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Old 05-16-2007, 06:57 AM   #1
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Calling all network admins Part 3 and final....

Ok, so last question:

You are buying a bunch of network infrastructure. As part of the deal, one of the hardware providers is willing to give you, again as part of the deal, a total wireless deployment (access points, mangement blades, etc).

Here is the rub. The gear is only 802.11 b/g gear, meaning only 11mbs or 54mbs compatible.

All of your new laptops you just bought have 802.11n cards in them, capable of far greater througputs and when the standard for 802.11n is finalized in say 6-9 months (approx), these cards are flash upgradeable to meet whatever the final standard will be.....

All of the new laptops you are going to buy next year will all have 802.11n.

So, now for the question:

1) Do you take the deal with the legacy equipment offer, deploy it and just grin and deal with the fact it's not the 802.11n solution you were looking for?

2) Do you take the deal, sell all the free wireless access points (for 5 full buildings) when they come in and put the $$$ toward the 802.11n standard, knowing you won't be able to cover all 5 of your buildings so instead of paying for the entire 802.11n solution, you wind up paying for say 1/2?

3) You blow off the offer and simply take the basic gear at reduced cost without the wireless offer. Keep in mind that the wireless offer for all 5 buildings is only currently at $100,000 more than the cost of just the base network gear and that if you had to do the solution on your own, it would cost around $250k to $375k and that if you just took deal #2, you would not come close to the full retail value if you chose to sell off the quasi free gear outlined in option #2.

Oh and by the way, you have at least 35+ laptops hitting these access points at any given time with full mutimedia streams, streaming video and other things like video conf, on top of Internet access and access to file storage servers in a mangaged client environment......

What would you do?!

Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:04 AM   #2
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In that case, I'd drop back fifty, dig in, and call for an air-strike!

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Old 05-16-2007, 07:23 AM   #3
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I say, just go camping!

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Old 05-16-2007, 07:49 AM   #4
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AIR STRIKE- somebody call for an AIR STRIKE? Is that when all assembly at Ohio grinds to a screeching halt? I had not heard there were disgruntled employees, just new owners. DG

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Old 05-16-2007, 08:28 AM   #5
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I've never seen a new standard meet the aiming point. I think you need to think about how much bandwidth you are going to be willing to buy for access to the Internet and go from there. As an example, most of the home wireless boxes offer 54 mbps but the Internet access usually does not exceed 1.5 mbps.
Another arena is the vendor track record. How much trust do you have in the vendors? What kind of support would you expect to get from them if you buy the big ticket item and it sort of drags on for many moons?
good luck
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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It all depends on what you're doin' with these laptops.

for us, the wireless deployment is a nifty convenience. not mission critical.

real "work" is going to be done on big desktop computers with BIG screens, etc...

another thing re: "bandwidth", "bits per second", etc, etc...
these numbers that are bounced around are kind of deceptive. they're only theoretical potentials. expanding the potential bandwidth from x-mbps to y-mbps won't necessarily make things go "faster"...but only allow more people to go at the same speed without bumping into each other. kind of like adding lanes to the highway. speed limit is still 65...but there's less congestion.

anyway, I'm sure you know all this...guess I'm just trying to say that you'd have to try to come up with a test environment, and try it...see if there's any noticeable difference. But it sounds to me that you have future expansion in mind, even if you don't "neeeed" the extra bandwidth some point, you're going to want it...may as well lay the groundwork for it now.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:51 AM   #7
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Most Wireless N equipment will do G as well. Not B. G is pretty fast for anything but large and frequent data transfers. Install the N equipment for the infrastructure is possible.
You will need multiple G/N access point for full multimedia streams.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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The issue Chuck hit right on. It's not so much for what I need today, but in a year or two, I'll have maybe upwards of 50+laptops on augmenting our wired workhorses, some doing full motion video, some saving large Powerpoints (lots of pictures and sounds), Internet access, video conf, etc.

The issue now is that there are few good true 802.11n units out there to test. From what I seem to recall, the theoretical connection speeds could be around the 200+mbs mark, but all the current acccess points with "n" have only a 100mbs Ethernet connector on them. I talked with Cisco and though they won't give specifics, they said their solution would be a total solution and not like the consumer grade stuff through Linksys.

Currently, the backbone is between 60gbs and 80gbs and the Internet connection is an AT&T Opt e Man. This service is currenty at 10mbs full duplex to the cloud. It has a maximum throughput of 1gbs. The state funds all of our Internet access at 10mbs, but would cost us about $1500/mo if we wanted to go to the 1gbs limit the Opt e Man would provide....of course, bandwidth from AT&T to get to the state ISP would also carry a hefty price tag.....

I'm inclined at this point to accecpt the wireless offer and maybe sell it off and bring in the higher capacity access points later on because I can already see the limitiations the b and g services have on performance during current use. It's important to understand that being a school settting, the computers have heavier loads as do the network nodes due to several full classes doing activites all at once, unlike in business, where there typically aren't a few hundred users logging in, out and using saving at nearly the exact same time.

Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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