APs and Load Balancing

Unanswered Question
Aug 28th, 2010

Hi All,

I need to provide wireless connectivity in a Conf room that would house atleast 200 users. I will be configuring a 4404 WLC with 1142 series APs to provide wireless connectivity.

Can you please let me know

1) How many users can a single AP provide connectivity to without compromising on the bandwidth?
2) Can we configure some kind of load balancing on the WLC which would share the load equally amongst APs?
3) There are a few touch panels in the Conf room which get affected by the wireless interference. Can we specify which channels we can use for getting wireless access to the users without disabling these touch panels?

Appreciate your reply.


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misha_bac Sat, 08/28/2010 - 23:55


1) About 15-20 users per AP. Actually depends on users traffic.

2) Yes, read about aggressive load balancing http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/products_tech_note09186a00809c2fc3.shtml

3) Yes, look at Wireless - 802.11b/g/n (I suppose your clients are .11b/g?) RRM - DCA. Choose channels which you want to use. Other way - you can assign channel manually to each AP. Bear in mind that there are only three non-overlapping channels, so if your panels sit on channel 1 you don't want enable anything below 6th one.

If it won't bother you, can you share your experience after that installation and actual meetings. I have never seen such high density installations and would like to know how it's going to work.

navnsing Sun, 08/29/2010 - 07:05

Hi Misha,

Thanks for your reply!! I will share my experiences for sure .

I have been told that the Touchpanels communicate on Channel 6 and 11. So if i assign Channel 1 to the APs, wouldn;t that be too less an option for the Clients to choose from while associating? Wouldn;t the clients automatically choose channels based on the Signal interference etc, and shift to another channel if one is too noisy?

These are LWAPP models iam using  (1142Ns), and Iam not sure if i can assign channels to the APs directly? If it can be done on the WLCs, how do we do it?



misha_bac Sun, 08/29/2010 - 07:23

Definitely one channel won't be enough for 200 users, the best you can do for such density - use channels 1 4 8 11 for users, yes it will interfere with 6, 11 and even between themselves, but at least give you some kind of channel distribution. Probably you can give your touch panels more priority in the air by creating new SSID for them and specifying superior QoS profile, but it definitely won't help with interference.

Client can't choose channels, they use channels on which APs provide services. So if you lock your APs to only channel 1 clients would obey.

DCA is dynamic channel assignment, and you can specify which from channels should Cisco algorithms select. You can browse this setting in Wireless - 802.11b/g/n - RRM - DCA.

Also you can specify channel by hand for concrete AP in Wireless - Access Points - Radios - 802.11b/g/n - - Configure - RF Channel Assignment

So i would suggest to create new SSID for panels with good QoS profile, using WLAN override feature make only few APs announce it (closest to the panels), put those APs it to 6/11 channels, rest of APs should use DCA and 1 4 8 11 channels and announce only users SSID.

navnsing Sun, 08/29/2010 - 09:17


I have enabled channels 1,6,11 for 802.11b/g/n and 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 149, 153, 157, 161 for 802.11a/n.

The hotel network uses 1,6,11 channels too for their wireless network, and the touchpanel is associated with their APs. So, the overlap as you stated is bound to happen. But, let's hope there won;t be too much interference. It's not possible to have touchpanels on our wireless network since the hotel uses it.



misha_bac Sun, 08/29/2010 - 09:54

Good luck with the event. Don't forget to post how it was :-)


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