We currently are moving towards Meru for my next generation of wireless deployment. I have 3 facilities in 3 cities adn 1 is currently all Meru. The only issue I have is I am a big fan of Airmagnet which seems to have issues with the meru virtual cell architecture as it gets confused with the single channel. Does anyone have any suggestions for protocol analyzer and packet capture software that plays well with Meru for surveys and troubleshooting? We bought the EZ RF Coverage planner which is OK for doing the surveys but I need something that will assist me in looking at interference, etc. I dont see that in the EZ RF Coverage planner and I really am not a fan of how it looks and feels. I have Airmagnet and have been a big fan but it seems to get confused with Meru virtual cell technology.
Can you be more specific as to how it gets confused? If you are looking at an interpretation screen I can see that it may... but packets only should work fine. Not sure if it will work for SCA though.
Software like Airmagnet gets confused at the shared BSSID that Meru uses. So things like Signal bounces between -50 and -90 because the AP in the next room is advertising the shared BSSID and then the shared BSSID moves to an AP down the hall.
The AirMagnet application sees the Meru virtual AP implementation the same way an enterprise wi-fi client would see it, i.e. as a single AP, which basically is the whole intention of the virtual cell architecture.
But the important thing for site surveyingyou?¡é?€??re your deployments, would be to view the overall Wi-Fi coverage in your Meru network and ensure that there are no coverage holes, where clients would lose connectivity. The only difference being that, instead of seeing coverage from multiple APs, you would see signal coverage as if it is from a single AP.
The issue where you talk about the signal strength bouncing between different values (-50 to -90 dbm) when using AirMagnet Survey, would be the way your enterprise clients are going to behave as they could be roaming between the actual physical Meru APs that may be part of that single virtual cell. I would recommend that you use AirMagnet?¡é?€??s active surveys (especially if you are deploying 802.11n networks where you cannot depend on just signal strength for defining your network performance), that allows you to get real world information on uplink/downlink data rates, packet retries, roaming, etc. for your wi-fi clients and APs.
I am the Product Manager for the AirMagnet Survey product and you can also send me a private message as well if you need more details or we could schedule a call as well.
Thanks Dilip. Excellent info, and we all appreciate your presence here on the forum!