Extreme Networks Wireless AP3705i deployment

I’m working on deploying 96 wireless access points in our student dorm rooms. We originally started with an initial deployment of 40 wireless access points. We installed the original AP’s in the hallways, but had signal issues due to all the HVAC in the vertical walls. Hallway installation wasn’t the greatest idea to begin with, but at the time of the initial installation we had limited funding to run cables to every suite. In our new deployment, we required that contractors pull cables into certain suites. Each suite houses 4 rooms,so I decided to place an AP in every other room and staggered the AP’s from floor to floor. There wasn’t much HVAC or piping in the horizontal flooring above or below the rooms, so signal penetration worked significantly between the floors.

wireless site survey ap3705i

For those of you asking why Enterasys (now Extreme Networks), well we’re already an Enterasys shop and house 2 physical Extreme Networks 5210 wireless 10Gb controllers in our data center. Extreme Networks wireless also has a niche of being able to push L4/QOS policies down to wireless users as they do on the Extreme Networks wired gear. This makes redirecting blacklisted users through our NAC system a breeze.

Extreme networks 3705i wireless access point out of box

I also decided to go with the Enterasys Extreme Networks ap3705i, which is a 2×2 dual radio MIMO wireless access point versus the 3×3 model. We ended up being able to double our AP capacity because the 3×3 radio was almost double in cost. We typically see around 65% of 1×1 MIMO mobile devices, so higher AP density just ends up making more sense for us right now. You can also find some great notes on my issues with wireless channel planning here too.

Extreme Networks 3705i Wireless Access Point

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2 comments

  • My question, I suppose, is what sort of settings did you set your AP’s on, for both radios, what are your default settings? I am in the middle of a 3715 deployment, pretty much similar scenario and was just curious how it has been going since your deployment and what settings you may have configured?

    • Great question. I have modified the ap default settings under the bulk configuration option in the wireless controller. Here are the settings I use for default:

      Radio mode: a/n and g/n (no legacy b rates are enabled. We never saw b clients when we did have b enabled)
      Channel width: 5Ghz radio: Auto and 2.4Ghz radio 20Mhz. We take advantage of 40Mhz channels in the 5Ghz. There are a lot more channels available, so why not use them. 1×1 mimo phones that support 40Mhz get a boost in performance.
      Auto TX power: I leave this off and have the max power set to as high as it can go. Of course this will adjust to different max powers based on modulation rate and channel. I then lower the power level in areas that have a lot more APs.
      Channel Plan: I use all channels for both radios. I also have dynamic channel set to active mode with DCS noise threshold of -65 and DCS occupancy threshold set to 100%. The DCS update period is set to the max of 15 minutes. I don’t want AP’s changing channels constantly. Make sure to check the AP logs to see if you have an AP that keeps jumping channels as this will affect client connectivity. You will want to disable this feature based on your environment. If you have only a few AP’s then selecting the best channel based on site survey would work best. When you have over 300 AP’s, you need all the help you can get. I leave all the Bluetooth, microwave, etc stuff disabled and only enable it in areas that are having possible interference issues.

      Min basic rate is left at the default. I increase this based in areas that are denser. This helps users to not stick to a certain AP in dense deployments. Not to mention that the client can transmit data faster. Test it out first, you don’t want to create dead zones.
      Based on throughput testing, I have agg MSDUs disabled and agg MPDU’s enabled. I also left the MPDU max length at the default setting. I also have ADDBA support set to enable and I enable STBC and TXBF only in areas that have issues with interference from rouge APs in our dorms. Leaving those two settings disabled in my test, actually increased throughput in low noise environments. The AP doesn’t have a massive array of antennas in it, so I think that may be why the TXBF setting didn’t make a big difference. However, TXBF will override STBC if both are enabled for single stream rates according to the doc.

      I hope this helps you out. Have fun!!!

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