ZD3025 with Zoneflex R600s possible roaming issues

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I run a small IT company and my local High School has asked me to investigate some wifi issues they have been having for the last 18 months in only one area of the site. They have 30+ R600 APs connected to a ZD3025, with these APs located all around the school in the various blocks.
4 of these APs are located in one block to supply wifi to staff/pupils locally. The staff are reporting what appears to be roaming issues between the APs in this block. This results in poor signal when moving devices from one room to another as the device is still hooked into the original AP in the far away room and hasn't hooked into the nearest AP in the new classroom. It's early days in my investigation. From what i can see the APs are running V10.0.1.0.44 firmware and are all set to auto channel, resulting in some channel overlaps locally.  My knowledge of Ruckus in limited as we normally use another major wifi supplier but i've agreed to see if i can help, hence my involvement.

Before i jump in too deep can anyone give me any initial pointers to check out first?

Thanks in advance
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Stewart Bryan

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Posted 2 months ago

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Babar Gondal

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Hi Stewart,

can you please please explain about your network how APs are connected. Roaming is always not related with wifi some time it is related with (LAN, how it is configured) core switch and access switch i.e. how fast connected device mac address move from one port to other port on core switch (ARP).

below conditions:
1. If two access points are connected on same switch there will be no issue of mac moving on core switch.
2. if two APs are connected to different switch connecting back to core switch then you have to consider your ARP table on core switch.

3. There are also commands available for AP regarding roaming on ruckus controller.


Thanks,
Babar
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Stewart Bryan

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Hi Babar - thanks for your reply. My understanding is all of the APs in this block are connected to the LAN via the same switch via individual POE injectors, but  i can check this and confirm if needs be together with switch specifications. I have asked for remote access to the controller so save site visit time and am waiting for this to be actioned. This will give me the ability to check the local config and make small adjustments as/when needed and also investigate for any errors in logs etc when the problem has occurred, as it appears to be random at the moment.
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Mj Evenson, Employee

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Hi Stewart.  You might try turning off the lower supported data rates on the SSID.  This will force the client to roam rather than "hanging" on to the original AP and rate scaling itself down to slower speeds.   Regards
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David Black

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Power is too hot. That’s why the clients continue to think the distant AP is acceptable. What do you mean by “blocks” and how far apart are the APs? In most of our schools we run 5GHz at -6dBm and 2.4 at -9 or -10.
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Stewart Bryan

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Mj - how do i go about turning off the lower data rates for the specific SSID? I checked the portal and there is a section for each WLan regarding Rate Limiting and SSID Rate limiting - this is currently disabled for this SSID.
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Stewart Bryan

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David - what i mean by blocks is the physical school buildings themselves, which are called BLock. EG Tech Block, Science Block etc. This is the Tech Block and has 5 APs in it. I'm waiting for confirmation of their physical location in the block to be given to me but i believe they aren't too close together. I'll check the power for each AP - that would make sense as if power is too much for their physical location compared to other in this block then what is happening would make sense. Currently power for all of their APs across the school is set to Auto so not sure how it controls that locally for each one....
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David Black

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Ruckus runs hot in auto mode.  Assuming that there's not more than 10 or so classrooms in the block, I would start with -3 on 5 and -9 on 2.4.  Measure the RSSI in a worst case area and verify you're around -60.  If you're a lot better than that, cut it some more.  You may need to go -6 on 5 and -10 or min on 2.4.  If a block contains more than 10 classrooms, you should survey first and see what the RSSI level is in a worst case area.  

As for setting the bss minrate, you can do that in the GUI if you're on v10.  If the firmware is older, you can only do it via CLI.  I use this technique too but not as a first choice.  To set the bss minrate you must first be set to ODFM only (no 802.11b rates).  To set OFDM only and bss minrate to 12 for a wlan named EXAMPLE, here are the commands:

ruckus>  en
ruckus#  config
ruckus(config)#  wlan EXAMPLE
ruckus(config-wlan)#  ofdm-only
ruckus(config-wlan)#  bss-minrate  12
ruckus(config-wlan)#  exit

(Edited)
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Stewart Bryan

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One more question - once config changes are 'applied' on the controller for a specific AP they are applied to that AP immediately?

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Stewart Bryan

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I've applied the above recommended changes onsite via the controller and asked the staff to monitor for any changes to behaviour as a result. I've also split the 2.4GHz channels for the 3 nearest APs in this block onto 1, 6 & 11 to avoid any channel overlapping - the system-wide setting was auto-channel and i'm not sure how good Ruckus is at managing that. I'm also waiting info on the physical switches in this block to see if the APs are all connected to the same switch or different ones. The school is on holiday break for 2 weeks so i don't anticipate much more feedback from them until the next term begins. Thanks for info thus far everyone.