The title is a play on words, but it simply means that a ‘fully-meshed’ network design may not fit the topology or the customer requirements. But the unique capabilities of Firetide‘s mesh allow the network to meet the project performance expectations.
This post follows the theme of wireless mesh network design. (For a broader discussion, see: Network Design Considerations for Wireless Video Surveillance). To illustrate and expand on why flexibility of mesh topology is important for video surveillance, consider this: mesh is a superset of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems. In addition, the distributed intelligence of the mesh and transparent switching/routing within it enable performance that other systems cannot achieve. Two examples below:
Nested point-to-point mesh design
Even though the design uses point-to-point and point-to-multipoint approach, many of the links are ‘nested’ (with some nodes acting as repeaters), which is only possible with mesh gear. You could deploy point-to-point (maybe) but you’d have to deploy a base station at each nesting locations, which is expensive, and also take a hit in performance as you are switching from subscriber units to base stations. Instead, the ‘nesting’ nodes are dual-radio, so they are able to communicate in both directions without throughput degradation.
Also note frequency re-use as indicated by green lines, showing the same frequency being used. This is possible since mesh in street level, and therefore the signals on the same frequency are isolated from each other and are non-interfering.
The two physical meshes you see on the image are logically a single mesh (illustrating our concept of a distributed wireless Ethernet switch), and as such, have a single IP address for the entire mesh. The two head nodes on the main building are interconnected via in-building LAN network.
What you are seeing is a real-life example of a high-performance mesh. This nested design was the best option given the site’s topology.
Linear loop mesh design
This is an example of a redundant linear mesh, with redundancy achieved through the completion of the circle. If one of the links is broken, the mesh will automatically re-route the traffic without any dropped packets or added latency.
The advantages of using mesh equipment vs a collection of point-to-point links in this situation are:
- All of the links can be system can be managed through the same network management interface
- You get system-wide diagnostics and alerts
- Less real estate and power required at each location (one radio node, instead of two separate boxes)
- Latency and jitter is minimized with intra-radio switching
For more posts on wireless network design for high-performance applications, see:
- Network Design Considerations for Wireless Video Surveillance
- To Mesh or Not To Mesh for Wireless Security and Surveillance
- The Many Interpretations of ‘Wireless Mesh’