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admin_2
Participant

Thin or Fat AP's

What are some of the pros and cons of have a thin AP where all the processing is done on a wireless switch and a fat or smart AP where all the smarts are in the AP?

Any comments?

4 REPLIES 4
pradeepde
Contributor

Are you talking about configuring an AP as a repeater, if this is the case, the only disadvantage of using a second AP as a repeater is that it will half the thru put. Another thing to be aware of is, it will not double the range of the existing AP, but only increase the range by 50%.

trueblue
Beginner

There is a pretty good paper on the topic called "Wireless LAN Architectures : Distributed Access Points Vs. Centralized WLAN 'Switches'" available from LXE, Inc. It is available for free after you complete a free registration. This URl will get you to the download page: http://www.bitpipe.com/detail/RES/1080846177_706.html

Timothy Sass
Beginner

There are pros to a dumb AP configuraiton. I have found that having the AP right were you need it and doing a Site survey to assertain the correct placement of the AP's is much better that having a 'dumb' antenna connected to a ethernet cable. In a large industrial WLAN installation, I would use seperate AP's and manage them with a WLSE. If you have a smaller network, you could use dumb AP's. The switch connecting the dumb AP's would have to be redundant too!

Tim

scottmac
Advocate

Redundancy is an issue that comes to mind. If you're using a central "smart switch," you have a single-point-of-failure for the entire wireless system.

Depending on the number of APs you are hanging, buying a second (third, fourth ... ) switch is likely to still come in cheaper than a large quantity of "smart" APs.

Other than that, cabling costs would be a push - you need cabling for either. Management costs are roughly equal ...

I guess it all boils down to design philosophy.

FWIW

Scott

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