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802.11ax backward compatibility performance with mixed clients

Hello All!

 

I would like some help, because I cannot seem to find any detailed publication on 802.11ax regarding backward compatibility with mixed client capabilities. I found the publication saying that 802.11ax is compatible with older clients, and that Aruba OS groups the same capability clients to the appropriate AP using client match. But I haven't found anything regarding the scenario, where there is a 802.11ax AP and a 802.11ax client (hypothetically) connects, a 802.11ac client connects and just for the time a 802.11 b/g/n client connects. Will the 802.11ax client be able to leverage the ax capabilities, while the other two will have capabilities equal to the protocol they use, or will the whole infrastructure "dumb down" to the level of the slowest client?

 

Since lot of customers have mixed client devices, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Can a slower client bring down the performance of the 802.11ax infrastructure, or can the different standards coexist without bringing the other clients down?

 

Thanks in advance!

Daniel


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Re: 802.11ax backward compatibility performance with mixed clients

A less capable client will impact the network solely based on the amount of airtime it needs due to the slower speeds it is capable of. Each client will negotiate it's capabilities with the AP when it associates. Client capabilities can be mixed ... not all clients will support 802.11r, for instance, so some clients will utilize that while others don't. Not all clients will be support 3 spatial streams, etc. Clients don't need to be able to demodulate other clients' traffic, other mechanisms help with the collision avoidance component of CSMA-CA functionality. 

 

That said, while the 802.11n client from your example is accessing the medium, other clients will be affected because the 11n client will need more airtime to transmit a set of data when compared to the 802.11ax client sending the same amount of data. 


Charlie Clemmer
Aruba Customer Engineering

View solution in original post


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Highlighted

Re: 802.11ax backward compatibility performance with mixed clients

A less capable client will impact the network solely based on the amount of airtime it needs due to the slower speeds it is capable of. Each client will negotiate it's capabilities with the AP when it associates. Client capabilities can be mixed ... not all clients will support 802.11r, for instance, so some clients will utilize that while others don't. Not all clients will be support 3 spatial streams, etc. Clients don't need to be able to demodulate other clients' traffic, other mechanisms help with the collision avoidance component of CSMA-CA functionality. 

 

That said, while the 802.11n client from your example is accessing the medium, other clients will be affected because the 11n client will need more airtime to transmit a set of data when compared to the 802.11ax client sending the same amount of data. 


Charlie Clemmer
Aruba Customer Engineering

View solution in original post

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