11-05-2014 08:15 AM
This is a general question regarding on-site testing of an existing infrastructure to assess its suitability for events. I work for a company who develop event apps for conferences and part of our service to clients is helping to assess a venues wireless infrastructure.
Bit of background
As the only one within our delivery team who has network experience I have spent the past few months furiously trying to get up to speed with the details of wireless networks to better understand what makes one better than another rather than using the 'gut feeling' approach.
The main thing for me was to get a spectrum analyzer (we now have a WiSpy DBx) so I use that to get an understanding of how a venue has set up their wireless infrastructure. Along with that I've been using iperf and Tamosoft's Throughput Test to see what throughput speeds I get through the WLAN.
With that in mind what do you guys use to assess what's already in place at a site? What looks good to you when carrying our surveys and what makes you worry?
I know this is a big question but any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
11-05-2014 09:18 AM
A packet capture tool, to see who are your top talkers, and how many retries are in the air as a percentage is important to understand what your wifi clients are doing and if there is any foreign traffic in your environment.
You are on the right track with the spectrum analyzer.
Aruba Customer Engineering
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11-05-2014 11:53 AM
What capture tool are you using? I've been muddling through with wireshark and a USB NIC in Mon mode and capturing radiotap headers. I'm still learning how to interpret the data. With the captures what would be an acceptable retry rate for you?
11-05-2014 01:25 PM
For packet capture tools you can look at:
* Omnipeek (check http://www.wildpackets.com/products/omnipeek_netwo
For spectrum analyzers you can look at:
* Fluke AirMagnet Spectrum XT
* Metageek WiSpy
For Site-survey tools you can look at:
* Fluke AirMagnet Surveyor
To asses an existing WiFi deployment I would look at:
* Signal & noise levels at relevant locations (using site-survey tool)
* Possible non-WiFi interference (using spectrum analyzer)
* AP density for planned use (can it support the number of clients?)
* AP locations (placement in hallways or in rooms etc). How much coverage in overlap is there? How will this impact performance?
** Channel distribution + channel widths
** SSID config (security, supported data-rates, number of SSID's, etc)
** VLAN's/IP space (enough DHCP leases to support application? Lease time etc, broadcast filtering yes/no?)
That are just some pointers... there's probably a lot more to more to look at :)
ACMX#255 | ACMP | ACCP | AWMP
11-24-2014 12:02 PM
If you aren't very familiar with taking packet captures Metageek EyePA could be a useful tool that will help visualize what is going on in an existing network. It can help quickly determine high retries, top talkers, etc.