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Wireless Networks Thread, !!Advice Please!! - Primary School Wireless Solution - connectivity problems??? in Technical; Hi, First time user of edugeek - would really appreciate any help and advice. My new school has a wireless ...
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    !!Advice Please!! - Primary School Wireless Solution - connectivity problems???

    Hi,

    First time user of edugeek - would really appreciate any help and advice. My new school has a wireless solution in place which has 12 AP's and is controlled by a wireless controller (thinking netgear). The school is an old three storey double sided victorian building. The school has 60 netbooks and 30 laptops all accessing the wireless network at different times during the day. The server is running Microsoft Server 2003 and the server is approximately 6 -7 years old. The pupils/staff log onto the the network via roaming profiles and all have individual log ons. The school is located in London and has recently switched from synetrix broadband services to VMB services via LGFL 2.0 connection.

    The problems:

    Classes of children can take up to 20 minutes to access the network. This is far from ideal when you are teaching as you want instantaneous access.
    Staff members have long waits before logging on via netbooks/laptops


    What can be done to improve the time take for pupils logging on to network via wireless device?

    How can the signal strength be improved across the school?

    What reliable companies geared at providing wireless solutions can do carry out this work?


    Thank you

    ICTteach

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    How long does it take just one laptop on an evening?

    What happens if the laptop is hard wired?

    What does the Wi-Fi Consist of?

    As Jonny Five says "need More Input"

    Rob

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Had long logins with ours, Ruckus but that was down to rather large profiles not Ruckus. Started to standardise the profiles and make everyone mandatory which improved things. Just changed over to W7 with redirected everything so will see how that goes. Make sure you got good switches as no point everything going through a 100 switch if everyone is trying to pull down large profiles over wifi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twin--turbo View Post
    How long does it take just one laptop on an evening?

    What happens if the laptop is hard wired?

    What does the Wi-Fi Consist of?

    As Jonny Five says "need More Input"

    Rob
    Literally have just started ICT audit at school. Wired network seems quick and has no direct connection problems. Wifi consists of 12 PoE Access points located at different positions around the school, controlled by wireless controller. Laptop in the evening - have no idea - but will try on Monday. Not a network engineer, so only know basics. I'm assuming they are all broadcasting from same SSID. I was thinking of carrying out a wireless heat map of the school. Do you know any companies that can do this?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechSupp View Post
    Had long logins with ours, Ruckus but that was down to rather large profiles not Ruckus. Started to standardise the profiles and make everyone mandatory which improved things. Just changed over to W7 with redirected everything so will see how that goes. Make sure you got good switches as no point everything going through a 100 switch if everyone is trying to pull down large profiles over wifi.
    Thanks for this - I will look at profile size when get into school on Monday. I think there is a problem with this as it would suggest that as 440 pupils all have individual profiles with their own documents this may cause a problem? Is that normal?

    Who installed your Ruckus solution?

    THanks

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTteach View Post
    Thanks for this - I will look at profile size when get into school on Monday. I think there is a problem with this as it would suggest that as 440 pupils all have individual profiles with their own documents this may cause a problem? Is that normal?

    Who installed your Ruckus solution?

    THanks
    If they have their files/folders on the desktop then the profiles could be HUGE!


    What controller/AP is it , Monitoring it's status during peak times may give some insight.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTteach View Post
    Literally have just started ICT audit at school. Wired network seems quick and has no direct connection problems. Wifi consists of 12 PoE Access points located at different positions around the school, controlled by wireless controller. Laptop in the evening - have no idea - but will try on Monday. Not a network engineer, so only know basics. I'm assuming they are all broadcasting from same SSID. I was thinking of carrying out a wireless heat map of the school. Do you know any companies that can do this?

    Thanks
    Get an Android device or Windows Laptop and walk around using Either the Meraki Stumbler or Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector.

    To be honest the biggest problem here is probably pulling down of profiles across the Access Point.

    Is each AP running 100mb or 1Gbs connection?

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Get an Android device or Windows Laptop and walk around using Either the Meraki Stumbler or Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector.

    To be honest the biggest problem here is probably pulling down of profiles across the Access Point.

    Is each AP running 100mb or 1Gbs connection?
    I think they are 100mb.

    So basically have it so the profiles are standardised and the pupils cannot store information on them. Is that correct

    Thanks for the help

    ICTteach

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    we have roaming profiles, but student desktops are locked down via GPO to a standard based on year group and they are unable to put things on them - this means our Unifi AP's are able to log a class of 30 laptops on in a matter of 2-3 minutes, we find they are slowest at log off time. We are however an RM network.

  10. Thanks to Oaktech from:

    m25man (1st September 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTteach View Post
    I think they are 100mb.

    So basically have it so the profiles are standardised and the pupils cannot store information on them. Is that correct

    Thanks for the help

    ICTteach
    Mandatory profiles are a good way of reducing profile issues but they do have their drawbacks.

    As a starting point.

    Creat a fresh clean unabused user and compare the login between them and a pupil that has issues.

    Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    we have roaming profiles, but student desktops are locked down via GPO to a standard based on year group and they are unable to put things on them - this means our Unifi AP's are able to log a class of 30 laptops on in a matter of 2-3 minutes, we find they are slowest at log off time. We are however an RM network.
    We have this too but in both schools the networks are vanilla. Log on isnt quite as quick - about 5-7 mins but it isn't at all bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twin--turbo View Post
    Mandatory profiles are a good way of reducing profile issues but they do have their drawbacks.

    As a starting point.

    Creat a fresh clean unabused user and compare the login between them and a pupil that has issues.

    Rob.
    Thanks - i will do this Monday

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    We have this too but in both schools the networks are vanilla. Log on isnt quite as quick - about 5-7 mins but it isn't at all bad.

    Thanks for your input and advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTteach View Post
    Hi,

    First time user of edugeek - would really appreciate any help and advice. My new school has a wireless solution in place which has 12 AP's and is controlled by a wireless controller (thinking netgear). The school is an old three storey double sided victorian building. The school has 60 netbooks and 30 laptops all accessing the wireless network at different times during the day. The server is running Microsoft Server 2003 and the server is approximately 6 -7 years old. The pupils/staff log onto the the network via roaming profiles and all have individual log ons. The school is located in London and has recently switched from synetrix broadband services to VMB services via LGFL 2.0 connection.

    The problems:

    Classes of children can take up to 20 minutes to access the network. This is far from ideal when you are teaching as you want instantaneous access.
    Staff members have long waits before logging on via netbooks/laptops


    What can be done to improve the time take for pupils logging on to network via wireless device?

    How can the signal strength be improved across the school?

    What reliable companies geared at providing wireless solutions can do carry out this work?


    Thank you

    ICTteach
    there are potentially a number of issues at play here. as others have mentioned roaming profile size would probably be one. Under windows 2008 with win7 it's easy enough to go with redirected folders and have nothing but local profiles with GPO set to clear local profiles after 30 days? i think. Under windows 2003/xp you'd be looking at something like delprof if you were to go the local profile route or as witch mentioned mandatory profiles, both should be coupled with folder redirection.

    The issue you have with your wireless is that it is a shared medium, you don't have 100mbps full duplex for each client to pull down large profiles. Wireless by it's nature almost forces one to redesign, whereas 100mbps+ switched networks allows you to get away with all sorts of stuff. so design to keep things lean.

    And even without profiles depending on what's happening during start and post-login you could potentially have a lot of network communication going on and each client contending for shared bandwidth. Often wireless that's designed primarily for coverage has situations where a single AP is used to provide coverage to two rooms.

    This isn't ideal if you have clients with thick victorian walls on the other side of an AP with the 'strongest' signal or worse if you have a room which has the physical characteristics that demand an AP in the room but there isn't one!!! Especially if you have non-enterprise AP's on the other side.
    A good starting point if fixing the profile issue doesn't improve end user experience would be to get to the bottom of how your managed wireless works and optimises as far as it's control characteristics. Another starting would be to look at the type of wireless NICs you have in your end user devices and how they can be optimised [difficult if you've got cheap as chips NICs that don't take advantage of all the cleverness and high specs of modern managed AP's].

    ultimately you best is to manage expectations, your client server and network architecture should be architectured as such for a worst case scenario that each user can only be able to obtain single digit MB/s -. Sure in theory your AP can take advantage of multiple radios and on paper provide 450Mb/s and your clients might say they're connected at 140Mb/s or whatever but this is real world where the AP just cannot physically dedicate 100meg to each client during the duration of it's login -many portable devices don't even have the hardware to connect at close to those advertised speeds anyway, unlike what even a decade old Fast ethernet switch and 10/100 network cards can do for instance. The important thing is to try and provide a good experience rather than expect to do on the wireless the same stuff that's done on the wired. Roaming profiles are bad enough on the wired, it can be tear your hair out stuff on wireless.
    Last edited by alttab; 31st August 2012 at 06:09 PM.

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Hopefully the controller will also be controlling overlapping channels and power levels, and the wifi will be installed so that an area that expects high utilisation spreads it over more than one AP.

    60 Laptops on one AP is going to cause a lot of traffic that does not even contain much useful data.

    Rob

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