Traditionally, outdoor wireless solutions have been limited to point-to-point and point-to-multipoint bridging between buildings. With these solutions, each AP is wired to the network. The Cisco Wireless Mesh networking solution, shown in Figure 4-13, eliminates the need to wire each AP and allows users to roam from one area to another without having to reconnect.
Figure 4-13 Wireless Mesh Components
The wireless mesh components are as follows:
■ Wireless Control System (WCS) is the wireless mesh SNMP management system that allows network-wide configuration and management.
■ Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) links the mesh APs to the wired network and performs all the tasks previously described for a WLC.
■ Rooftop AP (RAP) connects the mesh to the wired network and serves as the root (or gateway). It also communicates with the MAPs.
■ Mesh Access Points (MAP) are remote APs. They communicate with the RAP to connect to the wired network.
Mesh Design Recommendations
The following are Cisco recommendations (and considerations) for mesh design:
■ For outdoor deployment, four or fewer hops are recommended for best performance. A maximum of eight hops is supported.
■ For indoor deployment, one hop is supported.
■ 20 MAP nodes per RAP are recommended for best performance. Up to 32 MAPs are supported.
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