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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless for Heavy Duty Use in Technical; We're going to get our first 1:1 devices in September. The wireless we have (hodge-podge of random crap) needs replacing ...
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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    Wireless for Heavy Duty Use

    We're going to get our first 1:1 devices in September. The wireless we have (hodge-podge of random crap) needs replacing with something that can man up and take it.

    We're looking for a solution that could handle multiple classrooms, in multiple buildings, full of about 20 devices at a time connecting to the network and doing their thing.

    I'm looking at Netgear but I've been told by the reseller that 20 devices per AP would be pushing it. So that'd need an AP in each classroom and some in the corridors

    I'm also looking at Extricom and Meru, which would require an almost parallel cabling infrastructure in our buildings, or an expensive "controller" in each of our buildings because these systems don't use regular TCP packets and so can't be just plugged into our switches.

    I've just emailled a Rukus supplier, is there anything else I should consider, or have I got it wrong about the other three vendors???

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Ubiquiti - awesome kit and cheaper than all the others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuttard View Post
    I'm also looking at Extricom and Meru, which would require an almost parallel cabling infrastructure in our buildings, or an expensive "controller" in each of our buildings because these systems don't use regular TCP packets and so can't be just plugged into our switches.
    Are you sure about that? I've never heard that before.

    Ben

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    Look at Aerohive. Our spec was similar (1-1 laptops student & staff, with guest access from phones/ipads/tablets etc), and we got pricing/spec from lots of suppliers. In the end we went for Aerohive for best combination of price/performance. Had 80 APs installed over the summer and now have around 200 devices connecting, with more planned every year

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I believe xirrus kit is supposedly very good. Never used myself but a school local to me has it.

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    Have a look at Aruba, we have flooded our buildings with this kit to provide coverage to every corner of some of our biggest sites, works like a dream. Two controller to balance out in case on fails and we have some 50 sites on it and more to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Are you sure about that? I've never heard that before.

    Ben
    Indeed, it sound like very suspicious advice has been given somewhere down the line. The whole point of modern managed wireless is that it does integrate with existing networks without issue. Can I ask the OP if this 'advice' was given to them by a vendor?

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    Xirrus is fantastic kit and you dont need many access points however, they are BIG access points and therefore very expensive. They will come out and survey and install access points temporarily to show how good the coverage is etc

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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    Reseller told me that APs have to be directly plugged into the controller, can't plug into our edge switches and just have one controller back at the main Rack.

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    My Ruckus controller has 2 network ports (1xPOE) which connects into a bog-standard network switch yet supports up to 50 access points and this design principle is used by all of the other wireless manufacturers too. I would suggest that your reseller has been more than a little liberal wth the truth.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 20th November 2011 at 07:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuttard View Post
    Reseller told me that APs have to be directly plugged into the controller, can't plug into our edge switches and just have one controller back at the main Rack.
    that is a whole load of bull poo, we have 55 access points over 6 buildings connected via fiber with 2 controllers connected via fiber to the core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuttard View Post
    Reseller told me that APs have to be directly plugged into the controller, can't plug into our edge switches and just have one controller back at the main Rack.
    It's not necessarily BS, the vendor is probably looking after his own interests - he wants to sell you something that will work. Chances are he's recommending a new network because a) he knows that the solution he sells will work 100% on a new network. b) he doesn't trust that your current network will cut it. It can all be done with VLANs on TCP/IP and from that perspective he's talking rubbish, but I can see what he might be getting at.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 20th November 2011 at 08:44 PM.

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    john's Avatar
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    Some brands, I cannot remember which now, do require a direct connection back to there own controller when I was evaluating wireless 3 years ago, they were grey APs and flat rectangles if that helps anyone remember the brand, these controllers talked to each other via a normal LAN but the APs had to be direct to one which was not that good for many old school sites where you have a great number of cabinets due to the length and design not giving to a modern lan.

    For us Ruckus is the tool of choice supplied by Net-Ctrl Very pleased with the kit and the support and services from Net Ctrl

  14. 2 Thanks to john:

    MarkPower (21st November 2011), PaulKonec (21st November 2011)

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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    I spoke to my Vendor on the phone this morning, turns out he was confusing Meru & Extricom.

    Extricom APs need directly plugging into the controller. Meru kit can be on the network along with everything else

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    Wes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    Look at Aerohive. Our spec was similar (1-1 laptops student & staff, with guest access from phones/ipads/tablets etc), and we got pricing/spec from lots of suppliers. In the end we went for Aerohive for best combination of price/performance. Had 80 APs installed over the summer and now have around 200 devices connecting, with more planned every year
    Agree. For me, you can keep your single channel/channel blanket/beamforming controller based technologies. Controllers = expense, bottleneck, single point of failure. Distributed forwarding and control are the future, pioneered and perfected by Aerohive being copied with varying degrees of success by Cisco (HREAP), Motorola (wing5), Aruba (Aruba Instant) - all the big WiFi vendors. No one is copying single channel and there's a reason - it's 5Ghz performance is not as good as cell based architectures. So what if the client makes the roaming decision - that's what 802.11r is for!

    Beamforming - not for me either. I don't have any beamforming chipset in my laptop or iPhone - so what's the use in having one in the AP? Clients are half the solution and the data must flow both ways.

    I want to get the user device connected fast, give it enough throughput and have some-way of providing an SLA for my trusted users, guests and BYOD devices. I want to be abel to scale the network coverage and capacity without thinking about controller licensing and throughput.

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