Does the situation described below sound plausible?
I have a desktop design for 5 floors of an CBD office building for Voice and Data, that is about to have an RF site assessment (AP on a stick) to validate the desktop design, (prior to going to install and then performing a validation survey on the installed network),
And today it got all interesting, another entity is going to install another WLAN on the middle floor (of the 5 floors), for guest access that will be data + Location.
The customer is adamant that the guest access will be delivered over a totally separate/parallel WLAN - not at all interested in using a software solution - VPN for the guest network. Both WLANs to cover the entire floor.
The corporate WLAN (mine) will be Cisco. The guest network will be Meraki.
My first thoughts were...'what.....no", "closely followed by thoughts of, airtime utilization / CCC / ACI / Back offs / retries and the rest of the looming problems, but no one is giving any ground as at now - both camps forging ahead.
I have no idea at this point on how the WLC's, RRM or AutoRF will be configured - my camp are committed believes in RRM until it proves that static assignment would be better.
Has anyone seen / have any experience as to how well 2 x WLAN operate, when sharing the same area?
Just how robust is the 802.11 protocol in a situation like this?
That shouldn't be a problem, especially if you can coordinate with the other team and their guest WLAN. It would be good if you can limit one of the WLANs to 5GHz only. It may get crowded though, if the guest WLAN location service requires very small cell size.
There are much more complicated scenarios with multiple tenants on each floor without any coordination. In old buildings you may end up with multiple non-adjacent coverage areas with foreign WLANs in-between.
802.11 is very robust in this sense, but very complicated environments will slow down the network. If the APs end up on same channels, they will wait for their turn. Therefore the amount of traffic in each network will also effect the throughput. If the guest network a) has only occasional use or b) is used for streaming training videos for crowds, they are completely different scenarios.
I have lived through the problems created by multiple tenants, and it definitely can be challenging. Hopefully it will settle out after a short time - but don't expect the first couple of weeks to go smoothly.
A copy of their floor plan would be VERY helpful.
Cooperation would be helpful :-) I hope both companies have a "good neighbor" policy.
Given that your neighbors will be using location tracking, it would be a good idea if you can get an idea of their intent. Their AP placement will be more restricted than yours, and it all depends on the purpose of it all. Will they be trying to stop thefts, follow product movement through their facility, or what ? . How much resolution are they expecting ?
It will probably be the case that most of their location tracking AP's will be located at the periphery of their floor, but they might only be located at the entrances and exits.
Obviously you will have no useful bleed through from the second floor to the fourth floor. So you may require more AP's than you originally planned on. You might end up using directional patch antennas, or those with down-tilt that you might not have planned on.
I doubt RRM will work out in the long run.
Thanks for the reply and the good advice.
Thankfully both WLANs belong to the same customer
It could be possible to restrict the corporate WLAN to 5GHz only – will ask
The guest network wants RTLS with around 3m (10ft) resolution.
Being the middle floor of 5 floors – all occupied by the same company, will allow for the potential of static channel planning on levels 2 and 4 if inter-floor bleed through is of sufficient level – the RF site assessment will walk the floor above and below for at least one survey location.
Thanks for the reply and the good advice, also
I would like to provide some attachments, but I am at a loss to see how to action it.
With the ‘good neighbour’ policy, oh yeah this is an issue, we do passive first off and (if we can) then talk to existing, nearby WLAN owners/operators to see if a co-operative approach can be negotiated to achieve better results for all – shopping centres are a regular nightmare in my part of the world – lots in close proximity / no co-ordination / high noise floor and none perform all that well.
The guest network wants RTLS with around 3m (10ft) resolution, exact purpose is unknown, your suspicions is probably on the money, tracking guest movements / locations accessed, and whatever assets/items the customer wants to have tagged/tracked.
Inter-floor bleed through in CBD multi-story buildings is general low but some have turned out to be surprisingly ‘porous’ to RF (more so on 2.4GHz), so we always check when a customer spans adjacent floors, and when our passive see other WLANs at high enough levels to warrant a visit to the tenants on the floor above and or below, and if they are agreeable to our presence in their tenancy at the time we are onsite, do a quick passive on their floor to see how strong our test AP is and how ‘hot’ their WLAN AP Tx levels are.
RRM – I am still getting my heard around how this actually does it job (the mechanics of it), we initially let it run with a basic setup (not default) and once new WLAN stabilized, do a post install RF survey to assess / validate / action changes as required. (As for me, right now, I prefer static assignment & monitoring, yep it cannot respond to anything which itself ain't ideal)
There is quite a bit of discussion on this page about RRM.
I especially liked Devin's presentation- see the link.
Tony-T, Petri: Just saw your posts.
Any status on how the 2 WLANs are performing?
If interested I could comment on this for both indoor and outdoor.
Indoor: Multiple WLANs, some with same vendor equiprment, others with different vendor equipment. Issues usually are with 2.4-GHz since only have 3 non-overlapping channels in USA. For HAN, I have 4 equipment from 4 different vendors, 4 separate WLANs; 2 are enterprise-grade and other 2 are consumer grade equipment. 2.4-GHz dedicated on 2 WLANs; 5 GHz dedicated on 2 WLANs. Have another implementation where the 2.4-GHz with multiple WLANs have CCI and ACI issues.
Outdoor: Backhaul 5 GHz on a single channel; subject to other WLANs on same channel. Actually had impressive results (part of my presentation at CWNP conference on Friday in a dense urban, high-density AP/user environment with mobile vehicular traffic and dense foliage).
Have any of you seen either of Netscout's "AirCheck" products ?
If I were scouting (NPI) another companies site, with their permission of course, using one of these would tell you a lot without being obtrsive. The data can be saved internally or sent to a PC (in a couple formats) including one of their report formats or as raw data for your own analysis.
They are also great for pointing out design errors in your own network .
Aircheck G2 is the latest version, and they just announced new firmware updates for it that they claim are really great, especially for testing your own networks..
I have the older version, from when they were still owned by Fluke, and it is great. I can perform just about any scanning type operation that you'd ever seen on a laptop, and all contained in one handheld unit about the size of a DVM - no more clunky laptops to carry around.
No packet capture on my model however.
One of the things I like best about it is the Locate function built into it. It works great for AP's AND clients ! On the back of the unit is a RP-SMA connector where you can plug in their optional directional antenna (or any other) and quickly pinpoint the radio in question.
I have used several laptop applications over the years, and while some of them could find AP's, none of the ones I had worked on clients.
The model G2 is described at:
P.S. I do recommend their own antenna. It works the best.
Have you looked at Ekahau's latest offering: Sidekick?
Yes. I saw the original announcement webinar, but missed the follow up presentations when I was out sick.
Also a very impressive product - albeit at a higher cost.
If that kind of work were my primary focus I would really want one - actually, I would demand one.
Most of my work is at the PHY an MAC levels in a QA lab, so I can't justify it at the present time.
I see some of your first posts were in 2005. Did you ever use a different Forum name. Back then, and before, I went by Wlanman. Unfortunately many of my posts were lost in one of the early disk crashes they had in the old days..
Glad you're back.