Cisco Aironet 1242AG Setup

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Sep 18th, 2010
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Hi,  We have a network on an oil rig offshore using a 1242AG for general internet browsing for those staying on the rig, and it works perfectly.  Now we want to expand this and I have a couple of challanges.


1. We would like to add multiple access points but these will all have to be cabled back to a central switch due to signals being blocked preventing one access point seeing another, so not guaranteed to be able to link wirelessly from one access point ot the next.  How is this best done, is it possible to setup all access points with the same SSID so users can easily move around and be associated with the best access point, or best to configure as individual access points?


2. Due to having access points available in living quarters, we want to avoid people leaving laptops constantly connected and using up our expensive satellite bandwidth and impacting on the use of others.  Is it possible with the 1242AG top setup a timeout period, where any connections are automatically disconnected?


This is all quite new to me so any help or comments on the above would be much appreciated.


Thanks.


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Leo Laohoo Sun, 09/19/2010 - 01:56
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1. We would like to add multiple access points but these will all have to be cabled back to a central switch due to signals being blocked preventing one access point seeing another, so not guaranteed to be able to link wirelessly from one access point ot the next.  How is this best done, is it possible to setup all access points with the same SSID so users can easily move around and be associated with the best access point, or best to configure as individual access points?

You have two choices:  Autonomous or Controller-based.  With autonomous, in order for you to "enjoy" roaming, you'd need Cisco WLSE or Wireless LAN Services Engine plus you have to configure and manage each APs.  With controller-based you just configure the controller, convert the APs to LWAP (very easy) and off you go.  You can start investigating if it's financially sound to invest in a 4402 series wireless LAN controller.  If you deploy, say, 10 APs, look for the price of the WLC4402-25 to support up to 25 APs.



2. Due to having access points available in living quarters, we want to avoid people leaving laptops constantly connected and using up our expensive satellite bandwidth and impacting on the use of others.  Is it possible with the 1242AG top setup a timeout period, where any connections are automatically disconnected?

Not on the AP or WLC but RADIUS can.
Roger Alderman Wed, 09/22/2010 - 04:05
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Hi Ian


You would appear to be using autonomous (standalone) access points and it doesn't sound like there would be a good case to migrate to a unified (controller) based system.


Yes you can set the same SSID on all the access points and you can roam between the access points. If necessary you can use the Wireless Domain Services (WDS) feature to assist with roaming. This basically means that one of the access points is configured as a WDS device (it can also service clients as well) and acts as a proxy authentication device if you happened to be external authentication processes. It will also cache client authentication and key details and will pass them to a new access point that the client may roam to. This speeds up roaming.


You don't need a WLSE to have roaming. A WLSE is a management station.


There are session timeout options but these are usually associated with dot1x type authentications using EAP. You might be better (assuming you are using DHCP to assign IP addresses to clients) to reduce the lease time on the DHCP scope.


Hope this helps.


Regards


Roger

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