Future-Proof, Wireless Mesh Networking
Mesh network requirements have evolved from their military origins as
requirements have moved from the battlefield to the service provider, and
enterprise networking environments. Growing demands for Time Sensitive, Video, Voice and M2M streams require packets to
be moved over the mesh at high speeds and
with low latency and low jitter.
Additionally, Outdoor Enterprises require costly cellular links to be efficiently distributed
--securely-- over larger areas for mobile machinery.
These challenges in Scalability, Synchronicity and Security are especially
relevant to the burgeoning Internet of Things. .
1. Tree Based Multi-Radio
Mesh Architectures Scale.
1: First, Second and Third Generation Mesh Network Topologies
Three generations of mesh architectures are shown above. Note
: First and
Second, both use a single radio as backhaul:
1-Radio Ad Hoc Mesh (left). This network uses one radio channel
to service clients and backhaul. This architecture provides the worst of all the options, as expected, since both backhaul and service compete for bandwidth.
: Dual-Radio with Single Radio Ad-Hoc meshed backhaul (center).
A single radio
ad hoc mesh is still servicing the backhaul, packets traveling
toward the Internet share bandwidth at each hop along the backhaul path with
other interfering mesh backhaul nodes - all-operating on the same channel. "Peer-to-Peer"
Bandwidth Degradation Graph
: 3-Radio Meshdynamics Mesh (right). Provides separate
backhaul and service functionality
dynamically manages channels of all uplink and downlink radios so
that every backhaul (hop) is on
Meshdynamics scalable multi-radio tree is the
wireless equivalent of (Scalable, Self Healing) Switch Stacks
2. Conventional Single Channel Backhauls
Fig.2: (left) Competing mesh products suffer from ½ Bandwidth loss with each hop.
Click to Enlarge.
Fig 3: (right): Meshdynamics MeshControlTM
Software engenders Frequency Agility. Click to
With one backhaul radio available for relaying packets, all nodes communicate
with each other on one radio channel. For data to be relayed from mesh node to
mesh node, that node must repeat it in a store-and-forward manner. A node first
receives the data and then retransmits it. These 2 operations cannot occur
simultaneously because, with only a single radio channel, simultaneous
transmission and reception would interfere with each other.
This inability - to simultaneously transmit and receive - is a serious
disadvantage. If a node cannot send and receive at the same time, it loses ½ of
its bandwidth as it attempts to relay packets up and down the backhaul path. A
loss of ½ with each hop implies that after 4 hops, a user would be left with
(½*½*½*½) = 1/16 of the bandwidth available at the Ethernet link. This is 1/(2N)
relationship defines the fraction of the bandwidth available to a user after N
hops, see Figure 2. .
3. Managing RF Interference and
Switching to another channel contains local interference at one "dirty" section of the network. With one radio backhauls, this is not possible: the
entire network is on the same channel and switching to another channel is simply not practical.
The performance of single channel backhauls is thus heavily compromised in RF polluted environments or under malicious attacks. Military field trials with dual channel backhaul have demonstrated frequency agility,
ensuring that the network is active - even with malicious RF interference.
Our blue backhaul radios (Fig. 3) simply switch to (scanned) non-interfering channels. More
4. Supporting Both New and Legacy Wireless Radio Protocols
| Meshdynamics' dual channel implementation is not limited to any particular number or type
of physical radios, or indeed to the concept of separate physical radios at all.
Instead, the Meshdynamics
mesh networking algorithms treat multiple physical radios as a pool of
We work closely with our licensees to
support a diverse list of
Future Proofing: Decoupling the logical channel-selection and
topology-definition processes from the specific physical
radio in this fashion delivers distributed dynamic radio
intelligence benefits for current as well as emerging radio
This substantially decreases time to market and better manufacturing
scale, reducing both development- and unit cost over custom development for
our OEM software licensees.
5. Modular Multi-Radio Design Securely
connects Edge Devices
products take our radio agnostic, Radio Frequency (RF) Agility one step
further. The "RF robot" software runs
at a radio-abstracted layer: the same mesh control supports
radios operating on different frequencies and protocols.
Fig. 4 shows how this level of flexibility is leveraged in the MD4000 Modular
Mesh Products. There are 4 mini-PCI slots on the board, two on the bottom and two on top. Each of the four slots can house a different frequency radio. This opens up some interesting possibilities including 2.4 GHz backhaul
sub tree being part of a mesh tree with 5.8 GHz backhauls.
Fig 4: Configurable Board supports up to 4
Fig 5: Interoperability between 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz sub trees
Since the service and backhaul radios are distinct, it is possible to use a service radio to bridge over from a 5.8 GHz backhaul to 2.4 GHz backhaul – as shown in Fig.
5. The 4325 Mobility Relay node on the bottom left has joined the mesh – even though the upper links are 5.8 GHz (blue) – through the service radio (pink).
In Infrastructure mode, device to device M2M messaging " goes up the tree".
When (not if) IOT edge device security is compromised. the uplink radios of the
sub trees are simply shut down. This is not possible in peer-to-peer networks.
6. Embedded Machine Controllers For Local Control Loops
Fig. 6: Machine controller applications, in mesh nodes,
orchestrating local and remote (supervisory) control loops.
Machine controller applications, running on the mesh nodes, monitor and control enterprise
assets at the network edge. M2M messaging is latency and jitter
aware. A scalable Pub/Sub messaging framework is supported by periodic
packet shuttle services. Performance is analyzed in the cloud, over the
supervisory control link. The supervisory cloud controller then tunes local
machine controller "apps". The radio and protocol agnostic abstractions ensure
that the "apps" are capable of managing a plethora of IP and Non IP based
A device and communication protocol abstracted framework
emerges, capable of tight integration with "machine controller" applications
- on the mesh nodes - that orchestrate sensor-actuator
interactions and feedback command and control loops.
Meshdynamics works closely with our source code licensees to simulate and
prototype OEM product offerings and solutions.
For more information please see:
The Abstracted Network for
Enterprises and the Internet Of Things.
New mesh requirements e.g. more hops to cover larger areas, more efficient bandwidth distribution, better latency and jitter for Video,
Voice and M2M communications, have given rise to new mesh architectures.
Meshdynamics patented multi-radio backhaul architectures delivers consistent
throughput and more-deterministic performance needed to meet these new requirements.
Our device and protocol abstractions support distributed dynamic radio intelligence,
frequency agility, automated channel selection, dynamic topology configuration,
and seamless extensions for the network "edge".. These capabilities provide single framework solutions for larger scale and diverse application environments
at the edge: e.g. Industrial Internet of Things.