Client capacity per AP

Answered Question
Nov 24th, 2009

Any one know how many clients each Cisco AP model can handle simotaniously before the AP starts having issues?  I know the 1230's could only handle about 12 clients, maybe 15.  How about 1240's, 1250's, 1130's and the new 1140's?

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Correct Answer by jeff.kish about 7 years 1 week ago

Cisco still recommends no more than 25 clients per AP, even with the 1140s, but that number can be surpassed pretty easily without problems.  I try to keep my designs below 30 clients.  It's never a problem with CPU or memory for the Cisco APs, just bandwidth sharing and wireless overhead.

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Correct Answer
jeff.kish Tue, 11/24/2009 - 14:00

Cisco still recommends no more than 25 clients per AP, even with the 1140s, but that number can be surpassed pretty easily without problems.  I try to keep my designs below 30 clients.  It's never a problem with CPU or memory for the Cisco APs, just bandwidth sharing and wireless overhead.

Craig Norborg Tue, 11/24/2009 - 14:12

Alot of it depends on what type of clients you have and what they are doing.  The 1230's have a single 802.11b/g radio and I've seen over 30 clients without problems, however - those clients were Symbol scanners that only had a telnet session open running WEP encryption.  If your going to have laptop/desktop clients running a stronger encryption I would think it would be much less...

The next generation of AP's, such as the 1242 and 1132, many have dual radios (802.11b/g and 802.11a) in which case if you have a mixture of clients you can see probably 20+ clients on each radio without that much problem.  At least assuming you aren't overloading the 100Mb link back to the switch which is unlikely.  There are versions of these AP's that only have one radio though, so be cautious.  Also, if your environment is only using G or A radios, having both won't do you any good.

The latest generation of AP's running 802.11n you start running into other problems.  I'd suspect that you can get the same # of clients on them, but at up to 300Mb per client, you can oversubscribe a 100Mb uplink with a single client and unless you have a gigabit uplinks from the AP to the edge switches and 10Gb further up, you can run into a whole new set of problems.

In almost all cases I'd say you'll get the best ability to monitor the AP's and see which ones are getting overloaded by going with a Unified Wireless infrastructure (ie: using controllers / WCS).  This will also allow you to aggressively load-balance APs that are near eachother if desired to get better use of neighboring APs...

Scott Fella Sun, 11/29/2009 - 09:31

jlhainy,

All the previous post are good info to follow.  Just remember that different applications require more or less bandwidth.  Like what the other forum menbers have posted, I have seen over 30 plus users on a single radio and also have only had 3 users per radio due to the application being used.  So unless there is high bandwidth transfers, I think you would be safe with the recommendations the others have mentioned.

Scott

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