How can something be deployed using a WLC and LWAP to service up to 200 clients in a conference environment. I would be in 2 or 3 conference rooms, not in a major hall, but in a downtown city office building.
The limit for ALB is 20 per AP, so 10 AP's would be needed minimum, but wouldnt that present an RF nightmare?
What are the clients going to be doing on the wireless? At Cisco Live you can see upwards of 200 clients per AP and it's usable if they are just looking for Internet/email.
Not knowing the size of the conference rooms, wall structures, etc it's hard to say how many APs would be needed, but I could imagine you could get away with 2 or 3 APs per room. I would look at the WLC-5508 and AIR-CAP3600 APs.
They currently have 3 1130 AP's and a WLC 2106, and when they get a conference in, the speeds drop horribly with a lot of disconnects, and a LOT of complaints. I already had TAC look into it and the response back was too many users per AP. One AP had 45 users on it, with clients reassociating constantly.
The Aggressive load balance is limited to 20 on the WLC, and Cisco recommends no more than 24 tops per AP.
We could add more AP's, but my concern would be saturation of the spectrum, which can be worse than what they have now.
How close can each AP be to one another before they interfere with the overall network?
I wouldn't be adding more 1131's, I would be replacing those! I've seen 45 - 50 per 1142 for example with little to no issues.
There is no magic number in terms of feet, it's all about signal propagation.
Aggressive load balancing isn't a good solution either to be honest, I think that causes more issues then it helps.
What version code are you running as well?
I heard the same about ALB too being more of a headache than it's worth. The WLC is running the latest, or near latest, 7.1.116 I believe.
I don't want to guess with this one, they are complaining too much about it, although it has been in production for nearly 5 years now, and they just now are really starting to use it.
Pending confirmation, 6 3500 series to replace the existing 3 1131 AP's should give them a lot more bandwidth to play with. I would also suggest moving up to at least a 2112 or 2500 series WLC so they can add more AP's as they now are limited to no more than 6.
Could the problem they have be related to the model AP being used? Are there other AP models that are more designed for a convention center type deployment?
The newer APs will help that is for sure, especially as you move into the 802.11n market.
While the 2500 is a fine WLC, I would move towards a 5508 to handle the client load. If you think about it you have 200+ clients hitting a single 100mb switch port on the 2100 series. The 2500 series does increase this to a gig port, but you only have one. I would recommend a 5508 with LAG and at least 2 of the SFPs loaded.
Ideally for your environment the AP-3600 referenced earlier would be best as this is kind of the "high density" deployment AP going forward. The 3600 has all of the features of the 3500 and then introduces a 4x4:3 MIMO antenna.
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Blake's comment above is right on. You must be sure that each hop on the way to the destination isn't a bottleneck for that amount of users. 200 users on wifi simply browsing email/web/video, etc. can quickly and easily saturate the network/Internet access.
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If you can, disable 1, 2, 5.5, 6, 9, and 11 on the 2.4GHz side, then disable 6, 9, and 12 on the 5GHz.
12Mbps should be mandatory then on 2.4 and 18Mbps should be mandatory on 5Ghz.