Aruba Tech Webinar Q&A: Dorm Wi-Fi Design in the Era of BYOD

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We have compiled this morning's Q&A chat window, with answers of course, and wanted to share with all. Thanks to all who joined the webinar.

Q: What is your solution for students using Xbox on wireless?

A: Drexel uses MAC authentication behind a PSK based SSID for Xbox and similar devices.

Q: How do you deal with students who complain about headaches caused by RF from AP's in their rooms?

A: Drexel University has not faced this challenge so far but if they do, they prefer to handle it through their partnership with ResLife.

Q: Can I get a certificate of attendance for BICSI credits?

A: Unfortunately no.

Q: Any issues with metal file cabinets filled with files? Any issues with metal backed insulated ceiling tiles?

A: Any metal material present alongside access points will adversely affect RF coverage. So preparing in advance for the presence of metal construction or objects in the environment is key to ensuring a successful WLAN deployment. Drexel installed APs below the ceiling and did not have any metal backed insulated ceiling tiles in their environment. Pre and post deployment site surveys are recommended for challenging areas where metal objects are present in large amounts.

Q: So is there any "feature" to report failed microwave over cages ?

A: Yes. Aruba WLAN and AirWave management system will report on degraded RF performance per location, identify the noise source as a microwave, and provide location information.

Q: Are you deploying and APs to VIP homes? Private home/residences for remote hard phone deployments?

A: Not Drexel but Brad Noblet used to offer this service when he was at Dartmouth College. Utilizing Aruba remote APs, same Wi-Fi network SSID would be made available at home offices. Same Mobility Controller, network management and network configuration would be used.

Q: Any issues with the AP-105s compatablity with the HP switches?

A: No, not at Drexel.

Q: Any relability data between the AP-105 and the AP-125 in the Drexel deployment?

A: No difference has been observed at Drexel.

Q: In a new building why not just mount the AP's above the ceiling plane.

A: Drexel IRT wanted to provide best SNR for student mobile devices and decided to install the APs below the ceiling. They also wanted to provide RF coverage one floor down, as the rooms one floor down did not have any APs installed.

Q: Any issues with Microwave ovens?

A: Yes but they were mitigated with Aruba ARM (dynamic channel selection in the presence of noise) and removal of non-functional units when/if necessary.

Q: How would you deal with cell phones that enable mi-fi within the wi-fi environment. Do you look for rogues with airwave or some other product?

A: They are allowed and not classified as rogues. It is left to Aruba ARM to avoid RF interference.

Q: What authentication does DragonFly3 use? 802.1x?

A: Yes, 802.1x.

Q: Do you use bandwidth contracts for wireless clients?

A: No, Drexel follows an open policy regarding bandwidth usage.

Q: What Airmagnet tools did you use?

A: AirMagnet Survey software running on an IBM laptop, installed with a Cisco cardbus Wi-Fi adapter.

Q: If we only have one wired port per student in a room/suite ... what are the options if we don't want to take that "wired" port away?

A: Aruba's AP-135 (dual radio 3x3:3 MIMO) and AP-125 (dual radio 3x3:2 MIMO) access points come with a 2nd Ethernet port where the existing wired cable can be plugged into the first port and the other wired device(s) can be bridged using the 2nd Ethernet port. Aruba's AP-93H product (single radio dual band 2x2:2 MIMO) offers 4x 10/100 Ethernet ports in addition to the 1Gbps uplink port to the access switch and the RJ-45 passthrough port.

Q: With the wiring you have everywhere why did you choose to use the cieling mount AP vs the 93H?

A: Dual radio requirement and the need to provide RF coverage for the floor below.

Q: Did you set minimum signal levels for your surveys, if so what were they, or were you building for device capacity?

A: Drexel site surveys were performed to ensure good and high performance RF coverage for high density of devices.

Q: Did you remove your hallway APs?

A: No not yet - Aruba ARM handles the interference avoidance and channel selection.

Q: In other words does IT maintain an agreement w/students or do loss and damage issues filter through ResLife? Do you have a seperate agreement with students covering loss or damage to APs?

A: Connectivity loss to the APs are monitored on a daily basis by the IRT team. In case of repeated abuse the dorm-room and the hall are charged by ResLife at the end of the semester for lost equipment.