Getting tactical in a crisis with Ubiquiti

Ubiquiti point to point link

We found ourselves let down by a carrier this week, nothing unusual there. I guess it’s excusable given the pandemic and engineers health concerns. The carrier was supposed to be moving a fibre Internet circuit for us as part of a customer’s office move, but cancelled last minute.

Not being easily beaten, I broke out a couple of Ubiquiti NS5-AC radios from stock to build a temporary link between the customer’s old and new offices, until the carrier can get somebody onsite. No extreme distances involved, just hopping about 50 meters across a car park.

It’s a long drive to site, so I decided to get the link pre-configured to make things quick and easy. Above is a snapshot of my testing in the garden, note my ad-hoc mounting on the umbrella pole. If you look closely the opposite side of the link is about 30M away, strapped to a tree with Velcro.

In terms of performance, the radio management reported over 600Mbps. Taking that with a large pinch of salt, I’m expecting to get about 200Mbps from these tomorrow which will more than cover the 50Mbps link I’m extending.

I did a quick iPerf3 test to a laptop at the remote end, which showed 94Mbps, I only realised later that my Mac’s USB-Ethernet dongle is 100Mbps (duh!). Still, I’m quite impressed with that!

[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[ 4] 0.00-1.00 sec 11.2 MBytes 94.2 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 1.00-2.00 sec 11.3 MBytes 94.5 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 2.00-3.00 sec 11.3 MBytes 94.5 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 3.00-4.00 sec 11.3 MBytes 94.4 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 4.00-5.00 sec 11.3 MBytes 94.4 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 5.00-6.00 sec 11.3 MBytes 94.4 Mbits/sec
[ 4] 6.00-6.00 sec 34.0 KBytes 94.6 Mbits/sec

I’ll report back with further testing results tomorrow..

Time to start blogging (again)

I’m a network engineer and the co-founder of a networking managed services provider in the UK, where I spend a lot of time working in different networks and solving problems for various customers. We’re a small ISP and run our own MPLS network, which allows us a huge amount of flexibility in building multi carrier WAN & SD-WAN solutions.

I used to keep technical notes and the occasional Python tutorial on this blog, some of which has migrated to the corporate site – probably not the ideal place for technical content. We are working on making things a bit more IT management friendly over there – although that is on temporary hold due to the pandemic.

Most of my daily work falls into the usual large vendors’ networking space covering routers, switches, firewalls, VPN’s etc. although I have noticed a growing amount of customers willing to explore alternative solutions – often utilising smaller vendors like Mikrotik and Ubiquiti or Open Source networking solutions like Zerotier and FRR, so you should expect some variety in the content that finds its way on here.