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Branch Wireless Network Deployment Guide

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Branch Wireless Network Deployment Guide

Products Supported: AER and IBR series routers. AP22 Access Point. Click here to identify your router.

Firmware Version: 6.4.3 - for information on upgrading firmware, click here.


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Overview

Example Topology

Router Configuration

Access Point Configuration

Related Articles


Overview

The purpose of this guide is to:

  1. Familiarize network engineers with the NetCloud platform.
  2. Provide a reference for network engineers that are new to Cradlepoint NetCloud solutions.
  3. Give a model for designing branch networks using Cradlepoint NetCloud solutions.

This guide will focus on a common branch topology. The example topology below has two locations, although it could be easily expanded to any number of sites. Some of the sections are optional and/or easily adapted to a unique environment. Each location has:

  • Cradlepoint AER2200
  • Cradlepoint AP22
  • Broadband Internet connection (Primary connection)
  • Wireless Internet connection (Redundant connection)
  • Two local area networks (LANs) with Wi-Fi (Corporate and Guest)

Example Topology

Example Topology


Router Configuration

Configuration Difficulty: Intermediate

Create Router Group in NetCloud Manager

NetCloud Manager (NCM) is a cloud-based, centralized management platform that provides a single pane of glass for deploying, managing, and monitoring Cradlepoint routers and access points. This section will cover setting up a Group to allow you rapidly deploy and easily manage your routers.

To create a router group in NCM:

  1. Log in to NetCloud Manager at https://www.cradlepointecm.com.
  2. Choose Groups in the left side menu.
    • Ensure you are in the Router Groups tab.
  3. Choose Add near the top and fill in the required information in the pop-up window.
    • Group Name: My Branch Routers
    • Product: AER2200
    • NetCloud OS: 6.4.3 (2017-12-13)
    • Click OK

WAN Configuration

The example topology above includes Ethernet-based wired connections and cellular-based wireless connections. Ethernet is the preferred connection. Internet connections will be verified using DNS through a feature called WAN Verify. (note: DNS is preferred over Ping since DNS is an application and thus will check connectivity through the Layer 7). In a failover scenario, failback will only occur after the preferred connection is stable for 90 seconds.

To configure Connection Manager in NCM:

  1. Choose Groups on the left (ensure you are in the Router Groups tab).
  2. Select the My Branch Routers group created earlier.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
    • Ensure you are in the Connection Manager section.
  4. Remove unneeded profiles:
    • Choose LTE-only Modems and click Delete.
    • Choose Wi-Fi as WAN and click Delete.
    • Choose 3G-only Modems and click Delete.
  5. Configure WAN Verify:
    • Click the gear icon in the WAN Verify column of the Ethernet Profile.
    • In the IPv4 Failure Check section:
      • Monitor While Connected: Active DNS
      • Idle Check Interval: 30 seconds
      • Retry Interval: 10 seconds
      • Retry Count: 3
      • Click Save
    • Click the gear icon in the Failback column of the LTE/3G Multi-Mode Modems Profile. Use the following settings:
      • Failback mode: Time
      • Time: 90 Seconds
      • Immediate Mode: Unchecked
      • Exclude Dual SIM Partner: Unchecked
      • Click Save

At this point you can click Commit Changes at the bottom of the configuration window or continue to the Wi-Fi configuration section of this guide (Step 5).

Wi-Fi Configuration

The example topology above has two networks, each with its own Wi-Fi SSID: an encrypted, non-broadcast SSID for corporate traffic and a public hotspot SSID for guest traffic.

To configure the Wi-Fi networks in NCM:

  1. Choose Groups on the left (ensure you are in the Router Groups tab).
  2. Select the My Branch Routers group created earlier.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
  4. Choose Networking > Local Networks > WiFi Radio #1 (2.4 GHz).
  5. Select AER2200-000 and click Edit.
    • WiFi Name (SSID): Corporate_WiFi
    • Hidden: Checked
    • Isolate: Unchecked
    • WMM: Checked
    • Fast Roaming: Checked
    • Enabled: Checked
    • Security Mode: WPA2 Personal
    • WPA Password: mywifipassword
    • Re-key Interval: 3600
    • Protected Management Frames: Disabled
    • Click Save.
  6. Select Public-000 and click Edit.
    • WiFi Name (SSID): Guest_WiFi
    • Hidden: Unchecked
    • Isolate: Checked
    • WMM: Checked
    • Fast Roaming: Checked
    • Enabled: Checked
    • Security Mode: Open
    • Click Save.
  7. Choose Networking > Local Networks > WiFi Radio #2 (5 GHz).
  8. Select AER2200-000-5g and click Edit.
    • Input the same settings as step 6.
    • Click Save.
  9. Select Public-000-5g and click Edit.
    • Input the same settings as step 7.
    • Click Save.

At this point you can click Commit Changes at the bottom of the configuration window or continue to the LAN configuration section of this guide (Step 5).

LAN Configuration

The example topology above includes a corporate network and a guest network. There is also an AP22 to connected to port 1 of the AER2200 to extend the WiFi coverage of both networks.

To configure the local area networks in NCM:

  1. Choose Groups on the left (ensure you are in the Router Groups tab).
  2. Select the My Branch Routers group created earlier.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
  4. Choose Networking > VLAN Interfaces.
  5. Click Add to create a new VLAN for your guest network.
    • VID: 3
    • Name (UID): guest
    • Mode: LAN
    • Assign a port to the VLAN by clicking Add.
      • Port: Port 1
      • Mode: Tagged
      • Click Save
    • Click Save.
  6. Choose Networking > Local Networks > Local IP Networks.
  7. Select Primary LAN and click Edit.
    • Choose General Settings on the left.
    • Name: Corporate Network
      • Note: Since this is a group configuration and the IP address for the corporate network is different for each location, the IPv4 settings will be configured individually later.
    • Click Save.
  8. Choose Guest LAN and click Edit. a. Choose General Settings on the left. i. Name: Guest Network b. Choose IPv4 Settings on the left. i. IP Address: 192.168.10.1 ii. Netmask: 255.255.255.0 iii. IPv4 Routing Mode: Hotspot iv. Always Proxy ARP: Unchecked c. Choose Interfaces on the left. i. Select VLAN: 3-guest: Port(s): 1T in the Available Interfaces column and click > to move the VLAN to the Selected Interfaces column. d. Click Save.
  9. Choose Hotspot Services. a. In the Hotspot Settings section: i. Use the default settings b. In the Simple Mode Settings section: i. Display: Internal Terms of Use. ii. Terms of Use Text.: “We’re watching you…” Note: Insert your company’s Terms of Use here. For more information on using Hotspot Services, see here. c. Click Save and then OK.

Now it is time to Commit Changes to the group configuration and move the routers into the group. Follow the directions below to move routers and finish their individual configurations.

Moving routers into an NCM Group

Now that the group configuration is done, you can move any number of routers into the group and NCM will apply the group configuration to those routers. In the future, any changes you make to the group will automatically propagate to all the routers in the group.

To move devices into the appropriate group in NCM:

  1. Choose Devices on the left (ensure you are in the Routers tab).
  2. Select the routers you wish to move by checking the box next to each device or you can select all devices by checking the box in the headers’ row at the top of the grid.
  3. Click Move near the top of the window.
  4. Select the My Branch Routers group created earlier.
  5. Click OK.

At this point the routers will install the group configuration from NCM. Next, you’ll configure the unique parts of the router configuration (e.g. unique IP addressing).

To add unique router configurations in NCM:

  1. Choose Devices on the left (ensure you are in the Routers tab).
  2. Select the router that will be used for Branch #1. You’ll notice a pencil icon <> next to the name. You can click the pencil to change the name of the device. In this case, use the name “My Branch 1”. This will make identifying the device later much easier for troubleshooting and monitoring purposes.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
  4. Choose Networking > Local Networks > Local IP Networks.
  5. Select Corporate Network and click Edit.
    • Choose IPv4 Settings on the left.
    • Set the IP Address according to the which site you are configuring. (Branch #1: 172.16.1.1, Branch #2: 172.16.2.1, etc.)
    • Click Save and then OK.
  6. Click Commit Changes and then OK.
  7. Repeat steps #3 through #6 for each branch you are configuring.

Your router configurations are now complete. Next, we will move on the Access points.


Access Point Configuration

Create Access Point Group in NetCloud Manager

This section will cover setting up a Group to allow rapid deployment and easy management Cradlepoint access points.

  1. Log in to NCM at https://www.cradlepointecm.com.
  2. Choose Groups in the left side menu.
  3. Choose Access Point Groups at the top of the window.
  4. Click Add near the top and fill in the required information in the pop-up window.
    • Group Name: My Branch APs
    • Product: AP22
    • NetCloud OS: 6.4.3 (2017-12-13)
    • Click OK.

Wi-Fi Configuration

The example topology above has two networks and we’ll provide a Wi-Fi network for each. An encrypted, non-broadcast SSID for corporate traffic and a public hotspot SSID. Note: These steps are nearly identical to the configuration used for routers above.

To configure the Wi-Fi networks in NCM:

  1. Choose Groups on the left (ensure you are in the Access Point Groups tab).
  2. Select the My Branch APs group created earlier.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
  4. Choose Networking > Local Networks > WiFi Radio #1 (2.4 GHz).
  5. Select AP22-000 and click Edit.
    • WiFi Name (SSID): Corporate_WiFi
    • Hidden: Checked
    • Isolate: Unchecked
    • WMM: Checked
    • Fast Roaming: Checked
    • Enabled: Checked
    • Security Mode: WPA2 Personal
    • WPA Password: mywifipassword
    • Re-key Interval: 3600
    • Protected Management Frames: Disabled
    • Click Save
  6. Select Public-000 and click Edit
    • Wifi Name (SSID): Guest_WiFi
    • Hidden: Unchecked
    • Isolate: Checked
    • WMM: Checked
    • Fast Roaming: Checked
    • Enabled: Checked
    • Security Mode: Open
    • Click Save.
  7. Choose Networking > Local Networks > WiFi Radio #2 (5 GHz).
  8. Select AP22-000-5g and click Edit.
    • Input the same settings as step 6.
    • Click Save.
  9. Select Public-000-5g and click Edit.
    • Input the same settings as step 7.
    • Click Save.

LAN Configuration

To configure the local area networks in NCM:

  1. Choose Groups on the left (ensure you are in the Router Groups tab).
  2. Select the My Branch Routers group created earlier.
  3. Choose Configuration > Edit near the top of the window.
  4. Choose Networking > VLAN Interfaces.
  5. Select the lan VLAN and click Remove.
  6. Click Add to create a new VLAN for the corporate network.
    • VID: 2
    • Name (UID): lan
    • Mode: LAN
    • Assign a port to the VLAN by clicking Add.
      • Port: Port 1
      • Mode: Untagged
      • Click Save.
    • Click Save.
  7. Click Add to create a new VLAN for the guest network.
    • VID: 3
    • Name (UID): guest
    • Mode: LAN
    • Assign a port to the VLAN by clicking Add.
      • Port: Port 1
      • Mode: Tagged
      • Click Save.
    • Click Save.
  8. Choose Networking > Local Networks > Local IP Networks.
  9. Select Primary LAN and click Edit.
    • Choose General Settings on the left.
      • Name: Corporate Network
    • Choose Interfaces on the left.
      • Select VLAN: 2-lan: Port(s): 1U in the Available Interfaces column and click > to move the VLAN to the Selected Interfaces column.
    • Click Save.
  10. Click Add to create a new network.
    • Choose General Settings on the left.
      • Name: Guest Network
    • Choose Interfaces on the left.
      • Select the below interfaces in the Available Interfaces column and click > to move the selections to the Selected Interfaces column.
        • WiFi (2.4 GHz): Guest_WiFi
        • WiFi (5 GHz): Guest_WiFi
        • VLAN: 3-guest: Port(s): 1T
    • Click Save.

Now it is time to Commit Changes to the group configuration and move the Access Points into the group.

Moving access points into an NCM group

Now that the group configuration is done, you can move any number of access points into the group and NCM will apply the group configuration to those access points. In the future, any changes you make to the group will automatically propagate to all the access points in the group.

To move devices into the appropriate group:

  1. Login into Netcloud Manager at https://www.cradlepointecm.com.
  2. Choose Devices on the left (ensure you are in the Access Points tab).
  3. Select the access points you wish to move by checking the box next to each device or you can select all devices by checking the box in the headers’ row at the top of the grid.
  4. Click Move near the top of the window.
  5. Select the My Branch APs group created earlier.
  6. Click OK.

Related Articles/Links


Published Date: 3/1/18

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