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Cisco WAC 2100 with 1131g AP's... I can't get good speed

Posted on 2014-02-14
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Last Modified: 2014-02-19
So, I inherited this Cisco 2100 Wireless Access Controller with 6 1131g Access Points.  We recently upgraded our internet to a 100 Meg Pipe.  We have the controller connected to a core group of switches.  My Problem is that I do not get anything past 10Mbps down and 5.4 Mbps Up.  Being that the AP's are 802.11g i should see something close to or around 50 Mbps shouldn't I??

I do not see where the bottle neck is...  I attached a diagram of my layout.  All Ideas are welcomed!
Wifi-Config.JPG
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Question by:juanvarela
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by:Infamus
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Check your wireless network connection speed on your laptop(assuming you are doing test from your laptop).

Check the speed negotiation between the AP and the WLC.

Check the speed negotiation between the WLC and the core switchport.

Check if you have any bandwidth limit setup for wireless per SSID.
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by:Craig Beck
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The theoretical maximum throughput is always half of the radio speed.  This is because all communication over the air is half-duplex.  However with all factors taken into account, such as overheads and environmental factors, we usually say that you could only really ever achieve around half of the radio speed minus an additional 10%.

So if you have a 54Mbps radio the data throughput would be theoretically somewhere around 22Mbps.

That's in ideal lab-type situations though.  In the real world it's a lot less.

The problem is that each device doesn't ever operate optimally and there are always outside factors which affect the performance.  For example, the further you are from the AP means you might receive at a lesser data-rate; say 36Mbps for example if you're next-door to the AP and the signal has to penetrate through a plaster wall.

So I'd say that 10Mbps isn't great but it's definitely not shouting to me that you have a major problem.  You might get closer to 16 or 17Mbps if you just change the channel on an AP.
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by:juanvarela
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Connection speed is good
100 Auto between the AP and WLC
100 Auto between the WLC and Core Switch

Where can I check for bandwidth limits?
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by:juanvarela
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@craigbeck... Very True and I understand that.  I am hitting my head on this because the AP's are all mounted on the ceiling.  with good visibility.  I thought that interference might be the problem but changing the channels only makes it worse.  Environmentally speaking, There are a whole lot of other AP's around my area which I know are cause many of the issues.  Regardless of that, should I be getting a consistent rate? At this moment I am at 5Mbps down and 4 Mbps up.  I am using Testmy.net because its not flash I think it gives better results.
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by:Infamus
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For checking the bandwidth limits, it can be on the Firewall or maybe on WLC.

I was just thinking outloud to eliminate any possible issues.

Also testmy.net showed different result than speedtest.net.

We have 1Gb internet but it only showed 45Mb which is way off.
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by:Craig Beck
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If you have lots of other APs about that's probably just something you're going to have to live with.  Unfortunately this will have an effect on your speeds.

It won't ever be consistent because what you have to consider is the busyness of the other APs.  If they're just sitting doing nothing because no clients are talking to them they might not be causing much interference, but if they're servicing clients that's different because those clients will be creating noise for your network.
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by:bill30
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If you want to take a look at channel utilization you can turn on RRM (Radio Resource Monitoring).  Keep in mind it can impact performance, so you may not want to leave it on as it definitely reduces connectivity for 60 ms a second.

Page 10-2:
http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/controller/4-0/configuration/guide/ccfig40.pdf

Since Testmynet is outside your LAN, this will only tell you what your shared throughput is, if other devices are on and downloading from the internet, they will impact this metric.  Try seeing what a FTP download and upload gets you connecting to a LAN wired computer with no one else connected to your AP to test your max throughput.  But craigbeck is right getting 20mbs would be max, and you have competing AP's reducing your available channel bandwidth.

You could try turning on Hybrid REAP to stop traffic from going back to the controller, and perform local switching to see if that helps.
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by:Craig Beck
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RRM is enabled by default.
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by:juanvarela
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CraigBeck is right.. RRM is enabled.  I am not convinced that the Hybrid Readp will resolve my issue.   I think there is some sort of traffic shaping but i can't put my finger on it.  I attached what I am seeing from my tablet using wifi analyzer.  Any thoughts on it?
Screenshot-2014-02-14-08-42-05.png
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by:Craig Beck
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Which SSID is yours?  It looks heavily congested there.  As I said, that's going to be the issue and nothing else really.  RRM can do all the channel-changing it wants, but if there are several other APs on channels 1, 6 and 11 you're stumped.
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by:juanvarela
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SM-Corp and SM Guest
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Craig Beck earned 500 total points
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:-(

Ouch!  You've got no chance of getting a good service on any of your APs there - your clients will be seeing lots of noise due to the other APs being visible with a better signal than your APs (in some cases).

You 'might' (and this is a hunch but nothing more) get a better service if you set your 802.11b/g DCA settings to use channels 3 and 8 instead of 1, 6 and 11.  Just try it and see if that improves things.
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by:bill30
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The next option would be to double check to see if you have 1131AG AP's, and enable the 5ghz band.  Changing to 5ghz will alleviate the congestion, but keep in mind 5ghz will cover a smaller footprint than 2.4ghz and wont necessarily be a 1 to 1 AP replacement, and you will need to make sure your wireless clients can do 5ghz (802.11AN)
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by:juanvarela
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I Changed the channels to the AP's (@craigbeck suggestion) that were closer to me to test and i did see a slightly better response.  My question to you all is..... is it worth upgrading to better AP's that support 802.11n?  That would put me inth 5ghz Range which is not saturated like the 2.4ghz range is.  I honestly feel that the wireless is secondary and the speeds that I am getting now should suffice.  Thoughts?
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by:juanvarela
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I did get some improvement but I don't think I go resolution.
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by:Craig Beck
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You don't specifically need 802.11n APs to get 5GHz.  Moving devices to 5GHz would give you more channels to play with so it's something to consider.
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