I'm struggling to get a WLAN working reliably that:
- Contains 2 access points connected to a managed switch via ethernet
- Contains 2 access points utilizing 802.11s to join the larger LAN network
- Contains a managed switch (see above)
My intention is that my wireless devices will seek the strongest local AP through 802.11r. All the APs should provide access to the LAN. Due to distances involved two of the APs have to rely on 802.11s to join the LAN.
I've enabled STP on br-lan on all devices, and enabled "Loopback Protection" for the switch (the internet seems a little vague on this, but suggests that this setting enables STP/RSTP on the switch as well). I've created a 802.11s network (Access Point(WDS), etc etc) and added DAWN to help with AP roaming and am able to see traffic flowing across the entire LAN. Except... well, except the performance isn't very good. And eventually the switch seems to panic (the LEDs on all the ports are blinking rapidly in a synchronized pattern) and has to be restarted.
So what I'm struggling with is whether this configuration will actually work. I can understand why a route loop would form, but I was under the impression that STP was meant to prevent this.
The workaround I've done at the moment is to have AP1 advertise "mesh1" and AP2 advertise "mesh2", effectively creating two 802.11s networks. This prevents either of the eth tethered APs from possiblyt interfering with the MAC routing of the other. And that's cool, I guess, but it seems to be counter to the intention of the mesh. Surely all the mesh network devices should seek whatever route takes them to eth first, and having two eth exit points from the 802.11s mesh only increases the resiliency of the network.
Is there a best practice I'm overlooking? Or is the best practice "every mesh network should have a single eth connection"?