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Work Wireless networks - What does it take for maintenance --

How much maintenance does a wireless network take once it is up and running.  I am looking at a Windows environment with 13 AP's.  All Cisco gear.  100 work users.  Possibly 200 guest users daily.

I have people asking me to get wireless operational and I want to have a complete list of considerations.  People think that their home wireless has been up and operational for 3 years so what is the big deal to adding it to our network.

I would like to think of security, bandwidth, dhcp, user device configurations.

I would really like to hear from people who have a wireless network already installed and hear about their experiences with adding a wireless network to their existing infrastructure.
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Sean Meyer
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Sean Meyer
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Garry GlendownConsulting and Network/Security SpecialistCommented:
At that size, make sure you do a decent planning and good site survey before deploying the devices ... also remember that the range for 2.4 and 5 GHz will differ.
In general, the system will probably work fine one set up ... anyway, unless you're well away from any other infrastructure, you may and most likely will get outside interference ... e.g., on a customer site, we noticed repetitive TKIP "intrusion" shutouts, which most likely were caused by some remote AP.
Are you planning on doing a stand-alone deployment, or will you use the APs with a controller? With the latter, by using the automatic adjustments the controller is able to do by using stuff like the "clean air" feature, you may fare better than on a static, stand-alone solution, as it will adapt to interference from other APs or other radio interference ...
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Garry GlendownConsulting and Network/Security SpecialistCommented:
Oh, and on another note, make sure you scale appropriately to the number of users and bandwidth requirements ... just because an AP may be able to handle several hundred square feet of office doesn't mean it's a good idea to do so - with an increasing number of users and increased bandwidth used, your network performance may degrade severely ...
This may be even more important if you'd ever want to do any Voice over WLAN ...
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Sean MeyerAuthor Commented:
We are looking at doing a controller - Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controller -

How many hours / month end up getting devoted to health checks / maintenance and other items related to the wireless ?
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Garry GlendownConsulting and Network/Security SpecialistCommented:
The controller - given that the initial setup was done decently - should take care of the "normal" everyday maintenance. If the system required continuous manual adjustment, there's something wrong ;) You may want to use some sort of NMS to monitor usage, bandwidth, thresholds, but that's something that any IT department ought to do for their infrastructure and server hardware ...
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Sean MeyerAuthor Commented:
If you have any estimate on the amount of additional time needed by having a wireless network that would be great but your current information is good so I closed the question.

Even a range would help.... 30 min to an hour / month .... 2 hours to 5 hours / month... etc
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Garry GlendownConsulting and Network/Security SpecialistCommented:
Had to estimate - as I said, normally the technical side should be low maintenance, but of course depending on your users and guests, the "layer 8" maintenance most likely will be the bigger part ... of those, the regular users will - after initial setup - probably cause less work, guest users with little to no experience in using their own devices could come up with all kinds of problems, from fat-fingers-errors through driver or OS problems ... for those users, setting up some sort of guest network with captive portal (with or without authentication, depending on company policy) and low complexity access data will probably reduce work ... in any way, putting up a decent firewall between the employee and guest network should be a given ... for guests that require access to the production network, set up the possibility of using VPN from guest to production network ...
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