Currently our warehouse and manufacturing environment consists of Intermec 2100 802.11 b AP's our intensions are to slowly migrate to Cisco 1242 AP for future VOIP applications. Our question is will there by any problems with roaming between the two manufactures and if so how can we resolve these issues. We cannot replace all the AP?s at once because of our 24/7 operation.
Well, it kinda depends (Doesn't it always?)
Since you mention VoIP, that implies "Seamless Roaming;" to smoothly roam with a device that is sensitive to session maintenance and data drop, the issue is how the roaming client maintains authentication and authorization.
To do it "the Cisco Way," with a secure system, they are looking for LEAP or EAP-FAST AAA, with some flavor of central key management.
What kind of encryption and AAA are you using with the Intermec system? Can it support LEAP (or EAP-Fast)?
Would your system/users/resources tolerate (temporarily) a multiple SSID & VLAN setup (Cisco stuff has one SSID / VLAN with LEAP/EAP-FAST, the warehouse inventory system does whatever you're doing now)?
Could you implement a dual system (at least until you could migrate the Intermec clients)? i.e., install a full parallel implementation?
In your current facility, do you already have cabling available for the APs?
Are you leaning towards a constellation of autonomous APs, or maybe the LWAP system (central controller)?
If you have an idea of how you'd like to implement, pass it along and perhaps we can work with it ... or maybe not.
If you have some sort of diagram of the floor layout and your current deployment, that may also be helpful.
Let us know ...
Scott thanks for replying
We would not implement VoIP until a year after the upgrade process has been completed
and all the bugs have been taking care of. Example: proper site survey for 2.4Ghz data and 5Ghz voice, moving access points, adding more AP?s and trying different antennas.
My plan is to use the existing locations of the current Intermec access points by swapping
them out one by one with Cisco 1242AP's hoping that the current cell setup will work the same with Cisco AP's, this would save us on cabling costs and time. Once this is completed we would perform a proper site survey in conjunction with a WLSE express appliance and a walk around with a laptop using Cisco?s site survey software.
For encryption we are using WEP with the Intermec clients 2420 Trakkers and CK30?s.
We could not implement a dual system, Intermec clients can't support 2 SSID's and the cost of additional cabling.
All the access points would be autonomous with a CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine Express.
My biggest concern is will the wireless clients be able to roam from an Intermec AP to a Cisco AP using the same WEP key, SSID and VLAN with out dropping there telnet sessions to our production server and with out any significant delay?
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks for the extra info; it helps!
The short version first; I believe you'll be OK with the one-for-one swapout (of course, try a pilot in the least-used area first).
Since you are using WEP and different vendors, your best friend here for roaming will be IAPP (Inter-Access Point Protocol). This is a protocol to hand off traffic from one AP to another during the roam. IAPP should be fast enough for pure data traffic. It *may be* fast enough for voice, but I'm betting it'll be spotty, at best.
It would be good to investigate whether your Intermec APs support it, and that it is enabled. I believe it is a standard function for most resonably recent (~coule years) APs. If you still have contact with the Intermec folks, check with them to see that your current images include IAPP support.
The other possible issues I'd keep an eye out for are:
* The antennas you choose for your Cisco APs. Since you have a good site survey, and it seems to be working for you, try to choose antennas for the Cisco that have the same coverage, gain, and pattern as the Intermec APs. If you have an aea that is a little weak, then check out some of the other antennas with higher gain or a better-suited pattern. If there's a doubt, go with the higher gain or broader pattern ... it's easy enough to drop the power at the AP.
* Once you have a/some pilot unit(s) in place, check the switch that connects the Intermec and the Cisco APs; OCCASIONALLY there are some issues with the switch not recognizing the roam fast enough (or the old AP doesn't drop the association fast enough), and the switch will report "flapping" because it will see the same client/MAC at two ports. We mostly have seen this with Cisco 6500s and another (non-Intermec) AP /client.
* If you're using POE to power the APs, verify the POE config. Before it was a standard, Cisco used a proprietary POE scheme (as did everyone else with a POE-capable AP). I believe the newer APs are POE standards compliant (brain fart, I don't remember). So, depending on your current setup, you may need to also use Cisco power injectors, or a Cisco-compliant injector panel.
Now would be a good time to study-up on Cisco Central Key Management (CCKM), TKIP, and Cisco's flavor of WDS.
CCKM may be something that will help with the seamless roaming for the voice clients.
TKIP will permit dynamic rotating keys to bump your security up a notch.
(Cisco)WDS is a method to get the clients rapidly re-authenticate at the new AP as part of the roam process.
I'm sure Rob and the others will jump in with some additional tips and advice. Many of the other folks posting here are managing large campus systems and can speak from direct, recent experience.
Ok I went to work today to experiment and this is what I found, I can roam from Intermec to Cisco and from Cisco to Intermec using a laptop with no problems. But when I use the CK30 trakker I can roam from Intermec to Cisco but when I try to roam back from Cisco to Intermec the CK30's radio disables then enables in order to re associate thus causing the telnet session to drop. Could the Cisco access point be changing some radio settings on the Ck30 that?s not capable with intermec?
It sounds like you're halfway there ;-}
Looking around the Intermec customer support site (http://intermec.custhelp.com), the closest things I can find seem to be mostly related to the firmware version of the Trakker.
Check to see that your firmware is fairly current and test the system again if you neeeded an update.
I also noted that the Intermec supports EAP-FAST and automatic PAC provisioning (LEAP too). This is a good thing ... in the future, it would be worthwhile to move to the something like EAP-FAST ... that is one of the supported protocols for Cisco's WDS that permit "seamless roaming" (i.e., what you want/need for VoIP over wireless).
It may be something as simple as a timeout value, but a good place to start (if feasable) is current firmware everywhere.
Check it out and let us know.
Scott has given you some great info as he always does (5 points from me on this one Scott!). I think the key point here is that all of this is hypothetical. You are going to need to try this out in some sort of a lab setting to determine the proper methodology first off. I would recommend buying a 1242 ASAP and get it setup with a spare Intermec AP if you have one. If you don't have a spare, add one new cabling run to a little used area as Scott suggested,and fire up the 1242 (make sure that you allow some 802.11b Data Rates). Until you know, with some concrete testing, you won't be able to come up with a seamless transition plan. If the two manufacturers AP's don't play together nicely you will be forced to re-think the deployment.As I always say better safe :) than sorry :(
I believe the answer to the reason why you are unable to cleanly roam from one vendor type Access Point to the other is long winded. However, I have attached Cisco Integration Guides (CIG) that explains how to Integrate Intermec Handhelds with Cisco IOS AP's.
FYI, Antares 2400 series also support LEAP with WEP. The CK3x support all EAP and encryption types. The Antares is CCX v1 so it doesn't support CCKM. The CK3x is CCX v2 which supports CCKM with LEAP & NOT EAP-Fast that is CCX v3.
Hopefully this is helpful.