Just out of interest, what is the budget for this?
I was hoping to take this at a more leisurely pace, but a chat with the deputy head on Friday and it looks like I'll be doing it during the xmas hols instead.
We're about to order 60 netbooks, fully aware of the issues of charging and general PITA potential of this arrangement. Ideally, they will be connected via wireless. I see frequent mention of Ruckus and Meru on this forum, but the budget is not sufficient to go for a fully-managed solution which is, I presume, what they are supplying.
What I would like to do is have an access point or two in each of the four rooms which will have these netbooks (hence 16 netbooks per room) with sufficient capacity to support domain logins. Does anyone have any experience and insights to share about doing this *themselves*? Like I said, for reasons of budget it's not really useful to be given the contact details of one of these specialised companies (although I'm sure they're great, etc) and I need to go for a more DIY solution.
Particularly welcome would be recommendations for which access points to use (make and model) and any tips and tricks you have to ensure they actually work as advertised.
With thanks in advance.
Just out of interest, what is the budget for this?
We used to use an unmanaged solution. Netgear WG302 i think the access points were. You could set up a WPA system pretty easy and if it is small there should be little work to do really after its up and running. Once it gets bigger is when the problems start.
I bet that it will grow and grow as more people want to use it and then you will be cursing your luck. I would get something down from your boss saying that should it get above x amount of users then a managed solution will be required due to the overheads required to try and manage a growing system. Just to try and build in some leverage for when you really get annoyed with it and they refuse to pay.
There is a good guide Ashok posted a while ago on here on how to set up a RADIUS wireless system using certificates etc.. I followed it through and got it working briefly before we switched to a managed system. If you think WPA is secure enough though you could just set that up and you should be fine.
Agreed. Speak with Simon at CP and see what deal he comes up with. Also PM me your contact details so I can speak in depth with what we had before Ruckus.
What dalsoth said.
One of my schools has a "network" that started with me repurposing a wireless bridge that was redundant due to a new cable network and now runs off various access points added as necessary. However, there are only limited laptops connecting at any one time. If there is ever a move towards more netbook usage, I would certainly be pointing out that a managed solution may well need to be factored into the cost.
Thanks also to other respondents. nephilim, I'll be in touch.
Just a quick general thanks to everyone who responded. Still pleased to hear either by PM or on this thread about any experiences or advice. Might be visiting someone in Bedford soon to see their setup (thanks nephilim!) so a definite "result" on this one.
nephilim (23rd November 2009)
Its not a problem, if anyone else wants to PM me regarding how we got our wireless done, feel free!
I am happy to show people around our facilities and show you what we have and where we got it from!
a couple of my schools (and more of the companies) use the netgear WFS709TP and then just add aps as appropriate easy to expand the controller supports poe for any ap's direcdtly connected to it )others need a power injector or a mains socket) You can just but normal wg102's and flash them to be dumb terminals controlled by the WFS709TP so only one place for the settings. Seems to work well (although in 1 school ghost sessions take it down but as i dont ghost that often ive not bothered looking into it yet and will probably just require me to tweak the port setting on the swtch its connected to)
to be able to give accurate advice you should upload a floor plan of where the classrooms are.
Try to make sure any new laptops you order support a/g/n and they must support using N on 5GHZ.
The best advice anyone could give you is even if you do purchase a managed solution is try to get classrooms sets of laptops to use the 5GHZ range.
I think if your starting from scratch then a Ruckus system would be best, if moneys tight you could buy the older g APs then move them to the less used areas of the school in April
Five/six years ago we started with implanting wifi in our classrooms, at that time we did choose for maximum bandwidth per classroom, so we used "classic" AP`s.
Also the managed solution where`nt widely availabe at that time.
In every classroom with have atleast 1 AP, the more crowded rooms do have 2 or 3 AP`s.
All AP`s are Cisco Aironet 1200 series, set at 1Mw Transmitting Power and on a unique channel.
So in theory we have 162Mb/sec on those rooms.
Atm i have around 45 AP`s in my building.
This setup is running for 5 years, without any major problems.
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