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Howto: Point-to-Point Mesh on AOS 8.5

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  • 1.  Howto: Point-to-Point Mesh on AOS 8.5

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 08:13 AM

    I needed to replace a rather old indoor MSM point-point mesh deployment. It has served faultlessly for nearly a decade, linking one end of the house to the other. However, the time has come, along with some otherwise unused APs. The existing Aruba wireless environment was recently migrated from 6.x to 8.5.
    The documentation for mesh with AOS8.5 was somewhat sparse without many examples, which prompted this post.



    • You should already have a working 8.x environment.
    • Mobility Master + physical controller is suggested, but not a requirement.
    • Enable "Show advanced profiles" in the MM GUI: Admin | Preferences

      Show advanced prefs.png


    • All the examples here are based on AOS 8.5.
    • Two supported access points. Check the release notes - some of the older ones are not supported in later versions of 8.x.
      Appropriate antennae, mounts, etc. I have used two APs with built-in omni-directional antennae, but for point-point links, focussed antennae would be a better option.
    • Have the manual ready for reference (you should probably read it too...) https://h20628.www2.hp.com/km-ext/kmcsdirect/emr_na-a00072769en_us-1.pdf


    Don't forget the new AP387 point to point APs using 802.11ad 60GHz for outdoor links!




    I have built a point to point link, aka wireless bridge. It carries multiple VLANs as shown below.

    point to point.png

    • Mesh portal - at the centre of the network (near end)
    • Mesh point - connects to the mesh portal to establish the wireless bridge (far end)

    Mesh Group
    Create a new Group that will contain your mesh APs. This will give you control on all the settings relevant to the mesh link, and what to do with otherwise unused radios. I created one called BV-Mesh to distinguish it from the existing BV group.

    Mesh AP group.png
    Initial config changes under Radio were:

    • 2.4GHz --> spectrum mode
    • 5GHz remains in AP mode

    Mesh Cluster Profile
    Configured under Managed Network | Configuration | System | Profiles | Mesh | Mesh Cluster
    Create a new profile rather than using the default.

    Mesh cluster profile.png


    Mesh High-throughput Profile
    Whilst you are there, create a new high-throughput profile. It looks like almost everything is enabled in the default profiel anyway, but it is good practice to leave the default profiles alone and create new ones so they can be modified.

    Mesh high-throughput profile.png


    Wired AP Profile
    This one is specifically required to set the untagged VLAN on the AP ethernet port. If you don't have this set correctly, tagged VLAN traffic will communicate fine, but the untagged/native/PVID traffic will probably not work.
    Create a new Wired AP profile, eg MeshWiredPort: System | Profiles | AP | Wired AP

    Mesh WiredAP profile.png


    For my network, VLAN 148 is the relevant VLAN for managed APs. I have allowed all VLANs; you may want to designate specific VLANs.


    Mesh Group Profiles
    Go back to the mesh group, and check the new profiles just created.
    Add the new mesh cluster profile

    Under profiles (make sure advanced profiles is enabled), select the previously created profiles

    • Mesh | Mesh Cluster
    • Mesh | Mesh Radio | Mesh High-throughour SSID
    • AP | Ethernet interface 0 port config | Wired AP

    Mesh add cluster profile.png


    Add APs
    Do the initial provisioning with the AP connected to the local network, and relocate the end point after testing.


    • Get the AP managed by the controller first as a regular AP
    • The first AP will be the near end mesh portal. Provision it as mesh and select Mesh portal

      Mesh portal AP provision.png


    • The second AP will be the far end mesh point. Provision it as mesh and select Mesh point


    Switch Port Configuration
    Controller-based APs will normally tunnel 802.11 frames back to the controller and therefore only need a single untagged VLAN. However, a mesh AP is more than likely going to require multiple VLANs to carry them over the wireless bridge.

    You can tag all the required VLANs to the port, or you can enable GVRP/MVRP and let that auto-tag them. I have tested with GVRP auto-tagging the mesh link (MVRP should work the same way).

    Using device-profile and GVRP/MVRP may be the simplest way to enable a switch to support regular APs and mesh APs.


    Near switch with mesh portal connected (5406)

    interface B11
       name "AOS8 Mesh AP"
       poe-lldp-detect enabled
       untagged vlan 148
       spanning-tree root-guard

    Far switch with mesh point connected (2915)

    interface 1
       name "AOS8 mesh AP"
       unknown-vlans block
       power-over-ethernet critical
       untagged vlan 148

    GVRP is enabled at both ends, so this is what I see on the port at the far end. "Auto" in the second command output indicates the VLAN was automatically added by GVRP/MVRP.

    bvtv09(config)# sh vlans ports 1 detail
     Status and Counters - VLAN Information - for ports 1
      Port name: AOS8 mesh AP
      VLAN ID Name                 | Status     Voice Jumbo Mode
      ------- -------------------- + ---------- ----- ----- --------
      1       Management           | Port-based No    No    Tagged
      100     BV-Main              | Port-based No    No    Tagged
      145     Aruba controlled ... | Port-based No    No    Tagged
      148     Aruba AOS8 Contro... | Port-based No    Yes   Untagged
    bvtv09(config)# sh vlans 145
     Status and Counters - VLAN Information - VLAN 145
      VLAN ID : 145
      Name : Aruba controlled family
      Status : Port-based
      Voice : No
      Jumbo : No
      Port Information Mode     Unknown VLAN Status
      ---------------- -------- ------------ ----------
      1                Auto     Block        Up
      10               Untagged Learn        Down


    Post Deployment
    Two APs should now be configured under Mesh APs

    Mesh APs list.png


    From the dashboard, you can see the mesh APs too. This is the mesh portal view

    Mesh portal AP215 dashboard.png


    Extra Info from CLI

    (bvmm01-vm) [mynode] #cd
    BV7005                  Alias for /md/BV/00:0b:86:be:8d:e8
    bvmc01-vm               Alias for /md/BV/00:0c:29:2d:ef:11
    <node-path>             Path of config node
    (bvmm01-vm) [mynode] #cd bv7005
    (bvmm01-vm) [00:0b:86:be:8d:e8] #mdc
     Redirecting to Managed Device Shell
    (BV7005) [MDC] *#show ap mesh
    active                  Show mesh cluster APs currently registered on this switch
    debug                   Show Mesh debugging information
    neighbors               show all MESH neighbors
    tech-support            Display all information for an AP
    topology                Show mesh tree
    (BV7005) [MDC] *#show ap mesh active
    Mesh Cluster Name: Mesh-BV
    Name           Group    IP Address      BSSID              Band/Ch/EIRP/MaxEIRP    MTU   Enet Ports  Mesh Role  Parent         #Children  AP Type  Uptime
    ----           -----    ----------      -----              --------------------    ---   ----------  ---------  ------         ---------  -------  ------
    Mesh-AP205_03  BV-Mesh  f0:5c:19:f5:f6:11  802.11a/104E/15.0/25.0        Bridge      Point      Mesh-AP215_03  0          205      8h:49m:7s
    Mesh-AP215_03  BV-Mesh  f0:5c:19:8c:4c:11  802.11a/104E/21.0/28.7  1578  -           Portal     -              1          215      9h:15m:25s
    Total APs :2
    (BV7005) [MDC] *#show ap mesh topology
    Mesh Cluster Name: Mesh-BV
    Name           Mesh Role    Parent         Path Cost  Node Cost  Link Cost  Hop Count  RSSI  Rate Tx/Rx  Last Update  Uplink Age  #Children
    ----           ---------    ------         ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  ----  ----------  -----------  ----------  ---------
    Mesh-AP205_03  Point (AC)   Mesh-AP215_03  1          0          0          1          44    6/866       4m:54s       8h:43m:52s  0
    Mesh-AP215_03  Portal (AC)  -              0          1          0          0          0     -           5m:35s       9h:15m:39s  1
    Total APs :2
    (R): Recovery AP. (N): 11N Enabled. (AC): 11AC Enabled. For Portals 'Uplink Age' equals uptime.
    (BV7005) [MDC] *#show ap mesh neighbors ap-name Mesh-AP205_03
    Neighbor list
    MAC                Portal  Channel  Age  Hops  Cost  Relation                 Flags  RSSI  Rate Tx/Rx  A-Req  A-Resp  A-Fail  HT-Details        Cluster ID
    ---                ------  -------  ---  ----  ----  -----------------        -----  ----  ----------  -----  ------  ------  ----------        ----------
    f0:5c:19:8c:4c:11  Yes     104E     0    0     1.00  P 8h:46m:14s             VLK    43    650/780     3      3       0       VHT-80MHzsgi-3ss  Mesh-BV
    Total count: 1, Children: 0
    Relation: P = Parent; C = Child; N = Neighbor; B = Blacklisted-neighbor
    Flags: R = Recovery-mode; S = Sub-threshold link; D = Reselection backoff; F = Auth-failure; H = High Throughput; V = Very High Throughput, E= High efficient, L = Legacy allowed
            K = Connected; U = Upgrading; G = Descendant-upgrading; Z = Config pending; Y = Assoc-resp/Auth pending
            a = SAE Accepted; b = SAE Blacklisted-neighbour; e = SAE Enabled; u = portal-unreachable; o = opensystem


  • 2.  RE: Howto: Point-to-Point Mesh on AOS 8.5

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 01:03 PM

    I also had to create a new "AP wired port" profile (System > Profiles > AP > AP wired port > "+" ) and assign it to "Ethernet interface 0 port config" "AP wired port profile". Otherwise assigning the "Wired AP" profile would change the "wired AP" profile for all AP groups and interfaces that had the "AP wired port profile" set to default.


    but this post was super helpful, thank you!

  • 3.  RE: Howto: Point-to-Point Mesh on AOS 8.5

    Posted Apr 17, 2020 01:02 PM

    Same here. I also had to create a new "AP wired port" profile and assign it to "Ethernet interface 0 port config" "AP wired port profile" to prevent unintended changes to profile settings in other AP groups.