[Chugalug] Another Cisco Question

David White dwrudy at gmail.com
Tue Aug 20 01:29:54 UTC 2013

I thought that this was an interesting post on another mailing list which
I'm a part of:

*Well, roaming is never 'smooth' unless you invest in a more
enterprise-ready solution, such as Cisco, that has a central wireless
'controller' or 'switch' that will forcibly roam your devices to a closer
access point automatically. Unifi's solution does not roam clients
automatically... it relies on the client to decide when to roam. The
downside with letting the client handle roaming is that they won't roam to
a new access point until the signal on the original access point drops out
completely (it'll stay connected to that weak signal to the very bitter
end!). Some clients allow you to adjust the cut-off signal level so it'll
try roaming quicker, but many clients (like smart phones, etc) don't have
that level of control.*
*Unifi's Beta controller software (version 3.x) HAS support for roaming...
basically all the access points communicate with each other across the
network and will dynamically hand-off clients to each other as those
clients move around. This is on-par with more enterprisy solutions like
Cisco's (minus the central 'controller'), and is a feature many are looking
forward to. *
*Roaming is something that may or may not be a big issue for you. Are you
expecting to regularly handle active AND mobile VoIP calls across the
wireless infrastructure? If not, then it probably won't be a big deal. If
you are, then I might wait for the release of 3.0 (or test the beta out and
provide feedback, Unifi is usually very good about fixing bugs in their
software), and extensively test whatever VoIP mobile device that you're
using to see how it handles roaming. Or review your options and see if
another solution (such as DECT roaming phones like
http://www.gigaset.com/en_HQ/shop/n720-dect-ip-multicell.html) would be
better suited for your needs. *
*FYI, Ubiquiti follows the wireless standards/specifications pretty much to
the letter on the Unifi access points... unfortunately, some wireless
client devices do NOT follow the standard as closely, and expect the access
points to conform to it's nuances. Motorola TEAM Express is one technology
that I've worked with that had problems. These are Windows Mobile devices
(!) that run VoIP clients to a central server, and they couldn't stay
connected to an Unifi access point, if it even connected in the first
place. The wireless drivers on the device were incredibly picky (specific
out-of-the-norm encryption settings, specific wireless options, such as
Beacon Time tweaked, etc) and after much back and forth between Motorola
and Ubiquiti (with Ubiquiti offering to test/implement a fix on their end
if someone would supply the equipment to test with) the client ended up
scrapping the entire solution rather than replacing all of the Unifi access
points with Motorola's access points (at great cost). The client ended up
using MotoTRBO radios, which inter-operated with their existing analog
radios they already had, so it worked out better in the end. *

On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 7:34 PM, Dave Brockman <dave at brockmans.com> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On 8/19/2013 6:01 PM, David White wrote:
> > Hey Dave, Your analysis makes perfect sense. The 1 thing I'm still
> > a little confused about, though, is seamless roaming from 1 AP to
> > another, if the network has 2 or more APs. In that case, I wonder
> > if the Ubiquiti would be the better option.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> AFAIK you have to have a controller (hardware or software) to support
> seamless anything from one AP to another.  I'm far from the guru when
> it comes to wireless products though.  I know the basics behind the
> technology and I know my experiences with certain models.
> > I'll try not to annoy you guys with too many (more) questions on
> > this topic. I think we've almost thoroughly discussed it, and
> > you've been really helpful - I'm appreciative of that. These look
> > like really good products!
> Engenius runs Linux as firmware, I suspect Ubiquiti does as well.  All
> on topic as far as I am concerned.  Come to think of it, the newest
> firmware support a CLI connection, I need to check that out also....
> Regards,
> dtb
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David White
Founder & CEO
*Develop CENTS *
Computing, Equipping, Networking, Training & Supporting
Nonprofit Organizations Worldwide
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