replacing 200 APs warehouse

hmc25000
Getting noticed

replacing 200 APs warehouse

How would you go about replacing a large number of AP's and you only have 1 or 2 days to do the cutover?

 

Would you run the old SSID along side the new SSID? 

 

Any recommendations how to do this?

 

thanks.

 

14 Replies 14
alemabrahao
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

If you are going to use the same network, just add the new APs to that network and everything is fine. It's simply plug and play. Piece of cake.

I am not a Cisco Meraki employee. My suggestions are based on documentation of Meraki best practices and day-to-day experience.

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The biggest work in this case will be the physical exchange of equipment.

I am not a Cisco Meraki employee. My suggestions are based on documentation of Meraki best practices and day-to-day experience.

Please, if this post was useful, leave your kudos and mark it as solved.
hmc25000
Getting noticed

Sorry, I failed to mention, the old AP's are of the brand Extreme Networks.

 

Would it be ok running Meraki and Extreme AP's with the same SSID? Interference is not going to be a problem? 

Yes, we'll have to factor in the exchange of the equipment, that's why I'm assuming the window to do the other stuff will be smaller.

It's okay to have the same SSID configured, especially since you'll be running in a maintenance window I assume.

I am not a Cisco Meraki employee. My suggestions are based on documentation of Meraki best practices and day-to-day experience.

Please, if this post was useful, leave your kudos and mark it as solved.
DarrenOC
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Hi @hmc25000 , quite a task ahead of you.  Are you doing a rolling replacement programme in a live environment hence the need to keep the SSID live?  If so then you’ll experience interference and issues with roaming.  

If your outage window is 2 days then you’ll have to be hitting the swap outs pretty hard with a large team to replace.  In an office environment I allow approx 10 minutes per AP to replace so approx 6 APs per hour.  Not sure what this may look like in a warehouse. 

 

 

Darren OConnor | doconnor@resalire.co.uk
https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenoconnor/

I'm not an employee of Cisco/Meraki. My posts are based on Meraki best practice and what has worked for me in the field.

In addition to what @DarrenOC mentions, I'd proabably make sure to build the new network in Meraki beforehand, and ensure that all configuration from Extreme is migrated over. Connect a few APs for a PoC make make sure it's verified by the customer.
You could also consider planning the migration, such that you identify frequent roaming areas, such that in the event you do not finish the migration on day 1, clients won't neccesarily be roaming between two networks as much. You can't avoid it, but might be able to minimize it.

A few days before the migration I'd then look into priming all the APs first, having the connect to the Meraki Dashboard, and ensure they get their latest configuration, as well as software upgraded. Also, if there's any labelling and AP naming, this can be done as well.

When the day of migration then comes, you should be good to go, with as little downtime as possible.

LinkedIn ::: https://blog.rhbirkelund.dk/

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Great points @rhbirkelund 

Darren OConnor | doconnor@resalire.co.uk
https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenoconnor/

I'm not an employee of Cisco/Meraki. My posts are based on Meraki best practice and what has worked for me in the field.

Also, don't expect 1:1 migrations when replacing wireless infrastructure between vendors. There will always be differences between vendors, and where it may work fine on one vendor, you may have issues with another.

Make sure to find budget for troubleshooting on the network post-migration. A post-survey might also be neccessary to ensure that you meet the same coverage requirements before and after wireless infrastructure switchover.

LinkedIn ::: https://blog.rhbirkelund.dk/

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alemabrahao
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Either you are very cautious or I am very hardcore. 🤣🤣🤣

By having everything pre-configured and tested in advance, you will definitely be successful. I've already done much larger migrations in a shorter period of time and everything went well.

The secret is to test everything first and use your maintenance window wisely.

I am not a Cisco Meraki employee. My suggestions are based on documentation of Meraki best practices and day-to-day experience.

Please, if this post was useful, leave your kudos and mark it as solved.
K2_Josh
Building a reputation

Planning for a co-existence between AP vendors depends on the Wi-Fi authentication type and network design. If the APs can share a VLAN during a staged migration, there should be no impact to production as long as you confirm that authentication/roaming works between both sets of devices. You can setup at least one test Meraki AP and one Extreme AP in roughly the same area to test roaming between them.

hmc25000
Getting noticed

I'd proabably make sure to build the new network in Meraki beforehand,

Yes we will preconfigure however we can only do so much. 

 

The most time consuming will be getting the AP's physically installed in the air. This is actually a 24x7 environment so there is a lot of pressure to make the window as small as possible.   

We will also need some room to test and monitor because if any major issues arise we'll need to be able to roll back.

 

K2_Josh
Building a reputation

If it's a 24x7 environment then testing ahead of time and performing a staged migration is your best bet. If you engage (or are working with) a wireless consultant, they can help you plan the the least disruptive migration plan, possibly using extra un-mounted APs (from either vendor) temporarily in the middle of the migration.

GIdenJoe
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

You will have some slower roaming between the devices of both vendors.
The most important thing is that you don't do salt and pepper but make sure you replace contiguous areas of AP's.

And don't forget to disable any rogue AP containment or you'll have alot of issues.

hmc25000
Getting noticed

We do not enable rogue AP containment.

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