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Designing Wi-Fi Networks in Higher Education


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Learn the challenges and best way to approach designing Wi-Fi networks in campus and higher education environments.

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Designing Wi-Fi Networks in Higher Education

  2. 2. BEFORE WE GET STARTED… • You will receive a video recording of the webinar by email within the next few days • Please ask your questions using the GoToWebinar questions box →
  3. 3. AGENDA What’s covered • The challenges we are seeing today • Approach to Wi-Fi design • Designing for capacity in large spaces • Wi-Fi 6 considerations
  4. 4. HELLO! I AM ROWELL DIONICIO Network engineer in higher education, Wi-Fi design and configuration, co-host of the Clear To Send podcast - and CWNE #210
  5. 5. WHAT CHALLENGES DO WE RUN INTO TODAY • Aesthetics • Not coverage, but capacity • BYOD • Troubleshooting • Innovation EVERYTHING IS WIRELESS
  6. 6. Why must we design Wi-Fi? WI-FI DESIGN
  7. 7. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln
  8. 8. 30,000+THAT’S A BIG NUMBER Clients per day
  9. 9. Integrate technology into every day campus life such as housing, dining, meeting space, transportation, interactive teaching, etc. MODERNIZE CAMPUS EXPERIENCE Daily services used by students can be streamlined and delivered to the mobile device. Instant gratification. STREAMLINE SERVICES The use of sensors for temperature monitoring, restroom supply monitoring, sprinkler systems, AC and lighting, building access, etc. SMART CAMPUS BUT WHY? Coverage is a given. We must now design for capacity. The high number of devices in use with the type of applications can put a strain on the wireless network. CAPACITY
  11. 11. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. COLLECT REQUIREMENTS
  12. 12. What does the physical space look like, how large is it, what type of building materials are used, where are the network closets, are there floor plans… LOCATION How will Wi-Fi be used. What type of applications will be used. How many people will be in the environment. Is it BYOD? What type of devices are used? What are those device’s capabilities? What type of performance is required? Learn about peak usage times. Will users from surrounding areas be using the same access points.. INTENT How old is the building? What are the installation constraints? Will you need to consider external antennas? AESTHETICS WHAT DO YOU COLLECT?
  13. 13. But don’t let it stop you IDENTIFY CONSTRAINTS
  14. 14. Know what frequencies you can and cannot use. Understand transmit power regulations. Use the right country code. REGULATORY Maintaining the look and feel of the building or environment. Blending into the environment. It’s huge. It’s ugly. Architects. AESTHETICS IDENTIFY DESIGN CONSTRAINTS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE Equipment and installation considerations. Cabling. New switches. Post-install fixes. BUDGET Cost per access point, licenses, controllers, cloud-managed, antennas, etc. VENDOR Safety, adhering to building codes, get buy-in. BUILDING CODE
  15. 15. Design with requirements in mind START A DESIGN
  16. 16. Resources that help you get the end result TOOLS AND APPLICATIONS HELP IN THE DESIGN PROCESS
  17. 17. Which access point and/or antenna you select changes the propagation pattern. They are all different. ACCESS POINT & ANTENNA SELECTION A design can help you plan channels and transmit powers. Or you can leave it up to algorithms to determine that for you. But you will validate. STATIC VS RRM Utilize an application focused on developing a design such as iBwave Wi-Fi DESIGN APPLICATION CONSIDERATIONS Not all devices are treated the same. Different radios, different algorithms, and different capabilities. DEVICE TYPES
  18. 18. Your design application can help determine if the number of access points selected meets the requirements for the area. Number of devices plus the application usage. HOW MANY ACCESS POINTS Antennas help shape the signal to your needs. Use them often. Wrangle that RF. ANTENNAS Sometimes you need a temporary solution. Utilize tripods and mounts, directional antennas, and deliver Wi-Fi! EVENTS DESIGN FOR CAPACITY With this in mind, the marketing department would inform the department to create a prototype. The production department would then start to manufacture the product, while the marketing. INTERACTIVE LEARNING
  19. 19. Eight 2x2:2 laptops on channel 40 Applica_on Throughput = 2 Mbps Devices = 2x2:2 = 144.4 Mbps raw or 72.2 Mbps actual Air Time for app = (2 Mbps / 72.2 Mbps)*100 = 2.77% (160 devices * 2.77%) / 80 = 6.3 radios = 4 APs
  20. 20. It’s all about execution DEPLOY
  21. 21. RRM will not solve all your problems. You must tune RRM to your environment. Then test. Understand how RRM works. RRM Clients ultimately decide where they want to associate. I do not recommend using client load balancing. CLIENT LOAD BALANCING Use 40 MHz if you can. If not, use 20 MHz. Increasing channel width requires better SNR. CHANNEL BONDING UNDERSTAND THE KNOBS Don’t go crazy without testing. Understand client behavior. Lower data rates are sometimes required for stability. DATA RATES
  22. 22. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 17:54.817:54.817:54.817:54.817:54.917:54.917:54.917:54.917:54.917:54.917:54.917:54.917:55.017:55.017:55.017:55.017:55.017:55.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.217:56.417:57.117:57.117:57.117:57.1 Data Rate
  23. 23. Check your work VALIDATE
  24. 24. Planning for tomorrow WI-FI 6 CONSIDERATIONS
  25. 25. Solving high density. Similar to RXSOP. BSS COLOR Is it possible? How to achieve higher data rates. 1024-QAM Not yet ratified. The draft is mature. I don’t expect big changes to how Wi-Fi 6 currently works. 802.11AX Battery efficiency for devices. According to schedule. TWT HE = high efficiency HIGH EFFICIENCY Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access. The sweet sauce for Wi-Fi 6. OFDMA LET’S REVIEW WI-FI 6
  27. 27. THANK YOU @rowelldionicio | @cleartosend