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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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Documentation of how to match AP model to use case?

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  • 1.  Documentation of how to match AP model to use case?

    Posted Nov 17, 2021 11:34 AM
    I face the usual motley collection of kinds of spaces that I need to supply wireless to. Is there some documentation that describes the different AP models, and what environment each is best suited for? When you look at the end-of-life matrix for APs (End of life | Aruba (arubanetworks.com) and filter by "Access Points") it lays out how the families of access points are related to each other, and the generations evolve over time. That document maps out that, for example,

    What I'm looking for is a document that tells me where I should use a hospitality vs ceiling mounted, and within the ceiling-mounted APs, which ones are small rooms vs big rooms vs giant rooms, which ones are for a packed room vs sparsely-populated room -- all of those design considerations.

    I have a campus deployment that consists of AP-105s, AP-135s, AP-225s, AP-215s, AP-103Hs, AP-205Hs, and an AP-275, and all of these need to be replaced.

    I have spaces in modern (flimsy) drywall construction where signal bleeds widely, and spaces in 100+-year-old buildings which have 8-inch-thick masonry interior walls where every individual room is a radio-isolated bunker.

    I have some spare APs in my cabinet, and I have some spaces that need coverage -- of the spaces that I have and the APs that I have on hand, I need to understand what is the right AP to put in which kind of space.

    I need to understand where I have an older device that is well-suited to its spot and it needs to be replaced with the newer generation of the same series, versus the space where the device isn't well-matched and the replacement should be from a different series.

    I'm sure that someone has laid this all out somewhere, right?

    Cathy Fasano

  • 2.  RE: Documentation of how to match AP model to use case?

    Posted Nov 17, 2021 12:08 PM
    Design really comes down to a couple things. The RF environment, and the Density of the devices. What worked for you when you had originally deployed the wireless network, might not work for you going forward. Users are carrying more devices, and some of those devices demand more throughput than they used to.

    RF Environment:
    As you said, there is a mix of building materials you will need to deal with that will effect the attenuation of your APs signal. You may want to look into having a proper on site survey performed to better plan for your coverage requirements. The ceiling type APs are downtilt-omnidirectional, which means they will cover below and outward. They will also broadcast behind the AP, but they are designed more for the areas in front and to the sides. The Hospitality APs have more of an omni-directional pattern on the 2.4 Ghz, and more directional on the 5Ghz (more outwards from the face of the AP)

    Density of devices:
    You will want to plan for the proper balance of clients per AP and channel re-use in your spaces. Adding more APs to an area can help with the device density, but may lead to more overlap causing co-channel interference. You never want to just add more APs just to wing it. Understand the differences in the APs by using the aruba website and use the compare tool (example: https://www.arubanetworks.com/products/wireless/access-points/compare/#132904,150581,150598 ) The differences are more in the capability and resources on the AP, rather than the coverage cell that they can provide. Depending on the use of the network, you may only want a couple dozen devices on each AP radio for devices like Wireless VoIP/Video, or follow the "Practical maximum client count indication" as advertised on the website for more transactional (e-mail, web, etc..).

    Dustin Burns
    Lead Mobility Engineer @WEI

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

  • 3.  RE: Documentation of how to match AP model to use case?

    Posted Nov 18, 2021 01:24 PM
    I would recommend you to take the ACDA Study Guide. You have a lot of good things there not just related to proper AP selection, but as well wired, Clearpass and more. Also try Aruba VRD (Valid Reference Design) Documents, those are very helpful, depending on use-cases as mentioned from Cathy Fasano.