Review: Open Mesh G200 Cloud-Managed Router on Display at InfoComm 2018

Integrator Tim Phillips of Aletho Technologies reviews Open Mesh G200 Cloud-Managed Router, which is heralded as an end-to-end network solution, and on display at InfoComm 2018.

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Integrator Tim Phillips of Aletho Technologies reviews Open Mesh’s G200 Cloud-Managed Router, which is heralded as an end-to-end network solution.

For Open Mesh, which offers cloud-managed WiFi access points and switches, its new cloud-managed router G200 puts itself in a new category — that of an end-to-end network solution in a cloud-based ecosystem. The Open Mesh G200, as general manager Ryan Detwiller puts it, “completes the full end-to-end network solution.”

Customers, he says, have been asking when the cloud-managed router would be added “because they want that full solution to manage the network remotely.” Now they can see it at InfoComm 2018, booth C3202.

With the Open Mesh G200, the local network ecosystem now delivers an end-to-end suite of cloud-managed WiFi access points, switches and routers. It comes with an integrated firewall and a quad core networking processor that provides gigabit throughput.

“We’re transitioned from a WiFi provider to a full stack provider,” Detwiller says, adding that customers really wanted that “complete end-to-end network solution” or as he calls it, “a single pane of glass with no licensing fees.”

In terms of the Open Mesh G200 device itself, “We’ve done a lot to really optimize it for network management — quality of service, VPN service, it’s geared for really solid performance from a really small device,” Detwiller explains.

“What I really like about it is that it’s an end-to-end solution,” says Tim Phillips, Aletho Technologies. “Instead of [having a] device to do this thing, and this other device to do this other thing, you have one device that encompasses it.”

Then there is the ease of installation and service.

“It’s really nice to have that single point of configuration. [Technicians] can quickly hop onto the dashboard and see what they can do to fix anything that pops up before they roll a truck,” he says.

But rather than take the manufacturer’s word for it, we asked an integrator.

Tim Phillips, president of Aletho Technologies in Ventura, Calif., talked to CI about Open Mesh G200, including whether or not he sees it as a fit for AV integrators.

This is a brand new product. What are your initial impressions?

Phillips: It’s a really good product. I have spent some time with it and was checking it out and making sure that it had all the bells and whistles I needed for my purposes, and it seems to meet most things I need really well.

I think it would be really good in the AV space, as well. What I really like about it is that it’s an end-to-end solution. Instead of [having a] device to do this thing, and this other device to do this other thing, you have one device that encompasses it.

From the router standpoint, it’s able to do everything in a really clean, simple package. What I enjoyed about it in making sure that it was able to deliver on this was its CloudTrax portal, which is the management side of the router.

It’s just a normal website that you login, configure, and then it pushes out the configuration to the router. What makes that simple — or so great — is that I don’t have to memorize IP addresses and figure out how to get into specific devices.

It’s just one pane of glass.

You’re a networking expert but you said it’s also great for AV guys. Why?

Phillips: A lot of times when you work with different products from multiple companies to do one solution, it can be a little tricky, because the terminology will be different.

One of the key parts about this router is that it’s a part of the Open Mesh ecosystem, so they also have access points that work just right along with this router. You get both of those solutions together, and you have just one website, one login, and it’s all right there.

How easy or hard is it to install?

Phillips: You can set up these networks up in a couple of different ways [so] you can kind of come at it from the approach that works for you. In terms of simplicity, you get your device, whether it’s a switch, an access point, or this new router, and it has a code. It’s called a MAC address.

What you do is you put that code in CloudTrax, and then it configures it. I mean, really, it’s that simple.

What are the biggest benefits of this solution for an integrator?

Phillips: Simplicity is one of the biggest. It’s not confusing. It’s a very straightforward, it’s very people-friendly.

At the same time, they’re very feature-rich. They have everything you need right there at the click of a button.

Then the last thing that’s really important is cost. That’s one of the things that really got me connected with [Open Mesh] in the first place was that they weren’t cost-prohibitive.

What are the biggest negatives of this solution for an integrator?

Phillips: The only thing I can think of is that they are working on some new extra features on the router side. They’ve done a fantastic job on the WiFi and a fantastic job on the switches. The router just had a couple tweaks that I was working on.

I was working on it in beta and I noticed a couple very granular features. What was neat is they were already working on them, and they’re already on the product roadmap, and they’re already getting those done.