Hardware bid questions


I was assigned the task of specifying the hardware to replace five access points currently deployed at work (small government office).

There is an x86/64 box running openwrt as the edge router to which all ap's are connected by wire.

I was planning to specify wifi 5 hardware compatible with Openwrt, but my new manager has a strong closed source bias, suggesting a solution like Intelbras (a heavy weight local manufacturer), Ubiquiti and the like, and he wants the hardware to be wifi 6 capable.

He allowed me to stick with the Openwrt edge router, so I'll try to specify hardware where one of the requirements is to be able to work in ap mode and be managed by Openwrt, without any kind of licencing, or restriction.

As a trade-off, I'm removing the requirement that requires the hardware to be able to run the latest stable Openwrt version.

Are there any other risks that I should mitigate so that the new ap's can work with the Openwrt router, even if they run their manufacturer's firmware?

(For example, I was told that Intelbras embedded software doesn't go well with other manufacturers, so one of the requirements is "To be able to be managed by an Openwrt router", and this will rule out Intelbras hardware )

as long as it's not officially supported, there's always a risk it never will be.

if you want to avoid the biggest pit fall, skip anything that uses Broadcom hw.

..or, thinking about Intelbras, realtek/ lexra.

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I rarely see technical specs from the vendor showing the processor brand.

Is there any reliable source that shows it, besides the Openwrt knowledge base?

@slh I'm curious, where did you find that information about Intelbras?

so put it in the RFP.
and no, "it's already running openwrt" isn't a valid answer.

Sure, but the government bidding environment here is a mess, which means, bidders blatantly offer out-of-spec material, letting me with the extra burden of checking the requirements one by one.

This is where I will need a reliable technical specs source for whatever brand/model they offer.

If you want to leave the door open for potentially installing OpenWrt in the future, when no one is looking, get something that is supported by OpenWrt right now, don't bet on potential future support. No one says you must install OpenWrt, but it doesn't hurt to retain options.

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Right, but then there is this wifi 6 requirement I'm forced to specify, and I noticed that there aren't many wifi 6 models (think that many brands listed on the TOH aren't available in the local market)

But surely I will install Openwrt on the new hardware in the future, if it is technically possible.

could your add Linux kernel 6 support as a "must" ?

in kernel, without any external non open source addons, modules, blobs, NDA code, and what not ?

then you haven't actually disqualified anyone based on SoC brand.

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That's a good point.

And I would add that bidders must show a manufacturer's statement showing either the full specs and kernel 6 compatibility.

The problem now would be a high risk of what they call it here a "desert bid", since vendors are lazy and the bid value doesn't pay all their work of getting in touch with the manufacturer etc...

Well, never mind, this is my problem, sorry about the rant...

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Some Ubiquity AP WiFi 6 models are supported or getting support by OpenWrt. I think these are "long range" and "lite". I think one of them is using Mediatek and maybe could match that upstream Linux kernel support idea.


I suspect the Intelbras AP hardware will turn out to be re-badged generic boards from Taiwan or China. This was the case with a lot of the smaller enterprise companies.

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ok, thanks to all.

One other question if I may.

Another requirement is that the ap's are capable of handling more than 100 clients.

I dind't find this info in the TOH.

Can I assume it directly relates to other specs like cpu and/or available RAM?

In this case, how shoud they be specified?

is that even possible, over a single radio ?
and how are you measuring it ?

For example, this Ubiquiti spec shows it:

Ref: https://store.ui.com/us/en/collections/unifi-wifi-flagship-high-capacity/products/u6-pro

I believe we're talking here about cpu and memory, right?

ok, then the question is, how are they measuring it ?
sorry, I've been in hw sales, you really need to ask how they've come up with that number.

/* generate 350+ connections  */
i = 0;
while( i < 351 )
     create_new_wifi_connection( MAC + i );

I think it's more about radio and bandwidth than RAM and SoC.

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