mdench (9th October 2012)
We are having wireless installed in a few months. Our plan is to have a laptop trolley with 30 laptops on them move from class to class. The 4 classes we are looking at are in close proximity and following a survey, the classes get good coverage from an access point installed in a central location. We are looking at Ruckus. Can anyone give their views on whether we should have an access point per classroom or whether they will be fine in a central location. This needs to work well straight away but I dont want to spend a lot on additional access points that may not be needed.
Also, can anyone advise whether the Ruckus 3x3 access points will make a difference to the above question.
mdench (9th October 2012)
Put it this way, a direct line of site (in the classroom) will always work better than in a corridor for example. Less walls/objects to travel through. Also with a central Wireless Access Point (WAP), there's a single point of failure. If you have three WAPs for example and one fails, you still have two working until you fix the issue.
We have a wireless network that does not cover the entire site. The survey carried out by the installer company called for an access point per classroom in many locations but we have found that we can easily cope with current demand with one access point per department [in most areas] There are exceptions. In the Technology Department we have deployed three access points as they have around 40 student laptops and a number of staff laptops [not all of which are active at the same time but a lot of them might be]
We found that our Music block could only be supported with an access point per classroom. We suspect that there may be metal framework in the walls that saps the signal that we would normally expect to cover the whole block.
Also it's generally recommended to install WAPs high up. Typically network ports are lower down, so you're not going to get as good a signal, especially if you have objects or people stood right in front of it.
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CPLTD (15th October 2012)
Last edited by CPLTD; 15th October 2012 at 10:51 AM. Reason: MC Grammar
It all depends on your density requirements. An AP per room is something that most, not all, vendors (except Ruckus) will recommend for "Density" as their APs do not control the Physical Layer like Ruckus do and it is very rare that i would every design a Ruckus network on an AP per Room deployment. Unless the walls were made of lead!
Since Ruckus focus the RF energy to the client they cause less interference with neighbouring clients and APs which increases the SNR dramatically, which at the bottom line means faster speeds. Getting the client on and off the link as fast as possible means there is more bandwidth available for more clients.
Unless you are looking at 150+ mixed band clients per room in every room i would avoid the AP per Room deployment not only to save on cost but to reduce potential co-channel interference. Yes Ruckus do mitigate interference but if there are too many APs in close proximity may cause issues. Its Physics.
General rule of thumb for site deployments is count up how many rooms you have, divide by 3 and that is more than likely going to be your final AP count.
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And this is why site surveys are always recommended. RF is extremely dynamic and survey designs and requirements change from site to site.
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