The wireless network is more innovative and supports resilience that is obligatory for the Enterprises. As wireless technology developed in practical applications/ infrastructure supporting many devices without compromising on the speed, Wireless Mesh emerged as a solution. Wireless Mesh or also known as Wi-Fi mesh consist of the main router that is connected to the internet service provider network. A series of modules or nodes are being placed across the network that supports the total coverage of the network. Using the mesh Wi-Fi an enterprise can set same username and password across the network.
Wireless Mesh has been in the market since wireless communication came into the enterprise network. Many enterprises are focusing on setting-up wireless mesh network to support the mobility and accelerate the digital transformation.
The idea behind setting up the mesh network is the flexibility for different Access Points (AP) for the enterprise. There can be several AP mesh that can support the devices with only a single mesh that can be plugged in the wired network. Enterprises that want to cover larger space need multiple mesh Access Points that can be plugged in the network to support the connection wirelessly.
MESH DIFFERING FROM THE WDS
Wi-Fi Mesh and Wireless Distribution System (WDS) both can be used to extend the Wi-Fi network without adopting the traditional connection between the Ethernet and APs. Wi-Fi mesh is a better version of the WDS that can be configured and deployed without any network complexity. Using the WDS, enterprises can configure the APs to connect with other APs using the wireless connection but the other APs need to have a wired network connection.
The Wireless Distribution System (WDS) needs to connect with the Access Points that are generally static and require manual configuration of the MAC address. It also introduces the limit to a number of links that can happen between the APs. The major reason why the Wireless Distribution System (WDS) hasn’t been implemented in the Enterprise network? Because of complicated security and encryption procedure. WDS usually utilizes the same channel that’s being used by the Wi-Fi but it hampers the performance.
In the Mesh Access Points (AP) can directly connect with other Access Points that can be either wired or unwired. Many of the Mesh AP have a dedicated radio frequency for everlasting a wireless link between the mesh APs. A regular dual-band configuration is used by Wi-Fi users.
In the Mesh Wi-Fi, the links support automated self-healing that can connect with other mesh AP or better path to host the AP. This makes the Mesh Wireless network dynamic that can maintain the network during the environment changes. Mesh Wi-Fi is more of easier setup than the WDS as it reduces the complexity.
MESH FOR ENTERPRISES
Enterprises that want to deploy the network without incurring any major expense and faster can use the Mesh Wi-Fi. Mesh installs can be beneficial in the infrastructures wherein the cable network installation can be cumbersome.
Wi-FI Mesh network acts as a flexible network that can be transformed according to the environmental and requirement changes in the network. If the desired changes need to be made in the network without any hassles of cabling.
CHALLENGES IN THE WI-FI MESH NETWORK
Wi-Fi Mesh networks are suitable for the enterprise that has a limited requirement. For situations that require high through output and faster Wi-Fi speed, they are likely to fit. In certain cases of mesh, the enterprises that use them have faced significant bandwidth loss. Using the Mesh network introduces many complexities for the enterprises in terms of design.
Enterprises that heavily depend on the Wi-Fi mesh for the network connection need to be vigilant in the placement of the AP. Need to consider the AP placement, the length and the signal quality of the wireless link between the mesh APs. More than three hops back to host AP can significantly reduce the speed of the connection.
Mesh APs need to be placed closer to one another for more effective communication. Compatibility can be a concern for the enterprises with longstanding 802.11s standards from the IEEE and Wi-Fi mesh can of different standard. Different standards can make the total process incompatible to implement the Wi-Fi mesh for the enterprise.
SOLUTION PROVIDERS FOR THE WI-FI MESH
Many network infrastructure providers build mesh-functionality although most enterprises usually use the traditional AP deployment mode. The APS is just meant to cater the advanced mesh features are usually catered towards the single environment. Here are some of the Mesh providers,
- Ubiquiti Network- Ubiquiti calls the mesh functionality as a Wireless Uplink and supports many of the modern vendors and Traditional APs. To support the mesh line they can access different products such as UAP-AC-M and UAP-AC-M-PRO.
- OpenMesh- Most of the mesh APIs includes just two radios but the new A62 offers three radios. OpenMesh recently merged with Datto that gave in an option of selling routers and switches with various network offerings.
- Cisco Meraki- The wireless LAN offering by the Cisco lets the enterprises use the cloud to manage the deployment, simplified administration, and increased visibility.
- Xirrus, Aruba Networks, and Zebra Technologies are the other network infrastructure providers that can help satisfy the network demands.
Wi-Fi mesh is just becoming the underlying technology that can be used to complement the wired infrastructure of the network. But as enterprises are adopting mobility and cloud technology, it’s imperative that wireless technologies are adopted to reduce the network constraints. To know more about the Wireless Network download our whitepapers.