Wireless Access

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Access network design for branch, remote, outdoor and campus locations with Aruba access points, and mobility controllers.
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outdoor AP vs hardened AP

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  • 1.  outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 09, 2021 03:14 PM
    I'm wondering if there's a preference or best practice for using an outdoor-rated AP (e.g. AP-367) versus a "hardened AP" (e.g. AP-318 or AP-518) for an outside courtyard. The Courtyard is about 85' diameter and surrounded by glass. There are indoor APs all around but the glass is apparently LEED certified and outside bleed "isn't very good".

    The AP will be mounted outside. Assuming the hardened AP is placed inside an enclosure is there an advantage to using either?

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    Michael Dickson
    Network Engineer
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • 2.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 09, 2021 03:49 PM
    Under normal circumstances the AP-367 would be fine. The AP-318 for instance would be for locations like ocean front where saltwater spray, areas with high amounts of dust, etc...

    See below for the explanations of IP ratings for environmental exposure:

    AP-367
    A product with an IP55 rating is protected against quantity of dust that could interfere with the normal operation of the product but is not fully dust tight. The product is completely protected against solid objects. It is also protected against water jets projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) from any angle.

    AP-318
    A product with an IP67 rating is fully dust tight and is completely protected against solid objects. It is also protected against water immersion at a depth between 15 cm and 1 meter for maximum 30 minutes.

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    Dustin Burns
    Senior Mobility and Access Engineer @WEI

    ACCX 1271| ACMX 509| ACSP | ACDA | MVP Guru 2021
    If my post was useful accept solution and/or give kudos
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 09, 2021 10:16 PM
    Dustin,
    It appears you reversed AP model numbers. AP-36x is IP67, AP-318 is IP55.

    If the deployment is outdoor, there are rarely good arguments to use a hardened AP model + antennas in a box.

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    Onno Harms
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  • 4.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 10, 2021 02:58 AM
    As I rule-of-thumb, I take:
    - If it is outdoor, in full sun, full rain => Outdoor AP (and where possible take the APs with built-in antenna)
    - If it is indoor, or semi-outdoor like under a roof, so not in full rain, you can also use the AP-318, specifically if you have specific antenna requirements. Example in ware-houses, freezing-cells. In general, you can use Outdoor APs as well in these situations with built-in antennae.
    - Use external antennae only where you must, use APs with built-in antenna wherever you can. AP with a built-in antenna is much easier to mount and there are no coax cables that can bend/break/get loose. Also, a single unit may look better than two boxes (AP, Antenna) with cables in between.

    ------------------------------
    Herman Robers
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    If you have urgent issues, always contact your Aruba partner, distributor, or Aruba TAC Support. Check https://www.arubanetworks.com/support-services/contact-support/ for how to contact Aruba TAC. Any opinions expressed here are solely my own and not necessarily that of Hewlett Packard Enterprise or Aruba Networks.

    In case your problem is solved, please invest the time to post a follow-up with the information on how you solved it. Others can benefit from that.
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  • 5.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 12, 2021 09:00 AM
    My original post is accurate according to the datasheets.

    ------------------------------
    Dustin Burns
    Senior Mobility and Access Engineer @WEI

    ACCX 1271| ACMX 509| ACSP | ACDA | MVP Guru 2021
    If my post was useful accept solution and/or give kudos
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 12, 2021 09:03 AM
    @Dustin-Burns Please point links to the datasheet you observed so we can get it corrected, if necessary.​

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    Any opinions expressed here are solely my own and not necessarily that of Hewlett Packard Enterprise or Aruba Networks.
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  • 7.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 12, 2021 09:57 AM
    I'm sorry guys. You are correct. I did flip-flop those IP ratings......

    ------------------------------
    Dustin Burns
    Senior Mobility and Access Engineer @WEI

    ACCX 1271| ACMX 509| ACSP | ACDA | MVP Guru 2021
    If my post was useful accept solution and/or give kudos
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: outdoor AP vs hardened AP

    Posted Jul 12, 2021 09:37 AM
    Thanks all. It sounds like the outdoor AP-367 is the way to go for this courtyard. I know pulling multiple coax antenna cables through the wall is not fun. And the AP-367 would be a little more aesthetic.

    I had a concern that an outdoor rated AP had higher gain and might pull inside endpoint out to it. We deployed a few AP-275 beehives to exteriors on older buildings and I recallconcern about indoor endpoints connecting. Maybe this is unfounded with LEED windows..?

    I do seem to recall the description for the model AP-228 was similar to what Dustin listed for the AP-367 - that the hardened AP is "not fully dust tight" - so perhaps the datasheets could use a vetting.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Dickson
    Network Engineer
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
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