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Wireless Site-Survey for High Density Environment


I have done many Wireless SIte-Surveys in my career. But this will the first time, I am going to do a Site-Survey for High Density environment (School with Byod 1:1 design).

Currently, the school has a Wireless network in place. The current wireless design includes 3502 APs, 5508 WLC and Cisco Prime. The customer has issues with sufficient bandwidth in classrooms which limiting the students and teachers to access the learning content.

It is understood that there was no initial Site-Survey conducted, the AP positioning was made based on their knowledge.

Now, I am not sure as how to conduct the Survey here?

Do I need to conduct an Active Survey by connecting to the existing Wireless Network in the School? Or just passive Survey will be enough to determine the exact issues with the current design and provide the recommendations?

I have gone through the Cisco High Density design and white papers to start with.



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Re: Wireless Site-Survey for High Density Environment

Before you do the site survey, I'd do the initial breakdown of the LAN.

1.  What kind of switch ports are we talking about?

2.  Are the APs connected AND negotiated to 1 Gbps ports?

3.  What is/are the switch uplinks?  100 Mbps, 1- or 10- Gbps, Etherchannel?

4.  Line errors on the links between the AP and the switch, uplinks and the link between the WLC and the switches?

5.  WLC link?  How many are used?  Are they LAG or not?

6.  Configuration of the WLC must be checked.

Once you've checked these do I start talking about wireless:

1.  What problems are the staff/students experiencing?

2.  How many APs to a classroom?  How big is the class?

3.  Determine what kind of traffic are each class trying to push?

4.  Where are the APs located in relations to the staff/student?

5.  Verify co-channel interferrence.  I know they have 3502 but I've seen people disable CleanAir.

6.  Verify what kind of NIC cards are used and whether drivers have been updated or not.

I'm in the middle of improving our wireless coverage in >98 schools.  This means I am now deploying 1 AP per classroom.  In areas where the students/staff converge, I put additional APs (both indoors and outdoors).