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General Layout Question

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General Layout Question
Hi All,

I have been doing a lot of research about the AREDN Network and have experienced with it recently, as well as the BBHN a few years back.  I have a few questions on how the AREDN Network actually works.  I do pretty decent Networking experience so if things can be related to that it would be fine with me.  For example, lets say I build out a site on the Verdugo Mountains.  I throw up a dish shooting to connect to the OC Mesh that is in place, I shoot out to Simi Valley and connect into there network, and then have 3 120 Degree Sectors set up to provide coverage to Burbank, Glendale, and La Crescenta.  When all 5 of these cables run down into the building from what I understand is they are connecting to a Switch and not a Router.  If I also want to have a computer running as a server in the building does this change anything?  If I am correct when using them with a switch the first antenna acts as my DHCP server?  so if I can get clarification when to use a router or switch in the set up that would be great.  And my next questions is related to that.  So lets say I get my network set up to the OC Mesh and then that node is running the same IP Octet range to be able to connect, but after it gets into my switch is it really creating a new network like a router would be doing or am I just an extension of there network, and with no real DHCP server over the entire network how do I know I am not duplicating an IP address on my server for example as something on there network down in OC?

I think those are my main 2 questions for now at least.

Thanks for the help guys,

Will Richards
I am just about to run to a
I am just about to run to a meeting so this response may be a little shorter than you may need if so let me know and we can cover more later.

When building AREDN networks you never need a router. AREDN itself is a routed network and each node as a router for PC's attached to it.  You will use a switch (preferably a managed switch with VLAN support if running multiple devices and desiring to have local attached PC's) to combine multiple devices together.  See the DtDLink documentation under the menu for more information about the layouts and DHCP server settings (we use 802.1q VLAN's to combine LAN/WAN/DtDLink onto the same physical port on single port devices.) There are several ways to layout the switch configuration and the DtDLink doc should provide more info but suffices to say that you will have all the devices speaking together on the DtDLink VLAN and then you will have services talking through a specific node using the "LAN" VLAN.

​Regarding Address Space. First off there isn't a different network range for each mesh network, the entire mesh environment is always covered by the IP range.  Every node deployed MUST have an IP address in this range.  Every node generates an IP address for its wireless interface and optionally by default an additional small segment to be used for local devices to have direct routable access.  This address space that is generated is then advertised to the rest of the mesh network and the network is informed "Contact my node to send any data to these IP address"  Its your own self contained network that is advertised to the mesh. That range will be the same on your device if its connected to OCMesh, San Diego's Mesh or if you took the node to a mesh in Arizona.

There is a small chance of collision of duplicate address spaces but in  all the years we have been doing mesh we have never seen it happen. This is not something you should generally worry about as the mesh has room for 2^24 addresses in the current infrastructure.  We certainly are keeping an eye on it and have eventual plans to probably hit IPv6 to decrease it even further but with the small size of the licensed HAM community its not a significant problem yet.

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