Question about Wireless Design and Controller

Answered Question
Dec 14th, 2009
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Hi Everyone,


Although I am not new to Cisco, I have somewhat limited experience with Wireless in general.  I was hoping to get your help with the following:


We currently have a total of 8 1130AG, 4 on each floor.  They were configured a few years ago, and now we are looking to update the design a bit.  Each AP has its own SSID, and just provide internet access.  Looking at the configuration, I noticed that they are not configured to use proper channels, just random channels (9, 10, 11, instead of 1, 6, 11, etc.).  I noticed that when I roam between one AP to another, I lose about 4-8 pings before I re-establish connectivity again.


Here are my questions:


1.  Do I need a controller in order to use just one SSID for the whole setup instead of the 8 seprate ones we currently have?


2.  Will the controller helps in providing seamless transition when a client roams between AP's?


3.  Is it normal to loose connectivity roaming around?


4.  Can I reconfigure the current setup to use just one SSID and provide better transition between AP without the use of a controller?


5.  Which controller would you recommend?


We don't have a need to anything fancy ,I am aware that I can enable multiple SSID, VLAN's, etc.  Just trying to keep it as simple as possible, yet reliable.


Your input is appreciate.


Thanks

Correct Answer by Leo Laohoo about 7 years 6 months ago

1.  With 8 AP's only, a WLC would be nice-to-have but not necessary. You can configure WLSE and it will do some limited functions.


2.  This depends on the signal strengths, wireless coverage and configuration.  If you enable WLSE, for instance, and you have no wireless black spots, then roaming should be no issues.


3.  See #2.


4.  You can configure multiple SSID (up to 16 are broadcasted) but if one AP doesn't have the SSID you use for roaming, the association will drop when the client tries to join that particular AP.  It's like mobile phone towers.  If your carrier is not in the area, you sure won't be able to use your mobile phone in that area.


5.  For 8 1130 APs, I'd recommend the smallest of the lot:  2106 with either 6, 12 or 25 AP licenses.  I'd recommend you the 25 AP licenses.  If your finances allow you something bigger, then consider either the 4402 (25 AP licenses) or the 5508.


Cisco 2100 Series Wireless LAN Controllers
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps7206/ps7221/product_data_sheet0900aecd805aaab9.html


Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps6307/product_data_sheet0900aecd802570b0_ps6366_Products_Data_Sheet.html


Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers Data Sheet
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps10315/data_sheet_c78-521631.html

Correct Answer by Elie Sbat about 7 years 6 months ago

Do I need a controller in order to use just one SSID for the whole setup instead of the 8 seprate ones we currently have?


yes a controllers will solve the problem. any case of the autonomous ap try to use the feature "broadcast single SSID guest".


2.  Will the controller helps in providing seamless transition when a client roams between AP's?

   It will solve the problem, but it depends on the type of config going for AP grouping? layer 2 roaming? layer 3 roaming? etc.



3.  Is it normal to loose connectivity roaming around?



no, you should even in autonomous ap, check for channels overlap



4.  Can I reconfigure the current setup to use just one SSID and provide better transition between AP without the use of a controller?

This can be a solution



5.  Which controller would you recommend?

It depends what is ur need and how many access point you have? 4400 and WiSM are the most currently used.

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Correct Answer
Elie Sbat Mon, 12/14/2009 - 09:40
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Do I need a controller in order to use just one SSID for the whole setup instead of the 8 seprate ones we currently have?


yes a controllers will solve the problem. any case of the autonomous ap try to use the feature "broadcast single SSID guest".


2.  Will the controller helps in providing seamless transition when a client roams between AP's?

   It will solve the problem, but it depends on the type of config going for AP grouping? layer 2 roaming? layer 3 roaming? etc.



3.  Is it normal to loose connectivity roaming around?



no, you should even in autonomous ap, check for channels overlap



4.  Can I reconfigure the current setup to use just one SSID and provide better transition between AP without the use of a controller?

This can be a solution



5.  Which controller would you recommend?

It depends what is ur need and how many access point you have? 4400 and WiSM are the most currently used.

msv Mon, 12/14/2009 - 10:20
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Thanks for your reply.  I am just using One layer-3 for this whole setup.  Just internet access with no access to the inside of the Network.


Will something like the WLC2112 do the job?  It seems like it supports up to 12 AP's.  I am assuming one of them would do the job?


Thanks

msv Wed, 12/16/2009 - 11:08
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Any others?  Hoping to get more feedback.


Thanks

Correct Answer
Leo Laohoo Wed, 12/16/2009 - 13:47
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1.  With 8 AP's only, a WLC would be nice-to-have but not necessary. You can configure WLSE and it will do some limited functions.


2.  This depends on the signal strengths, wireless coverage and configuration.  If you enable WLSE, for instance, and you have no wireless black spots, then roaming should be no issues.


3.  See #2.


4.  You can configure multiple SSID (up to 16 are broadcasted) but if one AP doesn't have the SSID you use for roaming, the association will drop when the client tries to join that particular AP.  It's like mobile phone towers.  If your carrier is not in the area, you sure won't be able to use your mobile phone in that area.


5.  For 8 1130 APs, I'd recommend the smallest of the lot:  2106 with either 6, 12 or 25 AP licenses.  I'd recommend you the 25 AP licenses.  If your finances allow you something bigger, then consider either the 4402 (25 AP licenses) or the 5508.


Cisco 2100 Series Wireless LAN Controllers
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps7206/ps7221/product_data_sheet0900aecd805aaab9.html


Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps6307/product_data_sheet0900aecd802570b0_ps6366_Products_Data_Sheet.html


Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers Data Sheet
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps10315/data_sheet_c78-521631.html

msv Wed, 12/16/2009 - 19:53
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Thank you, Very informative!


I am not sure if I understood you correctly, our current setup is using one SSID for each AP, a total of 8.  So we have a total of 8 different SSID even though all the AP's are on the same subnet.


My goal is just to use one SSID across all 8 AP's.  It looks like I will end up getting a controller, but is it possible to just use one SSID name on all 8 AP's without a controller?

Leo Laohoo Wed, 12/16/2009 - 21:03
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You can configure the same SSID to all the 8 APs without any issues.


Configuring the WLSE

https://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/wlse/2.11/1030/installation/guide/1030cfg.html

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