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242 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 193444 11-Mar-2016 10:52
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So here's the deal- I work in an office with around 100 staff, and the office is laid out as an open-plan square, with a central square hole where the lifts and lobby is. UFB has just been installed, to be used by contractors and guests, and staff for their smartphones. The UFB is totally disconnected from the corporate LAN. (In the future we'll engage our IT vendor to install a "proper" on-LAN FortiNet managed solution but that's $10,000 and ~12 months away.)

 

The supplied UFB modem/router is in our comms room and due to the number of walls etc., the Wi-Fi signal does not penetrate very far.

 

The question is- what's the best way to deploy around 4 access points (one in each corner) to ensure full AC-class coverage around the floor? Obviously we have structured cabling (Cat 6) so can easily reach the APs from the comms room via that. I guess there may be ~25 connections per AP, but not all of them will be active at once. We have an account with PB Tech so preferred purchasing is their range of AP's and I'd like to keep costs under $1k for the lot.

 

Do I run four separate Wi-Fi LANs, use some kind of repeater/range extender or is there a way of having a single SSID broadcast with no loss in bandwidth due to overlapping AP's? Should I ignore the original Wi-Fi on the router in favour of a clean external deployment? What product would you recommend from PB Tech's range to do so?

 

Any comments appreciated...

 

 

 

Cheers

 

Jon





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1511261 11-Mar-2016 12:33
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 Bunch of Ubiquiti UniFi AC (or AC-Lite) units?


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  Reply # 1511293 11-Mar-2016 13:13
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If it is for casual access and is going to be thrown out in a year, I wouldn't be too concerned with getting AC gear.

 

+1 for UniFi.  I would look at the UAP-AC-PRO and put in 2 of those on the roof in opposite corners of the building (half way between the lift shaft and the external corner).  If you find you are are working them too hard, then put in 2 more.  And keep them.  (You could also go straight for 4 of the UAP-AC-LITE versions.  These lite units may run out of steam if work them hard (5+ wireless clients streaming video on a single access point.)

 

Single SSID configured from the management software that you will need to install.





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  Reply # 1511306 11-Mar-2016 13:24
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You will need to look at the layout of the building with the dimensions to assess how many access points you will need. Also how densely populated the office is.

 

You probably will need a PoE switch and will want to look at units which do band steering, and 802.11ac.

 

Depending on your budget you can look at stuff like Unifi, and move up from there to Cisco Meraki / Aerohive or Ruckus gear. 

 

At the end of they day you will get what you pay for?






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  Reply # 1511309 11-Mar-2016 13:26
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2.4GHz performance will still be important, so you'd really want to limit yourself to 3 AP's in an open space.

 

Despite the fact I install a huge amount of UBNT kit my recommendation for such an install would be Xclaim AP's.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1511317 11-Mar-2016 13:41
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@sbiddle - The price point of Xclaim suggests to me that these APs might run out of steam where the non-lite AC units being more expensive would have beefier processors?  I've not used Xclaim but heard good things.





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  Reply # 1511330 11-Mar-2016 13:47
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When it comes down to performance in a dense environment Ruckus wins hands down over UBNT any day of the week. I've yet to see any side by side testing of UBNT vs Xclaim kit but at the end of the day it really is just rebanded Ruckus with a cloud controller.


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  Reply # 1511337 11-Mar-2016 14:03
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sbiddle: ...at the end of the day it really is just rebanded Ruckus with a cloud controller.

 

Hmmm...  I see you are right.  It's got good Ruckus innards but the enterprise features are restricted by firmware.  Might have to get a couple and have a play at some stage.  Currently we only have UBNT networks with up to 4 APs and they are all working beautifully.  We do have a warehouse with 14 Ubiquiti Locos peering down the aisles and this is working beautifully as well but is only lightly loaded.





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  Reply # 1511339 11-Mar-2016 14:04
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We're in a similar layout to you going by what youve said, we currently have 3 Cisco AP's covering the floor (approx 50 users,  approx 20 devices on the wifi), however there are dead spots so I will be shuffling the AP's around and adding another to sort that out. 

 

Whoever put one in the our corridor to the toilets, needs to get their priorities straight...  Tweeting while on the toilet isnt exactly a company requirement.....

 

Unifi gear is great stuff for the price. Meraki is good gear and has great features, but bloody expensive.





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  Reply # 1511476 11-Mar-2016 16:46
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sbiddle:

 

 I've yet to see any side by side testing of UBNT vs Xclaim kit but at the end of the day it really is just rebanded Ruckus with a cloud controller.

 

 

If memory serves me correctly the Xclaim access points don't have dynamic beamforming so their price point can come in under Ruckus'


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