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Guest Blogger
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎12-04-2012

Sizing Aruba Airwave

I reached out to my Aruba Sale Rep today for a Airwave demo. After looking at the data sheet and solution guide I have a few questions that I hope someone can fill in a few of my blanks...

 

A little back ground, I manage about 3,000 Cisco access points and 20+ Cisco WLCs. We have about 6,000 wifi devices concurrently on the network. Looking for an alternative to Prime and WCS.

 

After looking at both the deployment guide and the data sheet I was unable to determine exactly what the actual server limitations are. I then came across the hardware data sheet, where it states Pro Appliance 1500 devices / Enterprise 4000 devices. Since I have under 4,000 managed devices I would assume 1 Enterprise server should meet my needs. I am however concerned about the lag if the server is pushed to 4,000 devices. Any feedback ?

 

I need an explanation of part number AW-EXP1-2500. I understand from the p/n description this is a +1 device licenses. For example, if I had 2,600 devices, would this mean I would need 100 of p/n AW-EXP1-2500?

 

Im curious if there is any data to support how much traffic will be generated across the network to support 3,000 aps, 20 WLCs and 6,000 clients? 

 

HA is important to our organization. I don’t see anything in the data sheet or solution guide that talks about HA support specific to licensing or how it operates. Can someone point me to this info ? 

 

Does Airwave communicate with the APs directly in anyway to poll information or just the controllers ? 

 

How often are support updates released for Airwave ? 

 

Central vs Distributed Deployment .. Any suggestions on deployment strategies; 6 separate locations need to be monitored. Today each location has a WCS. Any feedback or advantages using Airwave in central vs distributed ?

Moderator
Posts: 1,223
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: Sizing Aruba Airwave

These are great questions.  Let me see if I can answer them all.

 

You cited the APs and controller count, but will you also be adding in switches?  The scaling numbers are testing with 20% of the device count as switches (this was determined to be a median value for the number of switches).  The tests also account for continuous client traps and syslog messages per second (Table 3 of the 7.6 server sizing guide).  If you do include switches, they will also be counted in the device count.

 

Your concern for lag is valid, but keep in mind that as long as the APs are behaving as thin APs instead of autonomous APs, AirWave will primarily contact the WLCs and switches for data, so as long as the controllers are not overloaded and responsive, there shouldn't be much lag except for time of SNMP poll to time of SNMP response from controller.  You also have the option to override the polling cycles to stagger the data collection depending on your data priorities.  And SNMP traps will add additional data points to provide more realtime client tracking.

 

When it comes to licensing: for 2600 devices, you'd purchase a 2500 device license + a 100 device license, and then consolidate the 2 licenses on the licensing site (which should be fairly easy, but I've never tried).

 

I don't currently have direct data to describe the traffic over 3000 APs through 20 WLCs for 6000 clients, but a customer in the education space with a deluxe-sized single server AirWave has roughly 8000 devices, 10000 clients pushes an average of about 10-15 Mbps.

 

In regards to HA, we have a Failover solution currently, but it's a passive solution.  This will be changed in the future as there's research being done on new architecture that will improve the HA design to make it an active solution (instead of reactive).  The user guide should have some information pertaining to the Failover.  If there's anything unclear, you should be able to reach me over email (I'll send my email address in a private message).

 

AirWave will directly communicate with the controllers.  There's some light ping tests to all devices, but primary traffic will be SNMP, and then scheduled firmware upgrades are done over FTP/TFTP.

 

Major releases are twice a year.  Each major release is followed by patched releases that are typically in ranges of 2-6 weeks apart.  Patched releases are typically done based on customer needs.  To give you a better idea, 7.6 was released 3 months ago, with the current release AirWave 7.6.3 having followed 7.6.2 after 6 weeks.

 

Several existing customers do a central deployment (this works as long as the communication between locations doesn't incur too much additional latency).  Central deployments are advised if you're the solo super-IT.  If you've got a team, you may go the Master Console route where you have a Master Console watching smaller AirWave servers to yield a larger network view, while site admins take care of individual distrubuted AirWave servers.

 

Let me know if you have any additional questions.


Rob Gin
Senior QA Engineer - Network Services
Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Guest Blogger
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎12-04-2012

Re: Sizing Aruba Airwave

Thank you for the quick response. My SE got back with me on the licenses and the size guide. Do you have a like for the OVF, we are going to run our demo on a VM. 

 

Thanks

Moderator
Posts: 1,223
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: Sizing Aruba Airwave

The virtual image in OVA format.  For 7.6.3, it's located here:

http://support.arubanetworks.com/DOWNLOADSOFTWARE/tabid/75/DMXModule/510/Default.aspx?EntryId=10740

 

Direct link:

http://support.arubanetworks.com/DOWNLOADSOFTWARE/tabid/75/DMXModule/510/Command/Core_Download/Default.aspx?EntryId=10744

 

To view and download, a support account with access to 'download software' section of the support site is required.  If you don't already have an account, the SE or support should be able to set you up with one.


Rob Gin
Senior QA Engineer - Network Services
Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Guest Blogger
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎12-04-2012

Re: Sizing Aruba Airwave

Excellent .. thank you 

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