3D-P’s goal is to strive to make our customers’ lives easier, particularly through the flexibility of our products.
This was an important target when we started development of our Layer 2 fabric and the associated software EDEN – Easily Deployable Encapsulation. LTE is a layer 3 technology which uses segmented routing over IP, but many mining applications only operate on Layer 2.
To solve this issue a layer 2 fabric needs to be created on top of the layer 3 network. Traditionally there are multiple ways of doing this: GRE, L2TP and IPSEC are all examples of ‘old school’ tunnels very much like a VPN.
The problem with these options is that they aren’t ‘stateless’ and this creates more complication around how detection of broken tunnels is performed and issues of connection re-establishment time. This incurs lost connection time and ultimately dropped packets – which equals poor performance.
The mining industry looked to L2 technologies that came about from large scale data server deployments. A tunneling protocol called VXLAN has become the prevalent solution in mining but the solution isn’t cut and dry.
VXLAN doesn’t support packet fragmentation and reassembly, and that creates problems for our miners using LTE as the network technology. Typical LTE deployments only support a maximum MTU packet size of 1500 bytes so if a packet from an application operating over the network is larger than that the packet will be dropped. One somewhat clunky workaround is to manually set applications to send smaller packets or to lower MTU size on a per device basis.
Tunneling solutions require a back-office appliance that supports the tunnel creation and operates as a concentrator for all connections out in the field. It needs to know what client devices are operating over the network and, again, this is not a seamless problem to solve with VXLAN. The appliance needs to be constantly updated with the list of operating devices.
We’ve chosen a different approach, and importantly, one that solves both of these issues natively, without any additional manual effort or per-device configuration of the layer 2 fabric. That’s EDEN!
We’ve also developed a hybrid Osprey, one that incorporates both LTE and Rajant’s Instamesh technology. Here’s a look at a few reasons why.
L2 to L3 Tunnelling
When a L3 link is desired as one of the available uplink paths, such as an LTE link, RPT (Remote Protocol Tunnelling), a tunnel available within InstaMesh is utilized to pass the data over that L3 link and back to the local Rajant network. The connection/reconnection of this tunnel also becomes a non-event, as traffic has potentially many alternate routes out to the network, while the tunnel is established, as described above.
The meshing capability of the Hybrid Osprey allows mobile equipment to remain connected, even when outside LTE coverage, through meshing with connected neighbours or infrastructure.
In addition, the hybrid solution can provide significant throughput increases in high traffic areas where the deployed LTE network may be reaching its throughput limit. The hybrid solution allows traffic to be routed through locally deployed meshing infrastructure providing load balance and increasing available throughput in the area.
In critical, or high traffic areas, a 3D-P Hybrid InstaMesh client can route traffic through locally deployed InstaMesh infrastructure in addition to the LTE infrastructure, providing load balancing, while drastically increasing available throughput in the area. The InstaMesh infrastructure only needs to be deployed in those specific high traffic requirement areas. The rest of the mine can continue to utilize LTE alone for connectivity.