switch the agent1 network to controller2 at this time, reset the network configuration via WEB UI, and press WPS button to group the network by agent1 and controller2 respectively.

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(3) Network expansion

There are three devices, controller1, agent1 and agent2. controller1 and agent1 have been successfully networked. Agent2 is too far away from the controller. If you want to connect to the mesh network through agent1, press WPS button respectively for agent1 and agent2 to connect to the group network.

c. Configuration Synchronization

Through the protocol message of IEEE1905, the SSID configuration information of the controller is synchronized to the access agent.

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(1) Agent node sends autoconfig-search message to find controller

(2) After the controller node receives the message, reply to autoconfig-response and return

(3) Agent node sends autoconfig WSC M1 message and reports support capability set

(4) When the controller node receives the message, it replies to the autoconfig WSC M2 message and sends the configuration of the corresponding capability.

d. Network Self-healing

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As shown in the figure above, there are three devices, controller1, agent1, and agent2. Agent2 makes up a MESH network by using Agent1 and Controller. When agent1 is powered off, agent2 is disconnected from the MESH network. At this point, agent 2 will re-open the scan (first scan three times on the current channel, and then global scan if not found), attempting to initiate a connection with the scanned node.

e. Topological Data

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(1) The device cycle sends Topology Discovery, this message is only sent to neigbor, not forward

(2) Send Topology when a node detects a TOPO change (new link/up, sta assoc/disassoc)

Notification, this message will be Relayed and notified to other nodes

(3) Device actively sends Topology Query to specified node, unicast

(4) Device replies to Topology response, unicast

f. Roaming

Roaming refers to the technology that automatically connects to a better signal strength AP when clients move between the coverage of different APs with the same (wireless network name) SSID in a MESH network.

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Prerequisite:

(1) The default threshold for roaming from Controller to Agent is 20. Roaming occurs when rssi<(20-90)

(2) The default threshold for initiating roaming from the Agent side is 40. Roaming occurs when rssi<(40-90)

Move by:

When the roaming condition is triggered, the node connected by the terminal device disconnects the device through a blacklist, thereby connecting the device to other nodes.

3. The Expectations of Mesh Technology for the Future

Mesh plays an important role in device interconnection under the trends of cloud management, interconnection of everything, and the Internet of Things. Whether in large or small places, Mesh networking is favored by all fields because of its simple and fast networking, dynamic modification of network layout, extremely low construction cost and short construction cycle, saving manpower and manpower, flexibility and robustness. Mesh technology will also continue to optimize and become more intelligent to accommodate more scenarios.

Concluding remarks

With the rapid development of network, the cost, complexity and maintainability of network are more and more stringent in various fields. These requirements constantly urge the existing network to optimize or update, and create new network schemes. Mesh networking is currently a competitive way of networking. C-Data, as a professional provider of access network products, will adopt the latest networking technologies. Our Mesh products are Home ONU, Router product, ONU Mesh can be combined with router Mesh, which is powerful. Thank you for choosing C-Data’s Mesh-enabled devices and discussing Mesh technology with us.

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