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Wireless Networks Thread, Managed Wireless Network in Technical; I need some advice, we really need to invest in our wireless network (i know what some of you are ...
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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Managed Wireless Network

    I need some advice, we really need to invest in our wireless network (i know what some of you are thinking) I’m looking for a managed wireless network via a central switch and using dumb AP's.

    Can anyone recommend systems apart from CISCO?
    We use 3COM switches I know they do a managed system but don’t think it much hack; Trapeze Networks i have been told are very good better than 3COM and cheaper than CISCO.

    Any advice much appreciated!!

    Rob

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Aruba, Bluesocket, Airwave AMP.

    Ben

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    There's some addon stuff for HP ProCurves to support Wireless properly too (ProCurve Mobility/ProCurve Wireless Edge Services).

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    HP themselves use Airwave AMP to manage their wireless network in conjunction with the procurve access points and wireless switches.

    Ben

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    BlueSocket for me! I have a BSC-2100 and BSAP-1500 access points. The solution is very good!

    One of the main reasons for choosing this system over the others is the fact that you buy the system and that's it. It has a theoretical maximum of approx. 400 users because of the hardware but other systems make you buy client packs and upgrade licenses, etc. I had a quote for a Cisco system and the comparible system consisted of approx. 5 different products with licenses for this, that and the other.

    With BlueSocket, the only additional licensing cost is if you use the special software that scans the clients for nasties before allowing them to connect. This means that you really don't need to bother about licensing issues. Plus it's cheaper than Cisco anyway.

    The HP offering was very poor when I looked at it, although I think they may have changed it now. The 3COM and Aruba offerings are essentially the same system. They aren't as 'clever' as the other systems.

    If you speak to Oliis Solutions, they will find you the price for the 'bundles' - these save a considerable amount of money. I saved a couple of THOUSAND pounds by buying a bundle of the controller and 25 APs compared to buying it all separately!!!

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Thanks Ric!

    I will get intouch with them and see what they can come up with, think ill get a site survey done then probbly install the kit myself. (Keep costs down)
    How much did all 25 AP's and Switch etc come too out of intrest if you dont mind!

    Thanks again,
    Rob

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    I know you said not Cisco so strictly speaking I shouldn't jump in, but I can't help it.


    On the Cisco front Lightweight/dumb Access Point systems are quite expensive if I'm honest. However you can centrally manage Cisco AP's with a Wireless LAN Solution Engine Express that is within most schools budgets, This is a central management system for normal access points. As for the number of bits of kit, it is just the AP's and the WLSE, and Smartnet(Cisco's maintenance cover) on the WLSE.

    With an Education Partner it can work out quite reasonable.

    Tom

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Aruba may not be quite as clever as some of the solutions but its very fast and unlike some solutions makes all the APs look as if its just one large access point. Great VOIP support over wireless too as is Foundry networks offerings.

    Colubris is very good if you want hot spotting. No bad for VOIP wireless but not in the league with Aruba.

    Extreme Networks does a package too but this isn't comparablle with their network switching. Not a bad implementation and I believe on of the first managed central systems.

    Extricom have a good system but the cost is putting us off implementing it. It's fast and has added benefits in security and locking out rogue points, unidentified wireless devices, viruses as well I believe. Each AP has to be directly wired to a management switch in our place thats about 6 management consoles a little too expensive

    DLink has a managed solution now to rival these and has a nice Zone protector box I believe for the antivirus however this may only be usable with wired networks. Old DLink APs weren't good but this solutions are much better and much more reliable.


    I wouldn't bother with antivirus via wireless. I would rather make sure all laptops I used had a centrally managed AV package on them and just block unknown MAC addresses which also don't pass authentication so that MAC address spoofing tactics wouldn't work.


    Wes

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Forgot to mention... the BlueSocket does VoIP, QoS and CoS out of the box. The Aps will also work in dual-mode as intrusion detectors too.

    Compare all this to the Cisco equivalent and you start to see that it is a lot better value for money.

    I cannot remember the cost of the bunle at the moment but drop me a PM with your number and I will give you a call once I dig it out

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    What do you recon there support for the N when it does eventual pass come out properly. The Trapeze system they recon you won't need a new managed switch just upgrade your APs.

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Another vote for Cisco here ... go for the dumb APs ... saves a heap of time and hassle, and thought they are a tad more expensive (though not as much as people think) it can work out better in the long run.

    If you seriously want a competitive price for Cisco kit then ring Cisco up and get the Edu team to recommend a partner to work with ...

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    BlueSocket now sell 802.11n APs - obviously a firmware upgrade will be required as ratification gets ironed out.

    I learnt a lot about these systems by talking to a few partners - you will need 3 quotes for a managed system anyway and there's no harm in getting a few people in. I would recommend that you get a couple of surveys done and get the results and suggested AP locations so that you can compare fairly too.

    If you use Cisco kit exclusively then obviously you have more of a reason to go for Cisco and some of their switches have modules for doing wireless stuff - hence why it can work out non-too expensive.

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Cheers guys, think i've got some calling to do!

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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_ONI
    On the Cisco front Lightweight/dumb Access Point systems are quite expensive if I'm honest. However you can centrally manage Cisco AP's with a Wireless LAN Solution Engine Express that is within most schools budgets, This is a central management system for normal access points. As for the number of bits of kit, it is just the AP's and the WLSE, and Smartnet(Cisco's maintenance cover) on the WLSE.
    Sorry to hijack a thread but have you got any more details about this? Would it allow management similar to other products mentioned here?

    Reason is that we have around 60 Cisco AP's around the school (mostly Aironet 1100's) and because of the money we spent on those, dumping them all for a managed solution isnt feasible

    Would we be able to use what you've mentioned with our AP's?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Managed Wireless Network

    Yes, we run 1100 and 1200 series APs and we are just about to go for a larger controller to triple our managed APs (building expansion and increased covereage)

    If you want details of a company fairly local to you that is a Cisco partner PM me.

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