Wireless

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Ryan Rosenthal

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:11:56 AMJan 18
to WELSTech, wels-high-sch...@googlegroups.com
Hey all,

Here at GPLHS we are adding on to our building. I've been tasked with asking you all a question or two. We currently have a Rukus system in place in the school and the dorm. It was set up and then mostly left alone. So, the questions go thus: 
Is Rukus still a thing?
Do we try and add more Rukus to what we have and just expand our current system?
Do we keep the Rukus and buy something else and put the dorm on one system and the school on another?
Do we shell out big bucks and go new for everything? 
Other?

I appreciate any related and constructive thoughts. 

Joshua Schoeneck

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:23:42 AMJan 18
to Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
If your Ruckus system is any more than a few years old, I would consider installing something new throughout. My experience thus far is that your WiFi system probably needs to be upgraded every 5-6 years to keep up with the state of the technology.

I'm partial to using UniFi WiFi equipment as it is a very affordable system, though it can be a little more manual to set up than some other systems. 

As a side note, if you are not already planning for it, make sure that you use your federal Erate funds to pay for WiFi and network equipment. You should have "category 2" funds guaranteed to your school.

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Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
Joshua J. Schoeneck
Registrar, Director of Technology, Technology Instructor
Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
262-677-4051 x4045
mobile: 262-225-7308
joshua.s...@kmlhs.org
Educating for Life and for Eternity

Robert Martens

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:27:23 AMJan 18
to Joshua Schoeneck, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
I'd echo much of what Josh said, but also to not underestimate the benefits of having your entire wireless system on the same management "pane of glass" so that you don't need to split any time between multiple interfaces. That, alone, can be worth the added expense of pulling everything out and replacing with a single system.



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Sincerely,
Bob Martens

Webmaster/Technician
Martin Luther College

This electronic communication, including any attached documents, may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information that is intended only for use by the recipient(s) named above. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the communication and any attachments. Views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent those of Martin Luther College.

Ryan Rosenthal

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:33:54 AMJan 18
to Robert Martens, Joshua Schoeneck, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
Have never done e-raye personally or at the school, so no existing experience or infrastructure for that.  

I think the current system was put in in 2014.

Robert Martens

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:35:51 AMJan 18
to Ryan Rosenthal, Joshua Schoeneck, WELSTech
With the age of the system, I would seriously consider ripping out and replacing with something new across the entire campus.

Sincerely,
Bob Martens

Martin Luther College
Webmaster/Technician
http://mlc-wels.edu

> On Jan 18, 2021, at 8:33 AM, Ryan Rosenthal <ryan.d.r...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Have never done e-raye personally or at the school, so no existing experience or infrastructure for that.
>
> I think the current system was put in in 2014.
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 8:27 AM Robert Martens <mart...@mlc-wels.edu> wrote:
> I'd echo much of what Josh said, but also to not underestimate the benefits of having your entire wireless system on the same management "pane of glass" so that you don't need to split any time between multiple interfaces. That, alone, can be worth the added expense of pulling everything out and replacing with a single system.
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 8:23 AM Joshua Schoeneck <joshua.s...@kmlhs.org> wrote:
> If your Ruckus system is any more than a few years old, I would consider installing something new throughout. My experience thus far is that your WiFi system probably needs to be upgraded every 5-6 years to keep up with the state of the technology.
>
> I'm partial to using UniFi WiFi equipment as it is a very affordable system, though it can be a little more manual to set up than some other systems.
>
> As a side note, if you are not already planning for it, make sure that you use your federal Erate funds to pay for WiFi and network equipment. You should have "category 2" funds guaranteed to your school.
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 8:11 AM Ryan Rosenthal <ryan.d.r...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey all,
>
> Here at GPLHS we are adding on to our building. I've been tasked with asking you all a question or two. We currently have a Rukus system in place in the school and the dorm. It was set up and then mostly left alone. So, the questions go thus:
> Is Rukus still a thing?
> Do we try and add more Rukus to what we have and just expand our current system?
> Do we keep the Rukus and buy something else and put the dorm on one system and the school on another?
> Do we shell out big bucks and go new for everything?
> Other?
>
> I appreciate any related and constructive thoughts.
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "WELSTech" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to welstech+u...@groups.wels.net.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/groups.wels.net/d/msgid/welstech/CAFe5adLEyoUBcHbBeDdkwenJra48PArV_B%3DBMxzTEJD_tAn_vg%40mail.gmail.com.
>
>
> --
>
> Joshua J. Schoeneck
> Registrar, Director of Technology, Technology Instructor
> Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
> 262-677-4051 x4045
> mobile: 262-225-7308
> joshua.s...@kmlhs.org
> Educating for Life and for Eternity
>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "WELSTech" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to welstech+u...@groups.wels.net.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/groups.wels.net/d/msgid/welstech/CAMH67Ae%3Dx-gPqj6YyBf3Hufu6e8nZvfP8Wf%3D_O%3DSEnEcF3hgPQ%40mail.gmail.com.
>
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> Bob Martens
>
> Webmaster/Technician
> Martin Luther College
> http://mlc-wels.edu
>
> This electronic communication, including any attached documents, may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information that is intended only for use by the recipient(s) named above. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the communication and any attachments. Views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent those of Martin Luther College.


--

Joshua Schoeneck

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:44:56 AMJan 18
to Ryan Rosenthal, Robert Martens, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
You should definitely be replacing everything.

You should also move on Erate, you have a quickly closing window to get into for the next cycle (2021-2022 funding). My guess is that it would cover at least half of the cost of this system for you. If you want to get some more info on what to do for that, let me know and we can chat.

Perry Lund

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:04:27 AMJan 18
to Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, wels-high-sch...@googlegroups.com
Ryan -

Ruckus is still a very good wireless company. https://www.ruckussecurity.com/ They were purchased by Brocade a few years ago and perhaps were purchased again. Commscope appears to be the parent company. I visit their booth at ISTE when I have the chance. Their technology in years past has outperformed others like Cisco (first hand experience with that) and Aruba (also worked with that). 

While at North Mahaska in Iowa, we used a South Dakota company for the purchase and installation. I would reach out to Ruckus and see about updates. As you say, once setup, Ruckus just runs with little fuss. Ruckus does not get the public notoriety of bigger and more well known wireless companies, but they are the real deal.

A recent IT Central Station article on why Ruckus is still a major player in wireless.

Perry Lund
Bethany Lutheran College

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 8:11 AM Ryan Rosenthal <ryan.d.r...@gmail.com> wrote:
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Perry, Julie and Erik Lund

Andrew Willems

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:23:59 AMJan 18
to Perry Lund, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, wels-high-sch...@googlegroups.com
For dollar savings I would definitely ditch Ruckus and go Unifi. We use Unifi products outside and inside and we also use Unifi to bridge between buildings. Support isn't there like it was for our old Cisco system, but we just replaced our old Cisco WiFi from 10 years ago and we got 29+ access points and outdoor antennas for the cost of adding 6 Cisco access points. Unifi also worked with our current Cisco switches, so it is really cheaper.

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--
Andrew Willems
Technology Director
STEM Academy Director
     Computer Science Chair
     Varsity Boys Golf Coach
   
Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. ~ I Corinthians 10:31

Perry Lund

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:36:35 AMJan 18
to Andrew Willems, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, wels-high-sch...@googlegroups.com
All,

I would do a comparison of the technologies before making a decision. There are good technological reasons and analysis that support the use of Ruckus across many industries. Replacing an entire wireless system is worth research time. Some of the many reasons a particular wireless technology rises to the top are not found in the popularity of products.

When a group of tech coordinators did the research 8 years ago in Iowa, we found that Ruckus could provide fast, reliable service to our 1-to-1 laptops in terms of density of APs across a building. We were able to use fewer APs to provide better service than Aruba or Cisco. Other considerations like mobile devices with antenna polarity were handled by Ruckus better back then also.

That said, things change a lot over time. What was true 8 years ago is most likely different today. However, unless you do the diligent research, it seems like a popularity contest.

God bless -
Perry Lund
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Perry Lund
ALHSO | AGVA Admin Assistance

Joshua Schoeneck

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:59:04 AMJan 18
to Perry Lund, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
Just to be clear, I have nothing against Ruckus. We used their gear at KML 3 generations of WiFi ago and it was rock solid and managed itself well. The reason I advocate for upgrading WiFi on a regular basis is not a reflection on how well the access point system works, but on the changing technology in the marketplace and especially in the devices that will be accessing your network. Our upgrades have typically been to move to a new generation of the technology - 802.11a/b to 802.11g to 802.11n to 802.11ac wave1 to 802.11ac wave 2 to WiFi 6, etc.

There are lots of good wireless vendors out there to choose from. My experience with and suggestion of UniFi is based on the assumption that you want something that is enterprise-class, low cost per device, low cost maintenance, and will be installed by you (free labor). This is the UniFi brand's sweet spot. Device cost is lower or on par with devices with similar technology, there is no per device management cost (in some systems you pay an annual or upfront fee to manage each device), and they are easy to install. There is, however, some degree of DIY required, management of the system is not necessarily as automated as some of the other systems can be, and support is not on-par with bigger name brands. If these requirements and caveats do not match your situation, you will want to investigate other options.

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 9:04 AM Perry Lund <perr...@gmail.com> wrote:
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Jason Schmidt

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Jan 18, 2021, 12:51:18 PMJan 18
to Joshua Schoeneck, Perry Lund, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
Wow - this is a fun topic to read about! Here's my free advice that is worth every penny, Ryan.

I would echo the calls to redo the whole network. Mixing systems does not go incredibly well in my experience, and honestly for the kinds of things you are looking to do you really don't have any bad options. When evaluating different products, definitely keep in mind licensing/maintenance agreements. Some products require an annual maintenance for software/security updates.

If you are using your own money and no E-rate, you won't really be able to beat Ubiquiti's UniFi line for ease of use and price/performance. Use their UniFi Pro line. You can install and configure this yourself without too much trouble, but it might be helpful to find a local contractor to help with the initial config and design.

If you go the Category 2 E-Rate route, you can't put one specific manufacturer in your proposal unless you add the phrase "or equivalent". The bidding and paperwork process for E-Rate can be super intimidating if you haven't ever done it before, so I would suggest hiring a consultant the first time through. It will save you hundreds of hours and limit your exposure to liability by making sure you follow the process exactly. The first time you sign that agreement saying you are personally financially liable for any errors in the form is really scary, but it gets easier!

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Jason Schmidt
CETL, Google Education Trainer, Seesaw Certified Teacher


Gail Potratz

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Jan 18, 2021, 1:43:38 PMJan 18
to Joshua Schoeneck, Perry Lund, Ryan Rosenthal, WELSTech, WELS High School Technology
Hi Ryan,
I just wanted to echo Josh's mention of Erate. This money is the best it has ever been. You are allowed, I believe, $147 per student for Cat 2 services. I don't know what your discount would be based on income, but this is definitely worth using. Can't tell you how much money I am saving for my school - yes, even in retirement, as I filed for replacing and adding our WAP this year as well. Find somebody that knows how to do erate and have them help you, or hire if you must, but this is the time to do it if you have not before. We are sticking with Unifi as well. They had some glitchy stuff in the last software update, but that only means they will work harder to make themselves stay competitive. Not that hard to set up, but again, get a consultant or purchase from a company that installs. Erate covers installation costs as well.  I'd start putting filing your first paperwork, form 470, very soon. There is a timeline and all requests for funding, 471 form, must be in by March 15 or so.  Hope it works out for you! 

Gail Potratz

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 9:59 AM Joshua Schoeneck <joshua.s...@kmlhs.org> wrote:


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Gail Potratz
Erate Coordinator - Emanuel Lutheran School
@gailpotratz

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