It seems there isn’t a vendor out there that makes creating a P2P Mesh link easy. Aruba controller configuration can be complicated and creating a P2P mesh link seemed like a daunting task (until, of course, you do it enough and get used to it, then everything is easy). I found a few decent articles on it that were helpful:
Aruba Controllers use a hierarchy, and everything has a profile. Note: there are default profiles; I highly recommend not tweaking or changing the default profiles and always creating a custom profiles based on your requirements. We can configure configuration options from different screens and/or within options.
For this write up and creating a P2P Mesh link, I started with creating an AP group, named “p2p-mesh”. NOTE: I connected Both APs to a switch while I was configuring them for a P2P link.
I added the “Mesh Cluster Profile”:
Configure Wired AP Profile:
Configure AP Wired Port: NOTE: make sure Spanning Tree and Loop Protect are enabled.
Bind “Wired AP” to “AP Wired Port”:
Configure Access Points and provision them for the right group. They will reboot and will show up under “Mesh APs”.
Some information from the CLI:
There are more command options available. I posted only a few that I used. There are some great “debug” commands available for troubleshooting purpose.
I couldn’t find any good view in the UI showing all the stats, but CLI does show some good information:
Now let’s push out an SSID on the “Mesh Point” for client access.
After deploying my changes, I can see the newly created WLAN in Wi-Fi Explorer Pro:
An important thing to note here is that the client access SSID is being advertised in both bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This is not ideal. We should only use mesh Link on 5 GHz for the Mesh Connectivity and not client access. This can be resolved by simply changing the “Allowed Band” parameter under the Virtual AP. Change the value from “all” to “g” only.
Checking Wi-Fi Explorer to again. SSID is only available in 2.4 GHz band now.
It is time to finally connect and test client access. Screen shot below shows a successful client connection using 2.4 GHz radio.
Following screen shots are from the Aruba Controller validating client connectivity and stats:
NOTE: Feel free to comment if you see any errors in my post. Keep in mind that this was all done in my lab, always test your solution before pushing it out to production.