Wireless Access

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Occasional Contributor II

Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

I am in charge of adding density to our wireless network.  The problem is that I have an extremely limited budget.  I have 60 AP105s (802.11n) to deploy and I have about 30-50 spare AP65s and AP70s (802.11abg).  We currently have 275 APs mixed between the AP65, AP70, and AP105 units.

 

Currently I have been grouping the AP105s together as best as I can in high usage areas.  Then I have been using the AP70s in areas that don't have as high usage to gain coverage and density in those areas.

 

Does this approach make sense?  Is there issues with mixing the APs?  I know that some devices will not be able to move from an N AP to A/B/G AP without dropping the connection but that is not an issue for us.

 

Lastly, should I still be using the AP65s or should I switch them out to the AP70s? 

 

 

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

 

It shouldn't a huge issue if users don't roam as much to those APs but you have to be aware that clients will be switching between legacy a/g data rates to 802.11n data rates .

 

Make sure that the power levels are not too high on those non-802.11n APs since clients tend to prefer the legacy 802.11g signal sometimes .

 

 

 

Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Engineer @ Integration Partners
AMFX | ACMX | ACDX | ACCX | CWAP | CWDP | CWNA
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

Does my approach of making 802.11n islands in a sea of 802.11ag make sense?

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

Is not the best scenario to have but you have to work with what you have.

Have you performed a site survey ?

Because its possible you may not need to add that many ap70s and it also depends on structure of your campus building and layout
Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Engineer @ Integration Partners
AMFX | ACMX | ACDX | ACCX | CWAP | CWDP | CWNA
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

I am going by the heatmap on the Aruba controller to get a basic idea of coverage.  I know it's not as good as a site survey.  I don't think I have enough money to do a full survey. 

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

 

Do you have airwave ? if you do, you can use the VisualRF and that could help you have an idea of how you will need to deploy your APs if you can perform a physical survey

Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Engineer @ Integration Partners
AMFX | ACMX | ACDX | ACCX | CWAP | CWDP | CWNA
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

I'm new to this positition, and from what I gather we don't have airwave

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

 

There's a standalone VisualRF product , that could help you too :

 

http://support.arubanetworks.com/DOWNLOADSOFTWARE/tabid/75/DMXModule/510/Default.aspx?EntryId=4830

 

If you have an account in the support site you can download it

 

I have attached the user guide.

Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Engineer @ Integration Partners
AMFX | ACMX | ACDX | ACCX | CWAP | CWDP | CWNA
Guru Elite

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs


dmandula wrote:

I am in charge of adding density to our wireless network.  The problem is that I have an extremely limited budget.  I have 60 AP105s (802.11n) to deploy and I have about 30-50 spare AP65s and AP70s (802.11abg).  We currently have 275 APs mixed between the AP65, AP70, and AP105 units.

 

Currently I have been grouping the AP105s together as best as I can in high usage areas.  Then I have been using the AP70s in areas that don't have as high usage to gain coverage and density in those areas.

 

Does this approach make sense?  Is there issues with mixing the APs?  I know that some devices will not be able to move from an N AP to A/B/G AP without dropping the connection but that is not an issue for us.

 

Lastly, should I still be using the AP65s or should I switch them out to the AP70s? 

 

 


REAL TALK:

 

Here is how you keep your job:  

 

You should keep the 802.11n access points and the a/b/g access points completely separate.  Deploy Hotspot areas with 802.11n coverage and keep them separate from areas that do not have 802.11n..  why?

 

- Uneven client performance - Users will notice the performance difference when they roam.  Depending on your density, some clients will roam even though they do not move.  That uneven performance mainfests itself as varied performance with network applications and it can be unsettling or seen as "slow".  Performance issue=Helpdesk Call=Bad

- Devices will stay connected to 802.11n access points longer, even though there is a closer a/b/g access point.  - Because clients can maintain higher datarates on 802.11n access points  than with the 802.11a/b/g access point, clients could hold onto that 802.11n access point, even when the user is standing under an a/b/g one.  Clients associating to an access point further away will degrade the performance of all uses on that access point and will suffer degradation as well.  The client could take longer to transmit and if there is any other access point in the path that shares the same channel as the one the client is on, that access point and those users will be degraded as well.  Performance Issue=Helpdesk Call=Bad

- Troubleshooting Client issues across access points is difficult.  Troubleshooting client issues across access points with differing capabilities is EVEN MORE difficult and is almost synonymous with changing the client environment during a roam.  It should be avoided at all costs.  

 

Please check out our Indoor 802.11n VRD here  http://www.arubanetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/Indoor80211n_2012-05-31.pdfto get all the information about how to plan a site  and what strategies you should keep in mind.

 

Real-World example #1 here:  http://community.arubanetworks.com/t5/802-11n-and-802-11ac-Basics-RF/Mixed-AP-model-enviroment/td-p/51054



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

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New Contributor

Re: Mixing 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n APs

I have a problem simililar within the same ap group I have provisioned ap  105 and 93.

the AP 105 are working without problem in a / b / g / n but the ap 93 does not iradian in a, and the leds indicators, the led a / n this off

Anyone know why this happens?

 

firmware Version 6.1.3.5

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