APGroup, Zone, and WLAN Group Best Practices

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  • Updated 3 months ago
I am getting ready to deploy my first Ruckus system (SmartZone 100 and R720 AP's) to replace a Cisco system and was wondering what people are doing for Zones and AP groups etc.  I have multiple sites I will be deploying to with each site having multiple buildings.  The same SSID's will exist at each building and site to make things easier for staff that roam between locations.  I was thinking a Zone for each site with AP groups for each building under that?
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John Westlund

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Posted 3 months ago

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Albert Pierson, Employee

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Hi John,

For seamless roaming where authentication is used (Hotspot/Web auth/Guest Pass/Hotspot 2.0) all AP's must be in the same Zone so that the "grace period" (time after client disconnects during which if they reconnect authentication will not be required) is observed.  So one Zone per site should be ok unless you would expect customers to arrive at new site and still be authenticated.

AP groups are basically ways to manage different AP configurations such as RF channels used and WLAN/SSID's transmitted (wlan groups).  But there is nothing wrong with using identical AP groups to organize AP's per building.  I like to use some building designation in the beginning of the AP name that will so they sort in the Monitor::Zone list, but this list also can be viewed per AP Group.

So your initial thinking should be ok based on caveats I listed above.

I hope this information is helpful

Thank you for choosing Ruckus Networks Products



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John Westlund

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Thank you!  I just tried it and here is what I found.  I created Zones for Site A and Site B.  I have wlans that I have created in the default Zone.  Once I move the AP into Site A or B, it stops broadcasting any SSID.  I figured I just needed to go assign the wlan to the new zone but I can only apply it to one zone at once correct?  That means I can't use the same wlan at each site if I want to break the sites up into different zones.
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Marcus Burton, Official Rep

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Hey John,
What you would want to do in this case is leverage the WLAN templates (System > Templates > WLAN). Create the WLAN as a template and then apply it to all the zones. If you ever need to make a change to the WLAN, just change the template and reapply. It gives you a centralized config object with consistency across zones. And of course, if you have some subset of zones with different WLAN sets, you can create other templates for that purpose. And you can always override individual zones/WLANs with unique settings (different from template) as needed (or create a 2nd template for that config fork). 

Tinker with it a bit and see if it solves your case. 

thanks,
Marcus 
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John Westlund

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That looks like it will work.  Do I still need to create the WLANS in each zone and then apply the template?  I get an error if I try to apply the template to a zone with no WLANS in it.
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Marcus Burton, Official Rep

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Hey John,
There was a limitation prior to 5.0 in which the WLAN had to exist in the zone in order for the template to overwrite it. So creating new zones from scratch was recommended using the zone template. Not exactly user-friendly. So in 5.0 we enhanced it to be able to create the WLAN new (from scratch) if it didn't exist yet. 

Also, take note that the WLAN template is firmware-specific since the WLAN objects and integration may change from release to release. 

thanks,
Marcus