Ruckus Unleashed - Mesh - Root AP Election Optimization

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Hello,

I think there is an issue with the Root-AP Election within a Unleashed Mesh-Network.
I checked how a AP decides if he is a Root-AP or a Mesh-AP.
From my observations i saw the AP tries to reach the Default Gateway over his Ethernet Interface. If the GW is reachable it will act as a Root-AP. If not, Mesh Role will be choosen.

If the Default Gateway is not accessable, the Master-AP changes his Role to Mesh-AP and reboots (Mesh-AP cannot be a Master). This can result in a complete Network Outage because all Root-APs thinking they are Mesh-APs now.

I had issues on a customer site where the Gateway was rebooted each night.
On another Installation i started the Root-APs while the Default Gateway was not reachable. In that case, the Ruckus Unleashed Network was not able to form.

I think its important to be able to set a second IP and make it clear for Users which IPs are used to decide the Roles. Maybe list as first IP the Default Gateway as a greyed out field and a second field where a User can set a second custom IP.

Thanks.

Kind Regards
Marco
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Marco Eichstetter

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Posted 2 months ago

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Joshua Lee

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That's an interesting problem since the fundamental difference between any mesh or root AP is either wired or wireless. Any AP connected to ethernet is a root AP, any AP that hops back to another AP over wireless for network connectivity is automatically a mesh node. I never heard of an AP being converted to a non-root mesh node while being connected to a switch port. Is there a reason mesh is enabled on the Ruckus Unleashed network if all APs are connected to a switch?
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Marco Eichstetter

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No. This is not what i have seen.
If the AP has a wired Connection but not able to reach his default Gateway will not work as a Root-AP. It's not just wired or not.

The First time i saw this was where the Master rebooted each night and the Master Role changed to another Root. There where two Root-APs. Each day the Master changed. Exactly at 03:00 o'clock. We checked the Logs and had no idea. Also the Ruckus Support did not get to solve this. After searching again and again for something within the AP logs and Syslogs i have found that the Master rebooted because he changed from Root to Mesh-AP. After that the Firewall-Admin told us that his Firewall reboot eacht night at 03:00. After stopping the Firewall-Reboot, it worked!

Think also that a AP can be a Mesh-AP and also have a wired Connection. In my Case there is an IP-Camera connected to the wired Port of the Mesh-AP.
(Edited)
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Joshua Lee

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That's true. An AP can also be mesh and wired. But the purpose of a mesh network is to extend network connectivity to an AP that cannot be connected to the wired network, which has to be wirelessly connected to a wired root AP. Unless you enable mesh for redundancy. 

In your case, is the mesh AP connected to the wire? If it is, is there a reason you're enabling mesh?
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Marco Eichstetter

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Mesh can also be used to bridge two Layer 2 Networks.
This is a normal Installation from Ruckus Guides.




In my Case Mesh is not for redundancy.
In my Case i have multible Root-APs mounted at a Building.
Over a big parking area there a multible Mesh-APs who has a IP-Camera attached.
So yes, my Mesh-APs are basicly connected with a wire but only connected to a IP-Camera. So Mesh is needed to get a connection to my Root-APs at the Building where the Server Infrastructure resides.
(Edited)
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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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Hi Marco, what you've said in your initial description is correct.  While it is highly unusual for a network
LAN gateway to be turned off regularly, I would still think that if you have an Unleashed Management IP
configured, that all APs recognize, that this should be your PC access URL to get in come mornings. 
Only wired APs on the LAN will elect who is Master for that day, because Mesh APs are not eligible to
be Master.

Your other site observation is correct too, there must be a Router/Def-GW on the LAN or the APs
cannot form an Unleashed network.  An AP setup with DHCP service is not sufficient.
(Edited)
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Marco Eichstetter

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Hi Michael. Yes, it is unusual. That's true.
But at some Customer Installations this is in fact a Problem.

What do you mean with the Management IP?

On my other Site i solved it to use a dummy IP as Default GW. Don't know which Network Device this was. I think it was a Print-Server IP or something like that.
Because this IP is reachable for my Root-APs they started fine and elected a Master.
It worked but its not really cool...

Changing the intelligence for Mesh Election whould make this Product better i think.
(Edited)
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Marco Eichstetter

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If there is a Firmware Update of the Default Gateway that will also be a Problem.
The restart or Role changing if the Gateway is down happens really fast (i think immidiatelly) at the Root-APs.

I have also Unleashed Customers (little ones with about 30 - 50 Employees) with multible APs but a non-redundant Gateway. If the Gateway have a Hardware Failure and is offline for 1 - 2 days, this will also have an Impact for the Unleashed Network if Mesh is used.
Besides: The most of my Customers don't have a redundant Default Gateway.

Wireless Traffic is not just for Internet surfing and is used for so much more.
So having a SPoF if i using Mesh is somthing i whould prevere to avoid.