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Community Member

New wireless network with several access points

Hi,

We are planing to deploy a wireless network that will cover two floors consisting of about 5 or 6 Access points. It should have 2 or 3 SSID (placing the clients in 2 or 3 different VLANS).

What would be the best solution for this?

I read a lot about wireless controllers. What about an option to just buy standalone access points? Are they all configured to work with the same SSID's and on the same channel?

6 REPLIES
Cisco Employee

Re: New wireless network with several access points

For a small implementation you can use the 2106 controller but your throughput is limited to 100mbps.

Even a small number of access poiints is more difficult to administer than a single controller.

Having adjacent aps operate on different channels is the best way as this prevents co channel interference and your controller will sort this and other RF issues out for you automatically

Re: New wireless network with several access points

Don't use the same channel with Cisco gear. My recommendation is:

- For 2.4GHz radios: use channels 1, 6, and 11 (with a 20MHz channel width if you are deploying 802.11n [no bonded channels])

- For the 5GHz radios: I believe you can use all the channels at your disposal without frequency overlap, but you generally don't want a given AP to be close to another AP that is only +/- one channel. Stagger your channel selection so that adjacent AP's are at least 2 channels apart. If you want to get the max speed out of 802.11n, you will want to use the 40MHz channel width (bonded channels) and probably stagger your channel selections +/- 3 channels apart (since channel bonding uses 2 adjacent channels).

Re: New wireless network with several access points

A centralized controller should make your life easier:

- Centralized config - set up everything on the controller and it gets applied to the AP's.

- Centralized monitoring - when someone has a problem, you can check the controller instead of having to figure out the AP to which they are connecting (computers don't always connect to the closest AP)

- Dumb AP's - if someone steals one of your APs, they will not be able to learn much about your network from a lightweight AP

- Radio Resource Management - let the controller make the channel and power setting decisions for you

- If you use PoE, you may never have to get on a ladder and use the console port of a lightweight AP. The AP is managed by the controller, and for the rare occasion that you can't get an AP to respond - just cycle the power to the AP via the switch port.

There are some downsides:

- Cost of the controller (since you're buying AP's one way or the other)

- Most cost: If your wireless network is important, then you typically want a second wireless controller as a backup

- Probably more downsides, but my brain hurts today

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Re: New wireless network with several access points

Community Member

Re: New wireless network with several access points

If LWAPP and a controller are used is that all that is needed (let's say 2106) and LWAPP like 1131 LWAPP or are there some additional components needed (like Wireless Control System (WCS).

Re: New wireless network with several access points

WCS is a tool for management, configuration and monitoring. You dont need WCS, LWAPP and a controller is sufficient.

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