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Occasional Contributor II

Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

Hi Guys,

 

Just after a bit of help\guidance. I work for a council that is looking to expand the aruba experience out to schools as well.

 

Currently we have an Aruba 6000 controller in our head office which services several sites, it still has plenty of availability for expansion on it, however we are looking at adding around 50 schools (Primary and High) with anything from 8+ APs on each site.

We have the ability to terminate these through out master controller however I'm wondering if the deployment of Local controllers would be an idea to toy with or end up being just more of an added expense.

I imagine that the site access would be better but if anyone had any experience of such deployments or any advice for us would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks

Bellarious

Guru Elite

Re: Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

The argument for NOT adding a controller:

 

- Most client traffic is going to the headend, anyway

- You have room on that controller

- You have fiber everywhere 

 

The argument for adding a controller

 

- slow WAN links between sites and the 6000

- Your ISP for the sites are located at the sites.

 



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

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Re: Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

To give a view, I'd just like to know two things.

 

1. Do these schools have their own servers, or is that serviced by a central council HQ?

2. Does the schools internet connectivity come from the council line or separate lines out of each school?

 

In the UK, we see all sorts of variations on these themes!

 

Kudos appreciated, but I'm not hunting! (ACMX 104)
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

 

 Morning Gents,

Thanks for the reply.

1. The schools do have their own servers however we have a wireless wan using fortinet devices and the DHCP traffic then comes back here.

2. The schools internet connectivity comes from the council wan for most, however a few high schools have their own internet lines.

 

Re: Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

Ok, so one more question I'm afraid.

 

If a school has it's own servers, and some of the wireless clients would be trusted devices accessing them, you wouldn't want the traffic coming up the WAN and back down. So, isn't that a challenge currently in terms of point 1?

 

It sounds like you might need a couple of varied logical deliveries. So here's some suggestions...

 

1. My normal design rule 1, is that if a site has it's own servers, it needs its own controllers (or an Instant deployment) for full flex.

2. Point 1 can however be cost prohibitive, so would it work in all these scenarios with APs delivering service in those sites in bridge mode? This will mean more configuration time for the sites (VLANs etc) for best practice.

3. If a site has no local servers, normal APs tunnelling up to the remote controller is fine, as long as the WAN isn't saturated (measure it).

4. Do the local sites vary in terms of VLANs and kit? If so, variations on your deployments will be necessary.

 

Here's some examples.

 

1. School with servers and local internet line, but constrained LAN kit - Local controller sounds best

2. As per 1, but with good LAN kit - APs doing bridge mode might be cheaper

3. School with local internet pipe, but no servers and constrained LAN kit - Instant might be best, but maybe now you'd need Airwave?

 

There's other things to consider too...

 

To help simplify, give us the top 3 school condition types in terms of LAN kit quality, outbound circuit type (and speed), servers onsite or not, and student/staff count?

 

Kudos appreciated, but I'm not hunting! (ACMX 104)
MVP

Re: Council and schools deployment- to add local controllers or not to add

I would suggest that you purchase iAPs for the schools -- convert them to controller-based if the traffic patterns work out ( I agree that server traffic probably should cross the WAN twice if you can help it)

 

That will leave you the flexibility to convert back if a different WAN/server architecture comes on line in the future.

--Matthew

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