Hello everyone,
The BAD NEWS
Datto has confirmed the following: Openmesh is out and Datto is in.
Open-mesh will no longer be available for purchase from Openmesh in Portland Oregon after December 31st 2018. You can read the announcement here. https://www.openmesh.com/datto-networking
Datto has confirmed the following:
  • They have committed to providing support and firmware updates through 2021 on the current Open-mesh products and Cloudtrax Dashboard,
  • It’s safe to say that the programmer API and CloudTrax will be available for a meaningful period of time after EOL dates with specific details coming in the next couple of weeks.
  • The EOL for the products is published here:  https://help.cloudtrax.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000589630-Open-Mesh-End-of-Life-Policy-and-Product-Matrix.
  • Datto will have the same hardware and dashboard, now with their brand name on it, and will provide lifetime warranty on their hardware as long as you join their subscription based license fee per access point and POE switch at the time of purchase from them.
  • Datto does not want a distributor based business model.
  • Datto is basically a Disaster Recovery subscription service that is remarkable in itself and should be considered as an option at www.datto.com – They bought Openmesh to provide them with the kind of hardware and dashboard that we all love to their customers as part of their total disaster recovery business model. Yes, if you move to Datto you will pay an extra monthly subscription fee for everything you used to get for free from Openmesh. Datto says you won’t find it anymore expensive – that is something you need to assess yourself if you want to move to their business model.
How it Affects you and I
I believe that the Cloudtrax Dashboard will continue to be available for free for the next 5-10 years so all of your existing Openmesh networks using the Cloudtrax Dashboard will still work as expected for the reasonable life span of your Openmesh based networks. Datto has committed to leaving the dashboard in place for all previous Openmesh users.
Access Wireless, as a full service and support WiFi hardware distributor will continue to provide Openmesh inventory until we run out as a result of Openmesh running out of Openmesh stock. We expect POE switches will run out of stock first followed by OM2P and OM2P-HS access points. We have a lot of stock at the moment but I expect it will go fast.
Once our Openmesh stock hits zero on any item I will take back orders on those items and have them shipped by air from Portland Oregon to our warehouse which will basically delay shipments by a week if you back ordered product from us. Until December 31st you can also buy directly from Openmesh and bypass me if you need to. I intend to have zero Openmesh stock by the end of December.
Prices will not go down on any Openmesh products between now and December 31st but we will absorb the cost of air courier shipments versus the normal ground if you order from us. After that Datto will simply absorb any remaining stock in Portland into the Datto services device pool. I don’t expect there will be much if any stock left.
Good News
I am currently negotiating distributor status for one or two new product lines that will nicely fill the void of Openmesh. I expect to have inventory for these new products before the end of this year. I will announce the product brand names in the next week or so and can almost guarantee you have never heard of them before.
My criteria for selection is that they also have a Cloud based Dashboard that is easy to use and manage, that the dashboard security has the same or better user management than Cloudtrax had and that it does not have a subscription fee on a per access point or POE switch basis.
The Background Story
Datto.com bought Openmesh.com two years go with the promise that they would leave Openmesh running as a subsidiary of Datto. Datto did what they said they would do. About two months ago Datto got bought by someone else. That party did not feel bound by the promise made two years ago but they recognized the importance of keeping the Cloutrax dashboard going for all existing Openmesh users. I am sure they don’t like class action law suits.
For those of you who feel lost when reading this email – here is what happened in the last 4 weeks. October 4-5th Openmesh posted a note on their website declaring that Openmesh as a brand name will no longer exist as of January 1st 2019. Their products are being folded into the Datto.com product line after being bought out by Datto.com two years ago. I was shocked. We had no warning or hint that this would happen and found out through customers who called us after the reading the notice on the openmesh.com website – https://www.openmesh.com/datto-networking
We are upset by the news but not angry – more sad than anything else because we were Openmesh’s first customer over 10 years ago and a stakeholder in its initial design, features and cloudtrax design. We never had any shares in openmesh but we contributed like as if we had. We loved being part of the disruptive technology that it introduced.
We have been honored being your dependable source for product that has always been in stock so that you could count on us shipping within 24 hours of your order. Apparently that is rare in the WiFi space but that is our commitment to our customers.
Our Future
We will continue to do business in the same way for years to come once we get our first shipments in of a yet to be announced product that we are sure you will fall in love with, at first sight, once you see it. This new product is also part of a new wave of disruptive technology with a long history going back to 1985 when I installed my first Novell networks using their ArcNet hardware when Ethernet wasn’t really a recognized standard yet. Eventually Ethernet won the standards war and here we are today, still on the bleeding edge of change in response to customer demand. That product lineup includes PtP, PtMP and Access Points and Switches for a complete last mile solution that includes 60Ghz bridges that can provide up to 2.5GB to 10GB of throughput 1.5km’s away and can be setup in a series of repeaters extending that even further from rooftop to rooftop where Fiber isn’t practical to lay. They all report to a single dashboard where you can see your entire enterprise on one screen. It’s amazing and we are testing it right now.
I love change – especially when it results in more power, more convenience and more results for everyone. This is going to be exciting!!
We will let you know when the new stuff hits the ground running in our warehouse.
Our advice to you
If you will allow us, we would like to give you some sobering advice as to how to move forward in the face of such sad news.
  1. Read this email a few more times to absorb the tectonic news about your investment in Openmesh for the last 10 years and how this news will affect your current business model.
  2. You will have to make a few assumptions in order to make a decision as there are no guarantees in this world – there never were – there never will be.
  3. Compare what you have invested in Openmesh hardware and the dashboard as part of your business plan if you can assume that it really will be supported for the next 5 plus years – as is – no new features. Compare that against your other options (other brands of hardware solutions). Compare each of them regarding the use and cost of moving to something new or being able to just continue using what Openmesh provided to you. As an example, our sister company at www.Liveport.com has over a 1,000 hotels as Open-mesh users with an average 100 rooms per hotel. Our decision will be to leave everything running as is knowing that we will have 5 years to upgrade them all to the next generation of whatever comes – we aren’t panicking – we are simply going to have to accept the facts, use what we have and plan for the future.
  4. Consider buying Openmesh stock to use as spares in order to keep those networks running when some access points or POE switches fail in the future due to user abuse or a lightening strike etc.  If you thought it through it might be a good idea to buy some now for stock before you’ll never be able to get them again. Liveport is buying replacement stock for its own use but that stock will be of primary strategic importance to Liveport – not there for your convenience. You need to make your own decision regarding that point just like Liveport did.
  5. Consider moving your existing networks to Datto.com if they will allow you to do so. I believe they might let you do that if you sign up before December 31st. It will then cost you extra on a monthly basis but that will be one of those things you consider before you make a move.
  6. Wait to see what Access Wireless is bringing to Canada and all of its Openmesh customers as a viable alternative to what Openmesh once provided. I hope you will be impressed with what we believe will be the next logical choice for all of you who loved and appreciated the soon to be gone Openmesh product. I know the pricing will be competitive and the features compelling even if you have to learn something new.

If you want to call me, remember there is nothing I can do to change what is about to happen. I will take your calls but I can’t really improve on what is said in this email.  I can’t influence or fix what Datto’s new owner wants to do. I already tried for the last 3 weeks. Our staff will continue to ship what you order. Operations as usual.

Watch for new news in the coming weeks. Things are changing fast. As an example, I received a call out of the blue sky from Marek Lindner and Antonio to explore how we could create the replacement for Openmesh including a better dashboard and firmware. They quit Openmesh a few months before Datto took over 2 years ago and have been working on a new replacement since then. The result is that they are only a few months away from being able to offer an easy migration of Openmesh hardware to whatever they brand as their solution. They created the dashboard and firmware you are currently using. IF what they have takes a bit longer it wont be too critical because you still have 5 years of Cloudtrax service do depend on.

In the next week or so, I will be sending out a Survey Poll to all of you to help us determine what you feel is needed in a replacement product and service to match and extend what Openmesh accomplished. This Survey should help Marek and Antonio focus on what the first deliverables should be. They are Open Source proponents and they are proposing that their system will match what Openmesh had and then any further feature enhancements will be provided by thrid party plugins to their dashboard API. Some of those might be free and others would cost whatever the market will bear for specialized services. They don’t expect to be charging a per access point license like Datto does.