I'm currently looking for a wireless solution to replace our current one with. We're only a small school but I'm looking towards the future in terms of scalability as we take on more and more wireless clients. Right now we have x5 Netgear WAP102 APs and are looking to replace them with a managed solution. I was looking at Ubiquity products but was wondering if anyone has had any experience with them? Ruckus kit is far too expensive for our budget.
Also, do the Ubiquity APs run off standard PoE? Currently we're powering our APs through our switch's built in PoE.
You have to buy adaptors for the current ubiquiti range if you want to run then off proper poe.
The pro range when they are released won't need these.
Due to their controller less design I think they would be great for school deploment.
I have 14 points max users logged so far 217 concurrent use busiest AP had 69 users on it!
Had one complaint this weekend when one Journo said that the wireless was useless....
Turned out he had manual DNS entries in his wireless NIC settings plonker....
PM me if you want more details, I will be happy to demo a live system to you. At one tenth of the price of some of the systems touted here the only stupid thing you could do is not consider it!
BTW they have a controller but it's entirely software, ours runs on an Ubuntu VM so it costs nothing :)
Thanks for the offer Geoff, I might try and get a demo unit from someone at some point so I can put it to the test in our own environment. Does anyone have any idea when the pro range is going to be released?
Also does anyone know of any decent Ubiquity suppliers? We generally go straight to Dell or Insight UK for a lot of our gear...
I have heard good things but there are a few limitations as there are several features which it does not support apparently like being aware of other APs on its system and as such not being able to adapt signal strength or hand off clients to other APs if they become overloaded.
These features are being added with each release!
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Good, any ideas on ETA as these features are quite important for some implementations so that you don't end up with all the APs screaming at the top of their transmit power envelopes over the top of each other.
Originally Posted by jamesreedersmith
Ah, handing off clients when overloaded could be an issue... that's partly the reason I wanted to move to something like this.
I would argue this aspect as I have them in a working model and they seem to handle this fine.
Example, last saturday we had 53 users connected across 2 AP's the AP's are located immediately behind 3 rows of seating one at each end approximately 20 Meters apart.
I got a call to say that a single user in seat Y190 had no wifi connection, I checked the management console and could see that the 53 users were equally balanced between the two AP's so I thought what the heck reboot the AP closest to seat Y190!
The console is set by default to refresh every 2 mins so I manually refreshed the screen to get a near realtime update.
Within 30 seconds I had about 40 users now on the neighbouring point then 50, then as the rebooted AP came back on line users started to migrate back again!
after about 2 or 3 mins they were back to having around 25 users each!
These are Ubiquiti Pico M2's Flashed with Unifi Firmware, http://ubnt.com/downloads/datasheets...icom2hp_DS.pdf
Internally I have a Press and Media suite with 3 x Unifi Unifi | Ubiquiti Networks, Inc.
all set to auto 20 Mhz b/g/n when rebooted they will immediately choose who has what channel and adust output to suit. With 90 devices in the room they will evenly disperse clients evenly without intervention.
To me that seems pretty good, a system that dynamically load balances what more should you expect from a managed system that cost less than a grand!
Im guessing that what your asking is, if an AP has 40 clients @ 50db it should hand off 20 of those clients to another AP even if its relative signal strength is much weaker say 70db ?? Thus eliminating any bottlenecking of a specifically poorly located AP at the expense of 20 clients that are now getting a marginal signal from a much weaker point? Sorry I dont see the advantage in that at all.
Is this what you expect of your wifi?
Clearly this is where you would use the management tools to identify where the congestion was most and simply deploy another AP in the near vacinity to eliminate the overload isnt it?
This is easily done with Unifi as they cost a third of a comparable system :D not so easy when the extra point is going to cost you £400 and extra licenses on the controller eh!
If they want wirespeed I have 18 booths with CAT5 10/100/1000 its there if they want it, but none of them do.
I would happily deploy another 20 if I thought it would make any difference but I think Ill wait to see how we do on Sunday (off field that is) as we are expecting over 300 users according to the guest wifi tokens booked so far.
No, it is more subtle than that, more like if there are 70 clients on an AP at 50db and there is another AP nearby underused that is around the 51-55db then it will boot some off to that AP which will work out faster overall. The device steering otherwise is handled solely by the devices themselves and if they have a subobtimal setup they may hang on to an AP and refuse to migrate even with low signal from the original and a much higher signal from another. Even if it is working properly on all devices it means that the devices will all crowd onto the one that is the highest signal strength no matter how small a margin and not utilise the other one.
Originally Posted by m25man
I'm not saying that this is a nessisary thing in all deployments at all but adding more smarts in at each end can make wireless behave itself a lot better even if you are dealing with shoddy devices (a big possibility with BYOD) or suboptimal loading thanks to more simplistic managment algorythms.
Thanks for that input @SYNACK, totally understand where your coming from with the concept of device steering and clearly in certain conditions that would be a useful feature although the additional cpu overhead and controller functionality required to perform these tasks is indeed what makes such devices so much more expensive, then in turn, out of budget for many.
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Unifi might not be as "Smart" as some other systems, but I can afford to have 3 points in one room running Pico cells for less than the cost of a single "Smart" device and still be able to track my users to within a few feet of the AP they are connected to on their smartphone, which has proved to be an asset time and time again so far with it.
Overloading is something I have yet to see, but I will be monitoring closely over the next few weeks as we have some events that will certainly be putting this system under pressure and if it has any flaws we are certain to find them.
I am quite interested in how you fear with that. Some of the schools here are also putting in Ubiquity gear and having good results, the big difficulty for comparisons is that they are usually comparing with their old stacks of single consumer grade AP solution rather than against another fully managed system so there are not really any good comparisons directly between the two. It would be useful to get more viewpoints on the qualities of the system from more people to get a better idea. To be frank I don't really trust the opinions of many of the schools in NZ as quite a few seem to view fire as a recent high tech development making an objective comparison out of the question.
Originally Posted by m25man
Just been reading on the Ubiquiti forum that selective load balancing is supported in the latest 2.1 firmware update. You can specify an upper user limit and the Unifi will off load to the nearest under utilised AP. Cool :)
Can't chance an update this weekend but I will definately give it a try soon.