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Wireless Networks Thread, Meru VS Ruckus in Technical; Originally Posted by TheRobins Very very good, I like the format, If only I had the time to do such ...
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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRobins View Post
    Very very good, I like the format, If only I had the time to do such a test I would try it. Although 5 years old that report is probably still a true representation of current standards
    Well I know Xirrus and Aruba have only gotten better since, so they may be worth looking into. I believe @CPTLD may well supply Ruckus and Xirrus.

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    mrnoisy's Avatar
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    Meru has been rubbish for us, and due to third party installation and purchase it's never been right since it went in. It probably works really well if meru come and install it, no one seems to know how to set it up correctly. 130 Ap's 600 clients.

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    Meru VS Ruckus

    That's a lot of APs.

    How many rooms?
    What's your average client density?
    What are you client devices trying to do?

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    Meru VS Ruckus

    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    That's a lot of APs.

    How many rooms?
    What's your average client density?
    What are you client devices trying to do?
    We have total coverage on site, 1 ap in each room, then communal areas and external.
    Normally 30 laptops per classroom when in use usually around 400-500 clients at peak times, this does also include around 150 iPads
    Clients usually aren't doing anything too taxing just logging in, open network document and edit / save.
    I'm sure it works really well if setup correctly, I think the problem is that no one knows how to and presume that it's set up like a traditional wifi which meru is clearly not !
    Last edited by mrnoisy; 15th June 2014 at 08:33 PM.

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    Quick tips (you may have tried all this already):

    Break the wireless clients down into separate vlan groups/essids. For a broadcast medium you don't want more than 60-120 devices on a broadcast domain. So for example have the science dept have a dedicated ssid for student devices, the humanities department another, while presenting site wide ssid for guests and staff, with each ssid mapping back to its own vlan.

    Make sure multicast and UDP broadcast are disabled.

    Make sure the firmware is up to date.

    Disable support for 802.11b by requiring aes-ccmp.

    Make sure laptop firmware and drivers are up to date.

    Make sure you have the latest networking etc hotfixes from Microsoft (unless you are running 8.x don't rely on windows update for them)

    Finally you may find improvement by disabling every-other wireless AP. It depends on many things but generally a rule of thumb is 1/2 an dual radio AP per classroom. You might want to try it out by disabling a few 2.5ghz radios.

  6. Thanks to psydii from:

    mrnoisy (15th June 2014)

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    mrnoisy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, we've done most of the suggestions apart from turning some of the APs off, we are already vlaned but maybe not as far as you have suggested ( third party actually wanted us to reduce our current SSIDs and vlans).
    I think our main issues is the third party ( who shall not be named but I bet you can all guess who it is ) and their reluctance to simply call meru and say we put all this kit in, it doesn't work and we don't know how to fix it.
    Us lowly technicians could have probably sorted this months ago but due to said third party are not allowed to resolve the issue. And to be perfectly honest we don't get paid enough to be wifi jedi's :-)

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    Meru VS Ruckus

    However, if you become a wifi Jedi you can go and get paid enough

    The third party is correct you do want to minimise the number of essids per radio/wireless broadcast domain. I was suggesting zoning essids and VLANs to reduce the number of machines on the layer 2 broadcast domain.

    Forgot to mention, dual band and 40mhz channels made a huge difference too, assuming your clients support it.

    Reading between the lines, if that third party had put in a ruckus network, you'd be having problems. Are you allowed to touch it, or do you have to wait for the regional consultant to do it?
    Last edited by psydii; 15th June 2014 at 09:46 PM.

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    mrnoisy (15th June 2014)

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    mrnoisy's Avatar
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    We where told to leave it alone which is most frustrating as we where making progress, still 9 month old wifi solution not working isn't so bad, it's not as if it's effecting education or our ability to deliver a service ;-)

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    mrnoisy's Avatar
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    Anyway apologies for high jacking this post "my bad"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrnoisy View Post
    Meru has been rubbish for us, and due to third party installation and purchase it's never been right since it went in. It probably works really well if meru come and install it, no one seems to know how to set it up correctly. 130 Ap's 600 clients.
    130 APs for 600 clients is outrageous(ly expensive). We use 25 Ruckus APs with 350 clients and it works very nicely with no dead spots. If we tripled the number of APs and added 250 extra clients to take us up to 600 we would still have almost half the APs and even less clients per AP than we do now.

    It is not surprising that it takes so many Meru APs to provide the coverage required though - because that's exactly what their wireless architecture demands. The whole "single cell" design of Meru APs has not been widely used because it doesn't work very well in the real world and doesn't scale. The only way Meru can handle high-density is to switch to multi-channel or to add more APs.

    Meru Plays Catch-Up on WLAN Capabilities - Network Computing

    Poking Holes - The Ruckus Room

    The Ruckus Room: Wi-Fi

    Oh, and just to be fair I should have added Xirrus to my list of WiFi vendors I would consider using. Xirrus is outstanding and probably better than anyone in very high-density environments, I just found them to be very expensive if your school buildings are spread out over a wide area with some of them being low density. I think they have tried to remedy this recently by making lower cost APs, but I still think Ruckus is the very best in most environments.

  13. Thanks to seawolf from:

    nephilim (16th June 2014)

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    I mean we have lower signal areas like on corridors next to metal lockers when you walk past the client disconnects from one access point and takes a few seconds to connect to the next one

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    Just a thought you said you have ipads do they have ios7 if they do they are band width heavy and you may need to apply quality of service

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    Excellent feedback thanks people. I feel for mrnoisy, that must be so frustrating. I'm sure if setup correctly Meru will work extremely well in most environments. Sometimes you have to question how these "resellers" get contracts with the likes of Meru. Surely, as seen here their products word of mouth rating can sometimes hit 0 In certain circles because of bad setup and installation. Reading a couple of Post of some of the business IT forums quite a few post have summarised over all the features, its the controller and software that makes Ruckus stand out for people like ourselves. We don't have to pile mountains of man hours into constant management, fault finding and tweaking VLANs to try and make it work. I'm quite looking forward to getting the finished quotes in this week which looks like its going to leave a big decision to make. Admittedly were are no where near the scale of some of you out there, but still we need to right equipment that's going to do the job. With around 500 Pupils but currently 190 wireless classroom devices which is set to grow, the equipment is going to have some larger traffic at times with 1 or 2 small remote app's and some cloud based computing. Whilst I am also thankful for being given funding to upgrade our core and edge switching as well, as in its current state I am not sure the wireless would have a fair shot at being successful

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRobins View Post
    You are right and I feel its going to come down to price. However I don't really agree with the "unmanaged" solution. The current system is un-managed and is a nightmare. I have only been here for a short while and also am on my own so my time is very thin on the ground. Also with the layout of the building, certain access points currently can be seen by 5 - 6 others, so with using 40MHZ bandwitdh, you are going to suffer with heterodyne and interference. Then when you start looking at 3 ssid's and VLAN management it would become a handful to manage.
    You're going to get that with a managed system too I'm afraid. Managed systems only make sense when the volume of WAPs is so large that managing channel selection would be done better at controller level, rather than manually set individually or each WAP set to auto, no matter what wireless standard you're using. That's essentially all a managed system does.

    Even bog standard home routers will switch to the next available channel when the other channel is busy.

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