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Coexistence behavior of two zones offering the same SSIDs on a single site?

jeffrey_burke
New Contributor II

I have an issue with firmware compatibility with our WAPs, some - which we are in the middle of replacing - are only supported up to firmware 3.6.  We are looking at getting the current generation of WAPs so they are supported as long as possible and have the latest tech.  Problem is these are only supported by firmware v5 or above.  Our budget only stretches to about a third of the number of old WAPs we have in service.

I am aware that we can run different firmware versions on different zones.  My question is how will they behave if both deployed in the same site with the same WLANs and authentication methods.  Will they trip each others rogue WAP detections? Will they handle handoff between the two segments without too much hassle?  Is there a better way?

Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide.

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

harald_thomas_c
New Contributor III

> Will they trip each others rogue WAP detections?

No

> Will they handle handoff between the two segments without too much hassle? 

Haven't tried if roaming is working, but worst case a new session build upon the change from one zone to another. Mostlikely that the users won't recognize it anyway. maybe if they are using time critical apps like SAP.

> Is there a better way?

There is no other.

View solution in original post

syamantakomer
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Jeffery,

As already confirmed by Harald, roaming is not going to work between two zones, however, there is a way to reduce the roaming chances between different zone APs.

Try to isolate all the new vs old APs to different areas and do not mix them on the same area. For example, If there is a conference hall, try to keep same zone APs to cover that area and install new APs to another area, so that interaction of clients between these zones can be minimal.

You may have to move some APs to achieve this, but it will be one time task.

Regards,
Syamantak Omer
Official Rep | Staff TSE | CWNA | CCNA | RASZA | RICXI

View solution in original post

jeffrey_burke
New Contributor II

Right, I gave this a go with two 3.6.2 zones cloned from each other and it seems to work alright with some caveats. The client will disconnect from one zone and reconnect to the next without prompting,.  It did cause a long enough drop that it dropped a single ping packet each time.  It did this fine with both PSK and with WPA-Enterprise 802.11x based authentication on a windows and android client.

The down sides are the packet loss which will be enough to stutter or drop a video call and the fact that the clients appear very sticky to the zone that they are in. They do drop eventually but seem to hold on pretty tight to their existing zone with default roaming behaviour on the wifi drivers.

Now the irritating bit, the WAPs I wanted to add R650's are not supported in anything but 5.2 which is inconveniently one level higher than 3.6 allows me to go.  I am not impressed with the upgrade treadmill that Ruckus is spinning up, surely they could add support to the R650 to 5.1 as well.  At this point we would have to buy less of the R750 as they actually support that or skip buying at all.

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

harald_thomas_c
New Contributor III

> Will they trip each others rogue WAP detections?

No

> Will they handle handoff between the two segments without too much hassle? 

Haven't tried if roaming is working, but worst case a new session build upon the change from one zone to another. Mostlikely that the users won't recognize it anyway. maybe if they are using time critical apps like SAP.

> Is there a better way?

There is no other.

Thanks for the information, will have to spin a new zone up with the existing WAPs and see how bad the re-association time is between zones.  have limited staff on site now so possible to do testing.

syamantakomer
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Jeffery,

As already confirmed by Harald, roaming is not going to work between two zones, however, there is a way to reduce the roaming chances between different zone APs.

Try to isolate all the new vs old APs to different areas and do not mix them on the same area. For example, If there is a conference hall, try to keep same zone APs to cover that area and install new APs to another area, so that interaction of clients between these zones can be minimal.

You may have to move some APs to achieve this, but it will be one time task.

Regards,
Syamantak Omer
Official Rep | Staff TSE | CWNA | CCNA | RASZA | RICXI

Thanks, will give it a go, thanks to the configuration of the site - a school - the WAPs are very overlapped and so very difficult to separate.  I'll have to do practical testing of it now that it's school holidays to see how bad the handoff penalty is between zones to see if it can be run acceptably like this.