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AP load balancing and congestion

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AP load balancing and congestion

Environment: Many MR32s in a large co-working space. 

 

1. In a co-working environment with many Meraki AP-32s, how does an AP handle or control the number of connections it accepts? Is there any way to put a cap on the amount of devices that it allows to connect to?

 

Also...

 

2. In the same co-working environment, when there are 2 APs that have overlapping signals, is there any way to ensure proper load balancing between the number of connections? For example: there is a large meeting room with an AP inside of it. Outside of this meeting room there is another AP. Is there any way to make it so that those 2 APs “share the load?”

 

Thanks in advance!

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4 REPLIES
Head in the Cloud

Re: AP load balancing and congestion

1. You can not put a cap on the number of users.  The AP does not control the number of connections.  That is left up to the client, and the client usually selects the AP with the best signal strength.

 

2. An approach that works well is to configure a minimum connection speed.  I personally prefer 12Mb/s.  This helps clients to make the decision to roam more quickly to another access point as they move around in an area.  You can configure this in:

Wireless/SSIDS/[ssid]/Edit/[scroll to the very bottom]

Screenshot from 2017-10-13 07-24-23.png

 

New here

Re: AP load balancing and congestion

Thanks for the input! I currently have the minimum connection speed set to 24Mb/s, and that seems to be working okay. However, this meeting room is pretty much completely covered by a single AP's signal, and the connection speed rarely falls below 24Mb/s while you are in that room. This results in this AP taking all of the traffic, and the AP that is located outside of the meeting room takes very few clients. Is there something else that we could be doing? 

 

Thanks again for your input. 

Head in the Cloud

Re: AP load balancing and congestion

This is going to seem a bit obvious - put a second AP in the meeting room.  It really is the only correct solution for handling load issues.

Getting noticed

Re: AP load balancing and congestion

Hello @GoMurica

 

When thinking about density, I always try to think about having more smaller cells rather then 1, 2, or 3 large cells.  It may sound counter intuitive but turning the signal strength down may help.  Think of it this way, imagine in that same space each AP that is mounted is a loud speaker.  If each and every loud speaker is running at max volume, you will have a hard time making out any one message from the speakers.  If you turn all of the loud speakers down, as you walk through the room the speaker closest to you becomes more clear and you can make out the message.  The above analogy should not be confused with interference, RF utilization, just encouraging roaming if you will, the client has to have a reason to roam and that comes down to signal strength.  

 

A few other questions I might ask are: 

 

1.  The APs are using different channels correct?

2.  Are you using both bands and are you using band steering?  

3.  Is 2.4 needed on every radio if used at all?  Are you only using 1,6,and 11 for 2.4?

4.  How large is the space?

5.  Are the APs mounted 25ft or higher in the air?

6.  What kind of client density are you noticing per AP on average?

7.  How many APs do you have in the space?

 

 

To answer your question you cannot put a cap on the amount of clients. 

 

Ryan