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SmartSelect vs specific channel for 7982

edward_chin_691
New Contributor II
Hi. I have the Ruckus 7982 set with SmartSelect for the channel. I notice that it uses channels that are not necessarily the recommended 1,6,11. For example, at this very moment, its using channel 3. My office is in a building with many other wireless networks all using either 1,6 or 11. Is it still a good practice to still set to SmartSelect? Or should i override and specify either 1,6 or 11?

Also, I have a separate netgear access point that i just have one as a separate SSID which i've been using as a backup since i was still evaluating the Ruckus access point. Is it a better practice going forward to sync the SSID name to be the same?

thanks
14 REPLIES 14

munish_munish
Contributor
Hi Edward,

The Smart Select feature will always attempt to use the best channel available.
If you manually select a channel, Smart Select will be unable to automatically switch
channels to adjust to changes in the environment.

You would need to identify the signal strength of the access point , If you are getting strong signal on all the 3 non-overlapping channel, the you should definitely use Smart select .Because interference will degrade you wireless performance.

You can keep the SSID same on netgear AP , however i doubt about the roaming between these two . I would suggest to stick to one vendor.

Thanks
Munish

john_d
Valued Contributor II
SmartSelect will ALWAYS pick better channel assignments than a static channel assignment. It basically works by trying every single channel constantly and remembering the max throughput on each channel. Then it stays on the channel that it knows has the best capacity.

So, if you only have 3 AP's with heavy traffic, they will all stick on 1,6,11. But in reality, one of those channels will likely be noisy due to either non-802.11 sources of 2.4GHz interference or someone operating another 2.4GHz access point. So the conventionally "recommended" 1, 6, 11 might be a bad choice. In fact, if you are deploying in a rogue environment where everyone else chooses 1, 6, 11, then those might be the WORST channels. The overlapped channels might actually have more capacity than 1,6,11.

The main downside with SmartSelect is that it can take a few hours for it to stabilize because it is essentially exhaustively trying every channel to establish how much capacity it has. Not all clients support the 802.11h channel change announcements (CSA) that Ruckus sends. Those clients may be dropped off the network every time a channel switch happens. If this is an issue in your environment, there are two solutions:

(1) Use the CLI to change the channel fly MTBC (Mean Time Between Change) to something higher than the default 100 minutes. This can reduce the amount of disruption.
(2) Use ChannelFly for a few hours to establish the best channels, then manually set those channels. If you have a ZoneDirector, it can automate this process by you selecting the "Stop Channelfly after ___ minutes" option. If you're standalone, you should run ChannelFly for a day, then log into the Web UI and see which channels the AP has picked for 2.4 and 5GHz, then manually set those channels.

The downside of approach (2) is that you cannot dynamically react to changes in capacity. So if someone happens to bring in a rogue AP that uses the exact same channel you are using, you'll have to manually diagnose that capacity loss if it becomes an issue.

For your second question, I think the answer depends on your goals. Are you still evaluating, or are you now using the Netgear AP to add more wifi coverage in addition to the Ruckus AP's? In a standalone environment roaming is done purely on the client side, so the client won't know what's a Ruckus and what's a Netgear. But having a mixed environment like this will make it much harder for you to diagnose what is wrong if someone complains about wifi performance/connectivity.

michael_brado
Esteemed Contributor II
Did You Know:

If you have a Standalone AP, your AP radios (2.4G and/or 5G) are only enabled
when you have defined/activated an SSID on them, individually and independently.

SmartSelect or a static channel, are the only options (no Channelfly w/o ZD).

A standalone AP will not change channels by itself. The SmartSelect algorithm
will evaluate SSIDs seen and interference on the available channels, and pick
the best one - when the AP is first powered on, or rebooted (only).

john_d
Valued Contributor II
Hmm, is that what SmartSelect is supposed to mean? On my ZF7372 in standalone, SmartSelect in the Web GUI seems to do the exact same thing as ChannelFly. Perhaps the behavior changed in more recent firmware versions? I only started using Ruckus from 9.8.0...

Jan 9 18:52:45 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi0: channelfly detects interference on radio 11g/n and switches from channel 2 to channel 9
Jan 9 18:52:46 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi1: channelfly detects interference on radio 11a/n and switches from channel 44 to channel 116
Jan 9 18:53:01 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi0: channelfly detects interference on radio 11g/n and switches from channel 9 to channel 8
Jan 9 18:53:02 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi1: channelfly detects interference on radio 11a/n and switches from channel 116 to channel 52
Jan 9 18:53:17 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi0: channelfly detects interference on radio 11g/n and switches from channel 8 to channel 7
Jan 9 18:53:18 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi1: channelfly detects interference on radio 11a/n and switches from channel 52 to channel 64
Jan 9 18:53:33 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi0: channelfly detects interference on radio 11g/n and switches from channel 7 to channel 3
Jan 9 18:53:34 RuckusAP daemon.info channel-wifi1: channelfly detects interference on radio 11a/n and switches from channel 64 to channel 157
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