Wi-Fi deployment in computer conference


My group will be trying to deploy a large area wi-fi network in a computer conference. We are foreseeing a two problems I'd like this group comments on:

1 - Our set-up will cover the hole place using 802.11n on "fat" access points (we have no thin APs). That is in place and already work now. We are concearned with the fact that each AP have to be configured "on- site"... If we have strong reasons, we may change that.

2 - People will be allowed to bring their own APs. Our major concearn here is that these APs may interfere with ours (or with each other). ITOH, we wouldn't like to forbid people to bring their own APs. Is there a middle-ground? Maybe mesh networks?



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How large? How many clients? What conference?

What is a "fat" or "thin" AP? A new buzzword. Googling...

Oh, it's an "intelligent" access point versus a "stupid" access point running on a wireless switch. Got it. Most wireless AP's are "fat".

I think you'll get better answers if you disclose the manufactory and model numbers of your existing 802.11n hardware.

Huh? I pre-configure access points all the time in advance. Many access points have DHCP clients built in. If there's a router with a DHCP server on site, you can pre-configure the assigned IP addresses in the router to match the IP layout. All you need to know is the MAC address of each access point (printed on the serial number sticker).

If it's a trade show network, where you often don't have access to the main router, bring your own DHCP server configured for delivering IP's to only your own access points.

If you don't have time for that, just setup the IP's on any Class C IP block that is *NOT* used by the conference. You don't need the IP's for anything other than configuration, and with your AP's already pre-configured, you probably won't even need those. (Note that AP's are wireless bridges that work on ISO Layer 2. They don't know anything about IP addresses except for configuration).

Yep. That's the way it's usually done.

You'll find that the small show networks tend to use obscure IP blocks specifically designed to avoid clueless vendors that arrive with their AP's and wireless routers configured with duplicated IP addresses or totally misconfigured. The convention or trade show usually has printed or posted guidelines for show network setup.

In addition, many larger shows use VLAN's to isolate vendors. Do whatever you want. You won't see the neighbors stuff on the ethernet.

Again, Access Points "bridge" (MAC layer). They do not "route" (IP layer). If you configure your AP's for some obscure RFC-1918 IP block, then the odds are slim that you're going to get clobbered by another vendor.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to ask the convention operators for a clue as to how they have their network setup?

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Jeff Liebermann

Howe large is "large? Size of an indoor football stadium?

Never heard of that. Can you elaborate on what a fat and thin AP is?

How are the visiting APs going even going to connect to the wired network?

Mesh with mixed models of AP? Are you prepared to make this a term project?

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just an interesting read from Network World about wireless at the super bowl

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is this like a trade show arena, or more like lots of breakout rooms for small working groups ? ie - one large indoor/outdoor arena, or trying to cover lots of little rooms ?

802.11n - working - is it also to support b/g ? "fat" are standalone devices vs the "thin" which go back to central controller. ok - which specific devices did you already deploy ?

How can it be "in place now", and yet, "have to be configured" ? Do you mean, you have already installed a few AP's, but will be installing a lot more to support your conference ?

As Jeff mentioned, the AP is merely a wireless bridge and knows nothing about IP, except for the required admin access & config... unless it is more than an AP ? Where and how will the users get their DHCP IP addresses ? How many user connections are you expecting ? ie - more than 250 ?

If they bring their own AP's - how do they connect for Internet access ? How will they be supported by you, controlled, troubleshooting, and what about any security issues - access to your local internal network, etc ?

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Yep. Interesting. There's nothing like having the TV crew show up with a 10watt (yep, that's 10,000 milliwatts) analog TV transmitter and wipe out everything on 2.4GHz. Even without the TV crew, there are plenty of fans with wireless 2.4GHz TV cameras linked to DVR's in their campers in the parking lot. Extra credit to the wackos that setup 2.4GHz cordless phone to cellular plus power amplifiers in their cards, to insure maximum havoc. I'll pretend not to mention the bootleg video feeds on previously unused TV channels.

One of my customers went to the local Costco and bought a 2.4GHz wireless TV security camera system. A few days later, he complained that he was having problem connecting to his wireless router, also on

2.4GHz. When I came over and tried it, I couldn't even see the SSID broadcasts, much less connect to the router. I turned off the wireless video and everything returned to normal.

The surest sign of success is pollution. I guess RF is successful.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

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