Wireless Access

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MSR4000 Mesh Router End of Sale / AP-270 Mesh

Hello all...


we have designed a quite large mesh infrastructure for one of our customers based on the MSR4000 Mesh Router. After we have ordered the Routers last week we today received a message from our distributor that that the MSR4000 is end of Sale. I first could not believe it because but after looking arund in the internet i found the following document: http://www.arubanetworks.com/support-services/end-of-life/


Suggested replacement is the AP-270 series. Funny enough the MSR_Series is still very prominent on the website: http://www.arubanetworks.com/products/networking/outdoor-mesh/ 


So my question is now if someone has already made some experience in building larger mesh networks based on the AP-270. Does it support the same featureset as the MeshOS based MSR? Especially features like Adaptive Wireless Routing (AWR), Layer 3 optimal route selection, Fast convergence and failover and Multiple concurrent gateways are important for us. Any known limitations / drawbacks?


Is a conroller mandatory for mesh or will it work with the iAP?  The MSR4000 had 4 Radiso which could be configured for access or backhaul. Can this be done withe the AP-270 radios as well?


Any information and experience that can be shared with us would be much appreciated... 

Re: MSR4000 Mesh Router End of Sale / AP-270 Mesh

* Until products are officially end of sale, they will always be listed on the main products web page as they are still for sale.

* We have built large mesh networks with ArubaOS as well as MSRs both (though they are not directly compatible in terms of OS and feature).

* The featureset is not the same for MeshOS versus AOS. AWR and L3 routing are not a component of AOS Mesh, nor is fast convergence.

* You can have multiple portals/gateways with AOS, but as AOS mesh is Layer 2 only, a point can only use one portal at a time. 

* Controller is mandatory for any large AP-27x mesh (Instant will do simple PtP but will have issues with larger mesh deployments). 

* THe AP-27x and 36x have a single 5Ghz and single 2.4Ghz radio only. For multi-channel mesh you would wire AP-27x/36x back to back, either directly (if AC powered) or using a multiport POE switch or power injector. 


If you have specific architectures, I would engage your local Aruba sales team to solicit advice/assistance in how to architect AP-27x into MSR type architectures. If the loss of AWR, L3 Mesh, etc is a non-starter, our rcommendation is to look at the previous year's run rates and order the number of MSRs you would need to support the growth of said project or other projects you may have. 

Jerrod Howard
Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer
New Contributor

Re: MSR4000 Mesh Router End of Sale / AP-270 Mesh

Hi Jerrod...


tahnk you very much for your detailled replay...


yousaid: "Until products are officially end of sale, they will always be listed on the main products web page as they are still for sale."


Official End of Sale was April 30th 2017.. http://www.arubanetworks.com/support-services/end-of-life/.So there is really no reason why the stuff is still on the webpage...It is very misleading as it was in our case...


" AWR and L3 routing are not a component of AOS Mesh, nor is fast convergence."


So what is the reason to set a well established Product eos if the replacement product does not even come close feature wise?


"you would wire AP-27x/36x back to back"

Interesting idea. So AP-27x is used for backhaul and 36x for access, right?


The good thing is that it is a new project so we do not have to integrate with an existing MSR-infrastructure. But we need a new design that scales and lasts for the next coupple of years.


"If you have specific architectures, I would engage your local Aruba sales team to solicit advice/assistance"


They are the ones that did not tell us about the eos of MSR4000! And to say it diplomatically i have the feeling that knowledge about Mesh is not very wide spread in the German organisation ;-) Maybe you can set us in contact with someone who has extensive know how in designing mesh networks to help us evaluate an new design for our project? 


Re: MSR4000 Mesh Router End of Sale / AP-270 Mesh

Ah good point, it slipped in my mind as well. I will get a case opened to get them removed from the web page.


The main reason the MSR was EOSd without a direct replacement, is two fold (actually kind of three). 1, component hardware is no longer available to actually build the units. We get notifications of components and do a 'last build' before the EoS, which is based on run rate, etc. 2 (and 3), the actual OS was based on older 11n Phy and to port it over to 11ac Phy would have required a near complete re-write of the underlying code. The existing sales numbers did not justify the development costs to bring it to 11ac and keep the features, when 90%+ of the use cases and existing deployments could be done with AOS. Additionally (tied to #2 and 3), there were more and more security requirements from customers that were not built in to the MSR platform and is part of what added to the large development costs that existing sales of the platform just wouldn't support.


On top of that, the MSR products were much slower than what our current 11ac mesh products support. And while it requires more hardware, to put in a linear hop multi-channel mesh node to support two hops and dual band access, the AP-27x solution (and certainly now with the AP-36x solution) carries a lower overall cost, both in list pricing AND most importantly in installation costs. A single MSR4K with 2 directional antennas and 2.4/5Ghz client access antnennas + installation costs is MUCH higehr than three AP-277s/275s or 274s+275/277, etc. With the introduction of the AP-36x (which was primarily built for the ETSI environment in the EU), that cost differential gets even bigger.


So a TL;DR is 90%+ of the existing MSR deployments didn't actually use the true L3 mesh and oehr advanced MSR features. Most MSR deployments could be served by AOS AP-27x/36x with more performance at a lower overall cost. That said, there will be some capabilities lost (mentioned above), and while that is never desired, was just unavoidable.


With AOS (the following is not supported on IAP), Wiring multiple APs back to back, you can wire APs to support multi-channel linear mesh OR you can certainly wire a dual band client AP and backhaul over a separate mesh link PtP. 


Your local DE sales team may not be the most MSR-knowlegeable, but they should be fine with AOS, and if not, they can reach out and include me (the Outdoor TME) directly for any additional support you or they may need. I know though of more than a few SEs in DE that are very strong with mesh and outdoor. :) You can send me a PM as to your specific region and I can get you in contact with the SE Manager for that region to make sure we get you covered. Thanks!

Jerrod Howard
Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer
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