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Wireless LAN distribution and client access recommendation

Posted on 2014-01-07
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Last Modified: 2014-01-26
I need to distribute wireless connectivity to a camp from the demarc point of the ISP. I need to use wireless to get the the signal to the trailers and then wireless access points in the trailers for clients. I'm trying to research a product to use as an alternative to Cisco (including Meraki). Cisco is quite costly (Meraki is not as costly, but it is cloud managed and there are potential security issues) and if another solution exists that works great and costs less I want to know.

I'm looking for a mesh setup for connecting the trailers to the internet. I'd like the mesh backhaul links and the client access points to be the same brand for ease of management.

Thanks.
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Question by:byt3
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13 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Miftaul
ID: 39764459
Meraki is also owned by Cisco.

Could you please check Ubiquiti - here
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39767705
+1 for Ubiquiti
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39768943
I did think about Ubiquiti. I used it for another company I worked for (and liked using it there), however I don't like the limitations it has. Ubiquiti doesn't support roaming (Only in beta) and Ubiquiti maxes out at 4 SSIDs.

Aside from that I do really like Ubiquiti.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39769314
Hmmm, Ubiquiti does support roaming in v3 (production, not beta)...

http://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/unifi/UBNT_DS_Zero_Handoff_Roaming.pdf

The 4 SSID issue is annoying though that is true, however if you use RADIUS you 'could' use dynamic VLAN assignment via one SSID for your users, so the VLAN-to-SSID limit doesn't apply.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39769360
The deployment won't integrate with the client's authentication infrastructure and I'd need user or machine logins or certificates or something for the dynamic assignment via RADIUS.

Thanks though.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39769520
You're right, but you can do User authentication via PEAP-MSChapV2 to facilitate dynamic VLAN assignment via RADIUS.  You would only need a certificate on the RADIUS server for that.

Alas though if you are doing this for domain-joined machines though you would need a computer certificate per PC.

What authentication solution does the client have?
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39769537
Just found out that I don't need to provide client wireless access. Only mesh back-haul links to connect trailers to the trailer with the demarc. That simplifies things a lot. Ubiquiti has a proprietary mesh network substitute doesn't it?
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39769705
Kind of.  If it's what I think you mean, it's more like a bridging solution off the back of the wireless.  That's all you'd need though - a bridge.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39769739
Yes I need a bridge, but a mesh network too. The mesh will automatically find another device to connect to if it's current connected device goes down to maintain network connectivity.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39769744
That will happen anyway.

A mesh would give you multiple backhaul links at the same time, which isn't technically the same thing.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39769939
Oh right. It just starts using a different link if the one its using goes down. I don't think Ubiquiti supports the mesh protocol, but has their own proprietary thing... I think.

When you said bridge I thought you meant a single point to point connection.
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
byt3 earned 0 total points
ID: 39798330
I went with Ruckus Wireless.
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LVL 2

Author Closing Comment

by:byt3
ID: 39809838
Didn't receive any other info that helped.
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