Howto : Force a Mesh AP to connect to a portal

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Please, is there a way to force a mesh AP170 to connect to a single portal even though I have several Portals within range?
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Paa Kwesi

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Posted 5 years ago

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Brian Ambler

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Hi Paa,

If you want to ensure that only one Mesh AP may ever form a connection with only one Portal AP, the simplest way to accomplish this is by placing these two APs in their own Hive. To accomplish this, you will need to clone your existing Network Policy, then make the following changes on the policy you intend to push to the two APs:

1) Navigate to "Configuration > [new Network Policy] > Additional Settings > Hive > New


2) Give the new Hive a name, select either a Automatically generated 64 character password, or enter one manually (of any length, though longer passwords with alphanumeric, special characters and punctuation are less prone to cracking), then click Save


3) Make sure the new Hive is selected, then save the changes to the cloned Network Policy, assign it to the two mesh points and push out the configuration.


Hope this helps
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Paa Kwesi

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Thanks Brain.

From my understanding doing it this way will prevent client from roaming between access points (in different hives). Is there a way I can still achieve this without placing the AP's in a new hive.

I tried using the Wifi1 Channel - but I realized that they AP occasionally changes channel and meshes with near by portals. This creates spanning tree loops on my Cisco switches and make the wireless network unstable.

Any assistance is highly appreciated.
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Brian Ambler

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Hi Paa,

My apologies, you had mentioned that you wanted force a Mesh Point to only connect to one Portal AP, so I recommended placing the two APs in separate Hives. You are exactly correct though, placing two APs in a separate Hive from the rest of your APs will break seamless roaming to and from those APs.

It sounds like you might want to take a look at our Layer 2 Route shaping, most likely by specifying a static Layer 2 route between your Mesh AP and the desired portal. This will allow your wireless clients to still roam seamlessly between all your APs, but will limit your Mesh AP from forming a wireless backhaul connection with other APs unless the desired Portal AP is not available.

Here is the help topic on Layer 2 Route shaping, let me know if you have any questions.

Static Layer 2 Route Configuration

If you want the AP to forward traffic to a certain destination through a specific hive neighbor, you can define a static Layer 2 route to accomplish it consistently. Whereas the use of metrics to control traffic forwarding provides some flexibility—the preference of a route to one neighbor can shift to that of another—the use of static routes provides stricter forwarding control.

To configure static Layer 2 routes, you need to know that APs do route lookups for both destination and source MAC addresses. An AP looks up a route for a destination MAC address to determine the outgoing interface and the next hop. An AP looks up the route for a source MAC address to verify that the traffic from that MAC address arrived at the correct interface. If there is a mismatch, the AP drops the packet. To avoid such mismatches, follow this basic guideline: when you configure a static route to lead traffic along one path, configure a second route along the same path in the reverse direction. For example, let's say you configure a static route from A directly to C. However, based on the data rate, link metrics, and other factors, dynamic routing determines that the best path from A to C is through B. Using the static route, A sends traffic directly to C. When C does a source route lookup for A, it finds B as the next hop, determines that there is a mismatch, and drops the traffic. To resolve this situation, configure a second static Layer 2 route, this time from C directly to A.

To set a static Layer 2 route, click New, enter the following, and then click Apply:

Destination MAC: Enter the MAC address of the destination to which the AP will forward traffic.

Interface: From the drop-down list, choose the egress interface for the traffic that the AP will forward.

  • Although you can choose a wireless interface in access mode as the egress interface, setting a static route to client would be unusual. The more common choices would be to set a route through an interface in backhaul mode.


Next Hop MAC: Enter the MAC address of the neighboring hive member to which you want the AP to forward traffic en route to the destination.

To remove previously defined static Layer 2 route, select the route entry, and then click Remove.
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Paa Kwesi

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Thanks Brian,

This is really cool. I am going to test this and revert back.Thank you very much.

Kind regards,
Paa
(Edited)