R510, R610 and R710 Maximum Performance

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I am looking for any pointers to get the absolute maximum performance and smooth roaming on a small network in a setting with low ceilings and thick walls (which I cannot put wiring in to). I have read all the documentation I can find, but hearing from people with on the ground experience would be appreciated.

It is a small unleashed network 2x R710 APs (cabled at 1Gb) and 3xR510 & 1xR610 all meshed to one of the R710s. There are around 35 mobile client and IoT type devices which are reasonably up to date and support either 'n' and 'ac'. The network is static; I rarely add/move APs. I do not need to support old kit.

I am interested in anything to squeeze performance out. I am particularly curious in two main areas, AP placement/orientation and Unleashed settings.

With regard to APs placement the documentation seems a little contradictory. Broadly, there is one AP per room, which have low ceilings and brick walls.

My specific questions are:

1. Does AP orientation (horizontal/vertical) matter as long as the device isn't facing the back of the AP?

2. For meshing, should the fronts of the APs be facing each other or doesn't it matter? Is it just the distance apart that makes the difference assuming that the radiation patterns overlap?

3. Is there any performance difference between the different models of AP with the exception of volume of clients? I have cabled the R710s, assuming they have faster processors, to handle the meshing but I cannot find any information to support that theory. Does it matter? I have spare 510s and can get more 710s if that will make a significant difference.

4. Would getting one or more R750s with WiFi6 make any major difference?

Below are my Unleashed settings. Are they sensible? Optimal?

  • Manually enabled channels 1, 6 & 11 on the 2.4GHz band and 36, 52, 100, 116 and 132 on the 5.0Ghz band.
  • Channel: Auto
  • Channelization is set to 40Mhz for both bands
  • TX Power is set to Full
  • 11n/ac/ax only Mode is set to N-only and N/AC- only for the 2.4 and 5.0 bands respectively.
  • CAC: Off
  • Firmware: 200.8
  • Auto AP power adjust is turned on.
  • 2.4GHz Background scanning timeout: 3600 seconds
  • 5.0GHz ChannelFly
  • No load balancing or Band balancing
  • Application Recognition is turned on.
  • Authentication is WPA2/WPA3 with a PSK and SAE password.

Are there any other points I should consider to increase performance and deliver smooth handover between APs?

If anyone has experience they can share I, and I am sure others, would be very grateful.
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Greg Newton-Ingham

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Karl Lavender

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I can't speak to anything specific with Unleashed as I haven't used that as a product, however when it comes to coverage or differences in AP, check these datasheets for both the azimuth and elevation patterns to give you an idea of AP layout.

If these have to mesh, I would consider statically assigning the mesh channels, I can't recall if essid are removed from the mesh band, but that would be recommended.

https://webresources.ruckuswireless.com/datasheets/r510/ds-ruckus-r510.pdf
https://webresources.ruckuswireless.com/datasheets/t610/ds-ruckus-t610.pdf
https://webresources.ruckuswireless.com/datasheets/t710/ds-ruckus-t710.pdf
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Greg Newton-Ingham

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Thanks. I hadn't thought about statically assigning the mesh channel. I guess I may need to buy a Zone Director as I don't remember seeing the option in Unleashed. I will investigate further.
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Syamantak Omer, Official Rep

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Hi Greg,

Channel selection is specific to AP configuration, so whatever channel you choose for the specific AP, all SSIDs will utilise the same channel (including mesh) in that AP.

Here is the screenshot to edit the AP channel from auto to static.



Regards,
Syamantak Omer
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Greg Newton-Ingham

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Apologies if I am being dim, but at the moment the mesh reports all APs using channel 52 for the mesh channel.
I would normally expect to set each AP manually to a different channel to avoid co-channel interference for clients. Does this also apply to the mesh channel since it is defaulting to the same channel for all APs?
To be clear should I manually set the same channel on ALL APs or a different, minimally interfering, channel on each AP and let the mesh deal with it?
TIA
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Syamantak Omer, Official Rep

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Hi Greg,

Please find my response below.

1. Does AP orientation (horizontal/vertical) matter as long as the device isn't facing the back of the AP?

  • Yes it does matters. All these APs uses omnidirectional antennas and creates a antenna pattern like a donut (not exact true donut). For your understanding, refer below 3d antenna pattern. This is when you place the AP horizontally (it is just for illustration and not a true radiation pattern in real life). Refer datasheet for more information about antenna pattern.


2. For meshing, should the fronts of the APs be facing each other or doesn't it matter? Is it just the distance apart that makes the difference assuming that the radiation patterns overlap?

  • No, front facing the each other is not required and also not recommended until you are using directional APs. As long as both APs can see each other with good signal strength, they should work well over mesh.

3. Is there any performance difference between the different models of AP with the exception of volume of clients? I have cabled the R710s, assuming they have faster processors, to handle the meshing but I cannot find any information to support that theory. Does it matter? I have spare 510s and can get more 710s if that will make a significant difference.

  • It is always good to use higher end APs as root and lower end APs as mesh because root AP acts as gateway for all the traffic. Of course, using all the same AP model does makes a lot of difference (higher end APs). An R710 (max data rate is 1,733Mbps) is much more powerful than R510 (max data rate is 867Mbps).

4. Would getting one or more R750s with WiFi6 make any major difference?

  • Yes it will! But first find-out if that is your requirement or not. With existing setup, if it is not fulfilling your requirements, then you can always choose a better AP.
Below are my Unleashed settings. Are they sensible? Optimal?
  • Yes, most of the settings looks good to me. I would like to add just one more point (assuming that you are powering all the APs using POE switch) for R710 and R610 APs. Make sure both APs are getting 802.3at power for full performance. If AP is negotiating the power over POE as 802.1af, it's performance will be reduced. Refer the data sheet for more information.
Regards,
Syamantak Omer
(Edited)
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Syamantak Omer, Official Rep

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Hi John,

Good point and thanks for highlighting!

R750 mesh will be supported in upcoming 200.9 version, so Greg have to wait, if he wish to use R750 in mesh mode.

Regards,
Syamantak Omer
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John D, AlphaDog

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I would definitely wait for the R750 before upgrading, personally. The combination you have is great already with these Wave2 AC APs. Wifi 6 meshing will be a significant improvement.

The only thing I would consider on your setup is increasing bandwidth from 40MHz to 80MHz if your RF spectrum is amenable to that. That's the one setting that can come close to doubling the throughput of your network.

I'd recommend trying 40MHz vs 80MHz and doing AP to AP SpeedFlex tests to see how each channel setting affects it.

The other thing is channel selection -- sometimes the DFS channels (52-64 or 100-112) have better noise floors compared to the non-DFS channels, resulting in better throughput. But not all clients support DFS channels so if this is a single root AP mesh network, that may not be a good option. Usually when I deploy a mesh network I try to provide two root APs and build up two chains of slightly overlapping cells, one DFS and one non-DFS.


Also in a mesh network, I highly advise a static channel assignment. The main reason is that channel switches are extremely disruptive to the client in a mesh grid. When clients get a CSA (Channel Switch Advisory), they can choose whether to follow the channel switch or to pick a different AP that they remembered from scans or neighbor lists. But if an entire mesh chain undergoes a channel switch, most of those APs won't be on their original channel either.
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Greg Newton-Ingham

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Thanks for many great ideas. I will try them and see how I get on.

I assume the static channel is different for each AP to avoid co-channel interference and that the meshing system can cope with that?
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John D, AlphaDog

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Well if you're meshing, remember on 5GHz all meshed APs share the same 5GHz channel. So, it's an inherent limitation of meshing that co-channel-interference is going to be there pretty much any time there's traffic on any AP meshed together, and there's almost nothing you can do about that (other than use eMesh topologies or having more than 1 root AP to spread traffic)

So what really matters is assign the root AP a good 5GHz channel. The rest of the mesh will use the root AP's channel when meshed to it, regardless of what setting you manually assigned a mesh AP.
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John D, AlphaDog

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In other words: Mesh is wonderfully resilient and convenient, but for a high performance network it is not the best practice. Obviously wiring these APs via ethernet is ideal, but if that's not practical, it's worth looking at other backhaul alternatives too. In a residential setting, MoCA adapters (coax to ethernet) are expensive but very high throughput. In some settings, powerline AV adapters may give you acceptable performance though I've found that to be hit or miss.
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Tim Brumbaugh

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I have done this at several locations including campgrounds that serve up to 2500 concurrent clients.  Mesh is Ok but not the best way to go if you can help it.  We have found that if you have to mesh then don't broadcast any SSID's on the 5ghz as that is what is used for the MESH leaving it alone to do the back haul work and all the clients connect to the 2.4 ghz.  Yes you will not get the same potential speeds on the 2.4ghz but it travels through walls, floors and such way better than 5ghz.  If you must use meshing and are forced into multiple hops it costs a bit more but you can put two ap's  together via a cable and it will create a new root link and improve the performance as the radios are not meshed to each other and will get you lan speed and restart the hop count..  Remember each hop will basically cut the throughput in half, so at 1 hop you are at 50% and at 2 hops 75 % and this has to be shared if there are multiple radios connecting to the one root mesh etc.