I have a large existing install base of 802.11b AP's and clients (data only). Throughput for many areas is becoming an issue. A purchase has been made for 802.11g APs and clients to support users requiring higher bandwidth, however I not sure this will help.
The 802.11b users will not be going away anytime soon and I know with a mix of B and G clients throughput suffers. Is it possible with only 3 channels to provide adequate coverage and throughput in a mixed environment? Is there a way to setup the coverage to force B clients to B APs and force G clients to G APs with only 3 channels? Is a B and A solution the only way to support legacy B clients and high throughput clients?
Well, I am waiting on my 1231G's now so I haven't tested this yet, but I think you can set the 1231G to only work at certain speeds. I assume if you configured it to only run at the higher speeds then b cards won't be able to associate to them. They would then associate only to the b AP's. This of course would force you to have more AP's than if you used a mixed a/b or a/g setup. How many users per AP do you have now? Maybe with G you might also need to provide more AP's to cut down the user per AP ratio.
In that case I think you are going to be forced to pursue a mixed a/b, a/g, or full g environment. Do you have too many current b clients to replace them all with g? Luckily, we only have ~30 b clients now, so if we need to replace them all with g it won't be too painful.
Yes, we have a large install base of b clients which will not be going away in the near term. In addition this is a Apple Mac environment and the Mac doesn't have integrated 802.11a support today (so I have been told). Full g might be the only option.
You may want to test this a bit before buying whole hog into G. I've heard of issues in our test environment where B and G don't play nice, since they share the same spectrum. My coworker tells me that unless you specifically have the ability to lock out B access on an AP that you want to use G, that AP will fall over to B the moment a B type connection comes in range and associates.
Going A would seem to make more sense at this point I think, and is in fact our corp std going forward because of the above issues.
If you are currently having capacity problems with your 11b network, I would suggest increasing your Access Point density instead of upgrading your radios to '11G'. Introducing 11A now would probably solve some capacity problems, but in my opinion that is going in the wrong direction.