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Do i need a ZoneDirector for Wireless Roaming?

Contributor III

Do i need a ZoneDirector for Wireless Roaming?
One of my Customers need a Wireless Network for his Warehouse. There will be about 15 to 20 Wireless Barcode Scanner. The Scanner supports 802.11b/g/n.

I read there is no need for a ZoneDirector for Layer 2 Roaming because this is implemented in the 802.11 Protocoll. Is this true?

Please clarify.


Kind Regards

Esteemed Contributor II
In my experience, barcode scanners run Telnet based applications that are very
sensitive to time delays and dropped packets. Using only standalone APs means
the scanners will have to re-authenticate with every roam. Having a ZoneDirector
allows for the cached client session credentials to be shared between APs and
allows for more seamless roaming, especially for VoIP and Scanner usage.

Contributor III
Hi Michael,

thanks for your Reply.
Ok. So if i understand right Roaming without ZD is working... more or less. It depends on the Client.

If my customer need a better (or even perfect) Roaming Experience he should use a ZoneDirector. Correct?

Is the statement true that Roaming is (in a simply) way implemented in the 802.11 Standard?

Thanks & Kind Regards

Hi Marco, The 802.11 standard explicitly places control of wireless connection establishment in the hands of clients by defining various logical services and breaking implementation out between clients and access points."

Even if controller is there you shall keep in mind that roaming will NOT always be smooth due due to the fact that decision and how fast to roam is taken care by STA or client.

Hope this helps.

Esteemed Contributor II
Hi Marco,

The fastest client re-association is facilitated by ZoneDirector managing client
sessions between Access Points under its control. Without a ZoneDirector, the
scanner is dropping from one AP, and performing an entire new connection to the
next AP, including another DHCP request, and will result in a few lost packets by
the scanner telnet application. If these dropped packets are enough to freeze the
application or cause it to lose session with the server will have to be evaluated,
but for best results, the ZD is a valuable piece of the solution.