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Questions about hardware to use for wireless network

Hello everyone,

I've recently been tasked with expanding and enhancing a rather simple network over a very large location.It's a lengthy explanation but I hope I can find some help. Any information you need, I'll be happy to provide.

The network begins in a large research center (4 floors, 200 computers spread everywhere throughout the building) servers mainly in the server room but also located at random throughout the building. The connection from the outside world/Internet is fiberoptic cable which is converted to Ethernet and goes to an old router that has two ports, on each port we have a different subnet, one for the server room (not all the servers are in the server room), and a second for everything else.

The subnet for everything else is feed everywhere in the building using simple switches.

At the corners of the building there are is a line conversion from Ethernet back into fiberoptic. So that the network can be extended to 4 other buildings on the grounds, each with 5-10 computers (all within the same class C subnet as everything else).

The current capacity on the network has been reached. All 254 IPs are taken.

The BIG issue.

Two months ago we were informed of a conference to take place with a lot of media and people in attendance. They require wireless access during the event.

We installed a small home router and some home access points for the event (as a temporary solution) and they failed repeatedly under the extreme load. And now there is another event coming soon.

I now have a budget for a new wireless network solution. I want to install a smooth, easy to administer, wireless N network, with as little hassel as possible.

I contacted Cisco to find a partner to serve our needs but while that is going I thought I'd confer here.

I'd like to get the

Cisco 2106 Wireless LAN Controller

With at least 4

Cisco Aironet 3500 Series

But I'm not clear of if they are compatible. I'm also not very familiar with truly advanced networking, so I have to ask if there is any kind of DHCP service on the LAN controller? If not, should I be thinking about getting a new router?

The building that will be hosting these devices is large so it is split into two sections. It receives the fiberoptic on the left half of the building where the signal is split in 2. In one branch it is converted to Ethernet to provide network access via a switch to the left half of the building. On the second branch it remains fiber optic to continue to the right half of the building where it then gets converted to Ethernet and goes to a switch for the right half of the building.

Will the LAN controller be able to communicate with the Access points in a good way if there are two Access Points located in each half of the building separated by the fiberoptic line? Would I require some more advanced hardware to do the task properly?

Like two of the Catalyst switches- 2960G-8TC-L

with a fiberoptic adapter in the SFP port.

But even if it is possible. Can I configure these devices myself with no formal Cisco training?

Let me know what you think!

Thanks for taking the time

Cheers,

James

2 REPLIES
Cisco Employee

Re: Questions about hardware to use for wireless network

Hi James,

Yes, all cisco wireless controller have internal dhcp servers.

The new 3500 series ap's will work with all controllers, but require 7.0.98 for support.

As long as your controller has reliable ip connectivity to the access points, it doesn't matter what type of infrastructure is physically in between.

Let me know if this covers your questions or of more info is needed.

thanks

Jeff

New Member

Re: Questions about hardware to use for wireless network

Thanks for the quick reply!

I hope the questions I'm about to ask don't make me sound too foolish... What does 7.0.98 mean?

If the AP's require 7.0.98, is it something the AP Controller has to provide? If so, does the one I mentioned (the 2106) provide it?

Another question was about roaming.

I hope to have the ability to roam all across the wireless network. That is to say, walk through the building from one side to the other. While maintaining uninterupted internet connectivity. Is that easy to configure?

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