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Hardware Thread, Managed Wireless System Advice and Support in Technical; Hi guys i wanted a bit of advice I have a few schools wanting to go down the route of ...
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    Managed Wireless System Advice and Support

    Hi guys i wanted a bit of advice I have a few schools wanting to go down the route of Managed wireless systems the only one as of yet i have played with is Dlink and to be fair i feel its a waste of money. My first question is how do you update your wireless devices do you use WSUS if so does it not have an impact on the wireless system ? And how about deploying MSI's obviously it will take longer than a wired machine but in some cases ive seen it takes it down and makes it un useable. Generally wanted to see what you guys recommend whats working with good performance ? in alot of cases the schools i vist have re direction for everything.
    I generally do weekly visits so i don't want to have to re image them all the time nor go to every single one and deploy software in some schools assigning mac address's to access points wouldn't be practical either

    Thanks Guys

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    I would recommend as would many other EduGeek Members is that you take a look at Ruckus Wireless.

    This is ideal technology for education and to be honest probably the best budget wise.

    Speak to Net-Ctrl or CPLTD on the forums as they are re-sellers of the kit.

    I personally got mine from Net-Ctrl who you cant fault on support even have a Ruckus Approved Specialist on there team (think he is the only one in the UK)

    Drop Aggy a PM: - EduGeek.net Forums - View Profile: Aggy

    Also, Next time you may find the EduGeek Search Function usful it would of answered your question

    Managed Wireless System

    Managed Wireless

    James.

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    Aggy (3rd February 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo1565 View Post
    Hi guys i wanted a bit of advice I have a few schools wanting to go down the route of Managed wireless systems the only one as of yet i have played with is Dlink and to be fair i feel its a waste of money. My first question is how do you update your wireless devices do you use WSUS if so does it not have an impact on the wireless system ? And how about deploying MSI's obviously it will take longer than a wired machine but in some cases ive seen it takes it down and makes it un useable. Generally wanted to see what you guys recommend whats working with good performance ? in alot of cases the schools i vist have re direction for everything.
    I generally do weekly visits so i don't want to have to re image them all the time nor go to every single one and deploy software in some schools assigning mac address's to access points wouldn't be practical either

    Thanks Guys
    The whole point of managed wireless such as Ruckus is that whilst it is software configured the main systems themselves are strictly hardware (with firmware obviously). You set all of the network settings in one place (the controller unit) and then simply plug in the wireless units direct into your network. They will automatically pick up their configuaration from the base unit and there is no intervention required on your part. It just works, and is mostly a lot easier to set up than your home wireless, as long as your networking skills are up to speed.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 29th January 2010 at 11:09 PM.

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    m25man's Avatar
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    I don't want to kick off the great Ruckus debate again in this thread as far as I can see it's had more than it's fair share of free advertising on this site, it clearly works for many as do plenty of other systems.

    I do have a great deal of experience in other uses of wifi such as hospitality, access control, guest access and implementation of WiFi subject to PCI compliancy (Payment Card Industry standards).

    Now one of my clients (entirely off their own back I might add) has recently implemented a high density 3com Cell based system with a WX200 controller to deliver SIMs Mobile access across a split site campus using different ESSID's for the general curriculum wireless access and PDA's for SIMS

    In order to get coverage in every location needed by SIMs they had to roll out almost 40 AP's
    The controller seems to do a fairly good job of managing the cell power levels and channelisation and overall the througput seems to be reasonable for most needs however after spending what must have been an absolute fortune on this system it still suffers from some pretty basic and very annoying failures.

    Firstly the PDA roaming issue. These PDA's seem to be dragged all over campus they may start off at 08:30 in a room on channel 1 to take a register then they will be put on standby and turn up two hours later on the other site on channel 11.
    The teacher then turns it back on expecting it to instantly re-associate when it doesn't the inevitable on off on off reset reboot syndrome starts!
    If left alone for long enough the PDA's will normally sort themselves out but before this happens the Teacher will make the trek back to IT support who will turn it on and make it work 1st time

    Secondly on one perimiter of the main school building there are several classes that share radio spectrum with a number of large mansion type expensive flats populated with around 20 Domestic AP's on just about every channel available. WiFi mayhem!
    Needless to say this particular part of the campus is challenging for any type of system.

    Thirdly, the 3Com controller had issues with Cisco's implementation of STP and it's Stacking and Discovery protocols which was blocking DHCP from working on any AP that was more than one switch hop from the DHCP server!
    Funny but neither the Cisco Support or 3Com techies were willing to fix this!
    Yours truly and his trusty Etherscope had to sort it out!

    But, if ever there was an argument for the Cell vs Blanket systems I think this would be it.

    The over crowded innercity is rapidly becoming a WiFi no go zone and increasingly difficult to cater for.

    With Netgear having teamed up with Aruba, Hp with 3Com, BT & Zyxel with Extricom and Trapeze with Belden & Nortel all trying to deliver the holy grail in such a tiny RF slot, it's painfully obvious that regardless if you spend £2000 or £20,000 on your managed wireless system it's not going to live up to everyones expectations.

    The thread starter talks of Windows Updates and MSI deployments over Wifi
    Unfortunately your lack of experience will make you easy fodder for the predators lurking this forum
    So take advice from your peers, visit other sites and obtain references from sites with similar requirements to you own before you make recommendations or sign a purchase order!

    As such I have begun to look at Hybrid Managed Systems such as Zyxel where the AP's can be either managed or unmanaged and one AP can become the Master for several.
    This system provides a real entry level managed system that won't break the bank (A fully managed 10 AP system for less than £1500)
    Zyxel also rebadge the Extricom Blanket system for those areas that require it.

    But now that a WPA2 PSK passphrase can be cracked in a few minutes and the harder ones sent through an online decrypting service in 20 more,
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyV-WmE5iJo"]YouTube- Wireless Network WPA2 Crack with the Portable Penetrator Netbook PP3000[/ame] Wifi is rapidly becoming about as secure as a Tesco shopping trolley.
    So we will now all have to be adding Certificate based authentication & VPN tunnels to our WiFi traffic whilst we wait for the industry to come up with new ways to increase the WiFi traffic overhead and reduce the usable bandwith to under 10Mbs whilst having to change all of our Wifi network cards!

    You have to wonder "is it really worth it"? Now where did I put the crimp tool and those plugs.....

  6. Thanks to m25man from:

    SimpleSi (2nd February 2010)

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    Thanks for your replies I guess i do have lack of experience in this area hense using this forum to discuss this i don't see this as predatory at all but I appreciate your comments never the less.

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