Multi-Hub Question - Drivers on Secondary Hubs

I wanted to ask the community a quick question: Now that multi-hubs are a thing, is it required to install the same custom edge drivers on all secondary hubs that the primary hub has installed?

You will need to do install Edge Drivers on each hub for the devices connected to that hub.

Some people segregate there hubs by device types (z-wave, ZigBee, lan). In that case one hub has z-wave drivers, one has ZigBee drivers, and one has lan drivers.

I personally use my second hub for an outbuilding that is to far from the main building. So the main hub has z-wave, ZigBee, and lan drivers, and my second hub only has ZigBee drivers and 1 lan driver.

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It makes sense, which is what I’m presently doing. To clarify my original question, I’m referring to multi-hub with context to firmware 52.X now allowing the V3/Aeotec hubs to join a multi-hub network like the Smartstation hubs were able to previously and to allow routines to run locally between hubs. Here’s a pic of the network I’m playing around with:

I’m unsure how to ask this, so it will sound terrible: Since all drivers are created through the primary hub, do secondary hubs require a driver to “repeat” the signal from the primary hub? As a bonus question I’m curious about, do secondary hubs work as repeaters, or are they connected together like trunked network switches?

As I understand it, all devices and drivers remain on the primary hub. It’s just the Zigbee and Thread networks that are extended to include the secondary hubs. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ve been puzzling over what the multi-hubs are actually doing too.

I get the impression that it is really all about joining Matter fabrics and the primary hub remains the single matter controller. Zigbee sounds more like it is just coming along for the ride as basically a repeater. That would mean that the multi-hub network is still limited by the capabilities of the primary hub, just with more Matter devices potentially available.

So if you are using three hubs already for capacity reasons you could create multi-hubs around any or all of them but you’d still need three primary hubs.

Am I missing the point somewhere?

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Does multi-hub mean you can add a second V3 hub to a primary V3 hub and have automations run locally between devices on the 2 hubs?

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According to the Samsung announcement this feature is limited to the Station, implying also, as @orangebucket says that this is for Thread

Creating a Multi-Hub Network

Starting with the SmartThings Station, users can now create a multi-hub network in their home, adding additional hubs to their primary one, which becomes part of the Thread mesh. Doing so allows Matter devices to connect to the most optimal or closest hub, extending the range and reliability of their network. This will allow users to put more devices in more places around their homes while experiencing the reliability and responsiveness of local connectivity.

That was the original announcement back in October. Just recently the V3 and Aeotec hubs were updated to include this feature. And while it was originally only thread, it now includes Zigbee as well for those models.

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I’ve been using multiple hubs for about a year. I have (2) V3 hubs and (1) V2 hub in my environment. Here are my observations: What ever devices you load on any given hub, the edge driver for that device, must be installed on that specific hub. Drivers are not shared among hubs. I use the V3 hubs for my main home devices, my V2 hub is dedicated to my security system (door locks, motion sensors, sirens, etc.) Now, as far as automations, you can create routines that use devices from any hub, however, if you mix devices in your routines from multiple hubs, the routine will not run locally. The routine will work, but be aware that it will not be a local routine. Each hub has its own mesh networks, so be aware of devices that are farther away from the hub, as you may need repeaters if there aren’t enough devices in that particular mesh. Hope that helps.

Having multiple hubs in one location is not the same as the new “multi hub” feature, which refers to having multiple hubs on one network, like two hubs on one thread network or two hubs on one Zigbee network.

An example of the difference is z wave: since August 2021 you’ve been able to have two Aeotec hubs each with their own Z wave devices on the same location. All of the factors you describe come to play. But at present, 2 Aeotec hub won’t be on the same Z wave network even if they are on the same location. Because Z wave has not been included in the multi hub feature.

With the multi hub feature, the intent is for routines including devices from each hub to be able to be local, but I don’t know if that’s been turned on yet. Whenever it is turned on, though, again, it will only apply to Zigbee and thread.

Everything you said is true, it’s just not the feature currently under discussion.

See the link that @Johnnybegoode posted above for the official announcement of the new feature.

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I believe this is the case, and it was primarily done so that you will have one primary matter controller for your thread devices.

But that doesn’t mean that it will be implemented in a fashion that follows standard network protocols, so I can’t say for sure what it’s doing at the message transport level.

@Automated_House might know more.

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I can attest that this feature has been turned on with the 52.X firmware update and the 1.8.13.22 client-side Android update I recently received. The downside is that you only receive the option to join a primary hub as a secondary if the hub you are trying to add has no devices attached to it. I purchased some stations to test this feature, and now that it’s live with the V3/Aeotec hubs, I will be building my IOT network around it for science.

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This was the hidden question that I wanted to find out with my original question. Originally, I was forced to go “non-linked multi-hub” via two V3’s and later an Aeotec in the garge due to surpassing the combined memory limit of physical and virtual devices on one hub. If this is the case and the primary hub is taking on all the “memory responsibilities", I’m going to be right back to where I began due to the primary hub’s memory limitation. I’m going to find this out in the coming days as I slowly migrate.

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I think an important question is, when you add a device to SmartThings do you get to select the individual hubs in a multi-hub or do you add devices to the multi-hub itself?

If you can add devices to secondary hubs then I definitely don’t know how it all goes together.

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After I created a multi-hub network, the option to add devices to secondary hubs seems non-existent. I can only add new devices to the primary hub in the multi-hub network or other “non-linked” hubs within the same location. This may have just answered my original question about my primary hub and its memory. I’m more than likely to be in the same boat as before. Still, though, science!

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I am going to say no.

The more I look at it, the more I think that in a multi-hub setup only the primary hub is actually a SmartThings hub as we are used to it, with the secondary hubs just acting as Thread Border Routers and Zigbee Routers, or at least something broadly in the spirit of that.

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Public announcements have said they want to be able to do this for devices on the shared network, which will mean matter over Wi-Fi, matter over thread, and Zigbee, but I don’t know if they’re there yet.

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Yes, taking into consideration that 1) in order to be able to add a hub as a secondary hub it cannot have any devices connected to it and 2) when adding a device to a multi-hub network you will not be asked to select a hub to add it to, I think you do indeed have an answer (though unfortunately not the one you where hoping for).

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Presumably the future roadmap here is marked by the concept of ‘Hub Everywhere’ announced repeatedly by Samsung?
If we buy a new TV or washing machine with hub, that would connect automatically as a secondary hub as soon as we plug it in?
It would of course have no devices nor drivers.

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