The UniFi kit does look good, and seems pretty easy to install (and mounts to the ceiling, yay!) - Will put this to them and see what they say, the individual units seem a good price like you say so there's plenty of room to expand.
Thanks for your help
Ruckus has always caught my eye, but unfortunately due to the hierachy of things I'm limited to what I can have. (We're one of many schools in an org. so there's a general IT 'board' - we were put on a wifi trial [the plan was to do a full wi-fi cloud managed network, meaning every single site in our org. would have the same setup,] they didn't go ahead with it so it's left us in a pickle)
That's why I'm looking more at the cheap-o end, so if mangement suddenly turn around and say "We're putting wireless in!" it won't be a massive loss.. I know, it's all daft but I'm just following demands haha. UniFi seems reasonable cost, so I think that's what I'll be aiming for. Does anybody happen to know if the software for it runs fine on 2008R2? I can't see anywhere 'official' that says it does, only 2003.
Unify software runs on 2008 R2 from my testing its just a Java app.
it does indeed run on 2008r2, but equally it'll run on any old thing capable of running java. It's a bit more than just a java app as it installs mongodb and a webserver (possibly a version of tomcat) so you can access it from anywhere on the network. It's that bit that is a bit finicky as it prefers to run on it's own. It can coexist with other services but assigning it uncontested ports is a bit awkward.
Unifi will do what you want, however it is a professional system requiring some level of experience to setup and a controller service is required to get the best from it.
As a self confessed newbie and wifi beginner you need to learn and understand the Unifi system if you expect it to work for you!
Its not a plug it in and everything is done for you platform.
I'm running UAP-AC with 3.1.1 Multi Tenant on Amazon AWS and I have to say the performance has been incredible so far.
Do yourself a favour and get a single unit and try setting it all up yourself first, there will be someone on here down your way I expect willing to give you a hand if you get stuck.
Once you have the first one up and running just plug more in.
TBlax (6th September 2013)
Another vote for the Unifi stuff. Found it surprisingly easy to set up the controller on a linux VM. The points are not reliant whatsoever on the software, so the controller software can go all sorts of pearshaped and the points will keep serving.
Thanks for the advice @m25man - I'll gladly admit I've never done this before, so buying one unit to get to grips with seems a good idea I'll see if I can go down that route first off.
What's involved with the 'Guest' network? I've never really understood the difference between the two.
Unifi is great I would love to use it again the non pro stuff is at a great price point! You can manage the non and the pro together which is great for schools.
Last edited by nicholab; 6th September 2013 at 09:32 AM.
Like any guest network, just means you can separate traffic from guest users (you normally have it as a wifi setup with no password or a captive portal where you supply them a password) which can be vlaned separately from the normal wifi, filtered differently etc etc.
Oaktech (6th September 2013)
UniFi is definitely worth looking at. We bought a 3 pack to trial in our environment and prove it was a workable solution to SLT and then proceeded to buy many more 3 packs!
Here we are now just less than a year later:
You need to really consider your requirements first, before selecting an access point.
Start by defining these three objectives: Time (ie when you want to have it installed by), budget (max budget available for access points, licensing, professional help, cabling) and most importantly, specification:
How many users ?
What type of traffic ?
What type of security ?
How do you want to control users ?
Do you want to apply policies for traffic, browsing, etc ?
What solution works now / 3 years from now ? 5 years from now ?
Single site or multiple site ?
Managed or standalone ?
How will you admin the network ?
New or old cabling ?
etc, etc, etc......
You really have to think about this, and rethink even when you feel you have it defined right. Why 6 access points ?
Finally, the budget is not workable. Depending on your environment, if you are in education or business, you need to spend appropriately. Secure more funds or give up, if you try and find a solution on the cheap, you will end up with a compromise that will translate to poor performance.
All of these kind of networks run into problems because of lack of understanding of what WiFi is and how it does what it does. If it's in any way important, then you need to plan properly.
Went from Netgear WAG102 APs to UniFis and my god they're good. All our wireless speed issues have been fixed around high density areas (netbook/iPad trolleys) and it's far too easy to configure them once the initial controller config is done, plug a UniFi AP in, go to the controller and accept it, the controller goes off and does the rest.
I didn't like the idea of using the stupid little PoE injectors so I went for their TOUGHswitch, which is just as nice a product.
Also can confirm the controller runs on 2008R2 and survives an upgrade to 2012.
Last edited by Blue_Cookeh; 8th September 2013 at 03:10 PM.
A/N devices jump straight to 5Ghz and the coverage is undoubtedly better than the PRO's
Yes they are marginally more expensive and there are few clients around at the moment to take advantage of the .AC but I'm looking forward to putting a few on the public SSID next week to see how they cope with a couple of hundred users.
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