Switch And Wi-Fi Are The Strong Backing Of Wireless Network

- Sep 18, 2020-

Why the switch is a key part of a powerful Wi-Fi deployment. Let us analyze the network upgrade case of Henan Neusoft Institute of Information. The college has 14 teaching institutions with more than 14,000 students and a total construction area of 399,000 square meters. Previously, due to limited investment by operators, the solutions adopted could only solve the most basic wireless access requirements. With the passage of time, no matter from the availability of the network, the stability of the connection, and even the speed of the network connection, it has been unable to meet the needs of school teachers and students.

HRUI company has upgraded the campus network of Henan Neusoft Institute of Information. The coverage area includes all 25 dormitory buildings, as well as classrooms, libraries, canteens and other public activity areas. A total of more than 1,500 HRUI access points and 65 units have been deployed. Ethernet switch HRUI and HRUI virtual WLAN controller.

The low-latency, non-blocking architecture of the HR series switches can ensure the ideal throughput for the most demanding content such as video, unified communications, VDI and mobile applications. Combining it with Ruckus smart Wi-Fi access points will not only obtain The gigabit data transmission speed also achieves more powerful performance and more stable network connection, thus bringing the best experience to the teachers and students of the school.


Wireless requirements

In many cases, customers choose to update their wired network infrastructure when upgrading their wireless access point (AP). This is because it is important to ensure that the underlying switch network can support new wireless deployments. Specific considerations include performance, Power over Ethernet (PoE) requirements, upgradeability, network management, and future-oriented requirements.

Wired infrastructure needs to provide fast enough speed for switches: from access points, uplinks, to aggregation and core switches, to the cloud (or data center). Although high-performance APs are important, the full value of APs cannot be realized if there is no underlying network that meets the requirements. In an ideal network, all components (including Internet pipes) can work well with each other to handle network traffic. Any bottleneck in the user's connection to the cloud (or data center) will reduce application performance and negatively affect the user experience.

Let us take a closer look at the data flow. Starting from the user equipment, the first step in a wired network is the connection from the access point to the switch. In the past 5 to 10 years, most enterprise-level switches have 1 Gigabit (Gbps) access ports to support Wi-Fi 4 (802. 11n) and the following access points. The total throughput of Wi-Fi 4 access points is less than 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), so a 1 gigabit (Gbps) port connected to the switch is sufficient. Any faster port will not have any impact on performance, because AP is still the limiting factor for performance.

Wi-Fi 5 (802. 11ac) performance

Wi-Fi 5 (802. 11ac) APs provide potential speeds exceeding 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) throughput, which means that 1Gbps access ports are gradually becoming the bottleneck for optimal performance. In fact, the latest Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2 AP can reach 2.3Gbps per second, although due to practical limitations, this rate will be slightly lower. The HRUI laboratory test confirmed that the throughput of Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2 AP is 1.5 gigabit per second (Gbps), so the 2.5 gigabit (Gbps) port can completely avoid the access port becoming a bottleneck, at least for Wi-Fi 5 In terms of AP.

Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) performance

However, the next-generation Wi-Fi 6 AP (802.11ax) has begun to ship. IDC predicts that the deployment of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) will increase significantly in 2019 and become the main enterprise Wi-Fi in 2021. standard. This is because many organizations find themselves still subject to the previous Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard, especially in high-density venues such as stadiums, conference centers, transportation hubs, and auditoriums.

The Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access point (AP) deployed in a dense device environment supports a higher level of service level agreement (SLA), more concurrently connected users and devices, and more different usage configurations file. This is achieved through a series of technologies that optimize spectrum efficiency, increase throughput, and reduce power consumption. These technologies include 1024-Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Uplink and Downlink Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), BSS coloring mechanism, and target wake-up time TWT. The new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard provides four times higher throughput than its predecessor Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), so users need to consider upgrading to Multi-GE access in advance Port to eliminate the potential bottleneck of wired switches.

It needs to be emphasized that the transition to gigabit switches to adapt to Wi-Fi 6 AP does not necessarily require large-scale infrastructure upgrades. Enterprise organizations can gradually add several wired switches supporting Multi-GE interfaces as needed. In addition, many current multi-Gigabit (Multi-GE) switches have both multi-GE (Multi-GE) ports and gigabit (1Gbps) ports. Only those ports connected to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) AP need multi-gigabit (2.5Gbps/5Gbps/10Gbps) access speed, while other gigabit ports are used for computers, printers, VoIP phones, Cameras and other Ethernet devices.


In conclusion

In order to take full advantage of the speed advantages (up to 5Gbps per second) provided by 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) APs, our customers have begun to install Multi-GE switches to replace or supplement the old infrastructure. This is because system administrators cannot simply upgrade part of the network (access point) to ensure a high-quality user experience. To get the advantages of 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), you also need to upgrade the switch. From our perspective, enterprise organizations should now prepare to transition to Multi-GE switches. Since the average lifespan of switches is 5-7 years (the average lifespan of switches in many educational institutions is as long as 10 years), organizations will definitely need multi-Gigabit (Multi-GE) connection services during this time.