Our mesh topology is a tool offering valuable insight into your mesh networks. It provides useful information on how Access Points are connected to each other based on location details and measured throughput.
This tool allows you to:
- Visualize your mesh connections;
- Analyze the primary routes over which traffic flows in a multi-hop network;
- Understand which devices act as gateway;
- Monitor throughput of each mesh connection and identify potential bottlenecks.
It basically offers unmatched visibility into your mesh connections, allowing you to easily analyze and troubleshoot your network.
To access our mesh topology tool, simply follow these steps:
- Log into the Plasma Cloud console;
- Select the Organisation and Network of interest from the top right menu; and
- Navigate to Topology > Mesh in the main menu on the left.
You will be presented with a map showing the location and status of your Access Points using various markers. Colors illustrate whether a device is online (blue) or offline (red). Little icons next to the markers indicate whether the device is wired and/or has mesh mode enabled.
- represents a wired Access Point with mesh disabled;
- represents a wired Access Point with mesh enabled (mesh internet gateway);
- represents an Access Point connected to the Internet via mesh.
- represents an offline Access Point.
Reading the Map
You can see all currently active mesh connections in your network indicated by blue lines between devices. Any Access Point not using mesh to connect to the Internet (i.e., offline or with mesh disabled) will appear as an isolated marker on the map.
You can analyze specific routes by hovering over or clicking on an Access Point marker.
If you click on an Access Point marker, you can see all its available mesh links shown as blue dashed lines along with the measured throughput.
Upon hovering over an Access Point marker, yellow lines will appear and visualize the primary route over which traffic flows from the selected device to its chosen gateway.
For example, in the image above the cursor is hovering over a device called PA 1200 A/C Corner. Based on the Access Point marker, you can tell it is mesh device requiring a path to a gateway for internet access. The used path is highlighted in yellow.
By hovering over a device two or more hops away, you can easily find out which route a device takes to connect to the Internet in a multi-hop network.
Plasma Cloud Access Points are auto-configured to use the route with the highest overall throughput to the nearest gateway to ensure maximum performance.
Mesh gateways provide internet connectivity to multiple mesh devices. Available internet uplink capacity is shared among all mesh devices connected to the same gateway concurrently. To provide the best network performance, it is advisable to install multiple gateways to evenly distribute traffic load.
In the image above, the cursor hovers over a device at the bottom called A62 Office. As indicated by the map marker, this device is the gateway providing internet access to the mesh network. The yellow lines highlight which mesh devices in your network are using this gateway. In our example network, only one gateway is present, therefore all traffic flows to the same device.
Tips & Tricks
Since the mesh topology tool gives a quick and simple overview of the whole mesh network, you can use it for debugging purposes as well. It makes it easy to spot any mesh link with low throughput and check whether the issue may be related to where devices are deployed.
Visualizing your network connections helps you spot potential throughput bottlenecks. In a mesh network, every mesh hop reduces the throughput. The placement of your devices and gateways can be vital to ensure good network performance.
Example ( 1 )
Imagine a network with 2 gateways and 5 mesh devices. Four out of 5 mesh Access Points are connected to gateway A, whereas the fifth mesh device is connected to gateway B. In this case, the throughput of the first four Access Points will be significantly lower (at about 25%) compared to the fifth device.
To improve your network, you can either deploy one or two of the first four Access Points closer to the second gateway to balance the load, partly switch to wired connections or use a third gateway, if possible.
Example ( 2 )
Let's assume you have a network with 1 gateway and 5 mesh devices deployed in the form of a chain. With every hop, the throughput is decreased. There are two clients using the same network: one client (green) is connected to the first Access Point, with fine overall performance. The other client (red) is connected to the last device in the chain and experiences a slow WiFi connection.
Thanks to our topology map, you are now able to see that the throughput for the first client is much higher than for the second client. Again, to fix this situation, you can either move the first gateway into the center of the Access Point chain to balance the load, partly switch to wired connections, or use another gateway close to the end of the chain, if possible.