[OpenWrt-Devel] Multiple OpenWrt devices collectively managed?

David Lang david at lang.hm
Mon Mar 23 13:20:40 EDT 2015

On Sun, 22 Mar 2015, Outback Dingo wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 10:33 AM, valent.turkovic at gmail.com <
> valent.turkovic at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 21 March 2015 at 15:49, Janne Cederberg <janne.cederberg at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Greetings all!
>>> Been searching around and found for example OpenWISP but thought I'd
>>> ask the list as well: is there some opensource management software for
>>> OpenWrt that could control a set of multiple OpenWrt AP's on the same
>>> SSID; so basically controlling their channels based on channel use and
>>> actively avoiding crowded/DOS'sed channels for example?
>>> Best regards, Janne Cederberg
>> Hi Janne,
>> what you are asking for is quite custom piece of software so there is
>> not any open source project with functionality that you ask for.
>> But it is not too difficult to build something like that, try building
>> it yourself and share it with others, or hire somebody to do it for
>> you.
>> Cheers,
>> Valent.
> Thats actually not true, there are numerous implementations of dashboard
> management solution for openwrt based routers running mesh, Ive been
> running a dashboard
> for well over 6 years now on a large scale wireless deployment.
> just research openwrt wireless mesh dashboard

my understanding of what the OP is asking for is a bit different.

Rather than managing mesh systems, the OP is looking for something to manage a 
bunch of wired infrastructure systems. A large part of this can be done with 
chef/puppet/ansible/salt/etc, but the specific question is around having 
something to automatically assign channels amoung the different APs to minimize 
interference between the APs and between the APs and other things in the area.

If there is anyone who has a good program for doing this planning, even if it 
doesn't manage the configs directly, I'd be very interested in hearing about it.

It's not that hard to have each AP report the signal strength of the other APs 
near it, and then various thigns can be done to create a mapping that will 
result in the least interference from the other APs in the system (not trivial, 
but not super hard)

but dealing with other APs that aren't part of the network is much harder. It's 
not enough to know that there is a SSID beaconing on a channel, you have to know 
how much traffic there is on that channel (airtime usage, not even bits 
transmitted). On 2.4 GHz you have the added problem that this may be taking 
place on a channel that overlapps what you are using, so you don't hear the 
beacon, but you suffer from the interference.

I would also be worried about the disruption that would happen as the system 
decides to shuffle channels and the changes ripple through the system, forcing 
all clients to reconnect.

An AP that is serving clients can't scan other channels to see what conditions 
are like on those channels.

David Lang
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