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Publish | 2024-05-06
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What’s New in OpenWiFi 3.0 and OLS 1.3x

Edgecore Wi-Fi has been a long-standing, active participant in the technical development of the Telecom Infra Project’s OpenWiFi and OpenLAN Switching initiatives. From access points, switches, CLOUDSDK controllers, to various APIs, Edgecore Wi-Fi collaborates closely with numerous community members. Today, we are thrilled to share several significant advancements in OpenWiFi and OLS technology. By enabling these features, OpenWiFi and OLS will demonstrate even greater performance in many real-world commercial environments.

 

Introducing OpenWiFi 3.0

The big news is that OpenWiFi now officially supports the Wi-Fi 7 standard with version 3.0. Our new EAP105 indoor Wi-Fi access point, just unveiled, will be among the first products to market with both OpenWiFi and Wi-Fi 7 compatibility.

In addition to Wi-Fi 7 support , starting with OpenWiFi 3.0, Edgecore has contributed to the implementation specifications for dual-boot, enhancing the system’s reliability and maintainability. With the technical development efforts contributed by Edgecore to the OpenWiFi community, OpenWiFi 3.0 can ensure normal operation of devices during upgrades, even in the event of unexpected power failures. This avoids system crashes due to failed updates. The dual-boot capability ensures the safety and continuity of devices during critical updates, marking a significant advancement in network device management.

Dual-boot is a feature that allows a device to have two independent boot partitions. This means that if the primary partition fails or is damaged, the device can automatically switch to the secondary partition to continue operating. This feature is particularly useful during system updates; if there are sudden power outages or other disruptions, it prevents the device from becoming an unusable “brick.”

 

Sneak Peek at OLS 1.3x Features

When it comes to OLS switches, Edgecore Wi-Fi is hard to beat in terms of variety. We’ve got the most diverse OLS switch lineup out there, with over 20 models spanning 6 different series – all built to support the OLS spec. And in the latest OLS feature rollout, we were a driving force behind the new capabilities. We’re stoked to give you a sneak peek at some of the powerful new features baked into OLS version 1.3. These aren’t just useful additions – they’re game-changers that’ll supercharge your OpenLAN deployments.

 

Configurable Via Central

  1. 802.1X Port Authentication
    In the latest OLS 1.3 release, a significant addition is the 802.1X port authentication feature, which can be configured via uCentral, greatly enhancing network security. This functionality allows controllers to specify which devices are permitted to connect to the switch ports and to enforce port-based MAC authentication. This capability is essential for preventing unauthorized devices from accessing network ports and engaging in illegal activities, such as packet sniffing, unauthorized DHCP services, or ARP spoofing. The configurability of this feature ensures flexible and tailored network management to meet specific security requirements.

 

  1. Static Route
    The newly added Static Route feature allows controllers to set static routes, configurable via uCentral. This capability transforms switches into routers, enabling the establishment of fixed routing rules. This addition enhances network flexibility, allowing for the design and implementation of precise routing strategies based on specific network needs. This is particularly crucial in large or complex network environments, where effective management and optimization of data flow are essential.

 

  1. VLAN Isolation & Port Isolation
    This new feature allows the CloudSDK controller to directly configure VLAN isolation and port isolation, enabling switches to segregate users across different VLANs or ports, thereby enhancing network security and efficiency. Typically, this functionality reduces Layer 2 (L2) broadcasting and flooding within the network, while ensuring that different VLANs cannot communicate with each other, further increasing network security. This is particularly valuable in environments requiring strict data separation and security controls.

 

  1. IGMP Snooping
    The IGMP Snooping feature allows controllers to configure IGMP monitoring, which is included in the OLS 1.3 version. The main function of this technology is to optimize the handling of multicast traffic. Without IGMP Snooping, switches are unable to identify which devices subscribed to specific multicast IP addresses on which ports, leading to the forwarding of multicast packets to all ports. This results in excessive packet transmission on the L2 network. The IGMP Snooping function enables switches to learn which ports have devices registered for multicast services and to forward multicast packets only to these specific ports, effectively reducing unnecessary network traffic and improving network efficiency. This is particularly important in network environments where precise control of multicast traffic is required.

 

State in Central

PoE Status Monitoring

The feature has been added that allows monitoring of Power over Ethernet (PoE) status through the controller. It enables users to view real-time information on whether PoE ports are powered and the power output of each port, such as 17 watts. The practicality of this feature is evident in two main aspects: during network deployment, administrators can determine how many devices a switch can support based on the PoE wattage; and during troubleshooting, they can use the information displayed on the controller to quickly identify and resolve issues. This real-time monitoring and transparency of information significantly enhance the management efficiency and fault response speed of network facilities.

 

Command

Power Cycle the AP by PoE

The “Power Cycle AP by PoE” feature enables the controller to automatically detect and remotely control specific switch ports through PoE reset when field Access Points (APs) encounter issues. This feature aims to enhance the reliability and maintenance of field APs. When an AP experiences a malfunction or requires a reboot, the controller promptly identifies the issue and remotely controls the switch to power cycle the AP via PoE. This eliminates the need for manual intervention by on-site personnel, effectively saving time and costs for maintenance staff and minimizing downtime for field APs. Overall, it significantly improves the availability and performance of the network system.

Conclusion

The latest developments in OpenWiFi and OpenLAN Switching (OLS) technology bring significant advancements to network performance and reliability. With OpenWiFi 3.0 embracing the Wi-Fi 7 standard and Edgecore’s contributions to features like dual-boot implementation, network systems can now operate with enhanced efficiency and resilience. Additionally, the introduction of new features in OLS 1.3, such as 802.1x port authentication, VLAN isolation, and IGMP snooping, provides greater security and flexibility in network management. Furthermore, the ability to monitor PoE status and remotely power cycle APs via PoE adds another layer of convenience and efficiency to network maintenance. These innovations collectively empower network administrators to deploy, manage, and optimize networks with greater ease and confidence, ultimately leading to improved performance and user experience in real-world commercial environments.

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