Managed wireless systems. I want one. How do they work? How can I make one? Specifically, what is it about a "managed" wireless solution that makes it cost £10,000 upwards, whereas just buying access points enough to cover our school would cost around £2,000? I've had a look at the websites for a couple of systems, which tend to be a little woolly on the detail side of things, but a "managed" wireless system seems to mostly consist of a central combined server/PoE switch and a bunch of access points. The access points don't generally seem to need to be plugged directly in to the server, although it seems that sales types will cheerfully try and flog you extra servers.
So, basically, a managed wireless solution is a server that manages a bunch of access points. Is the Sputnik system suitible for use in schools - does anyone else use this system? This system would seem to consist of just access point, managed by a central server that is an application running on top of a CentOS Linux distribution - something I could just plonk on our existing system as a VM, no need to get extra bits of hardware or anything.
In particular, does anyone know if the Sputnik system can handle the "high-volume" traffic that we gets in schools, i.e. 30 odd laptops in a classroom all trying to work at once? How do other systems handle this issue - do they simply reduce the power on each access point, reducing the interference between access points (but requiring more access points around the place, of course)?