The great mesh explosion

A look at how mesh networks have evolved

Mesh may also be able to jump the hurdles necessary to future-proof a network. "Everybody looks for more capacity," said Coffman. "There is a need to add megapixel or HD cameras, or just increase the amount of cameras in use to more locations. So the future for mesh is in performance. But another trend is also flexible capacity, allowing upgrades to the systems with software keys, rather than replacing gear."

There are other factors for integrators to consider. According to Skip Ashton, senior vice president of engineering, Ember Corp., Boston, "integrators need to consider including a standards-based versus a propriety system, size of the network and robustness and reliability as the network's scale, security implications and the need to include third-party devices in the system."

Let Mesh Set You Apart

By offering a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to other types of connectivity, you can provide solutions other integrators may not be able to deliver. Regardless of what many wireless manufacturers say, providers need to have the capability of creating point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and mesh networks in order to be competitive in the market. They all fit different applications and topologies.

When including wireless networks as one of the solutions offered, seek out training. This will provide an in-depth understanding of system design, product configuration, installation procedures and troubleshooting.

Pay attention to detail, beginning with a close scrutiny of the system's design. A map of the site and a survey to check line-of-sight are mandatory. Be extremely accurate in estimating the traffic your network will need to support. Be conservative. Pre-configure the whole network in your warehouse including the cameras and NVR prior to installation. These important steps will guarantee a successful deployment after bench testing the network. Keep an eye on multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) products as they offer an interesting solution for high bandwidth applications. Get some understanding of MIMO, how it can be used and what performances can be achieved with directional antennas.-Cosimo Malesci, Fluidmesh Networks.