Wireless Networks Thread, Managed Wireless - what have you got and what did it cost? in Technical; We've had a few people in to do site surveys with a mind to provide (nearly) full-school coverage for laptop ...
1st July 2008, 01:23 PM #1
Managed Wireless - what have you got and what did it cost?
We've had a few people in to do site surveys with a mind to provide (nearly) full-school coverage for laptop trolleys. We do have a couple of favourites, but I'm wondering if we're getting value for money. I've read through the managed wireless threads, but would really like to know...
What system are you using and for how many aps?
How much did it cost? (if you don't mind - ballpark figures are fine)
How does it perform? - brilliant/ok/poor
Would you buy it again?
Ideally we'd go with a Cisco solution because the presales work and survey guys have been very thorough and people we've talked to (off our own back, not "happy customers") are very pleased with the performance, but I'm concerned about cost/value for money.
Edit for more info:
Surveys suggest we'd require 18APs and a controller for decent coverage for trolleys and supplementary coverage for staff access.
We have a single site where most buildings are single-storey.
We currently have two trolleys of 16 laptops each and one of 10, but chances are if they're successful we'll be getting a couple more trolleys (we don't have room for more IT rooms). Assuming trolleys are adopted enthusiastically I'd expect them to all be in use every other lesson at least and this could be anywhere around the site depending on room/timetable.
Usage will be general network use - file browsing, internet, same as on the wired network.
Last edited by pete; 1st July 2008 at 01:41 PM.
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1st July 2008, 01:31 PM #2
At one site I have about 90 laptops which connect to 10 x HP 10ag's, which are strategically placed around school and it has proved very reliable.
Previously the site in question had just 4 x D-link access points which were poor performing and were located in stupid places, meaning the signal had to go through a thick brick wall before entering the classroom. As a general rule, access points should be placed in every room, positioned high up in the classroom. You may also want to explore PoE which is handy too.
1st July 2008, 01:32 PM #3
You're going to get something of a "how long is a piece of string" response to this because everyone has a different spec with number of AP's, etc... so the poll will be pretty useless without context...
For ourselves we went with Netgear (1 manager unit, 7 AP's, 80 laptops) and you can get various takes on it here:
1st July 2008, 01:35 PM #4
We have also gone for the Netgear WFS709TP with 3x controllers and 45 APs covering the entire site which we installed and setup ourselves, total cost was about £7K
It has worked very well since it went in and happily supports 2 class sets of 20 laptops, plus 3 more sets of 16 and misc staff laptops about the building.
The only issue that cropped up was with Ghost and multicasting that caused problems.
Thanks to Chris_Jones from:
1st July 2008, 01:36 PM #5
Wouldn't bother with laptop trolleys personally, never really worked and not suited to wireless. May become practical in a few years though with N coming out though. We use ours for teacher logons for electronic registration and static class laptop sets of 15.
We had budget for 20k to upgrade the entire site which is pretty large.
Went with Aruba, 30 AP's, 1 external and 1 test "N" AP as well. POE injectors and full installation which takes about 2 days. The budget also covered a few bits of networking to get the AP's in the right place and the controller.
Its a very good system and performs far better than our old netgear transmitters. Never really had a crashed AP or anything with Aruba.
Yes I would buy again.
1st July 2008, 02:28 PM #6
I have a Bluesocket BSC-2100 with 23 out of the 25 purchased APs currently deployed. For this I paid £10,200 but I know that the price has gone up now. I opted to install it myself which wasn't too bad after downloading the training guide from the BS website.
Works like a dream with seamless roaming across our 7 building site - even in the ancient block with 2' thick sandstone walls! Think of all that radiation
Depending on how much coin I have left after my server replacement programme I may invest in a BlueView management box too so that I can get better feedback from the system and tweak it. I would also like to use wireless VoIP too (Avaya wireless VoIP handsets cost £££££££££s though )
1st July 2008, 02:32 PM #7
If my memory serves me well (getting on a bit now ((((creek!)))))sitting up in chair) at the edugeek conference I think a company called "Rukas" were showing off some pretty tasty kit.
Don't know what the costs involve but it looked pretty much the dogs.
PM. Ric or one of the other NMs of this site, am sure they could put you in touch.
1st July 2008, 02:59 PM #8
RUCKUS, yeah thats we've we've got.
absolutely the badgers nadgers, and well priced too
1st July 2008, 04:02 PM #9
any chance you could let me know your setup and the costs involved for a future project.
2nd July 2008, 03:27 PM #10
just a word of caution
here is a thread i started, read it from the beginning, its a good learning curve, and ensure you read the most recent findings.
if you really must have wireless, make sure you have power switches to turn off the access points when they are not in use.
2nd July 2008, 09:29 PM #11
Despite having had a long and annoying day, this is edugeek, so I'll try to be nice. But: you are seriously giving the people who host the site http://www.starweave.com any claim to credibility?
Originally Posted by farmerste
I'm really not sure whether you're taking the michael, so I'll explain why your suggestion is unwise:
I have been asked by SMT to provide a nearly site-wide wireless network for use by staff and students, with a usage pattern similar to the main network (users on it roughly 7am to 7pm Mon-Fri). To be of any practical use the wireless network we deploy needs to be up and available when the building is open as staff and students rightly expect things to be up and working, not turned off.
Your "turn off when not in use" approach would (and should) be a career limiting move for anyone responsible for maintaining a reliable network, and there is no sensible way you could reliably predict access needs and switch on/off to accomodate them.
We've got a Ruckus box and a handful of aps turning up hopefully this Thurs/Fri for a weeks demo. I'm curious to see what the bandwidth is like towards the end of a mesh and whether you can dig in a bit deeper than the gui.
3rd July 2008, 10:44 AM #12
i am trying my best to present a number of documents that give both sides of the argument before people jump in,and they then find the information given to them, from 'trusted' sources may be shown to be wrong.
i personally dont think wifi should be installed in classrooms without parental consultation, after all if you decided to put a mobile mast in the middle of the playground the parents would be knocking on your door !, but at the same time the very same parents might have a cordless home phone that emits far more power next to them in the house !!,
so its all about perceptions really, but i initially thought the panorama program, and other such websites were ' ball-cocks' but after reading both sides of the argument i have found that the so called health protection agencies rely on seriously flawed evidence, which only takes into account 'heating effects' and ignores everything else, and they also rely upon advice from bodies funded by mobile phone companies.
what has surprised me really is the atitudes that people have if you try and point out any dangers that this technology may present. It really is like trying to take toys away from a child, and they go immediately on the defensive.
the man responsible for giving the advice to the government says we need more research into this area, and that we need to take a precautionary approach.
Now i understand powering off access points can cause problems, but you can at least cover your backs by having the option available to you ?
should more reseach be done, and health risks are proven, that way you won't end up in the sh*t
Dont forget sh*t flows down hill, its not the guys at the top who will take the fall, or have to do the work if things change on this front, it is techies like the guys here.
basically everyone should read all the documents, and make up their own mind
3rd July 2008, 10:59 AM #13
Two 800 switches
Bit of a fiddle for me to setup the second 800 switch the other week but once done its a case of just leaving it and it takes care of itself.
Expensive but VERY good.
3rd July 2008, 11:04 AM #14
Dlink managed wireless system. Did a case study for them a month ago. Really good system, we got 1 switch 48 AP's and 2 SSID's using VLan one admin one curriculum.
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