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Hardware Thread, Wireless Solution - Primary School in Technical; Hello, We're looking to getting a managed wireless solution for our primary school, so it'd be great to hear some ...
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    Question Wireless Solution - Primary School

    Hello,

    We're looking to getting a managed wireless solution for our primary school, so it'd be great to hear some opinions on this. We have 20 classrooms, of which only uses 1 teacher laptop each at present (that could be made wireless), as well as 20 netbooks that are occasionally used in KS2 classrooms.

    I'm looking to get a few quotes from companies to compare... so far I've got a quote from the Education IT Support at the city council for a Cisco wireless solution, as well an Aerohive wireless solution...

    Cisco
    1 x Cisco AIR-CT5508-25-K9 Wireless Controller
    24 x Cisco AIR-LAP1142N-E-K9 Access Points
    2 x Cisco 24 Port Gigabit with 2 mini Gigabit and POE
    1 x Installation and configuration

    Total = 17,800

    Aerohive
    24 x Aerohive AP120
    24 x 5 year HiveManager Online + Support

    Total = 14,300

    Each quote includes 24 access points - 1 for each classroom, plus other rooms; however this can be reduced once a site survey is performed (i.e. classroom sharing).

    Although the Aerohive solution got me excited when I first saw it, I'd probably pick the Cisco solution over the Aerohive at present, due to the local support we'd get and site survey included; whereas Aerohive seems more of a DIY job, though the cloud-based controller looks easy to manage.

    I done a bit of searching on this forum and I've contacted C-P-LTD regarding Ruckus Wireless which looks good.

    Does anyone has any suggestions, tips or comments to make that would help me out? I'm a university placement student and have limited knowledge in this area, so your opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris4; 12th June 2012 at 05:28 PM.

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    Millgate's Avatar
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    What about Meru? Worth thinking about!

    Also, I can give you a quote for the Cisco kit and i bet it comes a lot cheaper! We'll have a lot of the kit in stock

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Personally I would avoid the Cisco kit - my experience of it hasn't been great.

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    We use all Cisco wireless kit and not had any issues. Very expensive but you get what you pay for!

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    we are a Unifi school here and have been very impressed with it so far. if you are not looking to use all the fancy things you'll pay for with the big boys then you should seriously consider this kit.

    @m25man is the chap to fire any questions at.
    Last edited by bodminman; 12th June 2012 at 07:52 PM.

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    Unifi is the way to go for a primary

    You don't need a site survey if your sticking one AP in each teaching area

    24 APs at 65 each = 1K5

    Each AP needs its own network point so if you don't have a spare one in each class you'd need to budget for that (20 for a little 8 port switch in the classroom - 100/point at most to get a contractor in run extra wires (3k max - prob a lot lot less) + few hundred for a central 24 port switch.

    The Unifi APs are centrally configured but run independently so I'd call them semi-managed

    There's not many contractors offering Unifi because there is no cut to be taken out of the hardware cost but I'm sure if you found a good installer in the area that you could just ask them to quote you for the infrastructure wiring and a labour plus cost for screwing the APs to a celing/wall

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millgate View Post
    What about Meru? Worth thinking about!

    Also, I can give you a quote for the Cisco kit and i bet it comes a lot cheaper! We'll have a lot of the kit in stock
    I've contacted Meru for a quote, thanks. I don't have much idea on which companies are good or bad, this is my first experience.

    I've contacted you by email for a Cisco quote, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Personally I would avoid the Cisco kit - my experience of it hasn't been great.
    What are your experiences exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by bodminman View Post
    we are a Unifi school here and have been very impressed with it so far. if you are not looking to use all the fancy things you'll pay for with the big boys then you should seriously consider this kit.

    @m25man is the chap to fire any questions at.
    What exactly do you not get with Unifi that you do with the big companies?

    @Avalon has contacted me by PM for a quote for Unifi, may contact @m25man too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    Unifi is the way to go for a primary

    You don't need a site survey if your sticking one AP in each teaching area

    24 APs at 65 each = 1K5

    Each AP needs its own network point so if you don't have a spare one in each class you'd need to budget for that (20 for a little 8 port switch in the classroom - 100/point at most to get a contractor in run extra wires (3k max - prob a lot lot less) + few hundred for a central 24 port switch.

    The Unifi APs are centrally configured but run independently so I'd call them semi-managed

    There's not many contractors offering Unifi because there is no cut to be taken out of the hardware cost but I'm sure if you found a good installer in the area that you could just ask them to quote you for the infrastructure wiring and a labour plus cost for screwing the APs to a celing/wall

    Simon
    Despite the tempting price, and yes we'd need contractors for extra ports (which we need anyway), won't a semi-managed solution be more trouble-some than a completely managed solution offered by others?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    My experience of Cisco was in a Large Secondary school - the devices just could seem to get the through put to support enough wireless clients.

    Another one to look at is Meraki which is a hosted controller. I've just put this into a company with 9 remote offices supporting 20/30 clients per site.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Have you considored Ruckus?

    Possibly got a couple of places in Leicester you could go look at with Ruckus if you want to drop me a PM.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    My team and I have installed three ruckus installs (one secondary, two primary) and one Ubiquiti install. I love the Ruckus gear. It is excellent, however it is also pricey when it is compared to ubiquiti (plus ongoing support costs). I have been playing again this morning with the ubiquiti controller software. It is really straight forward and just works. A fantastic solution for a primary I would suggest. Ruckus is too, but takes a touch more setting up.

    We are probably looking at completing two more ubiquiti installs in the coming months.

    I would probably suggest you use some of your budget to pop extra network points all over the place (in the ceiling ideally) and buy ubiquiti. You'll need a pc to run the software on (and a lot of sockets in your racks for the injectors), but I bet you are looking at half the price of the solutions you've already looked at.

    If looking at Ruckus, speak with @CPLTD or @Net-Ctrl both excellent resellers to work with. We bought our box of three ubiquiti APs from an internet box shipper.

  11. 2 Thanks to IrritableTech:

    Aggy (15th June 2012), CPLTD (16th October 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    My experience of Cisco was in a Large Secondary school - the devices just could seem to get the through put to support enough wireless clients.

    Another one to look at is Meraki which is a hosted controller. I've just put this into a company with 9 remote offices supporting 20/30 clients per site.
    Ok, thank you for your input. Sounds like it may have been set up incorrectly, rather than bad hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Have you considored Ruckus?

    Possibly got a couple of places in Leicester you could go look at with Ruckus if you want to drop me a PM.
    Yes, as I mentioned in my first post I've contacted C-P-LTD regarding Ruckus, however I'll take you up on that offer for more local companies, thank you.
    Last edited by Chris4; 13th June 2012 at 12:09 PM.

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    We use Ruckus Wireless and HP Procurve E series here. Good value for money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris4 View Post
    Ok, thank you for your input. Sounds like it may have been set up incorrectly, rather than bad hardware.
    each AP into HP Gig Switches with multiple Gig fiber uplinks back to the core (E5406 ZL) (trunked) and Fiber directly into the Controller on its own Vlan. It wasn't that it was completely rubbish but you just couldn't get 30 Laptops in an area with multiple APs downloading profiles together (we had 70 AP's and 95% site coverage). Which in a classroom where you need 30 laptops isn't very good.
    Last edited by glennda; 13th June 2012 at 12:08 PM.

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    Unifi here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrritableTech View Post
    My team and I have installed three ruckus installs (one secondary, two primary) and one Ubiquiti install. I love the Ruckus gear. It is excellent, however it is also pricey when it is compared to ubiquiti (plus ongoing support costs). I have been playing again this morning with the ubiquiti controller software. It is really straight forward and just works. A fantastic solution for a primary I would suggest. Ruckus is too, but takes a touch more setting up.

    We are probably looking at completing two more ubiquiti installs in the coming months.

    I would probably suggest you use some of your budget to pop extra network points all over the place (in the ceiling ideally) and buy ubiquiti. You'll need a pc to run the software on (and a lot of sockets in your racks for the injectors), but I bet you are looking at half the price of the solutions you've already looked at.

    If looking at Ruckus, speak with @CPLTD or @Net-Ctrl both excellent resellers to work with. We bought our box of three ubiquiti APs from an internet box shipper.
    Which ever solution is used, it has to be easy to manage. The school doesn't have a full-time paid technician, I'm a placement student and don't have much experience in this area - come September the school will have a new technician of whom will probably have less experience than myself and he'll be the one managing this. I'll have a look to see if I can find a local supplier/installer of Ubiquiti. I've contacted @CPLTD for a Ruckus quote, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesreedersmith View Post
    Unifi all the way - excellent product - does what you need, once its set up its forgettable (as in you can leave it on and forget its there and it works) ive had upto 40 clients per ap with no bother.
    We have put over 400 into 30 schools and its not a problem.

    PM Me if you want to have a chat about it on the phone etc.
    Ok I may do that, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    each AP into HP Gig Switches with multiple Gig fiber uplinks back to the core (E5406 ZL) (trunked) and Fiber directly into the Controller on its own Vlan. It wasn't that it was completely rubbish but you just couldn't get 30 Laptops in an area with multiple APs downloading profiles together (we had 70 AP's and 95% site coverage). Which in a classroom where you need 30 laptops isn't very good.
    Hmm... okay thanks for letting me know.

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