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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New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

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  • 1.  New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hello Everyone!

    I recently setup a new network with about 10 APs for about 120 Users. It's been about 2 weeks and I've noticed the network has been having constant issues despite what settings I try to implement. Here's a few things I've noticed:


    Here's the distribution of my APs and their associated powers at peak times. Here it seemed that most users were sticking to the 2.4GHz frequency instead of moving to 5GHz if they could. I tried to solve this by messing with the band-steering and forcing 5GHz instead of Prefer or Automatic, but none of these helped fix this. The power could be another issue if anyone has any suggestions on how to isolate and find a good range for that.

    Another thing I saw that was new to me since using the Aruba System was the high retries in the frames graph.  

    I watched this graph closely over the past few days and found a correlation I was hoping someone could elaborate on. Retires out exceed 50% of the Out frames, the user will start to experience a noticeable amount of latency and lag on their system and when the Retries out exceeds 100% or close to, the user will either disconnect from the internet or the internet will be unusable for that time. I assumed that this was because of a lack of bandwidth being provided by the APs but couldn't find a solid fix to this either. 

    What's really bothering me is the inconsistency of the network. Most times it's like the following pictures and users are unable to do anything, but on rare occasions, the internet will act as it should and no users experience any packet loss or drops even with the high utilizations factors. If anyone has any suggestions or potential fixes that I've missed, please let me know.

    If you need any other screenshots of settings, graphs, etc... just let me know.

    Thank You!

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 2.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 23 days ago
    Looks like all of the 2.4 radios are on channel 11. Do you only have channel 11 set as an option in your RF/ARM profiles? Are they hard set to 11? If so why?

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    Dustin Burns
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  • 3.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 22 days ago
    The RF/ARM has a custom range of Radio of 9-15  for the 2.4 GHz and an ARM at 18-24, but the individual APs have adaptive radio management setting assigned so it automatically decided to jump to Channel 11 at 9 dB.

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 4.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 22 days ago
    Are you saying that you manually set them to channel 11 with a power of 9? If so, why?

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    Dustin Burns
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  • 5.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 22 days ago
    I believe those were set automatically by the AP itself.

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 6.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 21 days ago
    In your regulatory domain, make sure you have channels 1, 6, and 11 selected.  No other channels below 12 should be selected besides those 3, for now.

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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: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 21 days ago
    Can you share the radio settings? It is very uncommon that all APs select channel 11, unless there is a terrible source of interference (or very busy other networks) in your environment. Do you have many neighboring networks?

    If your radio ARM radio selection is set to channel 1, 6 ,11 and RF power 9-15 dBm, and this is the result, I would really recommend to first check with your Aruba partner or TAC Support and if there is nothing wrong with the configuration someone with the equipment to do an RF scan.

    Also, if 5 GHz capable devices are taking such a busy 2.4 GHz network there is something wrong with the configuration or you have a really hard RF environment with lots of interference.

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    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.
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  • 8.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 21 days ago

    Alright, so I see the Valid 2.4 GHz Channels set to 11 and I just added 1 and 6 to it... not sure why it was only set to 11, must have been a previous admin. So now its:
    Valid 2.4 GHz Channels: 1, 6, 11.

    As for the neighboring networks, there's only one other network but they don't have as many APs or network traffic going through this part of their network. 

    I'll do a restart of the network tonight so that the APs get a chance to switch to their desired channels and powers and send the results!

    Thanks!

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 9.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 20 days ago
    Alright, here's the updated channels, powers, and utlizations %s.

    Things seemed to have move, which is good, but there still a packet loss issue.

    Looking at this: 

    Speeds looks decent but the signal strength for majority of devices is really devastating and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume that's an issue with the power (dB) I would mess around with.

    Another things is the # of clients each AP has to it:

    I believe there is a setting in the RF to allowed the APs to mange clients equally, but I can't seem to remember where I would find it. 

    Essentially, the channels have changed and the 5GHz channel seems to be getting more utilization but the issue of packet loss and lag still exist. Still open to all solutions. Thank you thus far though!

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 10.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hi,

    Enable ClientMatch, it will help to balance the clients more equally among the APs.

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    Julian Ortiz
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  • 11.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 19 days ago

    I've had ClientMatch enabled from Day 1 and those are the settings associated with it, but as you can see, the distribution is still not optimal nor ideal. Maybe a change in the client match could make something happen?

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 12.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 18 days ago
    Don't change the client match settings.  It is more important to have your RF setup right.  Client Match can only do so much after.  Wifi traffic is bursty, so moving clients around so that their numbers match does not match the reality that you don't know what clients will send how much traffic.

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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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  • 13.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 20 days ago
    For the 5ghz, make the arm minimum 12, and the maximum 18.

    On all of your SSIDs, make sure "broadcast filter" is set to arp

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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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  • 14.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 19 days ago
    The SSIDs were already set to ARP.

    As for your first suggestion, I assume you meant this section:


    In the ARM tab, there isn't a specific option to change just the 5 GHz option and it applys to the entire Access Point Controller. If that's what you mean, I'll give that a shot.

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 15.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 19 days ago
    Yes, in the radio tab there.

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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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  • 16.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 18 days ago
    Right, don't change the ClientMatch settings. First of all you should have a good RF scenario, everything begins with proper APs placements, transmit power, and channels. With the last transmit power changes your setup should have improved, please share a screenshot with the APs powers, and with clients/APs. Also I assume you have placed your APs properly, the unbalance of clients can also be due to this.

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    Julian Ortiz
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  • 17.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 18 days ago
    Alright,

    This screenshot is about 2 PM on a weekend, so not at peak times nor at peak load, but it seems better than the common trends we have, so progress seems to be made. Some have said they seems online improvement through games and such, but still, there is an issue when some has losses.

    As for the 2.4 GHz, things have changes, the 5GHz was set to a manual power and channel setup since the first post, would it be better to make it automatic and see where that takes the network?

    And for the placement, due to building circumstances, the APs weren't placed in ideal spots, but my idea to counteract that was to set up power changes so that one AP gets one area and the next can get double, but the network always seemed to have a foundational issue of the RF, which everyone here has improved significantly. 

    Essentially, should I give the 5Ghz the automatic treatment like the 2.4  GHz and see if anything improves? And if the clients don't switch due to placements, would I have to settle for manual power setups?

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 18.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 17 days ago
    The 5ghz still has some APs at transmit power 24 and 20, which produces "sticky" clients,  uneven coverage and poor performance.  The 5ghz should be between a range of 12 and 18 and set to automatic so you do not have to set it manually.

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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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  • 19.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 17 days ago
    As Collin has said, set the 5 GHz band to 12-18 dBm and  automatic channels, and give the network some hours to auto adjust. APs with high transmit power has many negative effects. Share the results and see if most of the clients (dual band I hope ) are on the 5 GHz band.

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    Regards,
    Julian
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  • 20.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 16 days ago

    Last night I made changed all the APs to automatic and then did a full reboot and installed a firmware update that it was requesting. These are the results from the afternoon. 

    Here's a big thing I found after looking around. With the South 5 AP, there was 9 devices, 8 of those are connected the the 5 GHz band and only 1 is connected the 2.4 GHz yet the utilization is so? The one device is apparently an Xbox One, but I still don't think 80% should be dedicated to this one device. Any ideas?

    As for the clients on East 3 and East 4, I'm gonna look more into that and how many people in the areas of those APs are actually using it or if its just an uncommon area. The distribution otherwise seems alright so that's good news.

    Also, the power for the 5GHz all were automatically set to the max which was 18. Don't know if I should increase the max and give it more of a range to choose from, but something to note. 

    Other than the odd utilization numbers, I'm gonna check to see how overall connection has been doing and get back here with that information!

    Thanks.

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 21.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi,

    About

    Also, the power for the 5GHz all were automatically set to the max which was 18. Don't know if I should increase the max and give it more of a range to choose from, but something to note.

    I wouldn't increase the max, as said before, high transmit power has negative effects. I see 18 dBm enough power. In fact, theory says the range of transmit power within a band should be 3 dB, and the transmit power of the 5 GHz band should be around 6 dB higher than the 2.4 GHz band.

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    Regards,
    Julian
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  • 22.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hey!

    Right, about the 18db, I've just never been used to/seen a network where the power for the 5GHz band were all set to max, probably my lack of experience, but if you say there's nothing to worry about there, I trust it.

    As for the performance. I let the network sit for a week and let the users try it out to see how everyone was doing, and it's still fairly poor when it comes to people attempting to play online games and stream classes. Some people say its very unstable so on one night it'll be fairly stable with only small spikes in ping and other nights they'll have a constant ping of 150+. For streaming classes, its a similar issue. 

    I couldn't find a reason why it would vary so much and I've monitored the portal for the past week and haven't seen anything as bad as before. All numbers were in a good range and individual device speeds were good. Signal strength overall was bad, but I believe we addressed that earlier in the post. 

    Is there some other tools I could use to monitor the situation and maybe come to a better conclusion?

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    Fardeen Bhimani
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  • 23.  RE: New Setup w/ Packet Loss, High Utilizations and High Retires

    Posted 16 days ago
    There will always be more utilization on the 2.4ghz  because more devices use that spectrum range (not just wifi devices).  It is also possible that the utilization is just transient and will go down...

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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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