General Wireless questions

Posted on 2016-10-03
Last Modified: 2016-10-05
I have a few WLC questions.
1.       How does a client adapter determine which access point to use?  If I have AP’s fairly close together, and one is really close to client, why would an adapter choose a different AP?
2.       In the WLC, do you adjust the maximum number of clients per AP, or do you just leave the default – what I see is “0”?
3.       Do you ever adjust the AP signal strength or just use the WLC defaults?  I know for whatever reason, the AP signal varies but is generally at 1.
4.       Do you adjust any QoS settings?  Users on may use wireless for Skype calling / Video – do we use defaults?
Question by:nh6we
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Muhammad Mulla
ID: 41826589
Most of this depends on the brand/model of WLC you're using.

On a Cisco WLC you can configure the APs to dynamically adjust their power, so they don't really overlap.

Author Comment

ID: 41826595
Yes, sorry about that - yes this is a cisco environment.  5508 wireless controller with 3602 access points
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 41827101
Re: how does a client decide?
I've often wondered the same thing and have made a few observations.  So here is my guess:

When a computer is introduced into an environment with no "connection", it will decide which signal to connect to/with.  This is usually governed by a priority list of established connections in the client computer's software.  We can presume that there is some signal strength criterion.  So it will start at the top of the list and when it finds a signal of adequate strength, it will attempt to connect.

When a computer is connected then presumably one would not want it to be changing or attempting to change signals.  So, at least when it loses the current connection or (perhaps?) detects that the currrent signal is too low (and perhaps?) determines that there's a stronger signal available that's on the list then, and only then, will it switch.

I have seen computers, once connected, stay connected with a low signal level while being situated near a different, stronger signal.  Manual intervention seems to be the only way to change the connection in this case.  Presumably if the computer is moving around, this becomes rather transparent but I don't know how that might be assured.

So, back to your question:  Did you really mean "choose" or "switch"?
LVL 46

Accepted Solution

Craig Beck earned 500 total points
ID: 41829600
1. The client will choose based on either which AP responds first or which has the provides the strongest signal, providing there are multiple choices within the client's configured thresholds.

2. It's a soft-limit, so it doesn't really matter what's in the box.

3. You can make manual adjustments, but generally it's ill-advised.  If the APs are using power-level 1 it means there's no co-channel interference, so your APs are spaced too-far apart for roaming to work properly, or your channel-plan is perfect.  It's usually the former though.  Power-level 1 is the highest power level.

4.  There are 4 QoS profiles.  Generally where video is required we use the Gold profile.  We would use the Platinum profile for voice clients.  However, where there's a mix of video and voice, use the Platinum profile if you need to.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41830167

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