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[WLA] How a mesh link is built

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Article ID: KB27206 KB Last Updated: 28 Mar 2013Version: 1.0
Summary:
This article provides information on how a mesh link is built.
Symptoms:
How a mesh link is built.
Cause:

Solution:
The folowing procedure illustrates how a mesh AP boots:

  1. The future mesh AP starts booting (it only requires a PoE injector).

  2. The first thing it does is look into its boot-configuration and see if mesh is enabled.

  3. If mesh is enabled, it looks at the configured mesh SSID.

  4. At this point, the future mesh AP behaves as a Wi-Fi client (imagine it is a laptop associating to an AP).

  5. it starts to look for an AP that is advertising the SSID; if it finds several APs, it chooses the one with the best signal (with show ap mesh-links, for an already active mesh AP, you can identify what candidate portal APs it has found and how it sees their RSSIs)

  6. It goes through all the steps that a normal client goes through of association, authentication, authorization, active, and so on.

  7. It uses the mesh psk phrase that is configured in its boot-configuration.

  8. When it is active as a client (and seen in show sessions mesh-ap), only now it starts to behave like an AP, which means that it starts to send find-mx packets to find its controller, establish a communication with it, and boot on it.

  9. What is configured on the radios of the mesh AP has no implications at all in the mesh link; what is configured on the radios of the mesh AP matters, when you want to connect Wi-Fi clients to the mesh AP.

Note:

  • To disable the radios of the mesh AP, the mesh link will be established without any issues, if the correct information is configured in its boot-configuration.

  • If the radio of the portal AP is disabled, the mesh APs will start looking for a portal again, associate to it, and boot (with the above procedure).
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