Mesh over Ethernet Configuration

SOLVED
dromios
Getting noticed

Mesh over Ethernet Configuration

Hello,

 

I was currently handed the following equipment and asked to make a wireless bridge to a permanently docked ship.

 

  • 1 x MX64
  • 2 x MR70
  • 2 x MR36
  • 1 x MS120 - 8 FP
  • 1 x PoE Injector

The thought process is that we would set up the MX64 on land and connect it directly to a fiber circuit.  We would then connect one of the MR70s outside facing the ship to a LAN port on the MX64, powering it with the PoE injector.  On the ship, we would have another MR70 (powered by MS120 - 8 FP switch) acting as a repeater on a hidden SSID that only the two MR70s broadcast.  We would then would power the two other MR36 access points on a different SSID and give it to the crew.  From what I read, this appears to be a valid configuration, as long as no other wired devices are connected.  We also want to be able to control throughput on the public SSID.  Am I correct that this is a supported configuration?  If not, is there anything we can do with our current equipment to make it work?

 

When I set this all up, the right gateway comes up but all access points besides the gateway show as repeaters.  Is this normal?  Both SSID's are currently in DHCP NAT mode.

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you!

 

Doug

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
Bruce
Kind of a big deal

@dromios looks like you probably read this Meraki document on Mesh bridges, https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Extending_the_LAN_with_a_Wireless.... What you’re doing does seem to align with the final example in that document, ‘Extending the LAN for Wireless Access Points’ (although personally I’ve not used this approach before). In this scenario the access points will always show as repeaters (an access point will go into Mesh mode if it can’t get a DHCP address, so all the APs will become Mesh APs since there is no DHCP on the ship switch). I’d be interested to know if the Meraki MS120 remains manageable? There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to configure any of the normal SSID restrictions (e.g. limiting bandwidth).

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8 REPLIES 8
PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

I would say so (the MR33's can probably see the land-based AP).

 

Check out this document:

https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Wireless_Mesh_Networking 

Jump down to the section with the title "How does the AP decide to mesh?".

 

What might be easier is to MESH only over 5Ghz and say 2.4Ghz for the clients to use.  This document says how to do this:

https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/Radio_Settings/Manually_Changing_Channels_in_a_Mesh_Network 

Thank you, I think I stumbled across my answer here:

 

https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Extending_the_LAN_with_a_Wireless...

 

It looks like out of the box it will work after a few configuration changes are made (post bridge connection), although it only works with access points unless you start routing on the other end.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

@dromios looks like you probably read this Meraki document on Mesh bridges, https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Extending_the_LAN_with_a_Wireless.... What you’re doing does seem to align with the final example in that document, ‘Extending the LAN for Wireless Access Points’ (although personally I’ve not used this approach before). In this scenario the access points will always show as repeaters (an access point will go into Mesh mode if it can’t get a DHCP address, so all the APs will become Mesh APs since there is no DHCP on the ship switch). I’d be interested to know if the Meraki MS120 remains manageable? There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to configure any of the normal SSID restrictions (e.g. limiting bandwidth).

dromios
Getting noticed

That's what I'm trying to figure out as well, I just configured this section:

 

"Configuration

In order for repeater APs to share their wireless connection over their Ethernet port, the following requirements must be met:

  • At least one bridge mode SSID must be configured in Dashboard (can be an existing SSID used by clients, but must be in bridge mode).
  • APs must be configured to share the bridge SSID over their interface.

By default, a client or device plugged into the Ethernet port of a repeater will gain no network connectivity. Once a bridge SSID has been configured, navigate to Network-wide > Configure > General > Device configuration, find the option to configure Clients wired directly to Meraki APs and set that option to have clients Behave like they are connected to the bridge SSID (as shown below)."

 

I'll keep you posted once some time has passed.

dromios
Getting noticed

The answer is no, the switch can't be managed in the last section.  It looks like it's doable with the "extending the lan for a mixture of wireless and wired devices" with VLAN configuration, luckily this is a layer 3 switch, so I think I'll be fine.  All VLANs are lost over the bridge though, so it's really just to provide management and so you can plug in wired devices.

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Do you have another switch then, the MS120 is only a Layer 2 switch? I guess you could get a cheap unmanaged PoE switch to go between the APs on the wired side, that's all it should need (it's just Ethernet connecting them from what I can tell, nothing more).

dromios
Getting noticed

It is a layer 3 switch, so we are going to go that route.  Thanks for the feedback guys, I’m all set on this one.

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