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ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

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  • 1.  ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Jul 23, 2021 12:00 PM
    I'm in the process of fine tuning a system following a recent upgrade to AOS 8.6 from 6.4 using the AOS 8 migration tool.

    I want to enable  ARM mode-aware to support a dense deployment consisting of AP205, AP305 and AP303H. This way the system will automatically move APs <==> AMs when there is too much overlapping interference, or when holes in RF appear. 

    In AOS 6.4 there was a check box in the rf-profile. How do I enable in AOS 8?

    Also prior to the upgrade I had a number of points that I had overridden from the AP Group profile to be AMs. I can't find a way from within the GUI or CLI to convert the AMs back to APs. I can view the AMs via the cli #show ap active details. Any pointers to documentation to reconvert the AMs to APs will be appreciated.

    Best


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    Racingyacht
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  • 2.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Jul 23, 2021 12:09 PM
    Mode aware does not exist in ArubaOS 8.x. unfortunately.

    The only two ways an AP can be an AM is if (1) The ap-group it is in has a radio/ARM profile that sets it to an AM or (2) There is an ap-specific configuration that attaches a radio/ARM profile configured as an AM.  For the second situation, ap-specific configurations can only be configured on the commandline in ArubaOS 8.x.  To remove an ap-specific config:

    config t
    no ap-name <name of ap>



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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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  • 3.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Jul 23, 2021 12:39 PM
    Hi cJoseph, 

    Thank you for the quick response. That is bad news on the mode-aware front. Is there a replacement solution to support dense deployments?
    I have been looking at the documentation for spectrum hybrid mode, but it doesn't look like it will do the same as mode-aware. There  appears to be limitation with using AP300s and AP303H as spectrum monitors. And a limitation on the  number of devices that can work in hybrid mode.

    Best

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    Racingyacht
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  • 4.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Jul 23, 2021 05:14 PM
    I would say that Mode aware was not predictable enough.  To modify its behavior you would have to also change the ARM coverage index, which would also change coverage patterns, so it was not perfect.  Airmatch lays out channels in a way that least interfere with each other.  This works best with 20 mhz.  You could also turn the 2.4ghz to minimum power, if you have enough coverage.  Since most clients these days prefer the 5ghz, you would have a minimum of devices on 2.4ghz, and that number should shrink over time.


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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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  • 5.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Jul 23, 2021 05:59 PM

    I am running 20 Mhz channels, and the 2.4Ghz radio is set to EIRP of 6-12 dbm. I will observe airmatch to see how well it does the job.

    Thanks for the advice.
    Have a great weekend!

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    Racingyacht
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  • 6.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Jul 24, 2021 09:14 AM
    2.4ghz only has 3 non-overlapping channels and propagates more widely than the 5ghz band.  With proper 5ghz AP density, you will have much more coverage on the 2.4ghz band than you need.  The general objective is to move as many clients that are capable to the 5ghz band, so that the 2.4ghz band has as few clients as possible, so that overcoverage on 2.4 is not an issue.  It is too hard administratively or automatically to turn on and off APs in response to a dynamic environment.

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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: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Jul 24, 2021 12:40 PM
    Thanks. 
    I will review reducing the EIRP rate for 2.4GHz even further. There was an old recommendation to reduce to a range of 6-12 dbm, hence why I hadn't gone below this level. 

    5GHz coverage is good.

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    Racingyacht
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  • 8.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8
    Best Answer

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Jul 24, 2021 05:36 PM
    Note: Some APs, cannot go as low as 3 or even 6 due to their internal antennas, so you will see some go as low 7 and not below that.  The overarching goal is to ensure (1) you have enough coverage in 2.4ghz (2) the 2.4ghz band is usable for the few clients you expect to remain in 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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  • 9.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Jul 25, 2021 09:39 AM
    Many thanks

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    Racingyacht
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  • 10.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Nov 11, 2021 06:21 PM

    I too am encountering the same discouraging conclusion while migrating from 6.5.x to 8.5.x (eventually 8.6.x).

    Our use case(es) involve dense deployments in residence halls (one AP in every room), large auditoriums, and lecture halls or classrooms with more than 3 AP.  I found out about the inability of APs to be able to transmit @ low levels (3 dBm) during one of these residence hall deployments in 6.5.x.  Eventually, I ended up putting a lot of AP in a radios-off group.  Those that remained up, had Mode Aware enabled in 2.4 GHz. 


    The fact that ARM / AirMatch has never been able to self-heal / optimally configure the RF is unfortunate.

    I'm guessing the way through is to statically configure 2.4 GHz so that there is ample coverage, and no more.  I would have thought that with the extra compute available in 8.x & AirMatch role to lessen channel changes to a scheduled interval, that Mode Aware in 2.4 could have been something.

    :-\


    -Raf





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    RafaelHinojosa
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  • 11.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Nov 11, 2021 08:30 PM
    ARM Mode aware was unpredictable and it took awhile to actually self-heal.  To influence ARM mode aware, you also had to change coverage parameters and that would end up affecting your coverage, as well as mode-aware.  It had a lot of room for improvement in 6.x.

    These days, many clients have moved over to 5ghz, so that is how and where very dense deployments are deployed.  All the clients that do not support 5ghz are forced to use a cleaner 2.4ghz network with less clients.

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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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  • 12.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    Posted Nov 11, 2021 09:02 PM

    No doubt that it had a lot of room for improvement - it never really self-healed, period; however, (in my experience) it did allow for dedicating a little less work in planning 2.4 - or at the very least could be an assist in planning a static 2.4 environment.

    That is what is really baffling to me.  AirMatch lessens the extent of channel & power changes to help normalize (improve) the RF.  Why can't it continue to do so with 2.4 & take into account it's greater reach & the ability to take advantage of Mode Aware.


    Although many clients do support 5 GHz, the large majority of so-called SmartTVs and IoT devices (those seen in collegiate residential environments), still rely on 2.4.

    A static config in dense deployments in academic halls, & the ilk, makes sense (FIFO, & a really dense makeup of mostly 5GHz capable clients); however, when you apply it to a dense residential setting - where 2.4 only devices are more prevalent, having to manually overlay a static 2.4 network can become a real PITA.

    Because I can't really rely on Mode Aware anymore, I'll have to re-assess static 2.4 configs & many more AP-groups in dense buildings. This migration is already a year on going & that was all just to get to grips with the new clustering & configs - I'm only now getting to migrating AP-groups & RF Configs - and as you can tell from the other post you've responded to (we,ve decided to start out which our more complex RF environments), I'm running into all kinds of surprises.

    Furthermore, & I've asked my Aruba team, I'm beginning to realize that we're probably the only ones doing such crazy out there configs (I've always said that higher Ed is the Wild West of Wi-Fi).

    Thanks,

    -Raf



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    RafaelHinojosa
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  • 13.  RE: ARM mode-aware on AOS 8

    EMPLOYEE
    Posted Nov 12, 2021 12:01 PM
    Please work with your Aruba team closely, because they would know much more about your environment.  I can only talk about things in general about what you mentioned.  The majority of our high density environments are in higher education, so everyone is dealing with the same issues as you, unless you have specific issues.

    The role of Airmatch is to ensure that as few as possible access points are on the same channel and can see each other.  That role would be very limited in the 2.4ghz band, especially when you need high density.

    Things can still be done like:
    - broadcasting on the 2.4ghz band at the lowest power necessary to provide coverage
    - broadcasting specific networks in the 5ghz band only to reduce utilization on the 2.4ghz band
    - removing lower transmit rates from any 2.4ghz SSID to reduce channel utilization
    - Ensuring that "broadcast filter all" or "Drop Broadcasts and unknown multicast" is enabled on all SSIDs
    - Reducing the number of SSIDs to the minimum to reduce RF utilization overall.

    There is much to be learned from your colleagues in higher education, even though their deployments do not match yours exactly.

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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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