User-Defined AirPlay & High-Density Wi-Fi Design at EDUCAUSE 2012

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A compilation of the webinar Q&A is now available. Thanks to all who joined the webinar. A copy of the presentation is available.

Q: What was the size of the internet pipe for this event?
A: CenturyLink provided a 1G connection to the show.

Q: Were any MESH units used?
A: Not in this deployment. We were able to enough APs where we needed them to wire everything in. This gave us the ability to use both bands to serve clients.

Q: What model AP were used?
A: Aruba AP-135s and AP-134s with omni antennas.

Q: How many total APs were used and how did you mamage all the cat5 cabling?
A: We had around 130 APs for the main floors, and about 10 between the technology showcase and Aruba booth on the show floor. We were able to use the existing cable plant and PoE in the convention center for the majority of our connections.

Q: Which controller was used?
A: We used an M3 in a 6000 chassis for the event.

Q: What was the ratio of 2.4ghz to 5 on the devices?
A: It seems like 60% or more of the devices this year were 5 GHz capable. About 40% were iPads, and about 10% each were Mac OS X and Windows 7.

Q: An attendee told me he seen some APs on the presentor's desk in some of the rooms. Was that part of the coverage plan?
A: This was more of a compromise solution. We had run out of light stands that we normally use for shows. The very large floor plan required more APs than we had in the standard kit, so we resorted to mounting APs near the presenters when possible to enable us to reserve the light stands for where we really needed them.

For instructions on how we built the light stand mounts please see thisĀ blog post.

Q: How many SSIDs were there?
A: Two SSIDs were used, one for the open network and one providing access to Eduroam.

Q: Where any other tools outside of AirWave were used to confirm the RF coverage (ie Ekahau)
A: Due to the time crunch only AirWave was used to verify the network connectivity.

Q: Did you use poe injectors or the infrastructure had PoE capable switches?
A: We were able to use PoE switches. That said, our kit contains both PoE injectors as well as wall wort power supplies. With these sorts of shows you never know what you'll have in the space, and there have been times we were told PoE was available only to find out it wasn't. Always better to have a backup when you don't have time for mistakes.

Q: Did you have to tweak the arm settings or could you use the defaults?
A: In general we could used arm as is. The major exception to this was the Wells Fargo Center, which we due to the nature of high density space required manual intervention as outlined in the High Density VRD, available at

Q: Any issues with exceeding the max number of devices associated with a given ap?
A: There weren't any issues with the APs themselves, the highest recorded device count was 121 devices on a single AP. We did have some instances where 2.4 was being saturated. This occurred due to very high usage on 2.4, Mi-Fi routers, and other networks interfering. Generally once those having trouble moved closer to another AP things cleared up.

Q: What was the band stearing mode. Prefer or force?
A: Prefer was used, we wanted to make sure there was some wiggle room for clients due to the nature of coverage not being as good as in a permanent install. We had to deploy where we could, and those spots were not always optimal.

Q: other than ARM was load balancing using channel or radio and traffic management profile with fair access in use?
A: Fair access was used due to the varied nature of devices we expected for the event.

Q: AP105 and 135 are downtilt AP's. What happens when you put them vertical?
A: In general we tried to tilt the APs toward the floor, building out that cone in front of the AP. This helped in some cases were we didn't want bleed through on a wall, or where we had a pillar behind the AP and wouldn't have gotten coverage anyway.

Q: When will then Airgroup compatible ArubaOS available for general release?
A: Airgroup is available now as a technology release on the Aruba support site.

Q: Regarding the under seat AP enclosure, was it attached to the bottom of the seat? or the floor?
A: The enclosure was sitting on the floor with the AP pointed up. This built the downtilt coverage up from floor level. The enclosure used was an Allied Moulded Polyline Series AMP1084L - 10x8x4. We drilled a hole for cabling, heat was not considered an issue for this deployment.

Q: How did you run the cabling in the theater?
A: In the theater the APs were deployed on the same rows in an arc. The cables were run behind the seating. If we had been doing a permanent install we would have used the same method, but likely would have run the cables inside of some conduit to protect them for the long term.

Q: Did you deploy APs as air monitors?
A: Not in this case. We didn't need the extra security, and the AP count was already extremely high. We had a few spare APs that we could have deployed if we had needed to do something like full time spectrum monitoring to deal with an issue. That proved not to be necessary.

Q: If we deploy apple Tv's for Professors to Mirror what they are doing on their I-Pads, We would put the Apple tv's in a seperate V-LAN, how would the Ipads that arent in that same Vlan be able to communicate with that device.
A: With Aruba's AirGroup that is possible. We can make sure that clients see their devices even when they are in different VLANs.

Q: Did you try to contain the Rogue APs such as the MiFis? How would you reccomend Conference Centers contain MiFis?
A: There really isn't much you can do other than ask people to be considerate and turn them off. Containing them will just use up more air time as you try to de-auth or tarpit the clients. For these kinds of events we really consider 2.4 GHz to be best effort.

Q: How long did it take to setup?
A: The network was staged over a few days at our Sunnyvale HQ to get APs on the proper code level, labeled, etc. On site took under two days.