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.:-\
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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