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End: 2015-01


A comprehensive and scalable node management system for community wireless network.

Project aimed at creating a wireless network node management system that can be used to manage and update large amounts of nodes in wireless networks such as community networks.

The design and development of the nodewatcher platform comes from the needs and evolution of the wlan slovenija community wireless network.

Its main idea is to automate as much as possible in building and operating a large wireless network. It encompasses functionalities sometimes named "node database", "network dashboard", "network map", but also a web-based firmware image generator, which allows easy generation of customized firmware images for each node individually. This technique improves efficiency significantly, and allows easy and failproof deployment of complex configurations even by people with no technical knowledge to do it otherwise.

The idea is that once you register a new node and select target hardware, a customized firmware image for this node is generated, you just flash it, plug in and this is it. No additional configuration or web interface is needed. Because configuration is known, monitoring of the network can be done much better as it is known how each node should behave. If a node's hardware fails, you can just take new hardware (can be of different kind), flash it with same configuration, replace the node, and then later on analyze why previous hardware has failed. All this further lowers the workload, making maintenance easier and streamlined.

Nodewatcher is not only solving the technical issues of running a mesh network efficiently, it is aimed at making a platform which supports the community and community spirit. The platform makes it transparent how the network operates, its health and how and who builds the network. For each volunteer, what and how much they contribute to the network, how important is their wireless node and how it is used. This feedback to the community is of vital importance and it has to be made in an intuitive and understandable, often non-technical, way, mostly through visualizations and designed graphical interface.

Device Management Cycle

UNICORE, Privoz 17B, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)