Kinetic Mesh Network pioneer Rajant Corporation has introduced a major new release of InstaMesh, the company’s proprietary routing technology, as well as its BC|Commander network management software. With a broad range of new and enhanced features that improve functionality, performance, security and utility, the release effectively transforms the way wireless mobile broadband networks are used and managed.
Rajant supply networks to the oil and gas, mining, military, first responder, railroad, municipalities, service provider and telco markets. Users in all of these industries will benefit from a significantly enhanced ability to quickly and securely configure networks, support new devices (including recently introduced BreadCrumb® models ME4 and JR2, and ensure optimal performance and availability.
InstaMesh is the advanced routing protocol developed by Rajant that powers Kinetic Mesh Networks. It allows for continuous and instantaneous routing of wireless and wired connections and enables complete network mobility, robust fault tolerance, high throughput and low latency – all with minimal maintenance and administration. BC|Commander is used to monitor the status of Kinetic Mesh Networks formed using Rajant BreadCrumb wireless network nodes and InstaMesh routing technology.
Among the new features and improvements to InstaMesh are the following:
- Tactical Multicast is a dynamic method of multicast suitable for highly mobile, highly volatile, mesh networks. It minimises the number of packets rebroadcast across the network, eliminating over-air congestion and associated failure, while maintaining reliability.
- The new BreadCrumb API (BCAPI) is the foundation for Kinetic Mesh Network applications development. It allows customers to develop their own applications to enhance network utility. By supporting multiple languages, BCAPI empowers users to customise their network experience with a variety of mobile apps, including for Android devices.
- Enhanced APT Functionality to enable integration with other networks to enhance extensibility and reliability. Unique to Rajant networks, APT allows the utilisation of other best-of-breed wired and wireless network technologies to extend mesh technology and provide multiple ingress points into a customer’s wired network. APT links now have the same quality measurements that wireless links had in previous releases. This allows the use of more complex wired networks. APT now supports a failover without fallback capability, and failover is now faster. As soon as APT peer BreadCrumbs lose contact with the APT master, they will immediately reconnect to the new APT master.
- Instamesh also supports Rajant’s Tactical Radio Over Internet Protocol (TRoIP) device, a wearable USB BreadCrumb-headset combination that brings robust push-to-talk voice connectivity to BreadCrumb network nodes without the need for a server. Using TRoIP, users on a Rajant network can leverage real-time voice conferencing without the need for additional equipment, land lines, or cellular coverage.
- 802.11n Support – Improves upon the previous 802.11 standards in a number of ways, including higher throughput.
Highlights of new features and improvements to v11.2 of BC|Commander include the following:
- The improvements allow bulk configuration of Rajant BreadCrumb network nodes. Network admins can now select any number of BreadCrumbs and configure shared settings simultaneously. This capability can substantially reduce the time required to configure a network. Additionally, customers can import and export complete or partial BreadCrumb configurations, allowing a ‘configuration by template’ approach.
- Improved performance and customizability due to the BCAPI gives customers the ability to create their own toolchain to augment Rajant out-of-box functionality. This new functionality makes it possible for applications developed by other customers to potentially be available through a development community.
- The abstract visualisation of Kinetic Mesh Networks is improved in both breadth and scope in v11.2, with many more ways to visualise a network. The expanded topology view enhances administrators’ abilities to visualize the relationships between network nodes.
- Troubleshooting is also enhanced, with Rajant’s internal mesh analysis tools now available to customers and fully integrated with BC|Commander, enabling detailed network analysis and report generation. Reports can be saved in PDF format and include a network snapshot to be circulated for analysis. Snapshots can then be viewed and analysed offline in BC|Commander for advanced troubleshooting capability.
In addition to these features, the new release includes many additional ease-of-use, security, display and configuration improvements over previous versions.
- Live, GPS-positioned mapping enhances the user’s ability to leverage topology and mapping to solve network problems, making visualisations more interactive and enabling configuration through the mapping interface. This unique Rajant capability supports both online mapping solutions like MapQuest or Google Maps as well as the importing of a customer’s own maps. The live tile set provides both satellite view and street view. Users can take non-GPS nodes and plot them anywhere on the map and get accurate GPS coordinates, reducing the potential for error in manually entering GPS coordinates.
- There is also enhanced security with multiple cryptographic options available for BreadCrumb-to-BreadCrumb communication, allowing users to balance security with performance needs. Also new in v11.2 is MAC address encryption, in which the original source and destination addresses of the original Ethernet messages are encrypted to provide greater security. Additional cryptographic options include support for multiple algorithms for both mesh authentication and encryption.
Rajant CTO Paul Hellhake said: "This release is the culmination of 18 months of development work and reflects the valuable input of our customers, support staff and technical specialists, the people who work with Kinetic Mesh Networks on a daily basis. This release provides new levels of functionality, utility and ease of use that fundamentally change how Kinetic Mesh Networks are deployed, configured, maintained and supported."