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Deploying a Fast and Stable Wireless Mesh Network

Chapter Description

This chapter provides practical tips and advice for deploying a fast and stable wireless mesh network.

Mesh Deployments

You can use mesh APs in various deployment scenarios:

  • Point-to-point
  • Point-to-multipoint
  • Mesh

In a point-to-point mesh deployment, you would have a RAP and a single MAP bridging two wired networks using their 802.11a radios (see Figure 15-1).

Figure 15-1

Figure 15-1 Mesh Point-to-Point Deployment

With a point-to-multipoint mesh installation, you have a single RAP acting as a root bridge with two or more MAPs connecting their respective wired networks. Figure 15-2 shows a typical point-to-multipoint deployment.

Figure 15-2

Figure 15-2 Mesh Point-to-Multipoint Deployment

If you plan to enable Ethernet bridging (discussed later in the "Ethernet Bridging" section) with a point-to-multipoint installation, it is recommended that you disable VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) on any switch with a connected MAP. VTP can reconfigure the trunked VLANs across the mesh network, making the RAP lose its connection to the controller and bring down the wireless network.

In a true mesh deployment, you would have a RAP, or several RAPs if the deployment is large, as well as MAPs deployed across the outdoor space. The MAPs would form parent-child relationships using the 802.11a backhaul (see Figure 15-3). The 802.11b/g radios would service your wireless clients.

Figure 15-3

Figure 15-3 Mesh Deployment

As you can see in Figure 15-3, the MAPs relay their wireless connections using their 802.11a backhaul radios to the RAP. The RAP sends that traffic to the controller through the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP)/Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) tunnel to the controller. The 802.11b/g radios on the APs provide client access to the wireless network. Although its not shown in Figure 15-3, clients can connect to the 802.11b/g radio on the RAP as well.

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