Friday, 28 May 2010

WCS and WiSM

We are in the middle of a wireless project at work. We have money for about 120 more access points to go up and are installing the Cisco Aironet 1140's seen here. These 1140's don't have aerials on the outside, but are hidden in the case. They are designed to be ceiling mounted but we have found they work just as well on the wall. We have finished surveying and the first couple of access points have gone in. Immediately we saw looking at the statistics on the access points a speed increase, mainly thanks to all the students with MacBooks using wireless N.

Another benefit we have installing these 1140's is that they can used as thin client access points and all the management is done on a WCS (Wireless Control System) server. If the server sees two access points overlapping it forces one to back off. It also auto selects channels so they do not conflict.

Many of the new features we are using are provided by the Cisco Wireless Services Module (WiSM). A great feature we find is that when you import a floor plan and place the access points the software creates a map of signal strength from the data the access points provide. The maps also show when the signal is blocked by thick pillars and thick walls.

As the access points pretty much get their settings from the server we are just currently installing some Cisco 3560 switches to power the access points using PoE and setting up VLANs on the switches and aggregators.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The software that comes with the Cisco AP's sounds brilliant. It is very useful to be able to import a floor plan and then see how far the signal reaches. Much easier than walking around with a laptop trying to work out where the next AP should go based on when the current one's signal drops off.

How much are those AP's? just out of curiosity.

Anonymous said...

We had about £75,000 for the whole project. That also has to include any cabling and PoE switches. I would guess they cost between £400-£500 each excluding VAT as we don't pay it.