I was told yesterday that our primary school will be getting some funding and part of this will be to upgrade our ICT network and making it more future proof!!!!
At the moment we have an ICT suite with 22 computers, 4 laptop wireless trolleys (29 laptops all together) and 3 wireless D-LINK points (which aren't the best!)
Now the head has this vision of making the whole network wireless!!!!
All admin and classrooms computers will be wired but the rest will be wireless.... I am not too convinced as to whether thisis a good idea!
Obviously we will update the WAP but if we have around 60 laptops all connected at the same time around the school, we will need some descent system... Not even sure whether a descent system will be abale to maintain this...
Anyway do you have any suggestions on any system that you may have and is reliable? Do you suggest that we have wired PCs on the network?
My solid advice has always been to hardwire in anything you can, creating wireless PCs for the sake of it is absolutely pointless.
If your DLinks are fixed in place and the trolleys move around them, things should be OK given there's only an average of 8 in each trolley assuming everything isn't too close together/sharing channels.
We have a dedicated AP on each trolley which (along with a printer) is uplinked in the room in which the trolley is being used which gives you 15 devices and a printer for use anywhere (with a network socket).
If you want to go for a managed wireless solution, consider having a quick search for ruckus or aruba or so, or if that's a bit over the top consider buying some better, or more access points.
It's perfectly doable. It is recommended to have all desktops wired with all laptops wireless. As a general recommendation, install one AP per classroom should be enough and of course seperate them with channels which do not overlap - 1,6 and 11.
I would agree that the fixed PC's should remain wired however the laptops and trolleys is an easy one to resolve with a solution called Ruckus Wireless.
Originally Posted by marvin
If you search on the forum for Ruckus I think you will find some interesting facts and comments.
Ruckus is the only solution that can beamform its signal instead of using the standard omni directional antenna's that are on your D-Link a/p's.
Ruckus will allow you to connect more users to an a/p quoted as allowing upto 100 but we say 50 is an average number, clients of ours have posted that 32 to 60 + have been happily connected most using the small notebooks.
I have plenty of data sheets I can provide you with and you will find case studies on the forum or I can send them to you, these case studies are also all members of Edugeek so can be spoken to directly if required.
A few key benefitis of Ruckus is that you get
Life time Warranty
It is IT Lite
About 30% cheaper than other big name brands
Fewer access points required.
Delivers exceptional QOS
Give me a shout if you want to know more, I understand it is early days and will be happy to just give you the info to investigate.
If you decide you like what you hear I can send you some kit in a bit to try for free on site for a couple of weeks, this way you can make your own mind up how good the Ruckus kit is.
Sounds reasonable, but be prepared to spend a decent amount on a proper managed wireless system. A little while ago you were looking at around £10,000 minimum for such a system, but that might be a bit lower these days. If you talk to sales people get them to cough up accurate prices as soon as possible. Also don't forget to budget for laptop battery replacement in two or three years. You could just buy very cheap (M&S, £99 each...) laptops and replace them in a year or two.
Originally Posted by marvin
There's been a couple of threads on this so a search is definitely in order...
We bought some ruckus kit from Net-Ctrl recently and I can't thank them enough. It's been faultless.
When we saw them at BETT Mark said "if we've not heard from you we know it's because you've had no problems" and it's damn true!
As another Ruckus user at a place I worked I can also agree its the dogs knackers (wonder if that's why they use the dog as the company logo!) its great kit and works very well, very much worth looking at :)
Were a primary too and getting Ruckus asap.
Trialled the kit before half term and it out performed the dlinks we have in every respect.
If the head wants the whole school wireless then definatly go for a managed system and not just a few AP's dotted here and there
As a school that is on the market for a wireless solution I just wanted to know if you purchased the Ruckus equipment and are you happy with it, How many laptops are you connecting up at any one time and did you go down the route of netbooks for pupils or laptops
We got Ruckus towards the end of last year and it's awesome! Just works. :-)
We're a primary school with Ruckus and have 5 laptop trolleys of 30 laptops each, the most simultaneous connections I have seen are 101 laptops and it worked perfectly well. This is very impressive when you consider most of the users were on Mathletics which is a Flash heavy website.
Originally Posted by boogster
Our laptops are a combination of very old (L20) Toshibas laptos, old Toshibas (A120) laptops and 60 NB200 netbooks. The new netbooks are great and do everything we need them to do.
Yes we did go for Ruckus in the end. I have 6 AP's spread throughout the school. We currently have 60 laptops and apart from the odd one dropping off the network (which i think is to do with the laptop) we can have all 60 connected at once with no problem.
Originally Posted by boogster
Like people have said it just works and is a doddle to setup