Expanding out Network Wireless Availability.

I need help with anyone that will point me in a good direction. We have a SonicWall TZ 215 and 3x Cisco SG200-26 Gigabit Smart Switch. We are looking to expand out our wireless network and I would like to know the best option for how to do this.

I was told by our old IT company that they suggest using a Cisco wireless access point.

Any advantages or disadvantages to this?


Thanks in advance!
cmdolcetAsked:
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Michael HughettICT Field Systems AnalystCommented:
What kind of services are you wanting to provide?  Just for staff or guests?  What kind of business are you?
Blake LongEngineerCommented:
If you have a Sonicwall I highly recommend Sonic Point AP's.

http://www.sonicwall.com/us/en/products/sonicpoint-wireless-access-point-series.html
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
Michael, We would want our internal network available and also a guest network if possible.
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
A bit more details would be great.  Do you have wireless now and who is the vendor?

How big of a deployment are we talking about and the number of users.

I cannot comment on SonicWall APs, but I have never been too impressed with Cisco's access points and have a decade of experience.

I personally recommend you look at two vendors, first Ruckus Wireless and then Meru, I prefer Ruckus.  If you are ok wit the Cisco pricing, neither will a problem.  It is a fair statement to say that not all access points are created equal, so your end goals are important.  I have found that their antenna design is provides much better coverage and bandwidth to the end points.

I have deployed large footprint installs at hotels, and if you are looking to cover a large area like a warehouse or something you may want to look at controller based solutions.  They make management easy, along with roaming users who are connecting to different APs while they move.
Bryant SchaperCommented:
With an internal and guest network, I suggest aps that support multiple SSIDs, even controller based as well.  Do you use multiple vlans now on the physical network.
Michael HughettICT Field Systems AnalystCommented:
Need a little more info.
Do you have one building and if so how big?
Do you have an IT person there now or are you trying to do this yourself?
If you want really simple setup and low cost You can use http://www.open-mesh.com/
It will only give to 2 SSIDs  but very cheap and has strong coverage.

Next level is https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap/

Or you can try http://www.mikrotik.com/  - very powerful and feature rich but will require more technical skill.  But Prices are great!
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
Michael, let me research a little more so I can have an accurate description. I will be the one setting the wireless networks up from now on.... my Networking knowledge is limited but I am up for the challenge.  Our network not too complex. We run 1 physical server that is virtualized to 5 different ones.
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
I have been told since we are using Cisco Network GIG-swtiches to use Cisco Wireless access point. I do have a SoniceWall firewall, so just wondering the configuration setup between the two.
Bryant SchaperCommented:
just because you run cisco switches, don't just use Cisco wireless, if you were buying more switches, then I would say stick with Cisco.  You should get a reliable wireless product to meet your needs.  I still think you would be very happy with Ruckus or Meru, but they may be cost prohibitive.
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
Bryant...so you are saying it doesn;t matter what repeaters we use as long as they are repeaters?

Please clarify this?

I would like to keep the same systems...So if using Cisco repeaters would they be hard to configure?
Benjamin Van DitmarsSr Network EngineerCommented:
With a TZ215 you can add 16 sonicpoints. that will become a complete seamless roaming wireless network. we have done with many times for customers and they are very happy with this solution.
Michael HughettICT Field Systems AnalystCommented:
Sorry been out of the country.  cmdolcet,  There is a new update for OpenMesh that allows you to use 4 SSIDs now and better support for VLANs.  If you want simple setup and great coverage I would suggest you use the OpenMesh.  Plus very inexpensive!  The OpenMesh Dashboard allows you to see  types of traffic for each client.
Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Hi CMD,

I agree go with SonicPoints, you manage everything in your existing SonicWALL, deployment is easy and packs a ton of features.

Ubiquity is solid too (https://www.ubnt.com/).

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Any update on this? Let us know so we can further help!
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
diverseit, so where could I pick up a Sonic point?..
Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
http://www.dell.com or any other SonicWALL distributor.

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