After watching Arista Networks present at #MFD8 (Mobility Field Day 8) and #MFD9 (Mobility Field Day 9), I noticed some changes in the UI. I was interested in understanding more with a primary focus on AGNI, UPSK (WPA3), WIPS, and MFR; see my previous blog post here. I was able to get a couple of Arista access points in my hands, thanks to Sriram Venkiteswaran (Director of Product Management, Arista Cognitive Wireless) and Robert A. Ferruolo (Senior Technical Marketing Engineer) for the test units and helping me get the initial setup going.
I am exploring this product for the first time, I figured let’s start with the navigation and where are all the buttons and knobs, what does what, etc.
Since this is the first time I’m exploring this product I figured let’s start with figuring out the navigation and where are all the buttons and knobs, what does what etc.
After my first login, I was presented with the usual Agreement page; after hitting “Accept and Continue” I was able to get the different menu blocks.
CV-CUE is the main interface to manage and configure Wi-Fi, I do however want to point out two other.
- Wi-Fi Device Registration:
- All the access points should be already under the CV-CUE. Just by any chance if they are not, access points can manually be added using the Wi-Fi Device Registration section using the Serial Number and Registration Key.
- This is a free service from Arista that allows you to dump your pcaps in there for a deeper analysis.
There isn’t anything configured in here so far and at this point access points that I added were sitting under the Staging Area.
Even though access point radios aren’t broadcasting by default, it looks like they are still in listening mode by default and will report back some over-the-air events.
Arista CV-CUE has a hierarchy for the locations
- From the “Dashboard” clicking on the 3 horizontal bars can bring up the locations.
- Staging area is basically a holding spot for all the access points as they get added to the inventory.
- Main folder could be a new site, campus, building depending on how someone wants to organize their hierarchy.
- Floors with floor plans can be added under the site, campus or a building as needed.
- Lastly if you want to add more Folders to represent your site, campus or a building you can navigate to system and “Navigator”.
There are two ways to view the menu options available. 1) Click on the three dots, and 2) right-click in that general area. This will bring up a menu that allows you to add additional Folders and Floors.
Moving the Access Points:
After the site folders and floor plans are done, access points can be moved into a desired location from the staging area. NOTE: Technically, access points can also be moved in between different locations.‘
An interesting thing to notice here is the access point icons. The one with the “Green Arrow” is a regular access point. The one with the “Blue Arrow” is an AP with a WIPS functionality. There is some good access point-related information available in this area such as PoE, Capability, Model, IP, and MAC and the two that I liked were the CPU and Memory Utilization columns.
Took me some time to understand the concept of “Groups” and what exactly they do: it is crucial to understand their functionality for your design. “Groups” in Arista CV-CUE are for access points and access point-related settings such as Port configs for the hospitality AP, login credentials, and RF radio-related properties like channels, power levels, etc. Keep in mind that all these settings can simply be configured under the site folders. Groups can be useful so you don’t have to create a whole bunch of folders for specific scenarios. Instead, RF radio/Access Points specific settings can be customized under groups, and access points can simply be assigned to the group.
There are multiple ways to create groups. You can create groups from the System –> Navigator section. Depending on the hierarchy you right-click on, you will be creating a group at that level. This is not something you want to do unless necessary.
Another way to create these Groups is when assigning access points to the groups. Once you assign the access points to a specific Group, access point(s) will inherit the settings configured under that group.
Configuring Groups was a little tricky since I am not used to the interface, but once you figure it out you won’t forget it. From Configure –> Wi-Fi look towards the bottom of the screen and click on Groups. This brings us to the Groups section.
In my case I created three groups on the top level of my hierarchy.
- rf-20mhz – All APs in this group will use 20 MHz channels in 5 GHz.
- rf-40mhz – All APs in this group will use 40 MHz channels in 5 GHz.
- rf_hospitality – Something related to the hospitality AP, tbd.
Quick Thoughts on Groups:
I think these should be renamed to something like “RF-Groups” or “Radio-Groups”. Secondly, splitting the menu after Configure in two may be easier to navigate.
Next, we need some SSIDs for these access points to advertise. SSIDs can be created at the top level or one of the Site level folders. Whatever you create at the top “Locations” level will get inherited by all the folders below it in addition to any SSID(s) created at the folder-specific level.
The following two images can provide some additional clarity after the video. In this first image, I created an SSID under Locations (top level) and called it “locationlab00“. Look at the 4th line you can also see where exactly this SSID is in the hierarchy.
Let’s take a look at the second image. At the next folder level, I created another SSID and called it “aristalab00“, but since there is an SSID at the top level from the previous screenshot that SSID also gets inherited by the folders below. Take a look at the 4th line and that shows the level for each SSID.
What to do if you do not want the inherited SSID “locationlab00” broadcasting at the “aristalab00” location? You can not delete the inherited SSID, it can only be deleted from a parent level it was created in. But you can leave it or turn it off.
There are few other menu options but they will require a separate post or two as I bring everything online and there is some data to show.
- Floor Plans
Feel free to share your feedback and questions, would love to hear thoughts about Arista CV-CUE especially if you are currently using it. Thank you for reading.