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Wireless Networks Thread, Quotes and advice needed. in Technical; After many years of resistance I have finally been put in the position of having to have a wireless system ...
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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Quotes and advice needed.

    After many years of resistance I have finally been put in the position of having to have a wireless system in our primary school.

    Ideally I would like the current wired network overhauled at the same time. It needs to be a managed network but BYOD is not essential and probably not desirable.

    This is not my area of expertise as what is available seems to change monthly.
    What I really need is recommendations on what systems are available and the pros and cons, all help very much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    What I really need is recommendations on what systems are available and the pros and cons, all help very much appreciated.
    I don't know if we're a similar sized school to you (400-ish pupils), but we installed a new wired network over the summer - 10GbE fiber from the core switches to edge switch cabinets, gigabit copper connections to the desktop. It cost us around 40,000 for the physical wiring (9 cabinets over 6 floors, other buildings would probably be cheaper), and around the same for switches - HP, PoE capable, with two network points per classroom so we can plug in both PCs and phones. The Ruckus wireless system to go on top of that was probably around 10,000 - it certainly seems to be working okay, with no complaints from anyone about wireless coverage or throughput so far.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    For wireless, I can't recommend Ruckus enough. We've had it for around 5 years here now, and it works flawlessly.

    For wired, it *really* depends on requirements. We run a HP Procurve network here, and it works very well. If I were installing a new network now, I'd be looking at 10GbE from core to edge, simply because 1GbE is not "future proofed" enough.

    Thing is, such a setup is pretty expensive, as @dhicks has shown. Our Procurve gear cost us around 45k 6-7 years ago. The core is still current (5406zl), and we recently added 10GbE to it for virtualised servers to utilise. But replacing the edge and updating our older OM1 cable would cost us a fortune, so isn't on our list at the moment.

    I'd say your best bet is to speak to a networking specialist at a company such as @Net-Ctrl or @Millgate.

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    ICT_GUY (14th January 2014), Millgate (14th January 2014), Net-Ctrl (14th January 2014)

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    One of our sales and/or tech guys would be happy to jump on a call with you to discuss what you're trying to achieve and make some recommendations. As a company, Net-Ctrl has managed hundreds of networking and wireless projects in schools around the country. Feel free to PM me with any initial questions and i will try and collect the answers from the relevant person and come back to you as soon as i can.

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    90k spent in a primary school ona network/ wireless. That is more then triple what I can spend on stuff a year (once you take out licenses etc).

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achandler View Post
    90k spent in a primary school ona network/ wireless. That is more then triple what I can spend on stuff a year (once you take out licenses etc).
    It depends on how many devices are in place, and how complex the cabling run is really though.

    Here, 90k on rewiring, new switching and new wifi would disappear in no time. To do that, it'd cost us around 250k now - with most of the cost being sucked up by our old building being a pain to wire in.

    Thing with infrastructure cost is that it is a long term investment, so as such it often gets treated as an extraordinary cost. Minimum of 10 year life I'd say. 90k, depreciating over 10 years is not bad at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Net-Ctrl View Post
    One of our sales and/or tech guys would be happy to jump on a call with you to discuss what you're trying to achieve and make some recommendations. As a company, Net-Ctrl has managed hundreds of networking and wireless projects in schools around the country. Feel free to PM me with any initial questions and i will try and collect the answers from the relevant person and come back to you as soon as i can.
    Can highly recommend @Net-Ctrl for Wired and Wireless work Did some lovely projects with them including a complete network re-design with new switching to go with Ruckus wirless allowing BYOD across the site and it was perfect

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    Thank you for all of you contributions.

    More info needed from me.

    We have around 400 staff and pupils with 100 pcs at the moment which is due to increase.

    The current network is basic cat5e with Netgear GS724T switches, which while ok are not really up to the size network we have. At least one of them is dropping packets for a past time.

    It may be that we put in a fibre back bone but keep the current cabling as I don't think we will have enough money to completely rewire.

    I should stress that the network copes well ATM but it was a budget solution and bang for buck it has delivered. But it needs to be upgraded!
    Last edited by ICT_GUY; 14th January 2014 at 10:48 AM.

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    Also can anyone provide an example of suitable switches that they would recommend.

    At the moment I am trying to get a rough figure together so that we can actually see if we have anywhere near the resources to do this project.

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    For edge switches, I'd look at the HP 2920 series, and a 5406zl on the core. (Seems overkill but you only need have the modules you need in it).

    Although, it might be overkill for the size of network you have.

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    It is trying to find the right balance. The current solution is suboptimal but works most of the time. However it can easily become bogged down and at least one switch is causing issues enough to be noticeable. Also we have dead ports and no spare capacity. I would rather invest in something that will work well rather than something that works most of the time. :-/
    Last edited by ICT_GUY; 14th January 2014 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Quoted myself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    It may be that we put in a fibre back bone but keep the current cabling as I don't think we will have enough money to completely rewire.
    It sounds like we have similar-sized schools. One option we looked at was buying pre-terminated fiber, which you can run through the building yourself, or simply running fiber yourself and getting a speacialist in for a couple of days to terminate it. We wound up doing a complete re-wire, with new network cabinets and two copper points per classroom to handle telephones as well, but if your copper wiring is acceptable then you're looking at simply running fiber between your exisiting cabinets - you might be able to get that done (including labour) for maybe 10,000 (I can recommend our wiring installers, if you want).

    I'd second the HP 2920 series for the edge switches. We went for the PoE version to power our new IP phones and they're great, although maybe a bit noisier than we were hoping - you can get aucoustic network cabinets, but they cost more. If you don't need PoE then the switches should be a bit quieter. If you want IP phones but don't want to put extra points in classrooms, you can use the phone's pass-through RJ45 port to connect a classroom PC.

    For the core switch, on reflection I think I'd go for something with OpenFlow support. The 2920s support OpenFlow, and it looks like it's going to be a very useful feature, so having OpenFlow support on your core switch would be a good idea. I see that Pica8 are now doing an "SDN Starter Kit" featuring one of their SDN switches, and I'm sure they do 10GbE capable switches, too.

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    I had a Juniper network with 2200s at the edge and 4200s at the core as per this Case Study - http://www.juniper.net/us/en/local/p...3520447-en.pdf

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    @dhicks - FYI, the 54xxzl switches have OpenFlow support.

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    Hi there,

    I'll be happy to help. We're not tied down to one solution so we can quote on any you have in mind. Ruckus, Netgear, HP, Cisco etc.

    Feel free to email/PM me and I'll get some more info for you

    Luke

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