Move to SDN Controller from Omada Controller OR not ?

Move to SDN Controller from Omada Controller OR not ?
Move to SDN Controller from Omada Controller OR not ?
2020-07-22 11:53:14 - last edited 2020-07-22 13:40:07

Background

==========

We have a  Apartment Campus LAN Network supporting the following nodes and applications:

(1) Wired LAN - Dlink DES-1200, DGS-1200 and DGS-3120 series Smart switches - 40 Nos. 

(2) Wireless LAN - TpLink Omada Wifi 

      APs Used - EAP225 V3 (80%), EAP-225 Outdoor V1 (4%)EAP 115 V2 (10%), EAP-110 Outdoor V1 (2%), EAP-110 Outdoor V3 (4%)

      Controller - Omada Software Controller V3.2.10 64 bit on CentOS 8.2

(3) Routing -  pfSense Firewall + 4 Broadband CPEs. Router on a *thick stick configuration

(4) Applications - 450  Hikvision CCTV cameras + 5 NVRs (Intranet),  multiple Wifi cameras, Smart Building Automation devices, Free Wifi Hotspot service, Remote Management PC

 

Its one physical network multiple VLAN setup. Its very stable and running for ~3 years.  We only want to add stuff (including 30-40 APs) going forward (for atleast 4-5 more years) and not replace/upgrade anything. We want to focus on introducing new applications and not churning basic IP network infrastructure.

 

 

Disruption

=========

I understand that recently Tplink has released a new SDN Controller (V4.1.4) to manage entire network (not just Wifi) with single tool and if we want to upgrade we need to upgrade the Controller First and then APs as per 

 

https://www.tp-link.com/in/omada-sdn/controller-upgrade

 

But when we see the list of supported/compatible APs here:

 

https://www.tp-link.com/in/omada-sdn/compatibility/

 

we can see EAP 115 V2 and EAP 115 Outdoor V1 are *not  compatible/supported. These APs anayways have not seen formal firmware version upgrades since ages and we are running a temp/debug firmware on them to work with Omada [faced issue when moving from Auranet to Omada]. Therefore we are confused on whether we need to upgrade to tye new SDN controller based system or stay with existing Omada Controller based system

 


My questions:

============
(1) what is the big sell of SDN controller over Omada ? One clear point that comes across is ability to manage switches, routers and APs (all of Tplink solution family) remotely like Ubiquity UNMS, but we do not have a very pressing need for this *single interface as we have setlled with our *island style remote management [mainly because we need very little active network management].

(2) What WiFi specific feature (newer APs, Mesh, etc) we will miss out if we stick with Omada and not move to  new SDN controller ? 
(3) Is Omada Controller obsolete (EOL) like Auranet and is not going to see many (if any) enhancement & bug-fix releases going forward ? Are APs on Omafda going to see new firmware yupgrades for bug-fixes/enhancemets ? 
(4) Can we expect support for EAP 115 V2 and EAP 110-Outdoor V1 going forward (the equipment is still very usable), or we should decommission and take them out of service ? A very easy and not so costly choice as we only 12% nodes of these models. But then what is lifecycle support for the EAP225s and EAP115 V4 (if we upgrade now) in SDN Controller (or newer family) which is the main AP we use now. 

 

I am sorry, but we generally see usable networking gear lifetimes in excess of 7 years. Maybe 10 if we stretch. So all this churn without clarity on backward compatibility is slightly unnerving. 

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Re:Move to SDN Controller from Omada Controller OR not ?
2020-07-23 07:08:53

@APRC-P3-Tel 

 

APRC-P3-Tel wrote
My questions:

============
(1) what is the big sell of SDN controller over Omada ? One clear point that comes across is ability to manage switches, routers and APs (all of Tplink solution family) remotely like Ubiquity UNMS, but we do not have a very pressing need for this *single interface as we have setlled with our *island style remote management [mainly because we need very little active network management].

(2) What WiFi specific feature (newer APs, Mesh, etc) we will miss out if we stick with Omada and not move to  new SDN controller ? 
(3) Is Omada Controller obsolete (EOL) like Auranet and is not going to see many (if any) enhancement & bug-fix releases going forward ? Are APs on Omafda going to see new firmware yupgrades for bug-fixes/enhancemets ? 
(4) Can we expect support for EAP 115 V2 and EAP 110-Outdoor V1 going forward (the equipment is still very usable), or we should decommission and take them out of service ? A very easy and not so costly choice as we only 12% nodes of these models. But then what is lifecycle support for the EAP225s and EAP115 V4 (if we upgrade now) in SDN Controller (or newer family) which is the main AP we use now. 

 

There are many topics about the SDN Controller recently, you may read some posts from the forums of Omada Cloud SDN to get more info about it.

 

In my opinion, if you don't want to mess the current wireless network, or lose the control to the incompatible APs like EAP115, you can just stay with Omada Controller.

 

If you want to try the new SDN Controller, I suggest to backup the settings on current Controller, also read the Controller Upgrade Guide before the upgrading.

 

Good Luck!

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Re:Move to SDN Controller from Omada Controller OR not ?
2020-07-23 12:16:18

 

Yannie wrote

@APRC-P3-Tel 

 

APRC-P3-Tel wrote
My questions:

============
(1) what is the big sell of SDN controller over Omada ? One clear point that comes across is ability to manage switches, routers and APs (all of Tplink solution family) remotely like Ubiquity UNMS, but we do not have a very pressing need for this *single interface as we have setlled with our *island style remote management [mainly because we need very little active network management].

(2) What WiFi specific feature (newer APs, Mesh, etc) we will miss out if we stick with Omada and not move to  new SDN controller ? 
(3) Is Omada Controller obsolete (EOL) like Auranet and is not going to see many (if any) enhancement & bug-fix releases going forward ? Are APs on Omafda going to see new firmware yupgrades for bug-fixes/enhancemets ? 
(4) Can we expect support for EAP 115 V2 and EAP 110-Outdoor V1 going forward (the equipment is still very usable), or we should decommission and take them out of service ? A very easy and not so costly choice as we only 12% nodes of these models. But then what is lifecycle support for the EAP225s and EAP115 V4 (if we upgrade now) in SDN Controller (or newer family) which is the main AP we use now. 

 

There are many topics about the SDN Controller recently, you may read some posts from the forums of Omada Cloud SDN to get more info about it.

 

In my opinion, if you don't want to mess the current wireless network, or lose the control to the incompatible APs like EAP115, you can just stay with Omada Controller.

 

If you want to try the new SDN Controller, I suggest to backup the settings on current Controller, also read the Controller Upgrade Guide before the upgrading.

 

Good Luck!

@Yannie : 

I will move this query to other forum. My main concerns:

(1) whether Omada non-SDN controller is End-of-Life ? Will it see bug fixes and small feature enhancement like Wifi6 AP support ? Do we have some publically shareable EoX strategy ?
(2) Will  new Wifi6  (802.11ax) APs work with older Omada Solution or only with SDN controller ?

(3) Will our current EAPs continue to be supported on non-SDN controller ?  Atleast bug fixes ?

(4) Debug/Temp firmware on EAP115 V2 and EAP110-Outdoor V1 have some *ports open which are closed in Formal firmwares. Has been flagged internally as *potential threat. Nobody can defer the "What if ..." query permanently

 

I understand that if we are building a green field deployment SDN controller family maybe the best way forward. But not so sure otherwise. We bought what we bought becuase for the use and from Tplink that was the best available in my country at that time. Even now the local supplier says he does not have EAP115 V4 and only EAP115 V2 in stock. 

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