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Solved: Wireless Suggestion for 500 devices

Discussion in 'Networking' started by benj_mx, Feb 6, 2013.

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  1. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    Good Day!

    i would like to reach for your expertise and advise in what direction is best in setting up wireless network for 500 devices (smartphones). Its a 3000 sq ft open room/hall.

    can i use consumer routers to load balance? say 5 routers and limit to 100 ips.

    your comment is very much appreciated.

    thank you
     
  2. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    What are these smart phones going to be doing on the wireless network?

    You're going to be in for a rude awakening if you think consumer grade wireless routers are going to handle 100 wireless clients each. Even the enterprise grade APs have lower maximum wireless client support depending on the application. The APs I'm familiar with are from Aruba Networks and even their best AP (AP 135) can support probably a max of 50 wireless clients just doing web surfing. If there is any type of streaming or latency sensitive application like VoIP, that total gets cut to less than half or about 15 to 20...maybe 25.

    You're looking at a wireless controller system with around 20 APs.
     
  3. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    thank you for reply.

    can you recommend wireless controller and AP? how ip distribution works?
     
  4. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You still haven't told me what type of protocols or applications these smart phones are going to run over this wireless network. Depending on the situation, to have 500 end devices on the same broadcast network is just asking for trouble.

    Anyways, I'm very familiar with the Aruba Networks/Dell PowerConnect W line of wireless controllers. You're looking at a 3200 controller along with AP 105s and you'll also need a PoE switch. This isn't a cheap solution.
     
  5. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    sorry about that. because we host events like corporate meetings and weddings, its more on browsing and social media, possibly stream media.

    Our current network consist of typical Internet connection, Modem-->Linksys E1200 Router-->Dlink-DGS1024D switch.

    Wireless can be on different network but Internet connection will be shared.

    Yes, i feel that it will not cheap based on your first reply.
     
  6. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    With the additional details, you may be able to get away with "oversubscribing" the network. While you want to maintain as good a performance as possible, networks like this isn't what one would say is "mission critical." So you can play with the law of averages and assume that not all 500 devices will be actively talking on the network or will be pushing pulling data. So you can maybe bump the number of max client devices being serviced by one AP up a bit more. You might decide that reducing the number of APs to 15 would be acceptable. This would reduce the cost of getting the APs significantly and you can probably step down to smaller wireless controller like the 650 which supports a maximum of 16 APs.

    The other thing that systems like the one I'm describing that no SOHO/consumer wireless device will do is the ability to monitor AP loading and then without any user intervention divert wireless clients to other APs on the network to help with load balancing. And roaming between APs are a seemless manner versus cobbling together independent APs and hoping the roaming algorithm of the wireless client is good enough to do proper AP selection.
     
  7. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    thank you so much for the details. i really appreciate it.
    should i be worry about the location of AP's since its an Open floor of 3000 sq ft? does the wireless controller managed DHCP? im guessing that it will consist of multiple network/VLAN.
     
  8. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You can probably keep everyone on the same subnet. You only really need to broadcast one SSID. That's the beauty of a wireless controller system. The SSID is broadcasted across all the APs and the controller handles the RF management details from which AP operates on what channel to how much RF output each one produces so that one AP doesn't overwhelm another one.

    The wireless controllers I mention will provide DHCP services. Aruba also has a utility you can use called Visual RF Plan which allows you to import your floor plan. Then you draw out any walls (with material) type. You can then drag and drop the specific AP onto the map and it'll generate a heat map/bandwidth prediction so you can move around APs to get the best coverage. This tool gets you very close to having a professional site survey done.
     
  9. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    thank you so much for your help.
    you are fantastic!
     
  10. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You're welcome. Glad I was able to help.
     
  11. Simba7

    Simba7

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    One option, if you want to utilize "Consumer Grade" routers, is dd-wrt, OpenWrt, or Tomato. Just make sure the router (or AP) is compatible with it.

    You might want to check out Ubiquity's gear, also.
     
  12. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    All those 3rd party firmwares will not solve the fundamental problem of seemless wireless coverage for a large area hosting quite a few clients. Even if you throw a few these routers flashed with this firmware, you'll have dubious experiences at best as none of these routers will coordinate their wireless transmissions with each other.
     
  13. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    Meraki Solution was interesting- Cloud Managed Wireless. Just worried a bit on the subscriptions/annually. its always nice to have options.

    i appreciate all your comments and suggestions.
     
  14. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Just FYI, Meraki was just purchased by Cisco. Cisco has been going through a paradigm shift where they are heavily leveraging the licensing model. While other manufacturers are doing the same, Cisco seems to have taken their approach to the extreme. Their first appliances that had licensing restrictions were the ASA firewalls. This implementation wasn't too bad but then with the new line of ISR routers and their Nexus line of switches, they've gone to the extreme where every little thing was licensed. Plus Cisco has an industry reputation for charging an arm and a leg with their SmartNet support contracts. So take this all into consideration.
     
  15. benj_mx

    benj_mx Thread Starter

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    thanks zx10guy.

    i was wondering, would you use managed service like meraki service?
     
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