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AP541N cluster having issues with sticky roaming and slow connections

I have a client with roughly 20 wireless users and a cluster of 4 AP541N's covering their business. They have an application they access on a cloud which connects them to a remote desktop along the same lines as Citrix. We are having a connectivity issue to the wireless network and also some speed issues. I have gone in when they are having issues and tracked down the AP where the machine MAC shows up and often that is not the closest AP to the user. Many times that is an access point that has 2 other AP's in the same cluster between it and the client machine.

The speed concern shows up on various machines, not necessarily the same ones with the sticky roaming issue. Some of them have a wireless n capable card but are only connecting at g. I'm not sure if it is related to this but I also have machines with 100% or close to it signal strength and they dip down to the 15Mbps area. The LAN is fine, other wireless machines are fine, but these intermittent issues happen to some users. We have updated the firmware for the wifi card and that usually does not solve the issue.

The cluster is using automatic channel management and in an attempt to cut down on the sticky roaming issue my network engineer changed the transmit power to high instead of full to limit the overlap.

Any suggestions as to where to go next with the troubleshooting? These users did have a wireless network before that was not clustered with retail store purchased Cisco wireless routers and had better or similar performance so they are wondering why they are not getting a better experience with the upgraded equipment. Thanks all

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

My name Eric Moyers. I am an

My name Eric Moyers. I am an Engineer in the Small Business Support Center.

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this issue. 

The AP541N does not support roaming. Yes I know that within the Admin Guide it does mention a seamless like experience. That is actually mentioned under the WDS section and not Clustering. However that is not roaming like you would find with a wireless network that has a Wireless LAN Controller.

Within Cisco Small Business equipment and any other vendor, for networks that do not have a wireless LAN Controller for a wireless client to move from one AP to another the first signal would actually have to drop in order to look for the next strongest signal to authenticate and connect to.

With the AP541N there is an option to do enable pre-authentication if you are using Radius Authentication. This assist in faster authentication but is still not roaming and would require for a signal to drop in order to move to the next strongest signal. 

Have you done a wireless scan of your area? I use a tool called Wi-Fi Analytics, the best thing is its free. This can help in determining what static channel is best for your environment. One of the Con's for using an auto channel is that when the AP is changing channels it will drop whatever clients are currently connected and will not allow any connections until a new channel is found and the device start transmitting again.

If you would like some assistance in determining the best setup for your situation, lease call our support center and open a case so that one of our engineers can work directly with you. Once you have a case number all of the engineers know who I am and can reach out to me for assistance if needed.

Eric Moyers
.:|:.:|:. CISCO | Eric Moyers | Cisco Technical Support |
Wireless and Surveillance Subject Matter Expert

Please rate helpful Posts and Let others know when your Question has been answered.

1 REPLY

My name Eric Moyers. I am an

My name Eric Moyers. I am an Engineer in the Small Business Support Center.

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this issue. 

The AP541N does not support roaming. Yes I know that within the Admin Guide it does mention a seamless like experience. That is actually mentioned under the WDS section and not Clustering. However that is not roaming like you would find with a wireless network that has a Wireless LAN Controller.

Within Cisco Small Business equipment and any other vendor, for networks that do not have a wireless LAN Controller for a wireless client to move from one AP to another the first signal would actually have to drop in order to look for the next strongest signal to authenticate and connect to.

With the AP541N there is an option to do enable pre-authentication if you are using Radius Authentication. This assist in faster authentication but is still not roaming and would require for a signal to drop in order to move to the next strongest signal. 

Have you done a wireless scan of your area? I use a tool called Wi-Fi Analytics, the best thing is its free. This can help in determining what static channel is best for your environment. One of the Con's for using an auto channel is that when the AP is changing channels it will drop whatever clients are currently connected and will not allow any connections until a new channel is found and the device start transmitting again.

If you would like some assistance in determining the best setup for your situation, lease call our support center and open a case so that one of our engineers can work directly with you. Once you have a case number all of the engineers know who I am and can reach out to me for assistance if needed.

Eric Moyers
.:|:.:|:. CISCO | Eric Moyers | Cisco Technical Support |
Wireless and Surveillance Subject Matter Expert

Please rate helpful Posts and Let others know when your Question has been answered.

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