Networks Deployment Best Practices

Jimbo_UK
New here

Networks Deployment Best Practices

I have a new customer asking for me to review their Meraki deployment. They appear to have created mixed networks for their sites to deploy their MX/MS devices then created a separate network for APs which encompasses all their sites.

 

I have never seen this before so am wondering, apart from ease of administration seeing all devices for a single site in the same place, are there any drawbacks to segregating the wireless network from the wired.

 

Also, if I were to consolidate all devices on a per-site basis I assume that I would need to remove the APs from the existing shared network and then redeploy into each respective shared network and duplicate the config?

7 REPLIES 7
alemabrahao
Kind of a big deal

It depends a lot, if he doesn't need to have a customized configuration for each site, I don't see a problem in configuring the APs in a single network (think of a site that concentrates all services).

I particularly like to have separate networks and create templates for easier management. But I don't think I have a general recommendation.

And yes, I would have to reconfigure everything again.

Brash
Head in the Cloud

It sounds very much like it was done for ease of administration. Potentially they didn't know about templates or didn't want to use them.

The only major downside I can think of other than the complexity of chasing AP to switch port mappings is that all of the wireless client data is aggregated into the one network, separate from the rest of the site.

 

Consolidating the devices will require creating the wireless config in each site and inventorying the device into the other network which will have some downtime. If you do go down this path, the API is your friend 

cmr
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

@Brash there wouldn't necessarily be any downtime.  We moved 14 MR52 APs from one org to another (we had bought another operation) and most moved with clients remaining connected... 

 

Which surprised me! 😎

Jimbo_UK
New here

Thanks both.

 

A little deeper dive into their config looks like they have implemented L3 roaming as one of the sites is using multiple client VLANs making it look quite messy.

 

Will make some recommendations to clean up the network configs and start using templates.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

>separate network for APs which encompasses all their sites.

 

I've had one customer ask me to do this.  It was because they wanted to see consolidated WiFi reports and analytics for their organization as a whole, and not per network.

They have around 250 sites with 2 x APs per site.

 

It's been operating like this for 5 years or so without issue.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

The other thing they liked - is that they have some IoT devices that can move between sites.  It allows them to type in the device name, and then based on the name of the AP it is connected to they can easily see which site it is currently at.  Otherwise, they would have to manually sweep through 250 networks ...

BlakeRichardson
Kind of a big deal

There is not really any right or wrong way, it's more what suits the end user and how they want to manage the site. 

 

One option gives you ease of administration while the other makes it easier to track client information. I guess it comes down to which is more important. 

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