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Need Advice from Network Managers - Managed Wireless

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by RCoon, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Is the instant access software as detailed as the Meraki?
     
  2. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    Instant access is not as detailed the the Meraki cloud-based solution, as it's locally on the AP itself, but the Aruba Central (their cloud based solution) is on par with meraki's cloud. Same options, same data, but a different layout. Meraki's cloudbased management is far tighter in terms of timings, you can see updates to your wireless situation and data within 5 seconds, whereas Aruba Central is quite heavily delayed. I'll wait to get hold of the Aruba Software management solution and give some more feedback on the update timings.
     
  3. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Does the stuff like VLANs and the captive portals act the same???
     
  4. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    IDD, the Meraki AP's also come with a clever little clip mount designed especially so you can literally slide the AP onto any existing suspended ceiling without having to drill holes. It does not however have the specific Layer filtering options Meraki has, but we're not looking for any kind of filtering, because we have a rather expensive hardware filter. Both the Meraki and Aruba AP's picked up 5 rogue access points, so that feature works well on both, considering I can't actually connect any devices to more than 3 different local AP's.

    On a side note, the Meraki AP runs very slightly warmer, but that's not an issue in the slightest.
     
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  5. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    They are pretty quick but we have a direct contact with them since we buy a lot of their equipment. Out of all the purchases we have done only one or two nodes had to be RMAed due to pesky college kids messing with them. When they were installed, they thought it was a good idea to mount the indoor nodes inside on a wall of the dorms which is easy access to drunk college kids LOL
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    RCoon says thanks.
  7. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    Did some tests and had issues with the Aerohive AC AP. It's terrible, signal is very limited range, and their support is the worst I've seen. Haven't had time to post the detailed results, I'll get them done soon.
     
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  8. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Cool. Looking forward to the results from the aerohive. I'm gonna try to get one too.
     
  9. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    Update at last! Sadly not yet for the Aerohive.
    This time it's for the Meru system. So far it's been a nightmare. The setup took a few days because the original engineer basically ballsed up the setup. After another engineer came in and fixed his issues, they still hadn't managed to get a few of the IPs correct, which we ended up fixing for them. After all that mess, which has been ongoing since last week on Thursday (it is now Thursday today), the guest wireless access still does not work properly, something which so far, only Aruba and Meraki seem to have gotten right.
    The setup for Meru puts me off, but if an engineer can come in and fix the problem in one fell swoop, that's fine by me, so far though, I'm not happy.
    But I'll drop the performance numbers, as they speak for themselves:

    3GB single file

    Meru AP 832e (.11AC / .11N)

    Peak: IT Office
    Link speed - 866Mbps / 216Mbps
    Peak transfer - 40.4MBps / 9.0MBps
    Utilization - 44% / 55%

    Worst: Quad / Entrance
    Link speed - 13Mbps / 10Mbps
    Peak transfer - 460KBps / 730KBps
    Utilization - 18% / 40%

    Max Distance - 52ft / 104ft


    Interestingly enough, the AC has no N failover. Once the AC device lost connection to the AC signal, it just cut out entirely instead of connecting to the N signal it can see (we know it can see it as far as 104ft), which showcased an interesting bug with the Intel 7260 Dual band AC adapter and Lenovo's E540 mouse trackpad. For some reason when it loses signal, the trackpad holds left click on whatever you last clicked on, rending the trackpad useless until you restart it.

    Aerohive data incoming soon if I can get time. The Aerohive AP does not work with guest wireless either, and their support just didn't help us at all. However, the Aerohive AP has become the perfect bandaid for our network of dumb standalone AP's. Wherever we put it in place of one of our broken, it's a total champ, broadcasts to any device within a nice range, and just does its job for plain old wireless. Needless to say, even though we're not buying any Aerohive kit because of its inherent problems with VLANing, it's actually a good old blunt instrument to get a job done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
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  10. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I too vote Ubiquity, a ISP used them for hard to reach areas with their bullet system and it was stable, fast, and well managed, I implemented them for a few stores and with point to point wifi 2.8Ghz I was able to maintain a VPN with a heartbeat with upper 90% uptime. I am betting your AP issues is backplane bandwidth, the AP's are out of buffer and start dropping packets and flush their buffer before they get the response back and then just start seeing new traffic as DDOS essentially, or they fill the buffer waiting on the network and run out.
     
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  11. McSteel

    McSteel

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    +1 for Ubiquity/UniFi system. Recently sprinkled around some indoor "dish" APs with some strategically placed outdoor ones for some wonderful results. The centralized control system is well thought out, and consistently and intelligently updated, with Ubiquity willing to go the extra mile for a significant customer and hurry up some implementations or innovate a new feature. The APs are Atheros-based and are rock-solid, each can handle 127 clients in theory, but in practice they're stable up to around 50 per physical radio. The outdoor ones are particularly impressive, boasting 28 dBm, but really outputting at least 30, and having two RP-SMA connectors (they come with 2x5 dBi antennae), when paired with some serious omni antennas (like 9+ dBi) they'll make you glow in the dark in their vicinity.

    The guest access system is robust and allows pre-defined networks, vouchers and even integrated paypal payments. Seamless roaming and mesh networks are working flawlessly and pretty much automatically. Logging and administration is intuitive and easy, with only the requirements for the controller PC's hardware being a bit on the high side if you need constant control over your APs and you have more than 15 of them. Still, an i3 with 4 GB of RAM should be able to service 100 of them (with 50 clients each) without issue, with possibly a mini-box with a J1900-based mobo and Linux handling 50, no sweat.
     
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  12. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    Second to last update on AP tests, this time with the UniFi AP AC... AP! Now this thing is small, and it is very very thin. Not to mention this thing weighs about half as much. All in all very nice to look at. Also the controller software can be installed on damn near anything, and I had the whole thing setup quite literally in 10 minutes.

    The controller has to have the same VLAN tags as the ports the AP's are plugged into, otherwise it won't find the AP's. As for the rest, same subnet and it finds the AP not problem.

    When I was testing the AP, the fancy AC failover to N made it slightly difficult to determine which band was being used for my tests. eventually after half an hour I managed it. This is one of the few AP's however, where it seamlessly failed-over to the N from AC, not to mention when there was an AP in the viscinity of the laptop that provided better signal the UniFi AP seemed to force it to roam to that AP instead. Pretty smart behaviour which I had not seen from the other AP's, probably because those manufacturers don't like it when their are other AP's and treat them as rogues instead of working with them.

    Either way, had a great time testing this AP, very cheap, and has about 80% of the power that the big manufacturers provide. Solid connection though.

    3GB single file

    UniFi AP AC (.11AC / .11N)

    Peak: IT Office
    Link speed - 400Mbps / 243Mbps
    Peak transfer - 7.7MBps / 6.35MBps
    Utilization - 20% / 45%

    Worst: Second Bench/ Quad Doors
    Link speed - 6Mbps / 5Mbps
    Peak transfer - 10KBps / 78KBps
    Utilization - 10% / 15%

    Max Distance - 48ft / 98ft
     
  13. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    So it works fine with your guest VLANs??
     
  14. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    Flawlessly, like I said, it literally took 10 minutes to set up and it's been working flawlessly ever since. Even the network map customisation and placement options are stupidly easy to use and set up. I can give an Alias to anything on the network, it tells me how it's connected with a rather interesting bubble.
    Some screens:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Cool. Not too bad for being pretty cheap.
     
  16. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    They're cheap, and in brutal honesty the wireless is not quite as powerful as the others. The maximum reach of the N and AC is not as far as most others, and the speed of file transfer is below average on AC, and slightly above average on N. It's also worth nothing they have their own Zero Handsoff option, and once the AP's have been added to the controller, setup, and decided amongst themselves what is the best channel based on location, the controller can actually then be turned off, and they'll remember where they are and where the other AP's are, so the roaming and management basically carries on.
     
  17. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Hmmm that's a pretty neat feature.
     
  18. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Im glad you like the unifi setup rcoon! They make more powerful nodes but they are more expensive but for a small office area or building they work just great and very easily managed
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU

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