The guys from No Strings Attached Show just published their podcast we sponsored featuring Jim Florwick yesterday and already the verdict is in: Jim Florwick is awesome.

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to download the podcast yet (What are you waiting for?! Download  podcast) or you have a few extra minutes to scan a short blog to decide whether or not you want to download the podcast, I asked Jim what his key takeaways are when it comes to high density design.

Here are Jim Florwick’s 6 tips for HD network design (for the REAL meat, tune into the podcast):

  1. High density client environments are quite common with today’s users being very connected – today’s users are always connected.  With planning, this can be managed quite successfully.  Understand the limitations, be aware of how legacy requirements will affect the outcome, and set expectations accordingly. Efficiency is key and removing some of the blockers (legacy) first is essential.
  2. 802.11ac represents another quantum leap forward in technology and will eventually allow a much richer user experience.   It is a transition that must be managed and balanced against your current mission requirements.  Evaluate channel/bandwidth requirements carefully.  Monitor the mix of client devices operating in your environment and update frequently.
  3. RRM’s DCA algorithm is quite capable of managing multiple OBSS requirements of 20,40, 80 and even 160 Mhz channel widths.  When implementing major changes (like changing bandwidth assignments 20/40/80) or managing incremental changes (adding more AP’s) – initiate a startup mode to get the best answer to the NEW question.  In versions 7.3 and above – CLI at the RF Group Leader – config 802.11b/a channel global restart   This will run for 100 minutes and return to steady state.
  4. It is better to have too many AP’s than not enough AP’s.  Once an event or high density event starts – you can always turn off AP’s.
  5. High Density deployments are outside of most people’s experience and comfort zone – and we tend to go with what we know.  This can be a big mistake in High Density. It is worth working with a partner who has done high density deployments successfully. Not only is the knowledge transfer in the design process is worth the cost of the engagement, but it also prepares you for future designs.  High density is a clear trend: people are not turning off wi-fi devices, they are turning more on–so it will pay to be prepared.
  6. Good quality antennas are a requirement.  Never implement something in your design that you have not tested, and remember that you do get what you pay for in an antenna.

This has been just a snippet of the advice Jim has to share with Blake and Sam on Episode 35 of the NSA Show podcast. Intrigued? Can’t get enough? Click for more!

Or, visit the Cisco High Density Design Zone for the HD Design Guide.