Temporary set up - hardware recommendation

Unanswered Question
Sep 14th, 2007

I've been tasked with setting up a temporary wireless network for a conference. I've done this event in the past with various older 802.11b technologies, but the con keeps getting more people with wifi devices. Out of the 500 people in the venue, I'd estimate half might be using wifi at one time, as a peak.

What kind of hardware would one recommend for the following parameters?

- roaming from AP to AP

- no auth

- A firewall will be in place at the Internet end

- perhaps per client rate limiting (all clients get X except for one other group who get 2X or unlimited).

- low admin while running

I'm familiar with some of the Cisco 1200 series, but not too sure on the newer products that are out.

Recommendations on documents and hardware are welcome. Thanks

I have this problem too.
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ericgarnel Fri, 09/14/2007 - 08:16

How much space do you have to cover and are you planning for capacity or coverage?

Things to consider:

1)Ability to deploy APs, where & how many

2)Obstacles (walls,etc...) & rf interference

3) User expectations for wireless, bandwidth,etc.

We see several conferences throughout the year that utilize our wireless to various degrees.

For example, we will have a conf in March that we will see upwards of 800 users at a time. Granted, many users are packed into a small area so radio load becomes an issue at times. We will deploy extra APs to help compensate, but still, 2.4 GHz pose some challenges in that particular situation.

Another event may have 600+ users on wireless, but they are more spread out.

Also, we use traffic-shaping, policing and route-maps to control bandwidth. We push p2p, torrent & other bandwidth hogs into class-maps that police the traffic down, and https,http, etc into other class-maps that allow a certain percentage of traffic. We are currently using pfsense which is a fork of m0n0wall as a captive portal/traffic shaping solution. The wireless user sees an "acceptable usage" splash page and then clicks "accept" to continue. No auth required. We also just push browser based protocols thru the splash page servers, and all other traffic out firewalls - this allows people to setup vpn connections, etc without having to open a browser window 1st.

As far as hardware goes, if you can afford it, go with the Unified wireless solution (lwapp) It will make your deployment easier to manage by far.


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