Site Survey

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Dec 3rd, 2007
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Looking to pilot a Cisco solution. Looking at an actual site survey on one floor and predictive modeling on another. Is this recommended or is an actual site survey the only way to go?

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
Rob Huffman Mon, 12/03/2007 - 16:02
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Hi Robbie,

My vote would always be for the complete site survey. You never know what might be present on one floor that makes it far different from the next. Microwaves,Bluetooth,Wireless Phones, Construction Materials,ductwork, neighboring wifi etc. etc. you just never know. Your deployment will always be better if the complete site survey is done :)

Just my two cents!


rharrell Tue, 12/04/2007 - 03:30
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Has anyone used the predictive modeling with any success? I too agree that a site survey is the best method, but want to demonstrate the capabilities of the assisted site survey function. Is it even worth the time to pilot it, or is there too much tweaking involved?

reginald-pugh Tue, 12/04/2007 - 06:52
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Hi rharrell,

In my opinion predictive model works in certain scenarios. Namely, I use it as a quick BOM estimate of the number of WAPs will be needed for a customer if they provide good floor plans.

I use a combination of that and my Helium Networks: (low cost) SiteStumbler manual site survey software to verify the prediction and deployment coverage.

Predictive analysis does not account for numerous factors and the anomaly of attenuation interference/ multipath and other physical anomalies present in today's WLAN environments especially multi-story buildings.

Plus, the 3D effects of RF are not really that great with most of these models. RF is unpredictable and AutoRF will confuse you if you run into an environment that has this enabled when performing a manual survey.

Something also to consider, with the movement to 802.11n predictive modeling will have to be readjusted to accommodate the create reliability we expect to see.

I believe the manual site survey will become more and more relevant with this hybrid a/b/g/n environment.

Best of Success

ccbootcamp Tue, 12/04/2007 - 07:45
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Pilot a Cisco solution...for data? for voice? Makes a difference here. If you do a voice setup, and it's not done properly, you'll have a crappy situation where you can constantly drop calls when walking around. I suggest doing a site survey using Air Magnet's site survey tool - especially if you are doing multiple floors. It's a great app that looks can look at multiple floors together.


(please rate the post if this helps!)

rharrell Tue, 12/04/2007 - 08:03
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Data only, I should have clarified. Thanks for the input.

ccbootcamp Tue, 12/04/2007 - 08:10
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data only, you can get away with a lot more. I always recommend a site survey, but depending on what your trying to accomplish, for a pilot type sitation, you might not have to. it really depends on building size, material in the building, etc. if the client it too cheap to do the site survey, it might not be worth your time...because when it comes time to do the installation (if they do go with your solution), then they are going to have to do a site survey anyhow. But there are a lot of factors here that come into account - more than just physical coverage. You need to look at # of folks connecting to the access points as well. If you have an over abundance of people in an area, or a conference room where you expect a bunch of wireless users, etc, then you need to turn down the AP power, and put more of them in. rule of thumb I use is one AP for every 15-20 people, but it depends on the apps they are going to be running over wireless. for voice, I try to keep it to 10 ppl per AP.


(please rate the post if this helps!)

ciscolinesman Sun, 06/15/2008 - 17:40
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Even a data-only network needs a survey done by an experienced engineer and needs to be installed correctly. While a data-only network will seem to be ok, if the WLAN is not setup up properly it will operate very poorly, as little as only 10% of its true capacity.

reginald-pugh Tue, 12/04/2007 - 11:54
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I just checked out AirMagment Planner and noticed the different multi-floor scenarios. I haven't used it in a while.

5 points for that!

ccbootcamp Wed, 12/05/2007 - 20:35
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thanks reginald! a single floor site survey isnt too bad, but when you start adding multiple floors into the mix, things can get crazy!


(please rate the post if this helps!)


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