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Wireless Networks Thread, Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs? in Technical; If you are planning to go with a managed solution i.e aruba, bluesocket or cisco then I'm sure that the ...
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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs?

    If you are planning to go with a managed solution i.e aruba, bluesocket or cisco then I'm sure that the partners that will be providing the kit would do a site survey f.o.c.

    Or at least given some scale drawings of the site run them through an rf planner to give an idea of where you need the access points.

    The powerline type option probably wouldn't work with how the schools are wired unless the cabinet you want to connect back to is on the same ring.

    My local cabler is charging around £75 per network point for high level ones for all my wall mounted WAP's

    I'm also using poe for all the waps some of this is hp poe switches others are using 3com poe injectors.

    I use Airwave AMP for my management solution.

    Ben

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    Re: Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs?

    I've been using 1 airport extreme with 15 laptops using networked home accounts on both windows and OS X and so far not really had a problem with connection.

    I have had 6 laptops running network account under OS X while video editing on iMovie too and creating Garageband files. This did slow down a little so i was told but not yet checked it out myself. But overall pretty pleased with them. It is also part of the mobile classroom and i have a network splitter in each classroom to take the AP.

    Would like to run additional wiring to add sockets but at the moment not really worth it (we may be having a new school built soon).

    APs can also be managed from the server (OS X and windows) but the only downside is they can't run PoE although there is supposed the be an educational one that can.

    They can also create a WDS and run under b/g/n (draft) and a.

    They also have a kensington lock on them so can be secured.

    The WDS seems to be robust as well. I have a wireless bridge across a playground to the nursery and i use Remote Desktop to access them and manage them like that.

  3. #18
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    Re: Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs?

    Ok... had a chance to think about this some more and check that some of my basic network knowledge hadn't deserted me (aka: numpty check)

    I'd like to turn this on its head and ask what the benefits would be of going the route of a managed wireless network. I think I can guess the response but to date I've really only put in fairly cheap and cheerful AP's of the Linksys, netgear variety for a very limited number of laptops.

    Next up, we've sort of covered this but given that the wired network itself is capable of handling 54g speeds (it's a 10/100) is there really much point in considering upgrading the network switches themselves?

    Finally... I'm fully aware that I'm out of my depth here so does anyone have any recommendations for suppliers/installers in the Yorkshire area that would be able to give quotes and an honest appraisal of requirements, possibly including an on-site survey?

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    Re: Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs?

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    Would there be any mileage to be had from mounting AP's on the actual laptop trolleys? I suspect it's a no because teachers will forget about plugging network cables in but thought I'd ask...
    Avoid this if you can. You would be amazed at how many ways a teacher can get this apparently simple process wrong at the start of a lesson when they have 30 students rattling around a classroom. We trained them, gave them laminated crib sheets attached to trolleys but it made no difference.
    e.g.

    network cable not plugged in (either or both ends)
    no power to WAP, not plugged in, not switched on
    laptops booted up & students logging on before WAP powered on
    student unplugging power/network cable used by WAP

    I am not having a go at teachers with the above comments; they have a tough job getting the students settled down, taking registration, trying to get them 'on-task' at the start of the lesson and the pressure they were under meant they frequently got it wrong.
    Also you have issues with interference as you may not be able to maintain the channel seperation on the WAPS if they move around between rooms.

    Part of the justification for switching over to a Managed Wireless solution was to reduce the frequency & duration of problems due to the WAPs on trolleys solution we have been using up until now. It worked fine with 2x 15 laptop trolleys but by the time we got to 8 we were having serious problems with requests for help almost every other lesson from somewhere in school. The prospect of another 80 laptops being added to the network via wireless was the final straw.

    I looked at Cisco & Blue Socket but our budget wouldn't stretch that far. I ended up using 3Com WX2200 controller and 'thin' 2750 APs, I am rolling this out across the school at the moment. We will have 18 WAPs in our initial deployment, I hope to get another 8 or so to complete the job in the next budget year.

    We paid for a wireless survey but did the network cabling, installation and setup ourselves. MY original plan had been to have it all done by someone else but the budget was so tight..... I have been on a steep learning curve with the likes of RADIUS!

    The 2750 WAPs use PoE and we used a 3Com PoE switch in one area because the network cabinet was full but are using 3Com PoE injectors at £10 each elsewhere.

    So far so good.

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    Re: Managed network with HEAVY wifi component : Refs?

    @Cotink The benifits as far as I can see are:

    Centralised configuration, need to change the radius server address just do it once and push that out to each access point.

    Firmware upgrades one scheduled job to upgrade all the firmware no need to do it on each access point.

    Monitoring and auditing know that you access points are up and our compliant with your configuration.

    Rogue detection and monitoring with alerts in one place.

    Bandwidth monitoring and load balancing of clients where supported.

    Most of the benifits relate to having this central control instead of having to connect to access points on an individual basis.

    Ben

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