Bulk AP Import with Channel Assignment

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  • Updated 8 months ago
Does the bulk AP import tool have the ability to add channel assignments and other AP-specific configurations, or only what is in the standard csv template?
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Dave Bauman

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Posted 8 months ago

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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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What do you mean by Bulk AP Import? 

But the real question is - why do you want to set static configurations on the individual APs?  Best practice dictates you would use AP Groups to configure APs in bulk.  The only setting you would change on the individual APs is the Name & Description - more on that below

For RF channels, it is generally a bad idea to set radio channels statically, as RF is a continuously changing environment so it's best if you leave the Auto channel algorithms (Background Scanning or ChannelFly) do their job.
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Dave Bauman

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Import batch provisioning APs

Thank you for your response.

That might be true in an enterprise environment, but my company provides temporary networks for an hour, day, a week or sometimes just several weeks.  So our equipment gets installed, and un-installed and shipped to the next deployment. 

Our deployments are also VERY high-density, so using Background Scanning/Channel Fly and other auto features typically does not work well when deploying a network to support thousands to tens of thousands of clients.

I'd like to be able to standardize all our controllers and the WAPs so regardless of where a group of WAPs is shipped to, they will already be programmed in the controller with the proper configuration, rather than having to re-program for every event.

We can always tweak the environment if needed, based on RF conditions, but that is going to be rare in most of the spaces we operate.

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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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That is probably exactly the kind of environment where you DO want continuous RF fine tuning, and one of the ways you can fine tune is to let the auto channel algorithms pick the "least worst" channel (as you know, in an HD environment there's no such thing as a 'best' channel as they're all bad, so I like to call it the 'least worst' instead).

Using auto channel selection and other auto RF tuning features allows you to fire and forget, just as you described.  The APs will continuously evaluate the environment and adapt.  Ruckus APs have two auto channel algorithms - ChannelFly and Background Scanning.  For 2.4Ghz I would stick with Background Scanning, while for 5Ghz if the environment is bursty (ie. large auditoriums with a thousand or so people entering/leaving the auditorium simultaneously), I would use the Background Scanning method.  For more consistently busy networks (eg. concerts, stadiums), ChannelFly tends to work better.

See https://support.ruckuswireless.com/documents/1345-high-density-wi-fi-best-practices-ap-deployment-gu... for more info
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Dave Bauman

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I appreciate your input and would be happy to discuss this offline or on another thread, but I assure you that in all the years (14) I have been doing this, Background Scanning/Channel Fly has destroyed these very high-density deployments.  Additionally, your own stadium Pro Services team assisted in such a design and recommended not using any Background Scanning or Channel Fly.

Ruckus also has a document specific to high density deployments found here:  https://support.ruckuswireless.com/documents/1345-high-density-wi-fi-best-practices-ap-deployment-gu...  and also in a prior version (I prefer both documents as they have some different content) that warns about potential issues when using scanning.  We also normally do not have enough time for Channel Fly to sit and run before it becomes accurate.

I will agree, that in more traditional deployments, Scanning/Fly is a great and very useful set of features.

So back to my original question:  We would like to implement best practices and processes that make sense for MY business, and being able to program ALL of our WAP inventory into ALL of our controllers is highly desired.  In addition to the standard fields detailed we can import using the Import batch provisioning APs tool (per your support document), my question is can we use this tool to define the channel assignments.  Similarly, if there are other configurations we can simultaneously import, that would be a huge bonus for us.

Thank you
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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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Re auto vs static channels - understood.  After all, the controllers provide both auto and manual options to support both approaches.

Re static channels - if you're using any variant of SmartZone (vSZ, SZ-100, etc) starting from SZ OS 5.x, you can use my tool DogTag to set static channels using a CSV file.

NB: This is my own development, it's not supported nor endorsed by Ruckus in any way.  Test it out on a small setup first and use it at your own risk.

Get it from http://dogtag.tacoppini.com
(Edited)
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Dave Bauman

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That is awesome, thanks much!  Is there a way to modify for ZD models?
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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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Unfortunately, no.  The tool interacts with the SZ using the API, which the ZD does not have.

One way you could do this on ZD is to script CLI commands and run them via SSH.  Not easy or clean. but it could work.