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Wireless Networks Thread, New Wireless System in Technical; Hello All Right, this might be a bit of a long post so bear with me here as i have ...
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    Bluetooth's Avatar
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    New Wireless System

    Hello All

    Right, this might be a bit of a long post so bear with me here as i have a bit to discuss and lay out so you can formulate proper opinions/suggestions

    One of my 6 schools is a junior school from year 3 to 6 and has around 350 on roll.

    Over the past 4 years we have stuck with 30 machines in the ICT room and wireless points around school. I have spent most of the time over the past 3 years getting new laptops in and making sure the staff can do their job from a teaching point of view. This has now reached a pinnacle insofar as most staff have laptops either 1 or 2 years old.

    Anyway, we are now moving into updating the ict system for the kids, with the curriculum changing next year we want to move ICT more into the classroom to go with the discrete ICT subject.

    So basically we're looking at expanding the wireless in the school to accomodate more netbooks that the kids can use.

    The school is laid out in the most perfect way i can think of really, its a square with 4 more squares on each corner making up the year group units. As below



    The red splodges are current wireless points (3 linksys WAP54G's and 1 Netgear WAG102 - there is also 1 wap54g in the staff room but no children go in there only staff)

    Currently we only have 6 netbooks (on top of around 15 staff laptops or so), however we're obviously looking to expand this to more netbooks for child use. I think to be honest we'd be looking at a peak of maybe 15-20 netbooks per year group (maybe more) so obviously we need a wireless system that can handle the hammer.

    I have heard that some schools use this ruckus with the smart antennae array or something and what to get peoples opinions on that initially, also any other things i should look at.

    I am planning on maybe 2 - 3 wireless access points per year group or if i dont need to have 2 - 3 wireless points maybe 1 - 2 points that can handle the load as mentioned above.

    At other schools i have had good experiences with Netgear WPN802t's (a/b/g/n) and i am currently running 15 netbooks on 2 of these points without any issues with reliability/connectivity so these would be my first port of call but i wanted to investigate other possibilities.

    Thats about all the plan i have so far, would love to hear peoples opinions and also any good/bad things about ruckus (also what it is tbh) and any other wireless i could look at.

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Hi Bluetooth

    Sounds like what you need is a managed wireless network system. Ruckus is ok but I would recommend the Meru wireless system, I work in a secondary school and we have had demos from Extricom, Ruckus and Meru and we have decided to purchase the Meru system as a campus wide solution with the possibility of supporting hundreds of wireless devices, so it will 100% support your expected number of clients. Also its very cost effective as you can depending on your budget purchase the base model system and when you have more money upgrade it to the top of the range system if you wanted just with a software update. e.g. going from a 'G' speeds to 'N' speeds We had a few quotes from a number of companies but have decided to go with a company called Virtue they are really good and would recommend them, give them a call 01695 731233 and ask for Phil Lawson and he will sort you out.

    Matt

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattstevenson2005 View Post
    Hi Bluetooth

    Sounds like what you need is a managed wireless network system. Ruckus is ok but I would recommend the Meru wireless system, I work in a secondary school and we have had demos from Extricom, Ruckus and Meru and we have decided to purchase the Meru system as a campus wide solution with the possibility of supporting hundreds of wireless devices, so it will 100% support your expected number of clients. Also its very cost effective as you can depending on your budget purchase the base model system and when you have more money upgrade it to the top of the range system if you wanted just with a software update. e.g. going from a 'G' speeds to 'N' speeds We had a few quotes from a number of companies but have decided to go with a company called Virtue they are really good and would recommend them, give them a call 01695 731233 and ask for Phil Lawson and he will sort you out.

    Matt
    what made you decided against Ruckus Matt and choose a more expensive solution that has less features ?

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    The position of your access points look fine, but obviously that depends on the size of the classrooms. I'm presuming they are a similar size to mine.
    I am also presuming the building is single story? If it is then try and put the access points on the ceiling as central in each location as possible to give the most even coverage and best range.
    Ruckus is simply a managed wireless system. In that you have a central controller which you configure with what ever settings you need (SID, keys etc..) and then you place an access point where you want and as long as the access points are connected to the network the information will be distributed to each of them.
    Pros; Simple centralised configuration, The access points will self manage power levels and channel number, each AP can handle a crazy number of clients, PoE is great if you have it.
    Cons; Not cheap compared to individual access points.
    If you currently have 350 children on role then I personally be expecting about 75 laptops for the children soon enough so make sure you get enough APs to cover that. That being said with a managed system it is very easy to add more APs.
    Good luck.
    Rich

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    Bluetooth's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments.

    Regarding the ruckus managed stuff, i saw the wap management server or whatever, i take it that just sits in the comms cab and all the AP's just find the settings whatever from there?

    Also with around 80 netbooks running at any one time (at peak) how many AP's would you go for per unit? just the 1 as these ruckus things seem to be quite strong and smart (watched the webinar and stuff on their website)

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetooth View Post
    Thanks for the comments.

    Regarding the ruckus managed stuff, i saw the wap management server or whatever, i take it that just sits in the comms cab and all the AP's just find the settings whatever from there?

    Also with around 80 netbooks running at any one time (at peak) how many AP's would you go for per unit? just the 1 as these ruckus things seem to be quite strong and smart (watched the webinar and stuff on their website)
    if you fancy trialing out the Ruckus Managed Solution be sure to give me a shout and I can get an eval unit out to you for you to see the benfits first hand,

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    Bluetooth's Avatar
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    Oooooooooooooooooooh really?

    So what would that contain Simon?

    one of those managed server doodads and an AP?

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetooth View Post
    Oooooooooooooooooooh really?

    So what would that contain Simon?

    one of those managed server doodads and an AP?
    A Zone Director Management Console and three 7942 (N) Access points,

    just ping me over an email to joe@c-p-ltd.com
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 14th June 2012 at 12:14 PM.

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    Bluetooth's Avatar
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    Already done my friend.

    Regarding the Mero or whatever stuff, why should i look at ruckus over their stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetooth View Post
    Already done my friend.

    Regarding the Mero or whatever stuff, why should i look at ruckus over their stuff?
    Ruckus is far more cost effective and the easiest solution to deploy, I have many edugeek members we have supplied Ruckus to who can offer testimony to this FACT, we supplied one with a solution for 10K and meru were around 18K

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetooth View Post
    Already done my friend.

    Regarding the Mero or whatever stuff, why should i look at ruckus over their stuff?
    We've installed Ruckus here, and it took me a total of 10 minutes to get the controller unboxed, plugged in, set up and then permanently housed in a cabinet.

    Setting up AP's is just a case of plugging them in...

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    As we speak I've got 76 clients connected over 15 APs but that is over a very large area. Each AP will easily handle 30 clients at a time. Peak I've ever seen is 90 but I'm running a stress test next week with all 150 machines so will see how that goes..

    Yea the controller just comes with cabinet brackets and you plug it onto the network.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    that sounds quite impressive but the price sounds a bit costly, i wonder if i could get away with 1 ap per year group?

    If i could get the network and data put into the center of the year group id guess it would be around 10-13m from windows on all sides and walls would vary but afaik they are plasterboard anyway.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetooth View Post
    that sounds quite impressive but the price sounds a bit costly, i wonder if i could get away with 1 ap per year group?

    If i could get the network and data put into the center of the year group id guess it would be around 10-13m from windows on all sides and walls would vary but afaik they are plasterboard anyway.
    Ruckus AP's have been shown to handle a large number of laptops at a time. One user on here posted a test result he did, where he had (IIRC) 90 clients connected, playing streaming video from BBC iPlayer, through a single AP.

    So, a single AP per corner would do the trick perfectly.

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    Bluetooth's Avatar
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    Alright, so it totally depends on price then, the trial i will get from simon will hopefully show me how good these are

    Thanks again guys

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