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Wireless Networks Thread, New Wireless Solution Wanted. in Technical; The Academy I work for is about to embark on sourcing a Wireless Solution. I'd be very grateful for your ...
  1. #1

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    New Wireless Solution Wanted.

    The Academy I work for is about to embark on sourcing a Wireless Solution.
    I'd be very grateful for your valued opinions and ideas for the best wireless option.

    We currently have no wireless coverage, what so ever in our building, and is very much a blank canvas.
    Ideally I'm looking for a centralised managed solution, with good security options.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer this post.

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    Most people here like Ruckus. It's generally considered to be a cheap but reliable system.
    We chose Meru over Ruckus. I've seen some Ruckus systems in use and they seemed to be quite patchy in terms of coverage - this is most likely due to how the network was designed.
    The Meru system we have has been faultless. We can walk from one side of the campus to the other without loosing a ping. clients seamlessly drift between AP's - the whole system is designed to be look like one access point to the clients. It is a bit more expensive than Ruckus but is feature rich and very reliable.

    I would wholeheartedly recommend speaking to Switchshop : independent specialist provider of IT network equipment solutions they will do a decent job without overselling.

  3. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    banjoman (11th January 2012)

  4. #3

    Millgate's Avatar
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    I'd also look at Meru and Netgear. I've got schools that are very happy with both so I can tell you about them, provide quotes etc etc.

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    Aerohive through and through - so secure that the APs have TPM chips inside!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I have a cisco system - I wouldn't buy it though tbh not 100% amazing but it wasn't implemented well!

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    There are several Meru suppliers at BETT including SwitchShop. Meru/Sirracom are also there.

    Other vendors may be too

    Every other wireless company I have had experience of has since been bought out and often lost some intellectual talent in the process. That said, Enterasys currently have the Chantry IP, which was Seimens HiPath for a long while. When combined with AutoCell (tm) it was completely and totally totally awsome, however that was before 'n' turned the landscape upside down. I don't know how their current product compares. They are also at BETT.

    Finally a word of advice - survey for the 5Ghz band otherwise n just wont quite work right.

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    Depending on budget, as me and m25man always say. Always take a look at Ubiquiti Unifi, its cheap and I mean massivley cheaper then anyone else and it should do everything you require at a school.

  9. Thanks to Achandler from:

    m25man (13th January 2012)

  10. #8

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    Unifi is a must try solution, mainly because the cost of setting up a three point system (the only way to test it properly) is less than the cost of a single competitors AP.
    Users (in particular the SMT) continue to think that Wifi is a magic bullet and their expectations are usually unmanaged from the outset.
    Cell based systems using a single 20Mhz Channel slot on 2.4 Ghz is limited to an absolute maximum of 90Mbps after overheads this reduced to less than 65Mbps
    Each Radio is a collision domain with clients all waiting for their turn to Tx/Rx so 30 users all trying to share one 65Mbps network port!

    Increased client throughput such as N requires access to wider channel slots which in turn means that there are less non overlapping 2.4Ghz channels available resulting in more interference and even slower through put overall!

    Rather that go through another WiFi lesson I conclude that basically Wifi as we know it using b/g/n is a victim of its own success. It can never perform like wired systems and there is little that spending £30k on a system will do to change this.
    Smart controllers achieve tricks that may marginally improve 802.11 standards by bending the rules a lot but even with "Beamforming", "Smart Channel Control", "Auto Config" there is nothing they can do to make the spectrum allocation wider than it is!

    So Dual Band 5Ghz A is touted by many to be the solution and most of the so called Major Players have this. The problems however are that the majority of devices still being dumped into the UK from the far east are still just b/g/n and the attenuation caused by modern building materials means that 5Ghz never reaches as far as we hope it would!

    Im always seeing sites with Dualband kit complaining that despite investing huge sums of money on Dual Band systems the 2.4Ghz channels are swamped whilst the 5Ghz remain virtually empty. In most cases the 5Ghz was a complete waste of money.

    So unless we see a massive shift to 5Ghz N enabled clients there is a lot of kit out there that will be redundant before it passes a packet!

    So where am I going with this Rant!

    Just a few hours ago Buffalo displayed their first 802.11ac equipped AP at CES delivering 800Mbps throughput!

    The chips are in production and consumer handsets will be delivered with these chipsets by the end of 2012
    Gigabit Wifi is here and will be with us the consumer sooner than we think.

    Therefore anyone planning a greenfield site should by now have 802.11ac adoption in the timeline.

    Whilst Unifi might not tick everyone's boxes, it's soft controller and the low hardware cost means that when a new solution arrives you will be able to just add new points or throw it away without worrying what you paid for it, unlike some of the current systems!

    I seem to be doing a lot of demonstrations to interested geeks but unfortunately when they call or have time to view a join.me session there's never a lot going on so I'm going to UStream the Unifi Console live on Tuesday night at the MK Dons game so you can all watch the match on ITV4 and the WIFI activity on UStream!

  11. #9
    Andie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achandler View Post
    ... Always take a look at Ubiquiti Unifi, its cheap and I mean massivley cheaper then anyone else and it should do everything you require at a school.
    Is there a particular UK supplier you could recommend talking to from experience, or is it a case of getting contacts from their website?

    I am very new to all this, having been forced into it by the fact that new build primary schools here aren't being built with IT Suites! Have been to an Enterasys meeting and demo which looked promising. They talk about airtime fairness rather than packet fairness...As I say, this is all new to me so I am trying to piece together as much info as possible. They did recommend surveying for 5Ghz, and they seem to have good customer service as experienced by local academy.

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