Solved Can I use AIMesh with a managed switch handling the DHCP and other main network management?

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flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
Currently, I have a number of AC68U's running my network. All run the latest version of Merlin.

Router 1 handles the incoming fiber line and does the heavy lifting for the firewall, DHCP, and AiMesh master node. The other 3 act as nodes and do their thing.

I would like to replace Router 1 with a simple managed switch, a Netgear GS108Tv1, old but gig capable and more than enough for my small home network of 10 physically connected devices (with a few of those being connected via dumb switches so there are plenty of ports).

From the managed switch I would have Router one handle the AiMesh network and do the heavy lifting for the way too many wireless devices we have in the house. for instance, all but a few of our lights are smart, as are the plugs, appliances, so many cell phones, and tablets, etc. On average about 70 wireless IOT items at any one time including a few non-essential but nice to have wireless cameras. My essential ones are directly wired.

So is this possible? The managed switch handles all of the main networking and then the Merlin routers just work as a mesh network and occasionally use one of the LAN ports for hooking up a random device for testing or setup etc.

Note that all AiMesh routers will be using a wired backhaul.

I appreciate any advice you can give.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Your post is a bit confusing. If you "replace Router 1 with a simple managed switch" what are you going to use as a router and internet gateway? What device is going to provide DHCP and DNS services?
 
Last edited:

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Short answer is no.
I tried to get AiMesh working across Netgear managed switches and failed. Direct Ethernet cable runs from router and nodes is best. I also would not use a switch for DHCP in a home environment
 

flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
Your post is a bit confusing. If you "replace Router 1 with a simple managed switch" what are you going to use as a router and internet gateway? What device is going to provide DHCP and DNS services?
The managed switch will handle DHCP and DNS. That is what the managed part of it is.
 

flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
Short answer is no.
I tried to get AiMesh working across Netgear managed switches and failed. Direct Ethernet cable runs from router and nodes is best. I also would not use a switch for DHCP in a home environment
Hmm, that's good to know there may be some incompatibility.

Why would you not use a managed switch for DHCP in a home environment?
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Hmm, that's good to know there may be some incompatibility.

Why would you not use a managed switch for DHCP in a home environment?
Managed switch can't do DoT/DNSSEC or other network security. One stop shopping with a good router that does it all.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The managed switch will handle DHCP and DNS. That is what the managed part of it is.
You said your switch was a GS108Tv1. I couldn't find anything in the documentation for that model that says it provides DHCP, DNS or routing. For that you would need an L3 switch rather than just a managed switch.

 

Morris

Senior Member
If you can get your switch to ignore vlan tagging it should be easy. Another option is if your switch supports automatic vlan creation and tagging. It is much easier with a dumb switch.

The Asus AC68U have a built in switch for the LAN ports so that's not a load. If your AC68U is running out of memory, create a swap file on a good quality USB stick or USB SSD. If you need the CPU cycles, the easiest fix would be to move DHCP and DNS off the router. You could one arm your Netgear switch to do this. Any Linux host can do the job as well as windows Server and others. Easiest is to use a RT-AX86U as the main router.

Morris
 

flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
You said your switch was a GS108Tv1. I couldn't find anything in the documentation for that model that says it provides DHCP, DNS or routing. For that you would need an L3 switch rather than just a managed switch.


Wow...

And you can tell I was dead tired while making this plan, I straight blanked on the capabilities of the switch and completely misremembered what it could do.

And this is why documentation is > memory.

Thanks for the bake check there Colin.
 

flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
If you can get your switch to ignore vlan tagging it should be easy. Another option is if your switch supports automatic vlan creation and tagging. It is much easier with a dumb switch.

The Asus AC68U have a built in switch for the LAN ports so that's not a load. If your AC68U is running out of memory, create a swap file on a good quality USB stick or USB SSD. If you need the CPU cycles, the easiest fix would be to move DHCP and DNS off the router. You could one arm your Netgear switch to do this. Any Linux host can do the job as well as windows Server and others. Easiest is to use a RT-AX86U as the main router.

Morris

Thanks Morris.

The new plan, the line from the Fiber ONT into the 68U, set up the switch as a simple dumb switch and attach the majority of the wired devices to it. Then run dedicated lines from the remaining 3 ports on the 68U to the other 3 68U AiMesh nodes.

The 68U has been doing fine, but its current location just does not work well and I was thinking of changing things up a bit, but the reality is that the old workhorse is doing great and working fine.

Though it gets close to the memory limit I have no issues with it since the majority of my network all has predefined and set IP addresses so the machine has to do little in the way of heavy lifting.

Thanks again for the input.
 

Morris

Senior Member
Thanks Morris.

The new plan, the line from the Fiber ONT into the 68U, set up the switch as a simple dumb switch and attach the majority of the wired devices to it. Then run dedicated lines from the remaining 3 ports on the 68U to the other 3 68U AiMesh nodes.

The 68U has been doing fine, but its current location just does not work well and I was thinking of changing things up a bit, but the reality is that the old workhorse is doing great and working fine.

Though it gets close to the memory limit I have no issues with it since the majority of my network all has predefined and set IP addresses so the machine has to do little in the way of heavy lifting.

Thanks again for the input.

That should work fine

Morris
 

flyingwolf

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the feedback Morris and Colin, and the reality check.

Completely random side question.

Any clue why the ports on these things go out so easily? I have a number of them and many have either a dead wan port or at least one dead lan port. They seem to be really susceptible to some sort of failure condition.

Any clue on that?
 

Morris

Senior Member
Thanks for the feedback Morris and Colin, and the reality check.

Completely random side question.

Any clue why the ports on these things go out so easily? I have a number of them and many have either a dead wan port or at least one dead lan port. They seem to be really susceptible to some sort of failure condition.

Any clue on that?

I've had reliability issues with Asus routers as well yet the firmware is so much nicer than other brands I don't move away.
 

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