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mikhailov.ivan
Beginner

Apple macOS roaming

Hello everyone. I know and understand that i am not a first who ask about it, but now i need to do it again )
Agenda is about roaming problems with Apple MacOS devices like Macbook etc. I am not a apple user.
As a nutshell: many "big bosses" like apple devices (i really dont have idea why) ) and they often feel the problems with roaming when they have video\voice meetings.
I don't want discuss about some "holywar" about wifi roaming, but on android and PC devices it works much better than on mac..its a fact. So we have official web page from apple.com about it

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206207

And they say that "we don't support all of modern roam features, just try to make correct cell size and bla bla"
And when I say my boss "we need new Cisco 9100 wifi6 APs, because they have SDN, beamforming, Apple device support, etc", boss ask me "i can solve apple mac roaming problems" , My response is "unfortunately no", and boss say "so why we need Cisco?"
I want to ask you guys about your experience and how you try solve this problem? Maybe somebody has any marketing materials about "Cisco vs ..."   I really dont understand , if cisco has partnership with apple why they cant solve problems with Mac ?
That's really my pain )) Thanks!

 

 

5 REPLIES 5
Rasika Nayanajith
VIP Mentor

I think the main reasoning may be the nature of Laptop users roaming is not that common like iOS devices (iPhone or iPads), hence Apple/Cisco may think 11r support is not critical. Do you have a critical use case where macOS device user roaming where users expect to move with their active laptop wireless connection?

 

There are many other CSC forum threads on the same topic, even today there is no FT on macOS

https://community.cisco.com/t5/other-wireless-mobility-subjects/macos-10-14-and-802-11r/td-p/3808637 

 

Someone closely working with Apple/Cisco may know exact reasoning why it is the case & provide some background info why 11r not coming on to that OS

 

HTH

Rasika

*** Pls rate all useful responses ***

Thanks Rasika, I read your web site ))
So yes i have some use cases. For example: somebody has started video conference on workspace (for example some cloud (zoom or webex or skype)) and has moved to meeting room for continue on big TV with airplay. That is typical our scenario.
And apple Mac is very sticky and slowly. And that is interesting apple Mac roaming very depends on how fast you move..
we had test cisco 9120i couple week ago, and everything is ok, but MacOS roaming is much problem (

we also have tryed /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport prefs joinMode=Strongest  and any variations about this, but didnt see much effect (

I have never seen a roaming behaviour like this before in regards to macOS and we've got a large fleet of macOS. 

1.  Is this behaviour happening to just ONE machine or across-the-board? 

2.  Have someone tried replicating the issue? 

3.  What happens if the specific machine roams and you continuously ping the machine?  When the video cuts off, is the machine still responding to pings? 

4.  What are the AP radio details during the roaming?  RSSI/SNR?

So, it's only about real-time traffic, of course you can't feel it on data traffic.

1)little bit differente between some Mac models, but not much

2)i have )

3)not obvious question). sometimes i can see drop ping from Mac side, but voice is ok and sometimes it drops both.

4)everything match apply recommendation from apple.com.  For example we have two rooms RSSI is from -40 to -64dbm in rooms and -68-70 between. (RRM auto is enebled) . Sometimes Mac roam is absolutely transparent and sometimes sticky and drop.

I have tested Mac roaming just now. It was really sad ( MacBook with 3SS still connect to AP even more than rssi -87dbm(underneath another Cisco 9120)...and in a same time android\windows roams perfectly. I really unexpected this for Apple $price..

Behavior of Macs absolutely unpredictable. (

 

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