ZD3000 and R700 limits at a large public event

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I am planning to supply WiFi for a large public event, about 10000 people present. I estimate that at least half will connect and use the WiFi service, this event will be hosted in a remote area and I only expect small amounts of interference, also the traffic levels will be small ( facebook, simple browsing )

I do have one ZD3000 with 25 Ap license and ten R700 access points, I am not sure about the client limit on the ZD3000 because I noticed that there is a 5000 clients limit but didn't understand where this limit applies. This limitation applies only to authenticated clients or the total number of clients regardless if they are connected to a open network ( no security or captive portal at all ) or using some kind of encryption or authentication ?

At this event I will host two WLAN's: one encrypted with WPA2 ( no user database, only a simple password ) that will host about 100 clients and one open network that will host the public with no encryption or password ( planning to use Vlan pooling in order to break the broadcast domains into smaller chunks ).

Because at this moment I only have 10 x R700 I am planning to get ten more in order to support the clients. I never tested one R700 at full capacity, is this AP capable of the 500 clients stated in the data sheet ? Will the performance degrade very much ?

Thanks !
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Mihail Tudoran

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Posted 3 years ago

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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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I don't know your exact area you need to cover but I would suggest you don't use the R700. For HD you need to use directional antennas or APs that have directional antennas integrated like 7782-n, t301n or use the 7372-e with an external antenna.
The only time I'd use apps with omni antennas if you mean to place them under the seats but from what you wrote I'd say there won't be seats there.

And the 500 users per AP is a dream. Shoot for something up to 130 per AP spread through both bands.
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DSE

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I totally agree with Primoz, i had similar events and the first time i used only omni and was a disaster, then i started to use 7782-n and 7782-s and it's perfect. About the number of users.. yes i agree about that numbers for stable use. 
(Edited)
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Mihail Tudoran

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We install WiFi systems on demand for a limited number of hours or days, that's why we preferred the R700 and it's omni antenna, we never know the venue we are going to install so we need to adapt on the spot, using omni antennas do the job.

Maybe we need to buy ten more directional antenna units, combining both based on the venue and possible installation space, this should be a good idea.

Also really curious about the ZD3000 user limitation, I didn't find something clear enough about the 5000 clients limit.

How did Ruckus measure the 500 supported clients for the R700 ? Under what circumstances in order to make this statement ?

Thanks !
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John D, AlphaDog

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I recall the 500 client number was with open authentication (256 clients per radio), and WPA2 takes it down to something more around 128 simultaneous clients per radio.
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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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One thing is how many stations can associate, and another how many can you have on an AP actually tranmitting data before either you run out of air-time or the AP says enough. With Ruckus APs you usually you run out of AT first. That's one of the reasons you need directional antennas, so that you don't create a cell where 1000 users will like to associate with it and demand their AT.

Maybe check out these antennas. http://www.wireless-instruments.com/en/produkty/21/dual-band-antennas.html

This conversation actually reminds me that I need to start a new one my self.
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Mihail Tudoran

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The ZD3000 state that it can balance clients across APs to spread the load, using this should avoid creating a large cell only on one AP ? I mean having multiple R700 placed relatively close and connected to the director to balance the clients.
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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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Well I guess if a marketing data-sheet say it than it must work :)

But seriously, paper will take anything you write on it, reality will give you a check at the end. Personally I would never use omni APs for HD, unless I'd put them under the seats. For overhead or side placement I'd always use directional antennas.

I'm not saying it won't work either as it depends on some factors and the standard is built in a way that it really takes a geniuos to screw it up so much that nothing will work, but in my experience it's unlikely that users will be satisfied with the network although I've seen that Ruckus performs much better even with a bad design compared to the competition that has problems with great designs too.

Or, let me restate, there is surely a much better way of doing this, but even if it's not that great design Ruckus' APs will help you hide some of that.
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Mihail Tudoran

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Thanks ! I mostly use open authentication networks.

Will the ZD3000 with 25 AP license supported more than 5000 clients ?
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Mihail Tudoran

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Opened a new topic for this ( too much offtopic here )
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Mihail Tudoran

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Should we buy 5 more of the new R710 Wave2 instead of going with the T301?
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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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You have to understand that it's not about which APs you buy it's about channel reuse. That means proper cell sizing.

Forget about what marketing is saying. All they are interested in is getting the quarter into the right numbers so the stock goes up.
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Mark, Employee

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It's all about using the right tool for the right job. the R710 will support 2X the users the R700 will however you have to decide where you need to use an omni antenna pattern and where a directional pattern like the -S or -N will work better. typically for stadium venue's up to 12k seats mounting -N ap's above will work well. in larger venue's you can also do an underseat approach with omni's. meeting rooms and exhibition area's are typically omnis due to the fact that you can't get the AP's far enough away from the clients to use the narrow pattern of a -N or -S. in those area's try to mount the aps low so people attenuate signal, or use obstructions like beams to block signal so you can add more AP's to handle the desired density.
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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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So there was a problem with my earlier reply that I would like to clarify.

Fact is that marketing ant technical usually see things from different perspectives which is understandable since their jobs are different. Technical needs too make things work and marketing needs to present the company in the most positive frame. Nothing is wrong as far as marketing is concerned and that can lead to false representation of actual facts.

Usually that means the difference between fact and fiction which in this case is the 500 users count per AP. Sure an app can have 500, ney 512, but the real question is do you want this. Personally I'd say no. In fact I'd say that's a recipe for failure. I know this because I've been down this road before and I don't want others to follow.

My reply was not directed at Ruckus directly or anyone person there, As every vendor it's doing exactly the same thing and hiring them selves in the process.

Anyone from Ruckus that has met me knows I'm one of your biggest fans and you make by far the best APs, but a bad design is a bad design and deploying apps in an environment like that will not produce a satisfactory result.

Now you can delete any of my replies, fine. Just know that every reply is meant with the intent of helping Ruckus as much as helping the user asking it.
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Mark, Employee

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There are limits to what a controller will support as well as a radio itself. there is a 128 user limit when authentication is used ( chip limitation ) there is a limit put on the ZD based on what it's memory and processor will support. Additionally, in any larger public event the general rule of thumb is 20-30% of the users will be on the wifi at any time.
 Directional antennas such as the -S or -N will allow you to put more AP's in a given space while keeping co-channel interference to a minimum. You can also do other things like using the people and building structure to attenuate the signal and again be able to add more AP's. a few other tricks to support large venue's are setting the controller to OFDM only, turn off some of the 2.4 ghz radios,  limiting your 5ghz radio to 20mhz channels so you can have more non overlapping channels, turn on load balancing and steer clients to 5ghz.
hope this helps....
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Mark, Employee

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There are limits to what a controller will support as well as a radio itself. there is a 128 user limit when authentication is used ( chip limitation ) there is a limit put on the ZD based on what it's memory and processor will support. Additionally, in any larger public event the general rule of thumb is 20-30% of the users will be on the wifi at any time.
 Directional antennas such as the -S or -N will allow you to put more AP's in a given space while keeping co-channel interference to a minimum. You can also do other things like using the people and building structure to attenuate the signal and again be able to add more AP's. a few other tricks to support large venue's are setting the controller to OFDM only, turn off some of the 2.4 ghz radios,  limiting your 5ghz radio to 20mhz channels so you can have more non overlapping channels, turn on load balancing and steer clients to 5ghz.
The R700 has the fastest processor and will support the most users with 9.8.2.0.24 or newer code until the R710 ships.
hope this helps....
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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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Hey now. Why did you delete my post? Undo it please.
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Eizens Putnins

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I would say that datasheet may be very precise, and still even correct numbers are often misinterpreted. Customers are tended to remember biggest number outside of context, and expect miracles, which not happen. 
So such customers are tended to expect that all 500 users will perform on theoretical max rate on any distance, which of cause never happens. No technical person would expect it, of cause.

280 km/hour on your new car speedometer doesn't mean that you will be driving with such speed all the time, even so number is correct, and properly represents that you have a really fast car, much faster than one with speedometer limit 160 km/hour.
 
Support for 500 associations is actually very useful in such environments as public events, hotels, malls and so on, as a big part of the clients are smartphones in the pocket of people passing by, not creating big traffic (if any at all). With many vendors (including 2 of 3 other WLAN grands) in this situation association tables are filling fast and real clients may not have access to the network.

Anyway, this number properly represents that Ruckus handles such situations better than most other vendors, which is a real fact.
(Edited)