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Questions about 1815w

Edit I meant to post this in the standard Wireless and Mobility forum.. that's what I get for having too many tabs open.  Not sure if this needs to be moved or deleted and recreated?

 

Greetings all,

 

I'm trying to evaluate the 1815w units for possible deployment in residence halls and I had some questions.  Our current deployment is using 2702i units up and down the hallways... this was done 4 years ago or so and obviously isn't really the best placement.  Most, if not all, of the APs on the same floor and some on the surrounding floors can see each other above -85dbm so co-channel interference is a concern.  Most of the residence halls have multiple wired ports in the rooms so the wall mounted units may be an option for the next time we refresh.

 

  1. For a multistory residence hall with rooms on either side of the hallway, is it best practice to deploy in every room or in every other and stagger?  I've seen some indications that both can work but it seems like CCI would be an issue again with them in every room.
  2. Is the lack of CleanAir features a problem at all?  These are, of course, BYOD environments and students are bringing more and more devices every year.
  3. How do the wired ports work with NAC solutions like ISE?  We currently have a 3rd party NAC solution but will be evaluating ISE and possibly SD-Access.  We have a vocal student base that prefers we continue to support wired access in the dorms for latency sensitive applications such as Skype and gaming.  Currently we use MAB along with URL redirection on the 2960-X wired ports to redirect the client to a sign-on page which also tends to give the NAC enough host information to fingerprint the device type.

Thanks in advance!

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VIP Mentor

Re: Questions about 1815w

Hi Jason,


In our campus environment, we had wired & wireless in the past. with a recent upgrade project, we decided to go with 100% wireless (no wired ports for end users, however wired ports for common area phones, TV, camera,etc). Even playstations type devices connect via wirelessly (MAC Auth Bypass with ISE). We went with 3702 &  AP installed in rooms & in certain cases hallways for practical reasons.

 

In your specific queries here is my thoughts,

 

1. I do not think providing 1815w in each room helps with RF point of view, you will have similar issues. Main use case is if you want to provide multiple wired ports for end users in each room, then given model is a good choice. In that case, you have to ensure power level of those AP are very low and limited to a single room for better performance.

 

2. CleanAir is a very useful, if you want AP to avoid non 802.11 interferes & given AP to act on when there is interference exist. 

 

3. You have to test this capability in your environment using given AP model, there could be some limitation on those AP models & software version you running on WLC.  

 

HTH

Rasika

*** Pls rate all useful responses ***

Beginner

Re: Questions about 1815w

I've been thinking about what 100% wireless would look like.  Wired connections are certainly more stable but we're coming to an age where a lot of devices simply don't have a means to utilize the connection.  We've recently had a number of requests to turn on wired connectivity in some of our current wireless only locations where wired had to be abandoned due to cable condition.

 

I think we could get there one day but the wireless experience has to be 100%... students currently complain about constant disconnections on online gaming and slow download speeds so we aren't really there yet.

 

For an AP in each room we'd definitely have to turn the power level all the way down or close to it.  The wall-mount APs have lower gain antennas I think than the 2700 series so walls seem to attenuate the signal more.

 

I like having CleanAir but, in the residence halls where there is so much interference we can't control like microwave ovens, other wireless devices (we tell them they can't have them but trying to find a wired-only printer these days or one where the wireless can be completely disabled is tough), etc and I just wonder if it really does any good.  Since Cisco recommends these 1800 series APs in areas like this, it makes me wonder if they feel the same way.

 

For the wired 1815w and the wired ports, I'm just hoping someone with some ISE or SD-Access experience might know.  I don't have either of those so it is difficult for me to test this.

VIP Engager

Re: Questions about 1815w

In those cases I'd suggest APs with CleanAir enabled and automatic channel switching, but set to Low sensitivity. That should provide a fairly stable wireless.

Now gaming and other latency sensitive applications are another topic. In this case I'd suggest having a low amount of clients on APs with small cells. The less clients attached to an AP, the more airtime a client gets.
What would help, configure AVC (not sure if it works with FlexConnect) and prioritize HTTP(S), YouTube, Netflix and other bandwidth hungry applications with a lower priority than the rest. That could provide enough bandwidth/airtime for gaming without latency issues. I haven't tested it with gaming though, but AVC did really help here with VMware VDI (in my case I gave VDI (PCoIP protocol) Gold priority).
VIP Engager

Re: Questions about 1815w

Just realized that the 1815w is a model I've not realized exists. I confused it with the older variants.
In any case, I wouldn't value CleanAir too much, I think the additional 2 x 1Gbps ports are worth way more. That way the users could attach their gaming laptop/pc directly to the wired network (if you allow this) while their tablets and mobile phones are using wireless. That would require you to mount them inside the rooms and have them accessible by the users. I don't think the 1 Gbps uplink port will be much of an issue, most internet speeds are anyway much lower and shared by many.
Beginner

Re: Questions about 1815w

For these residential hall spaces I agree they may be the way to go.  The biggest question I still have is how to get the wired ports working with something like ISE.  From what I've seen, an RLAN doesn't currently support any sort of NAC State setting like a WLAN does.  I also don't think these support any sort of COA on the wired ports.

Hall of Fame Master

Re: Questions about 1815w

I think folks recommended this AP because it’s was designed for that type of environment. I’m testing a few of these out and to be honest, I don’t see any difference in user experience with 3800 & 4800. Again this is user experience. You identified an issue already, AP’s placed in the hallways.  You are not going to get good user experience when the AP’s are in the hallways as if you had one in each room per say. Biggest challenge is 2.4ghz, maybe look at disabling that band if possible, but you need to asses the various devices that are being used, which might not work. The extra 3 ports and one pass through is nice also in case they want wired, but in the end it is all aggregated out of the single gig port excepti the pass through.  I’m evaluating these right now to possible replace the 3702’s we have in some areas.  When we have online gaming events, those are all wired. 

-Scott
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Beginner

Re: Questions about 1815w

Scott,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I'll be curious to hear what you guys end up doing.  My biggest concern with these at the moment is how to do the port security.  I'm thinking we'll probably want to move more and more towards 802.1x with MAB as a secondary, especially if we move to ISE.  I know it's possible to do some sort of port security on the wired ports on these with a Remote LAN but I have yet to see if there is any way to do Captive Portal redirection from them.  The RLAN config, for example, doesn't have a "NAC State" field that you can specific as ISE like a standard WLAN config does.

 

I'm thinking we might want to move to some sort of Guest device enrollment for the areas we'd have these deployed that would let students plug in their byod devices like computers and game consoles but, without the captive portal redirection, I would think they've have to be pre-registered before connection.  I'm not sure the wired ports are able to do any sort of COA either.

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