Wireless Networks Thread, Ruckus Help Please in Technical; Well guys my eagerly awaited Ruckus evaluation equipment arrived late last week consisting of ZD1100, 2* 7363 AP's and a ...
12th March 2013, 07:13 PM #1
Ruckus Help Please
Well guys my eagerly awaited Ruckus evaluation equipment arrived late last week consisting of ZD1100, 2* 7363 AP's and a 7982 AP.
I configured the zone director which seemed to go pretty easy to be honest and I was quite pleased with how smooth it went,
over Friday and yesterday the ipods and ipads were tested on the Ruckus system and seemed to perform very well, then yesterday afternoon
several teachers (using Dell Latitude E5530 Laptops) used the AP's whilst on there PPA time which also seemed to go well.
Today was another story however, the laptop trolley cam out for the first time which consists of 30 five year old Dell Lattitude D531 Laptops
running at 2.4 ghz over wireless G, the class teach took 25 of them out and I was quite confident all would go well until after 15 mins and still
the laptops were struggling to log on to the network.
By the end of the lesson approx 15 of the 25 had managed to get on the network so it was viewed as being a complete disaster and no better
than the cheap and nasty EnGenius solution the school already has. Even though these are old laptops running at 2.4Ghz I would have expected
a system like Ruckus to be able to handle them easily.
The AP that was being used was a 7363 that was located in the classroom with the laptops so nothing was blocking the signal, at times the laptops were reporting
connections of between 11 & 18 mbps which was very dissapointing.
Is there anything I could have missed in the configuration that can improve the performance ??? I really want this to work but at the moment can see it being sent
back and the school not bothering with upgrading the wireless.
IDG Tech News
12th March 2013, 07:57 PM #2
Just off topic slightly, the reason why Ruckus only send out three APs is because hey will be configured on channels 1,6,11. If they sent you any more then you would start to have interference and would require indepth RF planning.
If an AP starts to run at G, then all clients will also connect to G level speeds, this is why we are N only on 2.4GHz or A on 5GHz, but have yet to choose between Meru or Ruckus
12th March 2013, 10:45 PM #3
Ruckus should have handled that easily. Ours does, and our APs arn't even in the same room.
Some things to check:
1. was your current wifi running at the same time? you can only have so many devices running in one place. Another (non-ruckus) AP running nearby might cause interference. Also, laptops might be trying to connect to the older system. When we trialed, we turned our old system off for a lesson. Ruckus should change the channel of the ap automatically - thats one of the key features. It might be that it can't find a free channel if you have other wifi networks nearby. Use insidder (or another wifi scanner) on a laptop to see whats running nearby. You may also have other sources of interference, microwaves, radar stations, etc. Have a look around and see if there is anything like that nearby.
2. Check the zone director web console. This should give some useful info about whats going on. If you look up the access point, you can see who's connected, and who's failing. It should also give some indication why a client can't connect.
3. Check you client devices. If you have dodgy wifi drivers or interfaces, this can cause problems. We had some Toshiba L10's and M40's that had rubbish drivers. they didn't support wpa2, only wpa. They would still try to connect to a wpa2 network, but would fail. If this is the case, you should see authentication errors on the ap on the zonedirector.
4. Windows 7. This handles wifi much better than XP. If the laptops aren't running it already and they have more than 256 mb ram, upgrade them. They will work much more reliably, even if they are a little slower. Doing this cut our call-outs to laptops right down. Its a rare day we have a wifi issue now.
5. Uplink speed. Make sure your ap has a gig link onto your network. if your sharing a 100mb connection, it will be slow. Mesh mode can also be slow if it doesn't mesh on wireless N. Again, check the zone director for info.
Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. We have a Ruckus solution in our school like many others, and we are very happy with it. I'm sure ruckus tech support and others here will help you to get the most out of it.
13th March 2013, 08:36 AM #4
Latest Client Drivers?
Roaming Profiles? If so: What is the roaming profile size? Are you roaming cookies, or other high volume small size files in the profiles?
Also W7 may be better at wireless than XP, but at TCP/IP it and SMB it is awful in a congested network environment (which a wirelss cell containing 30 laptops loading roaming profiles is). Try the usual patches, listed here:
Roaming profile corruption
Also, make sure your AV isn't scanning the profile folders on the servers, and that your wireless is a separate VLAN from the rest of your devices.
13th March 2013, 09:27 AM #5
I am looking at one of the offending laptops right now, they are old but do have a 1GB of Ram in them so I am going to try and upgrade them to W7
and see what happens.
I went round all the classrooms first thing this morning and even though I had disconnected the old units someone decided to plug half of them back in .
We are not using roaming profiles so its not trying to copy that accross but as for the AV as I said on another thread we use Sophos and it has quite a large footprint.
Will have a play today and update with any info later.....
13th March 2013, 12:07 PM #6
A couple of issues with the above as the information is slightly erroneous;
Originally Posted by ass17
Firstly mixed mode wireless is something that all major vendors have offered for a few years now, including Ruckus, what this means is that clients will run to their maximum potential speed i.e. N clients running at N with G clients running simultaneously at G off an 802.11n Access Point. The limitation to speed is the individual clients chipset and not the rest of the network being slowed to the lowest client speed, Ruckus further enhance clients achieving their maximum potential performance through utilisiing AirTime Fairness and Band Steering:
With regard to the number of AP's I can see where you are coming from and if you were talking about unmanaged AP's I would agree entirely as channel planning is of paramount importance for more than 3 AP's within range of each other. However, one of the main benefits of a system such as Ruckus is that when utilised with the ZoneDirector controller the AP's channel selection and power output is automated. Ruckus uses a technique called ChannelFly to proactively assess the best channel for each AP to maximise perfomance and limit cross channel contention which leads to packet clashes and therefore problems.
Generally speaking the argument for and against single channel architecture (SCA) v's multichannel channel architecture (MCA) is one that will rumble on for sometime depending on which vendors marketing material you choose to believe. It is worth noting though that only 2 major vendors have gone down the single channel route (Extricom & Meru), where as every other vendor has stuck with the multichannel solution. Below are some links and docs discussing the in's and out's of each method so you can draw your own conclusion:
WiFi Debate That Wont Die
Single Channel Architecture whitepaper from Aruba.pdf
To go back to the OP, some solid trouble shooting shouts there, one thing to check; are you using a PSK, if so are you using TKIP or AES?
13th March 2013, 12:32 PM #7
Well it looks like Ruckus will be going back as it would appear its not for our school as this was the response I got from NetCtrl;
Whilst I appreciate that the laptops need replacing my head is not so keen due to us going academy very soon and is not willing to spen on the wireless either unless its proven to work,
The first issue, unfortunately, is going to be the clients here. 802.11g only clients can only hit a max data rate of 54Mbps (actual TCP throughput is about half).
In a rough sense 25 clients on a single 802.11g AP are going to get about 1Mbps each, pretty low.
The fact the clients are dropping in data rate is to be expected in the 802.11 protocols.
When a bunch of clients are fighting for airspace over a small pipe there are going to be collisions and packets loss. When there is packet loss (no ACK) the AP and clients adjust their data rate to a lower. It’s a fail-safe mechanism.
The first step I would do is get the latest support drivers on the WNICS (direct from the vendor..i.e intel.com) and reduce or remove any roaming profiles that may be used.
Second to that, but not least, is to use clients with at least 802.11n 2.4GHz support. Dualband 5GHz clients will be even better.
although Ruckus has done well with the hand held devices and newer laptops it would appear its not enough to justify the cost if the laptop trolley can't run from it.
13th March 2013, 01:14 PM #8
we have got loads of D531s working on ruckus no problem - the issue may be encryption method - if you have tkip you are limited to 20 per access point i think whereas with AES you can have as many as you want. - I had this problem when trialling ruckus but as soon as I changed key to AES then all ok.
quick edit -we have just put SSD's in our D531's which also really helped.
Last edited by maark; 13th March 2013 at 01:16 PM.
13th March 2013, 01:28 PM #9
Thank you for that I have just had a look at the ZD and were already on AES.
13th March 2013, 02:39 PM #10
Managed Wireless vendors implementations can do clever things to reduce the impact of g clients in a n environment, however there is no getting away from physics. A a/g client takes substantially longer to broadcast the same data than an 'n' client. Since it is a shared medium, this means that while a client/ap is broadcasting, no other transmissions can be made within the physical collision domain, and no other client can communicate with the AP that is the target/source of the transmission. If you can engineer it, either the removal of all a/g clients, or their isolation onto a dedicated channel will improve performance.
On cell vs 'single channel'. The debate has evolved somewhat with the growing number of 1:1 or greater environments. The only way to support high density environments is to introduce as many channels simultaneously into the same physical space. This looks a lot like blankets of site wide single channels layered on top of each other. So moving forward I'd expect Meru (and extericom perhaps) to really start to win for those with their eye on density.
I'll stop on that now... we're supposed to be talking about your Ruckus trial not behaving as well as other known good Ruckus installations... and so back to the topic at hand.
Assuming you tightly manage your roaming profiles as above and your clients aren't trying to make redirected folders available offline, and you haven't redirected appdata or other i/o intensive folders back to the network....
If your laptops are only 2.4Ghz, and they can only see one AP at -70dB or better, then this is likely to be your problem. What happens if you bring another AP on a different frequency into the room to add a second channel layer?Wndows clients should load balance across the two and in effect double your bandwidth.
Also fire up wireshark on one of your clients and see how much ip broadcast traffic you are seeing. 30 pps per client is enough to cripple wifi performance when multiplied up to 30 devices on one ap radio.
Last edited by psydii; 13th March 2013 at 02:49 PM.
13th March 2013, 03:35 PM #11
I had a similar issue just after Christmas with a system that has been running fine for three years. I upgraded from the ZD1050 to the ZD1150 and student laptops where taking upto 30 minutes to login with no access to network or internet.
The eventual fix was this.
Thank you for contacting Ruckus Wireless.
We have seen some issues where the laptops takes some minutes to logon to the network to gain access, so in these kind of cases we have found that forcing the Kerbos authentication via TCP instead of UDP, across a layer 3 routed interface is fixing the issue. So I would request you to visit the below link and try it on couple of laptops/machines and let us know the outcome.
How to force Kerberos to use TCP instead of UDP in Windows
You can do it manually or by using the 'fixit' application. I would suggest you to perform manually on one machine and 'fixit' application on different machine.
This worked for us after some really thorough testing.
Thanks to ninjabeaver from:
13th March 2013, 07:48 PM #12
Thanks for that Ninjabeaver,
I had a read through and indeed the xp clients do hang for a long time at the loading you personel setting page,
I will try changing the key in the morning and see what happens.
13th March 2013, 08:15 PM #13
Every company we've had in to do a wireless survey and quote always banged on about your APs are only as fast as the slowest client on them. In a BYOD environment if all your devices are N standard or higher then you should have no issues with client speed.
Why would they say this if not true?
14th March 2013, 07:22 AM #14
This is very interesting. We changed out a bunch of Cisco gear that was working fine (layer 8 decision) for some new Ruckus gear. Suddenly the laptops took 15 minutes to log in. Switch back to the Cisco APs and everything works fine.
Originally Posted by ninjabeaver
The only solution that seemed to work was to upgrade the XP clients to Windows 7.
I'm definitely going to have to dig into this a bit further...
14th March 2013, 03:40 PM #15
OK so today I decided to wipe the laptop trolley completely and start again, I have got XP SP3 back on my master laptop but have noticed
that the Windows Zero Wireless Configuration is taking its time loading and thus slowing down the response of the laptop.
Is there anyway of forcing the wireless to connect quicker ?? I have just rebooted and its taken around a minute for the windows wireless to kick in and let me on the network
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