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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ??? in Technical; Here is our current situation: As a large secondary school we are not deploying a campus wide solution for wireless. ...
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    Paid_Peanuts's Avatar
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    Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    Here is our current situation:
    As a large secondary school we are not deploying a campus wide solution for wireless. We refuse teacher laptop access to any wireless 'hotspots' we have. These 'hotspots' are only for our 3 trolleys of wireless laptops that are assigned to departments. We have 9 AP's to date currently Netgear WAG102.
    This summer decisions have been made to install an additional 2 trolleys making a total of five. This is the direction the SMT are taking to fulfil the ICT requirements for other departments around school. So the number of wireless laptop trolleys we have will only ever go up.
    Installing additional AP's here and there is going to get messy! Currently all AP's are not running over PoE - which they are capable of.

    So what I want to do is:
    1) Install PoE switches in relevant cabs to power AP's
    2) Install AP's which will load balance (15 laptops per trolley) and play nice with each other
    3) Have some sort of central management so when we grow this wireless implementation it can scale as suitable

    Can anyone suggest which PoE switches, AP's and what software/hardware we need to centrally manage all this?

    I look forward to the ideas and suggestions people have for this.

    Thanks in advance.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ?

    Point 3.
    With this many APs & Laptops you need a proper manageable wireless solution. It will save you many headaches in the future.
    I look after 50 wireless laptops on our network, we have just ordered another 24 plus a few more APs. There is no way I would be able to manage that with off the shelf units.
    After a few problems with our wireless stuff I am more than happy with it now. Touch wood, it hardly causes me any problems & the pupils and staff love using it.
    Forgot to add the PoE is handy too.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    There are many companies offering management solutions as hardware switches and also a combination of hardware and software.

    Aruba, Bluesocket, 3com, HP, Airwave many have been discussed.

    I am replacing my Buffalo access points with more HP 420's in the summer and using Airwave AMP for the management.

    A 50 access point version of AMP is £2500

    If you have more than 5 or 6 access points from one cupboard but 8 or less you cna get an HP 2600-8 poe switch.

    Otherwise they do a 2626 24 port poe switch.

    If you only have the odd one from a cabinet you can buy poe injectors that just insert the juice on the right wires. Be careful that you buy the right ones as cisco use a different pin assignment I believe.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    We use entirely Cisco kit here - both for AP's and PoE switches.

    Completely reliable and the 1100 series switches are capable of self managing which channel they are on, selecting the most suitable frequency to avoid clashes with other AP's.

    Cisco kit also has the advantage of the "x" protocol which does not allow access to the network without the user first being authenticated by the domain. Just in the process of trying to get this set up - so not got a heap of details about the specifics.

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    Sorry limbo but what are you talking about? the "x" protocol? If you mean 802.1x then any enterprise kit will support this and even some home kit.

    Auto selection of channels is not always a good idea.

    One issue with it is that it takes the AP time to scan the band and find a frequency for itself.

    If there is any interference then it may not pick one and just keep scanning. A DOS attack for your wap if you like.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    We're putting in an Aruba system first week of summer break. SO we'll see how that goes the unit can manage the existing Allied Telesyn system we have too. Extricom are good but the APs need to be connected directly to the management console which means you get PoE but you have to buy more managemnet consoles sadly. The Extricom system is useful though as all the APs can be on the same channel without causing interference unlike every other system to date (They've copyrighted the technology). Colubris is another good system. Extreme Networks have their own too. Nomadics are good if you want hotspots as are colubris however Nomadics is in addition to your wireless you'd still need a solution in place.


    Wes

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    I went with the Airwave AMP system as it can manage different makes of AP allthough I am now moving them all to HP 420's it was cheaper than the HP switch offering and I can put other AP's in for the future.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer
    Sorry limbo but what are you talking about? the "x" protocol?
    Yes 802.1x - I stopped calling it that because everyone I mention it to just thinks that I am talking about 802.11x which they then confuse with being a new wireless standard.

    So I call it the "x" protocol then people want to know more - so thank you for your part in following the script!

    As you say - most enterprise kit supports it, but as we know a lot of schools do not use enterprise kit. And I was not saying that cisco are the only people that do it, but that all cisco kit has it as standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer
    One issue with it is that it takes the AP time to scan the band and find a frequency for itself.
    A lot of people have said this, but personally I have never had a problem with this happening and we have over 50 of them installed at the school.

    If it does turn out to be a problem, then you can set it manually - but surely if if can work then this is an advantage of the kit and worth pointing out to people who are asking?

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    We use entirely Cisco kit here - both for AP's and PoE switches.

    Completely reliable and the 1100 series switches are capable of self managing which channel they are on, selecting the most suitable frequency to avoid clashes with other AP's.

    Cisco kit also has the advantage of the "x" protocol which does not allow access to the network without the user first being authenticated by the domain. Just in the process of trying to get this set up - so not got a heap of details about the specifics.
    I have a reg edit from one of the microsoft guides to force the computer to autenticate to radius as the machine account rather than the user if you need it. I'm going to use it for wired (in a couple of weeks all going well) and realised that if you lose connection, then it can't reauthenticate if you only allow access to the machine.

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    I always set my wireless policies in GPO to authenticate as the machine and not reauth as the user.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    For a compleye guide on setting up secure enterprise wifi security using active directory and IAS check out:

    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/Ou/?p=404

    Or the complete guide as a pdf:

    http://downloads.techrepublic.com.co...x?docid=277380

    It shows how to use the selfssl.exe utility that is part of the IIS resource kit to generate your own self signed certificates for your radius servers.

    This gets rid of the need to install the MS CA which is a bit bloated for just identifying radius servers.

    Of course if you need all your clients to have their own certs then the CA is the way to go.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer
    I always set my wireless policies in GPO to authenticate as the machine and not reauth as the user.

    Ben
    I'll have to have a look, but I'm not sure if it works for wired connections

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    If you only need single port poe injectors I have just bought some for about £11 each from european electronique.

    Ben

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    In Cisco world you are probably ideally looking at 1240 APs (which have external aerials which provide good coverage and are fairly rugged for schools) and either a Wireless LAN Solution Engine for management if on a budget or Wireless LAN controller if you have a bit more budget.

    With the Cisco Kit and compatible laptops (CCX, a lot of laptops support this) it will allow the network to load balance between APs, useful if you are looking to connect more that 10-15 laptops in a room at once.

    As said before you def want a manged solution for ease of use etc

    Also get pricing from a Cisco Schools Partner, they will provide the best quote.

    <Advert> Happy to help if you want to drop me an email </Advert>

    cheers, Tom

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    Re: Wireless Solution made easy - Which PoE switches, AP's ???

    I use a BlueSocket system which is a hardware controller and thin access points offering all the features you suggested. In cabs where there are sufficient PoE devices I use HP 2600-8-PWR switches and 3COM power injectors elsewhere. The 3COM power injectors seem to be very good value for money - any device using the PoE standard should be able to use these (I cannot image that Cisco uses their own 'standard' for PoE).

    A lot has been mentioned about these systems on the site before... relative merits and what have you. Aruba, Cisco and BlueSocket seem to be the favourites... it depends on what you like and whether the different license models work for you (personally I like the BlueSocket one off payment and no need for additional licenses as you add more APs or additional features).

    I also recommend visiting talking to people with systems or visiting to see them in action. I'm happy to talk about mine.



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