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Wireless surveying?

I am curious about how some of you at other educational insitituions handled the planning for a large wireless implementation which not only includes the academic/administrative buildings, but also the residential buildings. 

 

1. Did you use a professional service for a site survey?  If so, did they simply look at floor plans or did they come out and physically survey buildings?

 

2.  Did they survey all buildings or just a small subset of buildings?

 

I am curious as to what was expected in return for the service.

 

3. After it was completed, was there anything you wish you had gotten from the survey that you feel would have improved the over-all implementation?

 

Tim Tyler

Network Engineer

Beloit College

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

After six years we are finally at 100% coverage on campus. Having tried just about every method, what worked best for existing construction has been a full site survey before and after installation including surveying wall materials for signal pass through. It cost more up-front to perform the non-predictive survey but I think we ended up with a better product. -Scott
Tim,

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?

Respectfully,

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491


On new deployments we do a real site survey using in house personnel. We use whatever model AP we're deploying in that building to make sure the signal propagation we see will be accurate. The rig isn't pretty to look at, but it's been very effective for us. It costs some extra man hours on the front end, but it has been worth it. 


Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

We currently have a mix of 11n APs in our dorms. We are planning to replace about half of them with 11ac (AP-225) access points this summer. We will re-surveying all of the buildings due to the new antenna design and increased coverage of the AP-225s. We’re expecting to reduce our AP count in the dorms by about 20%.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Tyler
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:21 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

Message from iam@st-andrews.ac.uk

Hi Tim,

 

What’s your current density? (ie, rooms per AP?), and what do you expect it to be with the newer kit?

 

Thanks

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Cappalli
Sent: 27 January 2014 16:35
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

We currently have a mix of 11n APs in our dorms. We are planning to replace about half of them with 11ac (AP-225) access points this summer. We will re-surveying all of the buildings due to the new antenna design and increased coverage of the AP-225s. We’re expecting to reduce our AP count in the dorms by about 20%.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Tyler
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:21 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

Tim,

We have Aruba as well and we are in the midst of re-architecting out wireless network.  We currently have the "APs in the Hallway" model and we are going to be moving them into rooms.  We have mostly been using freebie tools on smartphones and combining that with past experience and Aruba VRDs for our surveys.  Believe it or not, our surveys using WiFiFoFum on an Android phone provides very similar results (though obviously not as granular) as our VAR's Aruba team doing the same analysis using AirMagnet.  In greenfield buildings, we do pretty much the same thing that John had mentioned.  We work with our facilities and housing departments to temporarily mount a few APs for a single floor (usually a middle floor) to see how the signal propagates through the floors, ceilings, and walls when students are actually in there using it.  We'd been bitten in the past by doing surveys in the buildings when they were empty and that obviously does NOT provide an accurate assessment of the wireless environment.  If you do decide to have an outside entity do the survey, I would suggest starting with your VAR.  They will typically do the surveys for a few buildings for free.  You or someone from your team can tag along with them to see how they do it and then you can potentially take the reigns and finish the remaining buildings.  


Respectfully,

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491


Our newer buildings are about 5 rooms (and suite) per AP.


Our older CMU buildings are about 2-3 rooms per AP.

 

Based on some preliminary predictive planning, we expect 1 AP per suite (5-6 rooms).

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ian McDonald
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:37 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Hi Tim,

 

What’s your current density? (ie, rooms per AP?), and what do you expect it to be with the newer kit?

 

Thanks

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Cappalli
Sent: 27 January 2014 16:35
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

We currently have a mix of 11n APs in our dorms. We are planning to replace about half of them with 11ac (AP-225) access points this summer. We will re-surveying all of the buildings due to the new antenna design and increased coverage of the AP-225s. We’re expecting to reduce our AP count in the dorms by about 20%.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Tyler
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:21 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

Message from pmauretti@massasoit.mass.edu

Tim,

 

May I ask what led to the decision to replace those 11n’s so soon?  Particularly with the full ratification of 11ac just occurring 3 weeks ago?

 

I can see the possibility of augmenting the existing 11n infrastructure with new 11ac AP’s, but justifying the ROI of replacing any N devices sounds like a very hard sell to me. 

 

Thanks,
Patrick

 

Patrick Mauretti

Sr. Network Admin

Massasoit Community College

1 Massasoit Blvd

Brockton, MA 02302

508-588-9100 x1660

“On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Cappalli
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:35 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

We currently have a mix of 11n APs in our dorms. We are planning to replace about half of them with 11ac (AP-225) access points this summer. We will re-surveying all of the buildings due to the new antenna design and increased coverage of the AP-225s. We’re expecting to reduce our AP count in the dorms by about 20%.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Tyler
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:21 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

We were planning to replace AP-125s (they are now almost 8 years old). This first round of upgrades will get us about ¾ through the 125s.

 

Our decision to use AP-225s is because they average about 25-30% better coverage for N clients. We also have many students that have the latest and greatest so we have a decent number of 11ac clients out there.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Patrick Mauretti
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:48 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

May I ask what led to the decision to replace those 11n’s so soon?  Particularly with the full ratification of 11ac just occurring 3 weeks ago?

 

I can see the possibility of augmenting the existing 11n infrastructure with new 11ac AP’s, but justifying the ROI of replacing any N devices sounds like a very hard sell to me. 

 

Thanks,
Patrick

 

Patrick Mauretti

Sr. Network Admin

Massasoit Community College

1 Massasoit Blvd

Brockton, MA 02302

508-588-9100 x1660

“On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Cappalli
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:35 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

We currently have a mix of 11n APs in our dorms. We are planning to replace about half of them with 11ac (AP-225) access points this summer. We will re-surveying all of the buildings due to the new antenna design and increased coverage of the AP-225s. We’re expecting to reduce our AP count in the dorms by about 20%.

 

Tim

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tim Tyler
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:21 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Mathew,

   We know we are going to do Aruba, but that is about the end of constraints.  We have basically no coverage on the residential side.  Students have been using store bought wireless routers throughout.   The academic/admin side can be considered a ramp up, but if a survey suggested that some of our implementations could be better redeployed, we would certainly listen to any over-hauling ideas.  At this point, we are leaning towards the 802.11ac technology as we would like the idea of future proofing ourselves.  But again, we are not set in stone and will consider any given advice and options.   We have 66 buildings of which about 20 or so are houses that probably really don’t need surveying.    Certainly it is cheaper to provide floor plans for surveying, but I am very curious as to how others have handled this.  If many on this list highly recommend physical surveying, then we would probably strongly consider that option or at least some subset.

  Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:47 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Tim,

 

Is this a greenfield environment or are you ramping up coverage?


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

   I would add to Tim's comments by saying know you building wall attenuation at 5Ghz.  We were bitten by the hallway deployment in our concrete block style dorms, mainly because the i-devices can't be heard by the AP's.  We're replacing those using an every other room model (recommended by Aruba and Cisco) for these buildings.  Use can use the predictive modeling tools to get a pretty good guess-timate, but we decided to test by installing an entire floor and checking it first-hand.
- Don


Is there documentation on the web from Aruba or Cisco that recommends putting them in every other room or was this something that they told you in one-on-one conversations?

Thanks,

On 1/27/2014 11:59 AM, Wright, Don wrote:
   I would add to Tim's comments by saying know you building wall attenuation at 5Ghz.  We were bitten by the hallway deployment in our concrete block style dorms, mainly because the i-devices can't be heard by the AP's.  We're replacing those using an every other room model (recommended by Aruba and Cisco) for these buildings.  Use can use the predictive modeling tools to get a pretty good guess-timate, but we decided to test by installing an entire floor and checking it first-hand.
- Don


We just finished the wireless refresh of our 26 story dorm in downtown San Francisco. Putting the APs in every other room has worked very well for us. The dorm was built in 1928 and has horrible signal attenuation between the rooms. Also don’t stack APs directly on top of each other.

 

 

---
Nicholas Urrea
UC Hastings College of the Law

Network and Systems Engineer
Information Technology
e: urrean@uchastings.edu
ext: 4718
helpdesk:
e: helpdesk@uchastings.edu
ph: 415-565-4625

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:10 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Is there documentation on the web from Aruba or Cisco that recommends putting them in every other room or was this something that they told you in one-on-one conversations?

Thanks,

On 1/27/2014 11:59 AM, Wright, Don wrote:

   I would add to Tim's comments by saying know you building wall attenuation at 5Ghz.  We were bitten by the hallway deployment in our concrete block style dorms, mainly because the i-devices can't be heard by the AP's.  We're replacing those using an every other room model (recommended by Aruba and Cisco) for these buildings.  Use can use the predictive modeling tools to get a pretty good guess-timate, but we decided to test by installing an entire floor and checking it first-hand.

- Don

 

Vlade,
    Here's the Aruba VRD, Cisco has one you can as well and they're very similar.
- Don




We are planning to roll out wifi in all of our dorms this summer. 2 buildings have poured concrete walls and have 2 bedroom , 1 living room suites. The signals we recorded outside of the room on the same floor were pretty crappy. In the apartment above and below, signals were still good. I originally thought 1 AP every other room was overkill but after my survey, that's what I'm thinking. It's reassuring to know others are coming to the same conclusion.

The buildings with drywall are easy. It's these cast concrete and cinderblock buildings that are giving me some issues so I am going to hire a third party reseller to double check my findings. The other issue is I think the people who work in residence life would prefer to keep the equipment outside of the rooms and in the hallways where as I'm seeing better signal quality when the access points are in the rooms in most cases.



On 1/27/2014 12:21 PM, Urrea, Nick wrote:

We just finished the wireless refresh of our 26 story dorm in downtown San Francisco. Putting the APs in every other room has worked very well for us. The dorm was built in 1928 and has horrible signal attenuation between the rooms. Also don’t stack APs directly on top of each other.

 

 

---
Nicholas Urrea
UC Hastings College of the Law

Network and Systems Engineer
Information Technology
e: urrean@uchastings.edu
ext: 4718
helpdesk:
e: helpdesk@uchastings.edu
ph: 415-565-4625

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:10 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Is there documentation on the web from Aruba or Cisco that recommends putting them in every other room or was this something that they told you in one-on-one conversations?

Thanks,

On 1/27/2014 11:59 AM, Wright, Don wrote:

   I would add to Tim's comments by saying know you building wall attenuation at 5Ghz.  We were bitten by the hallway deployment in our concrete block style dorms, mainly because the i-devices can't be heard by the AP's.  We're replacing those using an every other room model (recommended by Aruba and Cisco) for these buildings.  Use can use the predictive modeling tools to get a pretty good guess-timate, but we decided to test by installing an entire floor and checking it first-hand.

- Don

 

Vlade,

  Here are the Aruba published guidelines not only for residential, but for other type of projects:  http://www.arubanetworks.com/technology/reference-design-guides/#Campus

Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Wright, Don
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:24 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Vlade,

    Here's the Aruba VRD, Cisco has one you can as well and they're very similar.

- Don

 

 

 

We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.


Thanks,

When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is?

If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer.




On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote:
We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.


We surface mount them. We’ve found that students realize this is their only internet connection and don’t steal them. Also, we’re considering using the Aruba W2 style mount which locks the AP with a hex key so students don’t unplug them. We see APs go up and down overnight because their OS tells them to “reboot your router”. The W2 mount blocks access to the cable and makes it much more difficult to remove the AP from the mount.

 

 

Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA
Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University
cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:09 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Thanks,

When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is?

If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer.



On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote:

We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.

 

Thank you and Don for the help. Those links will be very helpul.

On 1/27/2014 12:41 PM, Tim Tyler wrote:

Vlade,

  Here are the Aruba published guidelines not only for residential, but for other type of projects:  http://www.arubanetworks.com/technology/reference-design-guides/#Campus

Tim

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Wright, Don
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:24 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Vlade,

    Here's the Aruba VRD, Cisco has one you can as well and they're very similar.

- Don

 

 

 

We just did a down and dirty survey with a tablet and WiFi analyzer.  I had students run around and manually mark on a map where they were getting < -70 Db on the 5 GHz band.  I figure build for 5 GHz and 2.4 will come along for the ride.  

Based on our results we determined where we needed more APs.  We pulled wire and hung the APs, and moved around others, and did the survey again.  No areas less than -70 Db were found.  Our next phase will be to go thorough and actually do throughput testing and checking for co-channel interference to make sure channel reuse is minimized.  

It is not pretty but fairly effective.  I'd rather spend my $20K on APs than a fancy survey.


John



Vlade,
I can echo Tim's comments.  Our students realize that if they damage or steal the APs they will not have any wireless access for the remainder of the term.  We also have a unwritten "policy" to dime-out the offending room to everyone in the building where that an AP(s) was damaged and let them know that there will not be any wireless access in that general area.  We don't give specifics as to a specific room or person, but they are smart enough to figure it out.

Respectfully,

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491


Message from dannyeaton@rice.edu

In the event an AP gets damaged or “lost” in our residential colleges, I’ve put a flyer up around the college “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” with a picture of the AP on a milk carton.  I also bill the college for the full replacement value of the AP. 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Matt Williams
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 12:52 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Vlade,

I can echo Tim's comments.  Our students realize that if they damage or steal the APs they will not have any wireless access for the remainder of the term.  We also have a unwritten "policy" to dime-out the offending room to everyone in the building where that an AP(s) was damaged and let them know that there will not be any wireless access in that general area.  We don't give specifics as to a specific room or person, but they are smart enough to figure it out.


Respectfully,

 

Matthew "Will" Williams
Assistant Director, Networking
Bucknell University
570.577.1491

 

We surface mount as well. We're not that worried about theft, although damage is a concern (only 1 instance so far). The bigger concern was maintenance access, it can be quite a chore getting into a residence hall room.


Don’t install them, and then you won’t have the aesthetic uses to worry about! It is a complete waste of money. We have had thousands of AP’s installed for over 10 years, and I think we have gotten one damaged or stolen in that whole time. When you think of the cost for the enclosures, the extra labor to install them and the extra labor to upgrade AP’s that are in enclosures you are expending a lot of capital and labor that could be used for much more productive wireless projects.

 

Pete Morrissey

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:09 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Thanks,

When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is?

If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer.



On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote:

We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.

 

Agreed Pete!  Don’t do it.  We went through the math of installing a secure box over each of our access points that are “accessible” to the masses, and we’d have to lose 3 or 4 (at the time) to make it worthwhile.  After 5 years with our current deployment, we have yet to lose or have a single AP damaged.  Student either don’t care about what they are, think they are fire alarms, or took our advice at orientation, which said if you break them, you won’t have internet.

 

We ended putting some of our AP’s above the grid in places where we could, just to help protect them.  When those AP’s get replaced, we probably will put them on the grid or the wall, depending.  The less material we can have between the AP and the client the better, right?

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter P Morrissey
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 2:38 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Don’t install them, and then you won’t have the aesthetic uses to worry about! It is a complete waste of money. We have had thousands of AP’s installed for over 10 years, and I think we have gotten one damaged or stolen in that whole time. When you think of the cost for the enclosures, the extra labor to install them and the extra labor to upgrade AP’s that are in enclosures you are expending a lot of capital and labor that could be used for much more productive wireless projects.

 

Pete Morrissey

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:09 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Thanks,

When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is?

If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer.


On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote:

We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.

 

I would concur. We tried putting the access points in an enclosure and it was a waste of money. Also, if you are installing the access points in the students' rooms, there definitely isn't a need to put them in a box. Here, the residents are responsible for any damage in the rooms. If something physically happens to the access point while they are living there, it is on their nickel. As for the ones in the common spaces, we have had little trouble. We have had some which were "missing" only to be found later hanging back on the wall or were turned in at the front desk as they "fell" off the wall. We had two that were stolen before they had been added to our controllers and were recovered within a few days when the video surveillance showed the same individual exiting the two residence halls around the time of the incident. A colleague at another university has a policy where they will shut off the wireless to the entire hall if an access point is stolen. The thieves get turned in quickly. If they don't recover the access point within a week, they will replace it and the entire residence hall gets billed for the expense. Mark… From: , Brandon > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv > Date: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:55 PM To: "NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" > Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying? Agreed Pete! Don’t do it. We went through the math of installing a secure box over each of our access points that are “accessible” to the masses, and we’d have to lose 3 or 4 (at the time) to make it worthwhile. After 5 years with our current deployment, we have yet to lose or have a single AP damaged. Student either don’t care about what they are, think they are fire alarms, or took our advice at orientation, which said if you break them, you won’t have internet. We ended putting some of our AP’s above the grid in places where we could, just to help protect them. When those AP’s get replaced, we probably will put them on the grid or the wall, depending. The less material we can have between the AP and the client the better, right? From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter P Morrissey Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 2:38 PM To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying? Don’t install them, and then you won’t have the aesthetic uses to worry about! It is a complete waste of money. We have had thousands of AP’s installed for over 10 years, and I think we have gotten one damaged or stolen in that whole time. When you think of the cost for the enclosures, the extra labor to install them and the extra labor to upgrade AP’s that are in enclosures you are expending a lot of capital and labor that could be used for much more productive wireless projects. Pete Morrissey From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:09 PM To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying? Thanks, When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is? If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer. On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote: We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.

We started to do that with one of the res halls as a model.  It got expensive quickly.  That was the only one we have ever done.  We don’t have stories about nothing bad has ever happened to our APs, but it has been so rare that the cost of enclosures would hugely outweigh the cost of lost/broken APs.

 

Kenneth V. Mattson III
Director - Network and Data
DoIT
Creighton University
402-280-2743
402-981-1140
 
A password is like a toothbrush:
Choose a good one, change it regularly and don't share it.

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Riffel, Brandon
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 2:56 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Agreed Pete!  Don’t do it.  We went through the math of installing a secure box over each of our access points that are “accessible” to the masses, and we’d have to lose 3 or 4 (at the time) to make it worthwhile.  After 5 years with our current deployment, we have yet to lose or have a single AP damaged.  Student either don’t care about what they are, think they are fire alarms, or took our advice at orientation, which said if you break them, you won’t have internet.

 

We ended putting some of our AP’s above the grid in places where we could, just to help protect them.  When those AP’s get replaced, we probably will put them on the grid or the wall, depending.  The less material we can have between the AP and the client the better, right?

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter P Morrissey
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 2:38 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Don’t install them, and then you won’t have the aesthetic uses to worry about! It is a complete waste of money. We have had thousands of AP’s installed for over 10 years, and I think we have gotten one damaged or stolen in that whole time. When you think of the cost for the enclosures, the extra labor to install them and the extra labor to upgrade AP’s that are in enclosures you are expending a lot of capital and labor that could be used for much more productive wireless projects.

 

Pete Morrissey

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vlade Ristevski
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:09 PM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Wireless Surveying?

 

Thanks,

When you guys put them in the room are you housing them in a locked enclosure or an access panel in the wall or ceiling? Or are they just out in the open as is?

If you use an enclosure , would you mind sharing which one? The ones I've seen are either expensive or ugly or sometimes both. Aesthetics was an issue when we did a trial AP install last summer.

On 1/27/2014 12:58 PM, John McMillan wrote:

We've also ended up at 1 AP every other room in the residence halls as we renovate. It's the only way we get adequate 5GHz coverage, and it also provides better service to the steadily increasing client count we're seeing. We really didn't want to move the equipment into the living space, but in the end decided it was the only way to do it right.

 


Yes, we did an edge refresh last year so we are all 802.3at. Also, AP-220s now operate with near full feature-set on af power. Tim Cappalli  |  ACCP /  ACMP /  CCNA Network Engineer  |  Brandeis University cappalli@brandeis.edu | (617) 701-7149
1. Did you use a professional service for a site survey?  If so, did they simply look at floor plans or did they come out and physically survey buildings?
On occasion we use a professional service, but usually that is tied into a specific project. A few years ago we did an RFP and vendors were presented floor plans and as much construction data as possible and some of the vendors replied with predictive surveys. Most of the time we do our own surveys however. I have a copy of Fluke's Airmagnet I use to do the survey and access to electronic copies of our floor plans.

2.  Did they survey all buildings or just a small subset of buildings?
In all cases were an outside professional did the survey it was a specific subset of building for a project.

3. After it was completed, was there anything you wish you had gotten from the survey that you feel would have improved the over-all implementation?
If you have a copy of the survey software they use, see if they'll give you a copy of the files. This way you can the data for a specific spot and compare against future surveys. Also, the image resolution is usually better. In the past I've been given a printed copy of the maps and it was impossible to see all the subtle color changes, and some areas bled into others.

I would agree with everyone suggesting to install in the rooms and not install in the hall (at least for primary coverage). Our initial deployment was in the hallway and it never worked well. We have drywall throughout the buildings, and it looks great on a site survey when the building is empty over the summer. The issue we found had to do with the room layout. The student's closet space is between their room and the hall. Once they filled it with their stuff, they formed a fluffy wall that absorbed enough of signal to cause issues. Putting the AP in the room made drywall (and a few posters) the only barrier, and we haven't had a complaint since.

I also wouldn't bother with secure enclosures. In 6 years we haven't lost a single AP to theft or damage caused by students. I did have one disconnected because the students wanted an extra port for a LAN party, but a polite conversation fixed that. As others suggested you can speak with residential living about policies regarding bad behavior.
-- Heath Barnhart ITS Network Administrator Washburn University 785-670-2307

On Mon, 2014-01-27 at 09:31 -0600, Tim Tyler wrote:
Wireless surveying?

I am curious about how some of you at other educational insitituions handled the planning for a large wireless implementation which not only includes the academic/administrative buildings, but also the residential buildings. 

 



 

2.  Did they survey all buildings or just a small subset of buildings?

 

I am curious as to what was expected in return for the service.

 

3. After it was completed, was there anything you wish you had gotten from the survey that you feel would have improved the over-all implementation?

 

Tim Tyler

Network Engineer

Beloit College

 


********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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