Excessive clients on an AP

Unanswered Question
Jun 24th, 2010


We have a situation and I am seeking some recommendations.

We are a manufacturing facility. We are preparing to use computers on our production floor. These computers will be mounted on portable stands that will roll around. The plan is for the computers to have wireless nics in them to run the application. There will also be a printer and a scale that would be directly connected to the computer via a serial and/or parrallel ports. However, we have recently found that the printer and scales would need to be directly connected to the network. This would essentially triple the number of wireless clients on the LAN, even thought it wouldn't necessarily increase the bandwidth.

We are currently using 802.11G & 1240 access points.

So, I am concerned that having the additional wireless clients on the network would harm performance. Even thought there isn't alot of data being passed, it would create additional contention on the WLAN. There would be 3 times as many computers creating arp requests, other broadcasts, etc. Is this a concern? It could be the difference between 5-10 workstations on a AP and 15-30 devices on a AP.

Additionally, I am concerned that the devices that we would attach to the Printers and Scales wouldn't have the intelligence to support future security initiatives. Right now we just use WPA2, but I think we should be looking for something more secure in the future.

What other options would I have?

I am thinking that I could put bridge (with diopole antenna) and small switch on every stand. I am a bit concerned about the costs of that and it seems kind hokey.

Does Cisco make a bridge with a built in 4 port switch? Or maybe something from the switch product line that would have a built in bridge?

I guess you could probably do it with an ISR, but I am think that's going to be pretty expensive.

At any rate, if you had any thoughts or recommendations, that would be great.



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Leo Laohoo Thu, 06/24/2010 - 15:31

It could be the difference between 5-10 workstations on a AP and 15-30 devices on a AP.

Ok so you may potentially have 20-40 clients per AP.  How many APs do you have?  Can you increase the number of APs where you will see a large amount of clients?

Do you expect all the clients to be continuously "talking" or the clients just send occasional bursts of transmission and beacons?

Do all of your clients support "g"?

Benjamin Waldon Thu, 06/24/2010 - 15:58

We have about 45 APs.

But, the clients that we are talking about are going to be in close proximity of eachother.

I expect all the clients to be talking at the same time all day long. As long as we are producing, these clients are going to be talking.

And how fast we can produce product is going to depend on how fast these clients can communicate. So, I really don't want to take any chance of packet loss or latency.

Yes, All of the clients are compatible with G.



Leo Laohoo Thu, 06/24/2010 - 16:18

Boy.  This is not going to be easy. 

I'd recommend that you'll have to do a site survey as to where you would put additional APs.  I would disable the 802.11b (2.4Ghz) radio on these additional APs too.

So far this is what I can think of.

Benjamin Waldon Fri, 06/25/2010 - 12:35


That's what I need to know. I appreciate you help.

We are looking at 1252 access point. The idea is that we would put it in workgrop bridge mode and put an unmanaged switch behind it. Any thoughts?

The idea is that we would have the option to go with other antenna if signal became and issue.




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