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.