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Hardware Thread, Your thoughts on repairing or replacing wireless part of network in Technical; We have a wireless net work based around 15 or so WiFi points and a HP Procurve controller. The controller ...
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    Your thoughts on repairing or replacing wireless part of network

    We have a wireless net work based around 15 or so WiFi points and a HP Procurve controller. The controller is faulty, and there is no wireless available at the moment. We have been advised that the HP network points need to be run by either this repaired (but don't know the cost or time delay) HP controller, or replaced by another (later model) HP controller.

    A new replacement is expensive.

    We have also been advised that we could replace the HP system with an alternative set-up, minus any wireless controller. Software driven, but it would also involve replacing the HP WiFi points with alternative items, as the HP devices would not be compatible with this new set-up.

    Cost wise, if we only had 10 WiFi points or so it would be cheaper to ditch the HP system, but with having 15 points to replace the cost advantage tilts towards replacing the HP controller.

    My question is about the longer view and serviceability of having a wireless system that is dependant on one item that is critical to the entire set-up working.

    What are the strengths and weaknesses of both systems?

    We also have a wired network (which is working OK), but the wireless network will become more critical in the next 12 months or so as we move over to a laptop/tablet based environment.
    Thanks

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    Michael's Avatar
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    In my experience using a wireless controller for 15 wireless access points is a waste of time and very costly as you pointed out. If I had 100's of wireless access points and wireless controller(s) all joined together would make a lot of sense.

    You could use the opportunity to upgrade your wireless access points to 'N' from 'G' so it future proofs your wireless network. Most newer wireless devices do support 'N' so it's well worth doing. 'N' gives you up to 300Mbps (theoretical), and 'G' up to 54Mbps.

    A lot of HP networking kit does come with a lifetime warranty like this HP controller here so it may well be worth making a call to HP and finding out.

    If you're not covered a decent HP PoE switch J9087A or J9146A and HP wireless 'N' access points are the way to go for a small wireless network like yours.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    What is the part number of the controller and the points?

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    What is the part number of the controller and the points?

    Ben
    Hello...

    The HP wireless access controller is:
    Procurve MSM730

    On the rear we have these numbers:
    MSC 5200 ACCESS CONTROLLER
    W069-0019
    70-52-1000-06

    Not at school at the moment..so I cannot examine any numbers on the back of the access point.

    Thanks

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Here's a quote I found online:

    The MSM700 Controller Series reduces the time and complexity of managing a wireless network. The solutions control hundreds of APs from a single management interface and help ensure that a consistent set of services is delivered throughout the wireless network. Pushing authentication, encryption, QoS enforcement, and access policies to the access points delivers the intelligence to the edge of your mobile network.
    Exactly I said, ideal for hundreds not 15 access points. The MSM730 is around 3K new.

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    pritchardavid's Avatar
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    You should be able to get the repaired/replaced for free. HP Procurve products have lifetime warranty! When we had our wireless routers repaired they sent us new ones first then we sent the old ones back after.
    Last edited by pritchardavid; 6th March 2012 at 07:55 PM.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritchardavid View Post
    You should be able to get the repaired/replaced for free. HP Procurve products have lifetime warranty! When we had our wireless routers repaired they sent us new ones first then we sent the old ones back after.
    Not always don't just assume that access points especially.

    Ben

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    plexer's Avatar
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    That controller has a 1 year warranty.

    You can use the support lookup tool:

    HP Networking support and look-up tool

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by pritchardavid View Post
    You should be able to get the repaired/replaced for free. HP Procurve products have lifetime warranty! When we had our wireless routers repaired they sent us new ones first then we sent the old ones back after.
    If only... HP have told us it is out of warranty (12 months) and we have had it 2 years and 7 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Here's a quote I found online:



    Exactly I said, ideal for hundreds not 15 access points. The MSM730 is around 3K new.
    Yes that was roughly the original price.....the replacement recommendation is coming in at nearer 5k OUCH!

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I would seriously scrap the controller idea and buy a PoE switch with new wireless 'N' access points. You'll probably save around 2K to 2.5K.

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    You can replace the lot with something that works for far less than you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Here's a quote I found online:



    Exactly I said, ideal for hundreds not 15 access points. The MSM730 is around 3K new.

    I think it's gone end of life.

    Hence the recommended replacement would probably be an msm760 which with premium license required
    For redundancy possibly explains the increased price.

    I don't know whether the entry level Msm720 would be an option for the ap's being mentioned, or whether with add unite redundancy the price would still come to a few k, but the route to go down depends on how important it is to have more than one controller in this environment. Replacing with something that just 'works' with these ap's is probably not as expensive as the numbers being mentioned, the hp msm stuff is not by any stretch the most expensive kit out there
    Last edited by alttab; 9th March 2012 at 02:43 AM.

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    No it's not the most expensive kit, but a wireless controller for 15 access points just isn't worth it at all.

    I would just start from new, install a decent PoE switch and replace the access points. It would take one afternoon to program 15 access points and would end up being much more cost effective with the same results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    You can replace the lot with something that works for far less than you think.
    Yes its only when you start looking at things in depth than it becomes apparent there are alternatives, alternatives in price and technology.

    One supplier we have contacted is offering to replace the set-up we have with new WiFi access points, controlled by software at a sum somewhat cheaper than this one HP wireless controller.

    I have also come across UniFi WiFi systems which seems quite attractive both in technology and price. Has anybody had any experience of UniFi set-up in a school environment? Suppliers/installers/contacts ? ?

    Thanks for all the feed back so far!

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