Mushroom Networks Documentation

What is VLL (Virtual Leased Line)?

The BBNA can be configured to peer/mate with another BBNA device that has a server license to create a data communication tunnel between the pair of BBNA units. By virtue of combining the capacity of multiple resources, the capacity of the tunnel created can be close to the sum of the capacity of the individual resources. Moreover, the reliability of the communication tunnel is increased since the communication tunnel will remain operational as long as there is at least one active communication path between the BBNA devices.  

It is also possible for each BBNA to peer with multiple BBNA devices.  A bi-directional tunnel can be set up between each pair of BBNA devices as long as one BBNA has the server-license activated. For each bi-directional tunnel, one BBNA device is designated as a “server”and the other is designated as a “client”.  For example, one BBNA device might act as a server for several other BBNA devices, each of which acts as a client. 

A tunnel can be configured in two possible modes. For each end of the tunnel, there is an associated LAN address.  In the default mode, traffic that appears at one BBNA that matches the associated LAN address of the remote BBNA will be forwarded to the remote BBNA through the tunnel.  In the other mode, called the proxy mode, all traffic that appears at the BBNA on the client side that does not match the local LAN address is sent to the remote BBNA device over the tunnel. Also, in the proxy mode, traffic appearing at the BBNA on the server side that matches the LAN address of the BBNA on the client side will be forwarded to the BBNA device on the client side over the tunnel.  LAN addresses are specified by an IP address and associated network mask.

The VLL feature is configured through the HOME tab of the BBNA management interface.  On the HOME page there is a table labeled “Remote LAN.” 

In order to create a tunnel, two BBNA devices are required.  A tunnel is configured by creating an instance of a server connection at one BBNA and creating a matching instance of a client connection at the other BBNA.  For security purposes, each bi-directional tunnel has an associated “Connection Name” and password, which must be specified identically at each end of the tunnel when the tunnel is configured.

In order to create an instance of a server connection or a client connection at a BBNA device, click on the HOME tab of the BBNA management interface for that BBNA device. Click on the “Add Remote LAN” button at the top of the Remote LAN table. A pop-up window will appear, and the Connection Mode can be selected as “Client” or “Server” in the menu at the top.

For a device to be configured in Server mode, select “Server” for the Connection mode in the drop down menu.  Enter a text string for the “Connection Name” field, and an associated password in the Password field. In order to provide security, these fields must exactly match the corresponding fields for the associated connection at the other BBNA device in order for the tunnel to become operational. The network address of the LAN associated with the remote BBNA device is also specified in the “Remote LAN Network” field, as well as the “Remote LAN Netmask” field.

By default, packets that are sent over the tunnel are encapsulated in UDP packets in order to provide robustness against certain types of packet filtering that may be commonly present in ISP access networks.

After the parameters for the connection are entered, click the “Add” button to add the corresponding connection. After a connection is added, the parameters can be later edited by clicking on the corresponding entry in the Remote LAN table, modifying the entries in the pop-up menu, and clicking the “Edit” button. A “Delete” button is also present on the menu for removing the connection.

For a device to be configured in the Client mode, select “Client” for the Connection mode in the drop down menu. You can specify which WAN ports on the BBNA that will be used for the tunnel by checking or un-checking each listed interface as appropriate, or select “ALL” to use all available interfaces for the tunnel.  The specification of which WAN ports will be used on the remote side of the tunnel (i.e. the server side) is done by providing a list of IP addresses of these WAN ports in the “Remote IP/Name” field.  The IP addresses should be separated by commas when entering them in the BBNA management interface. Alternatively, instead of a list of IP address, a DNS domain name can be entered. The domain name should resolve to the list of IP addresses associated with the server that will be used for the tunnel. The network address of the remote LAN should be also specified in the “Remote LAN Network” field, as well as the “Remote LAN Netmask” field. The Connection Name and Password fields should contain text strings which exactly match the associated connection entry at the remote BBNA. After the parameters for the connection are entered, click the “Add” button to add the corresponding connection.

The order in which the server and client are configured is arbitrary. Currently, the BBNA does not support overlapping LAN addresses on each BBNA; the network addresses for the BBNA devices at each end of the VLL tunnel must be distinct and non-overlapping. Once both the client and server devices are configured, the “Status” field of the “Remote LAN” table will be appropriately updated on the BBNA management interface for each device.  The entries in the “Status” column of the Remote LAN table can be clicked on, and a pop up menu appears that provides additional information regarding the state of the tunnel.

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