Controller Based WLANs

What are the advantages of ARM 2.0 over ARM 1.0 in a voice environment?

by on ‎07-05-2014 02:26 AM

Product and Software: This article applies to all Aruba controllers and ArubaOS 3.4.2.x and later.

ARM 2.0 ensures that data, voice, and video applications have sufficient network resources, including airtime, to operate properly. ARM 2.0 infrastructure controls optimize the RF band and channel selection, power output levels, access point loading, airtime allocation, and interference mitigation. By closing the gap between the theoretical performance of Wi-Fi clients and what is achieved in real-world deployments, ARM 2.0 corrects network behavior so that end users enjoy a better wireless experience.

ARM 1.0 managed access point behavior by automating wireless setup, optimizing network performance in the presence of interference, and self-healing coverage holes. Additionally, application awareness ensured the performance of real-time and mission-critical applications.

With ARM 1.0 as its foundation, ARM 2.0 incorporates infrastructure controls to deliver an even more reliable, higher performance network. And it does so without special client software or violating 802.11 standards.

Key ARM 2.0 features include:

  • Band steering: actively guides faster 802.11a/n clients, and even specific applications or users, to the best available wireless channel. The result is better noise immunity, fewer sources of interference, and more available channels. If a client supports 2.4GHz and higher-speed 5GHz bands, this feature will automatically direct it to the 5GHz band for best performance.
  • Spectrum load balancing: enables Aruba access points and multiservice Mobility Controllers to dynamically shift Wi-Fi clients to access points on channels with available bandwidth. This technique is intended to prevent degraded network performance due to over-subscription.
  • Coordinated access: coordinates access to a wireless channel, across all access points that share that channel, to overcome the challenges of densely populated deployments such as lecture halls, airport lounges, and conference centers.
  • Co-Channel Interference Mitigation: adjusts access point rate adaptation to control interference and shifts access points with excess capacity to air monitor mode.
  • Airtime fairness: scheduled access for dense deployments delivers equal access to all Wi-Fi clients. This feature works with all 2.45GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi clients, regardless of its wireless chip manufacturer or standard operating system supplier.
  • Performance protection: prevents higher speed clients using 802.11n from being compromised by slower 802.11b/g clients.

ARM and Voice Aware

While air scanning has negligible effects on data network performance, it can cause some packet loss in the voice network. To eliminate this issue, the Aruba WLAN system is voice-aware. By using application- and session-aware capabilities, the Aruba WLAN system precludes an AP from channel scanning when a phone or call is associated with it. The AP resumes scanning after all the phones associated with the AP are on-hook (off-call).

In a pure voice environment, where there is at least one active phone (on-call) associated with every AP at any given time, Aruba recommends the use of dedicated Aruba Air Monitors to monitor the network. In a converged environment, however, using APs for both functions (that is, RF and network monitoring) works effectively.

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