Wireless Access

Reply
Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

I've been struggling with an issue since upgrading our controller to v. 6.1.3.1 from 5.0.4.0 a few weeks ago. We have recently deployed a bunch of 2011 MacBook Airs running the latest version of OS X Lion (10.7.3). They appear to get disconnected from the wireless several times throughout the day, which resets their connections to our email system and Filemaker server which ultimitely causes them to lose work and get very frustrated that they have to log back into these systems.

 

I've done a ton of research on the Apple forums and on here and while many people reported issues with Lion and wireless, I haven't found anyone with issues while using Aruba specificially. The thing is, these clients all appeared to work fine before we upgraded to the v.6 code. I've been working with Aruba support for the past 2 weeks and they've gone into the controller and tweaked a bunch of settings in accordance to best practices, but nothing has seemed to help.

 

One thing I've notied is if I ping a client, the response times are all over the place unless they are downloading or doing something on the Internet. That makes it sound like the wireless card is going into power save mode, but there's no way to modify those settings on the Mac like you can on Windows. I've also set up a little Belkin router to test with and when I connect one of the clients to that wirelessly, the ping times are >1 ms, right where they should be. I've tried all of the suggestions on the client site including replacing kernel extensions for wireless with those from an old OS, but the ping times are still all over the place. Older Mac clients, running on 10.6.8, and our many iPads and iPhones are working just fine. I know it sounds like an Apple specific issue, but it's a combination of them and Aruba v.6. 

 

I've called Apple this morning and of course they are pointing the finger at the wireless. I've actually been on hold with them twice this mornig and gotten disconnected twice, so I'm at my wit's end! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! TIA!

Contributor I
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎10-27-2007

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

[ Edited ]

 

I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you and haven't yet received such reports from Apple laptop users but I can relate.  We did the upgrade from 5.0 to 6.1.3.1 last week and it tripped up a few systems.  We had a number of Dell laptops running XP with earlier generation 802.11n dual-band chipsets that all needed wireless driver updates to work again.  Also we had one case of an iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2 that refused to stay connected to wireless until it was upgraded to the latest iOS 5 release.

 

If you have the spare controllers and APs around and are motivated enough I'd suggest comparing what an AP beacon looks like coming from an ArubaOS 5 and a 6.1.3.1 infrastructure and seeing what new functionality is being broadcast that could be triggering a power save bug, etc.  I've been able to resolve such issues here without resorting to that but it might be worth it for you.  Just an idea.



Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

Thank you for the reply. It certainly sounds like a driver incompatibility issue here too. I do have some extra APs that I've tested with, but unfortunately not a spare controller. I set up a wide open SSID yesterday and tested a client on that and I see similair behavior. The Aruba tech wanted me to test this way to see if it was a TKIP issue as I guess that's a fairly common issue with Macs. I'm hoping 10.7.4 will be out soon with new drivers, but we'll see. I'm going to try caling Apple back again today too. :smileyindifferent:

Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

I just wanted to bump this back up with an update and to see if anyone else has been experiencing this. I've gotten both Aruba and Apple to admit that this is a known issue and to look for an upcoming software update to help fix it, but that's been a month ago now. I've installed 10.7.4 and a beta of 10.7.5, even the 10.8 beta but I still see the same behavior on a client. I've also updated the controller to 6.1.3.2 but that didn't help either. Is anyone else seeing similar behavior and/or have any fixes/workarounds? TIA!

Guru Elite
Posts: 20,811
Registered: ‎03-29-2007

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

I can tell you that we have quite a few of the laptops and the version of Lion you mention running well:

 

What is your encryption?

How many clients are on your WLAN? (total)

Do the wireless clients share a subnet with wired clients?

 



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

Thanks for the quick reply! We are using WPA2 Personal encryption to join the network and MAC radius authentication from there using a Bradford Network Sentry. During the school year we are right around 400 clients, but during the summer it's just over 100 and we are seeing the same issues. We split students YOG into subnets and for employees, wired and wireless clients do share the same subnet. We only have a handful of wired employee clients though.

Guru Elite
Posts: 20,811
Registered: ‎03-29-2007

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

What is the known issue?  What happens and what is the sequnce of events?

 



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

They're really just getting crappy performance on the wireless network. If I ping a Lion client that's just sitting on my desk, the response times are all over the place and you will eventually see big chunks of timeouts. When there's about 15+ timeouts in a row, the clients will lose connection to their email client (FirstClass) and Filemaker. This can lead to them losing work and/or having to sign in multiple times a day and it drives them nuts. If the clients are actively downloading something from the Internet though, the ping times are consistently right at 1ms. It's something to do with the wireless card going into some sort of sleep mode, I'm guessing to save battery life.

 

Aruba has been able to replicate the issue in their test environment, but believes that the APs are working as they should and it's the clients that are not behaving correctly. The last email I recieved from support:

 

"We did some testing using the same clients and found out that the clients are sending the PS frame very frequently and then when AP’s are scanning other channel to find a better channel, that’s the time when the frame goes missing and AP thinks that client is still awake and keep sending data.

 

One of the option we tested is to disable Scanning to validate the above theory and it helped the situation, however Disabling Scanning will not be recommended since it means asking ARM not to perform.

 

So as of now the AP’s are behaving normal and scanning other channel for the defined scan time hence we cannot change the scan algorithm because it’s a huge change and might bring up another issue with the ARM functionality.

 

However, in order to understand the behavioral change with these new MacBook Version I am also checking on the possibility of providing some data to Apple support and get their views on the same. Will keep you updated on the same."

 

Apple said that they know about this issue with Aruba hardware and to look for a future OS release to fix it. 10.7.5 was supposed to be focused on network reliability and performance but the golden master beta doesn't appear to address it.

Guru Elite
Posts: 20,811
Registered: ‎03-29-2007

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

Are you dropping broadcast traffic on that Virtual AP?

 



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

Contributor I
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Re: Mac OS X Lion/MacBook Air issue

[ Edited ]

Yes we are. I've had our VAR and the Aruba techs go over everything in the config as well and they say it all looks good.

Search Airheads
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: