Just wanted to check what would be the best site survey tool which would also be cost effective ( tools like Airmagnet as costly) for the follwoing customer requirelemts;
- Wireless access point locations
- Wireless client access requirement
- Wireless controller and access points model and setup
Survey the facility to understand the existing Access Point locations
- Highlight the potential sources of RF interference and areas that affect the wireless site
- Perform existing wireless site survey based on one SSID with 2.4GHz band and one SSID with 5.GHz. It is recommended to have a dedicated SSID for Wireless Site Survey and have coverage as much as possible on the existing Access Points.
-Provide a 2D floor plan illustrating the signal strength and coverage for each access point and covered zone. One illustration for each Access Point and a combined coverage map representing the coverage of all Access Points (note channels based on color)
- Determine the areas where there are wireless blank spot and weak wireless coverage.
-Perform wireless site survey with the tool and Cisco Access Point 3602 dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n with external antennas based on one SSID with 2.4GHz band and one SSID with 5.GHz for blank spot areas.
Record all survey result and site setup
-Perform Post-Deployment wireless site survey based on one SSID with 2.4GHz band and one SSID with 5.GHz. It is recommended to have a dedicated SSID for Wireless Site Survey and have coverage as much as possible on the existing Access Points.
The Cisco Spectrum Expert solution is a WiFi sensor in CardBus form for notebooks and a specific analysis program. You can use it to scan all channels and determine precisely which non-802.11 device is using the same spectrum as your planned wireless network. The tool can identify the source of interference and describe its characteristics (RF behavior, duty cycle, impact on 802.11, and so on). You can also use the Cisco Spectrum Expert solution to locate the interferer before deciding if it can be removed.
After you complete the Layer 1 sweep, you can use an 802.11 survey or analysis tool to plan for the actual AP location. Two types of tools can be used. The first one is a spectrum analyzer tool, such as the AirMagnet Wi-Fi Analyzer. This tool is a program that can also be combined with specialized WiFi cards for better results.
I will recomamd you to hire or rent an consultant or IT support partner whoc have all these tools and softwares which will be good for you.Of course they will charge enough $s but you will get what you want.
Looks like requirements for an RFP. Tools like AirMagnet and Ekahau are the only preferred by many who have to perform site surveys. The other tool that is important if there was a lower end tool is experience. You need to have experience with surveying and troubleshoot to understand how to survey properly. If your customer wants to learn how to survey, well they might as well take a survey class at Gigawave. The tools they use however is AirMagnet. Experience is still a requirement.
Where to mount AP's, what AP's to use and controller version is again experience and knowledge of wireless vendors equipment. This is what many vendors partners do. Reach out to a local Cisco partner or speak with your local Cisco SE regarding a partner who can do this for you. Better do it right the first time or else you will be spending more money later. I see this a lot and we come in to fix things because either the customer did their own survey or an inexperienced person performed the survey.
In addition to Scott's post, I'd like to add the following:
1. Do or get the site survey done during the weekdays. In some cases, during the weekdays, some people outside the premises bring their home-grown wireless dongle to work. Best be able to determine a sporadic wireless interference during the weekdays.
2. Talk to the client. I really mean TALK to them. In a lot of my wireless site survey, if the client is able to give you a rough idea what they want to achieve means a great deal. "I want wireless" is not a good start. You'll need to poke or cajole the client more information. What kind of applications? Voice over Wireless? How many clients? What kind of clients (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)? Do you need reporting? Do you want to schedule the APs to go down during the weekends (example)? Do you want tracking? How many SSIDs in total? What is the uplink?
Thanks for the valuable inputs and I agrree when Scott says that experience is the key tool. I am fimiliar with wireless concepts( have worked with wireless TAC for a few years) but new to on field wireless site survey.So want to pick up expert and experienced brains before venturing into it.
The problem is that as a starter I am looking for some cheaper tools as Airmagnet seems be expensive( couple of thousand dollars or more I think). However I guess we might have shell out the money for it.
The Controller to be deployed is 2504 with 3602 APs
If your planing in performing more site surveys in the future, then it's a good investment. Since you have come from TAC, you understand issues when it comes to issues with configuration or issues with the RF. Invest in a good tool and it will pay off.