1200 AP Clients

Answered Question
Aug 9th, 2009
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How many clients can a 1200 support before there is a performance loss?

Correct Answer by Lucien Avramov about 7 years 9 months ago

The theoretical maximum is 2048. As part of 802.11, however, some number of

these 2k addresses are reserved bringing the IEEE maximum down to 2007.

Although the AP motherboard has memory capable of handling 2007 users, the

radio utilized in our 1200 Series AP has memory limitations which hold the

maximum number of client associations to 255.


The number of 255 is active associations, though the cam table can

contain 2048 entries because of the memory size, the number restricted

for actual active association is 255.This number is still far too large for sensible

networking but what is possible. Remember that WLAN is shared media, all users have to try

to get access to the media by waiting until it is free and then sending a request to

reserve the media for the duration of the frame size that they want to

send. If the air is busy then you have to wait a random time and start

again. So if you have too many users waiting they can end up waiting a

very long time - sort of traffic jam effect at a congested junction, one

more car and the traffic seems n times worse.I dont know as to how the number 255 was

arrived at but it is largely irrelevant as 255 is still too large to be practical for

active associations, we recommend 25-30 for most design work.

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Correct Answer
Lucien Avramov Sun, 08/09/2009 - 15:54
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The theoretical maximum is 2048. As part of 802.11, however, some number of

these 2k addresses are reserved bringing the IEEE maximum down to 2007.

Although the AP motherboard has memory capable of handling 2007 users, the

radio utilized in our 1200 Series AP has memory limitations which hold the

maximum number of client associations to 255.


The number of 255 is active associations, though the cam table can

contain 2048 entries because of the memory size, the number restricted

for actual active association is 255.This number is still far too large for sensible

networking but what is possible. Remember that WLAN is shared media, all users have to try

to get access to the media by waiting until it is free and then sending a request to

reserve the media for the duration of the frame size that they want to

send. If the air is busy then you have to wait a random time and start

again. So if you have too many users waiting they can end up waiting a

very long time - sort of traffic jam effect at a congested junction, one

more car and the traffic seems n times worse.I dont know as to how the number 255 was

arrived at but it is largely irrelevant as 255 is still too large to be practical for

active associations, we recommend 25-30 for most design work.

Please keep in mind that as all clients share bandwidth you should start from determining the number of simultaneous clients connected. If you have roughly 20 megabit/s of throughput at the physical rate of 54 and have 10 clients at a time you will have 2 megabit/s for each client. So it depends on what you call a performance loss.

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