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College to Deploy First 802.11n Network

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the jumping-in-feet-first dept.

Networking 90

Matt writes "Morrisville State College, a New York State school in central New York, is partnering with Meru Networks and IBM to deploy the first 802.11n wireless network. They will be using around 900 access points and are planning to go live this fall."

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Initial investment (-1, Troll)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605811)

Great so a public institution will be investing in a large amount of unproven networking equipment.

Goody

Unproven like the early Internet was? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606425)

Great so a public institution will be investing in a large amount of unproven networking equipment.
It's not exactly "unproven". "Pre-N" wireless equipment was a public beta test of many parts of what is now IEEE 802.11n. Besides, the Internet was unproven at first, and public institutions developed it.

Goody
Mrs. who?

i cant believe its not horsecock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606497)

nt

hello (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19605817)

900 access points. That's a lot.

Anyway, first post. Yo.
The second poster is gay btw.

Re:hello (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19605835)

Oh the irony...

Re:hello (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19605839)

This post is so hilariously ironic...

Re:hello (3, Funny)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605853)

Well I would say he is coming out of the closet but unfortunately he posted anonymously.

Re:hello (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19605983)

What a pity this mod doesn't have a good sense of humour .. :(

54mbps? (3, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605855)

54mbps isn't fast enough? I mean its not like your going to be accessing the internet with anything close to that. So the only benefit is better lan performance. Not to mention the standard isnt even official and subject to change and incompatibilities with future standard based equipment and this sounds like a waste of money.

Re:54mbps? (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605905)

54mbps isn't fast enough?

Shared between whoever's within range of a particular access point in a school, 54Mb/s doesn't seem all that much.

Re:54mbps? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605945)

Agree. But in this case the number of clients supported and optimisation is likely to be a much bigger problem. I have seen quite a few disastrous WiFi deployments in areas which have high client density. Throwing more bandwidth at it will not do anything to solve this class of problems. For these you need better (smarter) infrastructure with more APs and a wireless switch behind them to tweak the power settings and nudge clients between APs by making them think that the power on a neigbouring AP is better.

Re:54mbps? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606517)

What do you use to adjust the signal strengths on the fly like that?
Just curious since I'd never heard of doing that before.

Re:54mbps? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606595)

Aren't there longer-range technologies that could allow them to install fewer than 900 access points? That sounds like a lot of work.

Re:54mbps? (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608459)

Did you even bother to read the post you are replying to?

For these you need better (smarter) infrastructure with more APs
It's not a matter of range, but rather, the number of users on each AP.

Re:54mbps? (1)

kobaz (107760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608851)

I went to SUNY Morrisville from 01-03 (see http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=239809&cid= 19607305 [slashdot.org] )

They most definitely did not do a good job in deploying the first gen wireless 802.11a wireless network that they had. They did a deployment of wireless for all dorms instead of running cat5. Exactly why is beyond me. Cat5 would have been a heck of a lot cheaper since now they are replacing the entire wireless system.

Each dorm was four floors, two wings (one male one female). Two access points per floor about 50 feet apart. If I remember correctly there are about 10 dorms. That's 160 access points total for just the dorms. There was an ap hopping program that was available and preinstalled on all the school laptops. It was a joke. It would crash almost every time you went out of range of your current ap. Either that or suck up 100% cpu until it was killed, most people would just remove it.

All the standard hangout places had ethernet anyway (the campus center, the food court under the old gym) There is really no reason to have 900 access points for such a small campus.

The main problem was not even the wireless connectivity and range (even 802.11a was not that bad at 1mbit). The main problem was the school's internet bandwidth (which was one t1 for the residential network used by all students on campus)

remember 33k? (1)

iHasaFlavour (1118257) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606267)

I do, my god it was slow. being older, and therefore obviously old fashioned, these high speeds still amaze me. Not that I wasn't impressed by 33k, the very fact that I could connect to another machine over the phone at all rocked.

Paradoxically though, while I am still in awe of such high speeds, I also whine when my 10mbit interwebs connection is taking too long to transfer the multi gigabyte result sets I have to chuck about between machines.

Re:remember 33k? (3, Informative)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606303)

The key point is the difference between bits and bytes. A 10Mbps connection is a 1.25MB/s connection.
1.25 megabytes. Remember that a generic S-ATA or IDE hard disk writes at about 5-6MB/s and that can be a big bottlencek most of the time. So the 54Mbps connection you speak of is a total speed of ~7MB/s. That's not the internet speed. That's the LAN connection. So one person tries to send a large file to another on the network and all of a sudden we've hit that bottleneck and no one can even check their email.
Although some of these numbers sound impressive realistically for daily LAN usage they are just about usable.

Re:remember 33k? (1)

Toraz Chryx (467835) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606501)

How fragmented are your harddisks that they're only pushing 7MB/s ???

a good modern disk should perform linear reads/writes at around the 55-60MB/s mark.

Re:remember 33k? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607009)

haha, you use windows

Re:remember 33k? (2, Informative)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606675)

You can't compare bit rates of telephone and ethernet connections directly. It takes 10 bits to transmit 1 byte over the telephone because each byte has a start bit and a stop bit, which is an overhead of 25%. Over the network, everything is transmitted in 1500-byte packets with a 14-byte header and 4-byte footer; so the overhead per byte is much less at 1.2%.

Re:remember 33k? (2, Informative)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608509)

You're mixing up your layers there.

The modem's encoding a byte with 10 bits would be at layer 1.
Over that, you'd have Ethernet, with its own overhead (the 14+4 bytes you mentioned), PPP, etc, at layer 2.
Over that, you have IP, with a 20 byte header, layer 3
And over that, you have TCP, with a 32 byte header, layer 4.

Not to mention that those 1500 byte packets are only 1500 bytes when transferring large amounts of data. Something with small packets like SSH gets more overhead.

Re:remember 33k? (2, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607591)

Remember that a generic S-ATA or IDE hard disk writes at about 5-6MB/s and that can be a big bottlencek most of the time.

Nope, hard disk speeds are quoted in MB/sec, not Mbps. You're a factor of 8 out - 40-50MB/sec is more like it (and modern desktop drives are a bit faster than that).

So the 54Mbps connection you speak of is a total speed of ~7MB/s. That's not the internet speed. That's the LAN connection. So one person tries to send a large file to another on the network and all of a sudden we've hit that bottleneck and no one can even check their email.

You've never actually used a network somebody else is using, have you? Suggesting that when one user saturates the network nobody else can even check their email is quite simply wrong. Every shared networking technology in use today shares the bandwidth out pretty fairly and with modest overhead for a reasonable number of clients. You can reach a stage where there are so many clients simultaneously using bandwidth that overall throughput suffers, but it takes a damn sight more than one person sending one file to do it. I saturate my 54Mbps Wi-Fi connection every time I back up my laptop and not only can everybody else on the network (often me using another machine) check their email, they can stream hi-def content from the interwebs, send huge files and do pretty much anything else they'd normally do too. With at most half a dozen or so clients on my AP I've never seen overall throughput drop, the bandwidth just gets shared out fairly between the clients. If two try to send big files, of course they only get half the bandwidth each, but it still works just fine. With 100 clients doing P2P it would be a different matter.

Not necessarily... (2, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605919)

It's 54 or 100+ mbps on paper. When I was using wifi (before I insisted on running cat5), it was just me and the base station seperated by 15 feet and one light wall. My actual connection speed (based on large file transfer to a server box, no other activity) was roughly 10 to 12 mbps, one fifth the claimed rate. So if they're supposed to get 100+mbps, I'd guess it'll actually do 20+mbps.

Re:Not necessarily... (5, Informative)

wetlettuce (765604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606465)

The 54Mbps refers to the signalling rate of the transmitter not the data rate that is acheiveable - bascially a maketing tools like MB MiB in hard drives.
The actual transfer rate is reduced from the optimum by the packetising of the data, obtaining the wireless spectrum before transmission and that an inter-packet gap is inserted between every transmitted packet to allow other AP users to transmit data.

Re:Not necessarily... (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609205)

This is somewhat true, but given a single user and a fairly noise free environement you can obtain like 75% of these speeds.

You must also remember too 802.11 is a half duplex protocol, so this further reduces practical (real world) speeds.

Re:Not necessarily... (4, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608033)

Because of the overhead, a single 54Mbps wireless connection, if on .11a or .11g only, can get as high as about 30Mbps. If there's a .11b device in range and a .11g AP is set for compatibility mode, it can knock the rate down to 10-15Mbps.

Under .11n, the theoretical rate actually maxes out at about 250Mbps. Factoring in the overhead, this allows, without compatibility mode, perhaps 150Mbps. However, the presence of any pre-.11n device knocks the channel width down to 20MHz from 40MHz, and then compatibility mode with .11a/b/g can knock it down even lower. Chances are that the actual bitrate with a relatively clean signal will be ~125Mbps, and the actual throughput will be somewhere around 70-75Mbps.

One thing to keep in mind in all of this is that in many cases, the uplink on a switch to the rest of the network is only 100Mbps, so the final throughput from what people are used to isn't going to decrease all that much. Factor in several APs with a balanced channel setup with a gigabit uplink, and the experience shouldn't be all that different from what the wired people are experiencing.

Greater throughput allows more clients (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605923)

To function effectively. Depending on how many you can get on an access point it can work out cheaper. And compare with the cost of rolling out cat5 or fiber everywhere. Then there's the stuff you just can't do any other way. The big benefit of ubiquitous high bandwidth wifi though is that you can start to use it for all sorts of clever stuff.

e.g. Imagine taking one of those electronic paper book things out to the football field and showing the players a video of a play, with animated diagrams.

Then the engineers can take advantage of it too. Want a robogardener? Make the engineering departments big project to build a wireless PC into a powered lawn mower and the football field gets mowed twice a week.

 

Re:54mbps? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606085)

waste of money ? Well now it works there. They could wait 5 years for the standards to become stable and widespread, but that would make 5 promotions of student not benefiting from this. I see a rationale behind the notion that students should have access to bleeding edge technology, I see this as a reasonnable spending by this university.

Re:54mbps? (2, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606219)

54mbps isn't fast enough?
You don't really get 54mbps with 802.11a or 802.11g, the most you'll realistically get is 20mbps give or take a few mb. Then that gets even worse if you've got bad reception or a lot of people using the AP at the same time. So while that's not terrible for most things, it'd be a royal pain for transferring large files -- a few gigs will start to take over an hour and that sucks, I've been there, backing up a 30GB hard drive over 10 Base T.

Re:54mbps? (1)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606649)

You don't really get 54mbps with 802.11a or 802.11g, the most you'll realistically get is 20mbps give or take a few mb.

So. What. The point of the parent is this: I have fast internet at home, at (claimed) 8mbps. That is the bottleneck, not the wi-fi from the wall to the pc at 20+ mbps. Increasing the wi-fi speed will make no difference at all to the speed that I can download stuff.

Re:54mbps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606871)

It isn't about the internet. It is about the intranet on campus. Get it?

The servers on campus all have GbE connections. Suddenly, you are bumped down to 54Mbps. Bummer. Plus, you are sharing that access network with a couple thousand other people. Did you study queuing theory at all?

I certainly hope that they block 802.11b access during the transition to 'n'. Nothing munges up a good 'g' net like a dozen lazy 'b' cards hogging time slots.

Re:54mbps? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607895)

I don't understand why some of you people focus only on the Internet. Sure, the bottleneck is the Internet if that's all you care about. No one is denying that. There are other factors to consider, such as AP contention and range. Fast student access to on-campus services has to be useful too.

Re:54mbps? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606419)

Your forgetting the extra range.

When your dealing with a school you need good range.

Re:54mbps? (1)

The-Ixian (168184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607115)

I agree. 802.11n is not just about increased speed, it also brings a vast improvement in range.
 
Last year I bought Belkin's 802.11preN AP and PC card and did some tests of my own. With the AP in my house I was able to get usable signal up to 400 ft away with clear LoS (to my house) and about 100 ft away through the neighbors houses.

Re:54mbps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606835)

54mbps would be fast enough if they had put the previous wireless network up properly. As it stands when I went to school there they had around 30 people connecting to one AP and the network cards were only 10mbps which resulted in downloads of a whooping 64bytes/second.

Morrisville does try to be the pioneer of technology but they fail at it due to the person in charge of the network thinks that if you throw more bandwidth (last I knew they had around 12 T1 lines connected to their network) you will solve all of the networking issues. In reality if they spent the money back then to look at what was the actual bottle neck they may have realized they needed more access points to reduce the number of people per access point.

Re:54mbps? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606903)

54mbps isn't fast enough? I mean its not like your going to be accessing the internet with anything close to that.
For a university? My university has a 10GB/s connection[1] to the outside world. I can often get 3-4MB/s transfers with the GigE connection that goes to my desk. Over 801.11g, I can't get more than about 1.5MB/s in real world usage. Note also that bandwidth on a WiFi network is shared, so this 1.5MB/s only happens when no one else is using it, while the wired network is switched and so the contention is spread over the campus.


[1] Well, it did a couple of years ago, last time I checked. They might have upgraded it by now.

Re:54mbps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606997)

I read through this thread, and can't help but scream INTRANET INTRANET INTRANET!

This is not (not not not) about internet access, it is all about intra (with an A) net access.

Compared to 54Mbps, all those servers with their GbE connections, are stuck with some pokey slow wireless network between them and the clients. On any commercial or educational network, the bulk of the traffic is internal to that network, and the performance to the client hangs on the slowest link in that chain. Also, you don't get 54Mbps with 'g', you might get 10 or 20. Plus it is distance limited. Then you have to share it with a few hundred of your closest friends!

What it all comes down to is, even 'n' will be a huge compromise compared to a direct cat6 connection to a GbE network.

Re:54mbps? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607585)

I run a large campus network and we just upgraded to a 100mbps connection (ethernet handoff) and during the summer when traffic is low the bandwidth being used is only maybe 3-9mbps, so it would be usable. However with such a large network packet shaping and other checks and balances would not allow a single user to hit the internet at those speeds. It would be nice though, port to port connections are blazing fast here.

802.11n is not a finished product, in a smaller uni like this one it might be OK but where I am requires 100% full outdoor coverage and it just wouldn't be worthwhile. Neat but not for me.

Re:54mbps? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607985)

With the added range of n, I would think that you could more easily get 100% outdoor coverage. It looks to me that n support is stabilized enough such that there won't be significant changes to it that investing in currently existing hardware is a significant risk.

Re:54mbps? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608017)

range and actual coverage are two different things, believe me.

Re:54mbps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19611169)

You'll never see anything near 54 Mbps in real life anyways, unless you hook up your wireless card to the AP with a coax cable. Split the 25 Mbps you'll really see across dozens of students in a couple of lecture halls, then the bandwidth doesn't seem all that outragous.

Of course if this network behaves anything like the network I use at at my school, speed won't matter anyways, you'll be happy if the connection doesn't drop out every 3 minutes.

Re:54mbps? (1)

cafucu (918264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19613551)

It's not all about speed. One huge advantage to 11N is the use of multipath. Signal that is considered noise in 11A/BG is used as an additional path in 11N. As mentioned in other posts, it's also about capacity. 11A/BG works great in your apartment where there is one host in the collision domain. Try covering a classroom or showfloor with hundreds of clients. Multipath + more bandwidth = better service.

They came from 2 mbit (4, Informative)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605879)

And they go straight to the next bleeding edge : 248 mbit.

They have nearly filled the alphabet btw. Only 802.11z is still free as a name. Can you name them all ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11n#Standard_and_ Amendments [wikipedia.org]

I do wonder what's still wrong with 802.16 (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605951)

It seems made for an environment like this : a fixed network installation. It may not beat this in throughput, but it would seem to me to be way cheaper.

Re:They came from 2 mbit (3, Funny)

lousyd (459028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606377)

They have nearly filled the alphabet btw. Only 802.11z is still free as a name. Can you name them all ?

This just begs the obvious answer:
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11c, 802.11d, 802.11e...

Re:They came from 2 mbit (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607093)

...Now I know my 802.11a 802.11b 802.11cs / Next time won't you changeyourSSIDfrom'linksys'andenablesomefreakingse curityonyouraccesspoint for me.

Sobriety Test (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608249)

Police Man: Sir, would you please recite the 802.11 specifications backwards? Oh and what each ones primary goal is?

Inebriated Driver: Yeah, just give me a ticket.

Re:They came from 2 mbit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608799)

2 millibit to 248 millibit. That's what I'm talking about, you gotta love the millis. I believe you are looking for 2Mb and 248 Mb. Seriously, get the prefixs correct.

Re:They came from 2 mbit (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610189)

Only 802.11z is still free as a name.

Don't worry, we're just getting started on the Unicode space.

After 802.11z comes 802.11aa (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610635)

It just starts over again with a second letter; 802.11aa, 802.11ab, 802.11ac..
It's really just a base-26 numbering system that can't use numbers since they're already used in the 802.11 part.

Whoa (2, Funny)

xhydra (1083949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605899)

Charlie Bravo 1537.......... Calling on all wardrivers to Morrisville Over and out * static*

Re:Whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606725)

Ya...I went to this college and its in the middle of bumble f*ck no wheres...I doubt any wardrivers are gonna make it out that far...They had wireless for the whole "campus" back in 99, but they were overloading the routers, and they didn't have enough bandwidth. I bet they should be spending more money on bandwidth for their students instead of this....

**AA (4, Funny)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605907)

The **AA have already sent notices to reveal the people who are going to accessing one or more of the 900 access points. They're gonna sue every single one of them for possible future copyright violations.

I doubt this is the first 802.11network... (1, Insightful)

Marton (24416) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606089)

Isn't this "First College to Deploy 802.11n Network" instead?

I know it's early but c'mon.

Exactly-it isn't the first 801.11n! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606369)

Exactly. I've had one here since February. Apple has sold 100s of thousands of Airports with 802.11n and others have sold a ton more too.

Re:Exactly-it isn't the first 801.11n! (2, Informative)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607253)

No, you don't, and neither does anyone else. You have Draft-N (possibly Draft 2.0), which is different. The official N specification hasn't been released yet, and isn't expected to be standardized/finalized until around September of 2008 (see orange-highlighted column). It's entirely feasible that existing Draft-N products are N-compatible once the spec is final (and many advertise to this effect), but I wouldn't bank on that.

Re:I doubt this is the first 802.11network... (2, Informative)

ToTheBone (167489) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607379)

Ehm... no.... that should be "First College to Deploy DRAFT 802.11n Network"

802.11n hasn't been ratified yet, there's no such thing as an 802.11n network at the moment.
Currently expected in september 2008
http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/802. 11_Timelines.htm [ieee.org]

It will be a while before someone rolls out the first 802.11n network.

TTB

Pioneers? Sure, but.... (4, Insightful)

ezratrumpet (937206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606137)

I got the feeling from the article that this is the result of several properly aligning factors.

1. The school likes being known as a 'tech pioneer.'
2. The product needed a landmark event from an understanding, capable customer;
3. The price _must_ have been perfect;
4. The school was really ready for an upgrade and the timing was exactly right to make 802.11g obsolete upon order.

Re:Pioneers? Sure, but.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606199)

I grew up in Morrisville, NY. It's a 2000 people, 5000 cow town who's population doubles when college is in session.

SUNY Morrisville did have one of the first wireless campuses in the state. They also gave out free (although horribly admin-locked) laptops to students. I think that their small size may help them in adopting the latest technologies. Plus they do try to shake the image they have of being an equestrian college in a farm town.

I never went to SUNY Morrisville myself, but had a couple friends from high school that did.

Re:Pioneers? Sure, but.... (2, Informative)

vtechpilot (468543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606659)

They also gave out free (although horribly admin-locked) laptops to students.


No, Not free. There was a $600 a semester line item on my bill over 4 semesters. Students are buying a laptop for $2400. Oh, and if you drop out after the third semester, you had to pay the last $600 or give it back. The school doesn't pay anything for the laptops. The cost goes right to the tuition.

On the otherhand, in fall 2002 when I was issued my Thinkpad T-30, there was no more powerful laptop on the market, and $2400 was slightly below market prices for that particular piece of equipment.

Re:Pioneers? Sure, but.... (1)

sglow (465483) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608381)

I grew up in Morrisville, NY.
Hey, me too. What are the odds?

Re:Pioneers? Sure, but.... (2, Funny)

kobaz (107760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610629)

They also gave out free (although horribly admin-locked) laptops to students.
I don't know about you guys, but i had mine unlocked after the first week after I asked a buddy at the helpdesk for the bios password. I had linux up and going even before I had the bios password. Those things weren't as locked down as they appeared to be.

Since I lacked pci wireless cards I used my now linux lappy as a router for the rest of the computers in my room. That worked out quite well. And if you really needed to get into the bios, you used the control panel irq config to set all the irq's on the board to "none". Reboot. The bios now says, irq failure, entering bios config... done and done. I can't take credit for that one though, someone else had tried that to see what would happen and noticed that the bios wouldnt ask for a password.

In later news (2, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606315)

Johnny, aged 17 noted 'everytime I go to collage I get a funny tingling in my brain like I'm being slowly microwaved to death.' Students have also been complaining about a blue glowing around anything electrical and a curious crackling noise in the background.

More about SUNY Morrisville (2, Informative)

BASICman (799037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606347)

A little background on SUNY Morrisville. I went there with New York Boy's State back in 2002. I never attended the school as a student so these are my impressions from staying there for a week. Morrisville is small, technical and farming college located in a really rural part central New York state. I believe that it was a 2-year college five years ago, but may now have a 4-year program. It is largely a farming college and boasts an award-winning dairy farm on campus. Ford also built an auto repair facility on campus, and I have known people go to Morrisville to learn auto mechanics. According to Wikipedia, there are about 3000 undergraduate students there and an extension campus in Norwich, NY. This makes it roughly the size of my old High School.

Re:More about SUNY Morrisville (1)

Bucko (15043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19615675)

Brings back memories, Basic. I was there in Morrisville for Boys State in 1971. Had a great time, too.
Someone above noted that the school has prided themselves on being near the cutting edge, technologically speaking. They're right.
One of the memories that I have was of the technology they chose to "broadcast" the school radio station around the campus. You wouldn't hear it at all unless you wrapped an electric chord (say, from a lamp) around your radio. Very unusual. Effective, but unusual.

Re:More about SUNY Morrisville (1)

mackid (912333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19659271)

As an alumnus of Morrisville State College (A.S. CS '07), I'd like to get some things straight. First of all, all you saying "54Mbps isn't enough?", well, it may be, but that is NOT what they are upgrading from. Morrisville State College is upgrading from an *extremely* old version of 802.11, known as 802.11 legacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11#802.11_legacy [wikipedia.org] ). This has a maximum speed on campus of 1.5Mbps, as capped by their Raylink wireless PCMCIA cards, which, unfortunately, lack OS X drivers (but who would want to use it anyway? I'd rather plug in). Also, they have notorious problems with Internet speed on campus. This past semester (Spring 2007), for about 2/3 of the semester, the internet speed was slower than dialup. They finally fixed it, and download speeds subsequently ranged between 200 and 300 KBytes/sec. However, that isn't even as fast as most home cable internet. Morrisville is way behind the times, and it's about time they upgraded, but I don't see how 802.11n is going to help with Internet access speed unless they upgrade their gateway to the Internet. However, it will be better than 802.11 legacy, for sure. All in all, Morrisville being a "technology leader" is a load of horse shit (pun intended, they have a large equine program). They just want the illusion of it, and the publicity that comes from that illusion.

Meru just works (2, Interesting)

hoyty (35485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606353)

After supporting 8 years of various 802.11? implementations we got Meru's abg solution last year. It works differently than any other switching solution out there by having all AP's on same channel and look like one giant AP. The clients are totally out of the picture as to which AP they are talking to. It is the first solution that has just worked for us. Highly recommended.

Re:Meru just works (1)

jgreen1024 (975555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19619661)

How much has Meru been paying people to say this stuff publicly? My usual conversation with network admins
who have deployed Meru goes something like this:

Them: I love Meru
Me: So it's working really well?
Them: Well, no, we have a lot of problems.
Me: So...
Them: Yeah, but I really love Meru. Highly recommend it.

I see this stuff on the Educause mailing lists all the time. It confuses me.

802.11n hangs AP? (0, Offtopic)

superid (46543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606535)

Has anyone seen N cards hanging G access points?

I know this isn't ask slashdot or tech support but it's at least related to the subject. I have a new Macbook Pro with N wireless. Our local town has a small wireless LAN used for emergency services. In our last drill I brought my mbp with me but every time I fired up my wireless I would hang the Linksys WRT54G access point. I'm going to try and get them to flash their AP with newer Linksys firmware but they are reluctant to do this.

Re:802.11n hangs AP? (1)

nologin (256407) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606753)

I have the opposite situation. I have a Linksys 802.11n router and usually I hookup two laptops to it. When the router has the 802.11n mode enabled (in mixed mode so people should still able to connect with 802.11b and 802.11g), the one laptop that has a Linksys 802.11g PC Card usually will drop to the lowest speed possible (1-2 Mbit/s) while the laptop with the builtin 802.11n card chugs along nicely. As soon as I disable 802.11n on the router, the 802.11g card works at full speed again.

Now, I really haven't spent much time trying to figure out why this is the case (I'm guessing a firmware upgrade on the router will help). Right now, I leave the router in mixed-G mode to keep both users happy.

Re:802.11n hangs AP? (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610271)

Yep, I see it too. I have a Macbook Pro with Airport Extreme (in other words, 802.11n). I've tested several Linksys 802.11g APs and they crash/reboot typically every 10 minutes, sooner if I have many TCP connections doing simultaneous downloads. I haven't tested it thoroughly, but it's annoying.

First 802.11n network? (3, Funny)

sagei (131421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606545)

The first 802.11n network?

I have one in my house.

Re:First 802.11n network? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607679)

Oh man, you totally beat me to it. What a stupid, misleading slashdot lead-in. Yeah yeah, I know....I should RTFA, but still...the summary should mention more details than simply "the first 802.11n network", since evidently I had the 2nd (only after sagei)

About Freaking Time (4, Interesting)

vtechpilot (468543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606557)

Some of the other commenters have mentioned that the school likes to be bleeding edge and its true. I went there for a two year stint from fall of 02 to spring of 04. They hit a lot of firsts. First school with a mandatory laptop program (you could not enroll in a CIS major without buying or providing a laptop.) First school with campus wide wireless. Yes you could get a signal on any part of school property (Even out in the equestrian program's barns.) The only trouble with the original wireless networks is that because they adopted so early, the existing network was 802.11a. As many of you may know, its getting harder and harder to find and support 802.11a hardware.

Additionally they removed all the copper Ethernet from the dorms so using the Internet from the dorms was horrible. There really was not enough bandwidth to go around, and lots of concrete and metal furniture didn't help either. This was also at the time when p2p was really taking off and the network had never been built to expect that kind of traffic. To further mess things up, they removed all the pots telephone lines from the dorms and issued every student a cell phone. They got into a deal with Nextel that put a tower on campus, and created their own mini-cell network. Seemed like a good idea until everyone discovered push-to-talk. There were more phone's chirping than birds. And if you think Cell phones in the movies are bad, cell phones in the classroom are worse.

So anyway while it may seem like they are blazing forward, this is really just a much needed upgrade from an earlier deployment. Most of the students wanted these kinds of upgrades while I was still there. Really all they needed was more access points in the dorms, but I understand that there are only so many can be crammed together before they run all over each other.

It may sound like a rant against the school, but I really enjoyed my time there, Mainly because I commuted from (sorta) nearby Syracuse.

Re:About Freaking Time (2, Interesting)

kobaz (107760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607305)

I too went to SUNY Morrisville. I was there from 01-03 as a Computer Science major. If you think you guys had it bad for bandwidth. You should have seen the status in 01. Anyone who got a laptop as part of the required laptop program had to go to that orientation. At the orientation I ethernetted in and I was all happy to test out the blazing fast campus internet. It had to be better than cable at home... right? I busily downloaded firefox and some other tools using console ftp (ftp in ie was broken on the campus standard laptop windows install). The orientation instructor walked by and immediately asked "hey, what are you trying to find out over there". I'm like uhh, I'm just downloading some stuff. I was getting around 100k/sec. Not terrible, but not what I expected. As the lecture went on my download speed dropped. At the end I was getting about 10k/sec... wtf?

I figured this was a fluke and I was all excited to try out this new fangled wireless since I had never used a wireless network before. I plug in my 1mbit raylink 802.11a wireless card and dI boot up and go to google. Timeout while resolving host... hmm, that's odd... reload. Timeout again. Repeat 10 times. Oh there it is finnaly. I do a quick search for my favorite mozilla plugins. Waiting for remote host... timeout... wtf? The results page finnaly starts loading at 200 bytes a second. This was the residential internet for 6 months. The academic network was a bit better, during the day at class I could actually get my email and do a google search or two. I later found out that the residential got it's very own t1 (for 3500 students). The academic network was also on a lonely t1. Many people in my building bought dialup accounts just so they can get their email.

Second semester I got a sysadmin position for the computer science department. That was quite nice since now I can use the academic network from my room (especially after class and get a full t1).

At the end of the first semester they got one more t1 for resnet and one more t1 for the academic network. Now I was able to get about 5-10k/sec on a good day on resnet. Second semester I moved off campus to what they called the honors house (which was kinda like a low key frat house). We had ethernet! And by this time the school got 8 more t1's for resnet and 8 more for the academic network. I kept my tunnel to the servers I was admining and would get a whopping 600k/sec during off peak hours. By the end of my second year they put in qos so that no one could chew up the entire pipe, and by now I have a feeling they finally have adequate bandwidth and qos for everyone.

Re:About Freaking Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19614891)

Sounds like they don't actually understand the technology, but just want to be trendy. Pulling out in-place copper to switch to wireless is just foolish.

Re:About Freaking Time (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616277)

I have been to this school as well. It's sluggish as hell, very unreliable and easy to break into. I wouldn't even consider going to this school, not because they don't offer programs I want, but because of manditory wireless internets and cell phones. Rediculus waste of money.

Re:About Freaking Time (1)

jgreen1024 (975555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19619707)

the existing network was 802.11a I think you mean "802.11", not "802.11a". 802.11a is still in widespread use, and in fact lots of people are moving TO it, not away from it. 802.11a is 54Mbps on the 5GHz radio band. 802.11 was either 1Mbps or 2Mbps depending on flavor.

Fp SH`iT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606559)

Awful Choice of School (0, Troll)

JelloJoe (977764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606611)

That school is plain awful. Anyone stuck there's gonna need a fast internet connection cause there is NOTHING else to do. This was just a 2-yr college up until a few years ago.

So how long ..... (0, Flamebait)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606689)

So how long until the place is closed down because of health fears about this evil radiation, then?

802.11n draft for live? (2, Insightful)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606781)

Why are they deploying a draft specification on such a large scale? The article says that they're banking on the draft becoming final, or that it will be a relatively easy flash up to the full 802.11n spec once that's released. Is this realistic? Anybody in-the-know on 802.11n have insight into this?

Re:802.11n draft for live? (3, Informative)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606807)

A lot of vendors, I'm not sure of the one they are using, but Cisco, and a few other major players have guaranteed their draft equipment will work with the standardized 802.11n.

Re:802.11n draft for live? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607747)

Yeah, it's pretty realistic. The hardware won't need to change, just the firmware. As long as the hardware vendor supplies compliant firmware, it should be easy to push out.

central New York!? (1)

l33tDad (1118795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607665)

Holy CRAP! Someone out there knows that there is more to New York State than NYC, Long Island and "the rest of the state"! Amazing!

So what about the .. (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609093)

the people who bought 802.11n networks at bestbuy and using them at home or business now? Perhaps the title should have been first college to set one up? No idea, but I have seen n around a couple of months at local stores so there has to be someone out there using it.

BTW what is the advantage over G? Still 2.4ghz?

Re:So what about the .. (1)

jgreen1024 (975555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19619759)

802.11n uses MIMO (multiple-in multiple-out) as well as some other techniques to achieve faster speed. It operates in 2.4GHz and 5GHz, though 2.4GHz is not really recommended because of legacy congestion and the fact that with 40MHz channel spacing (802.11a/b/g used 20MHz) you effectively have only a single non-overlapping channel in 2.4GHz. Life will be good in 5GHz. The main idea of MIMO is using reflection and multipath to your advantage. If you know the signal is going to bounce around, why not transmit multiple streams from multiple radios and multiple antennas? If you get lucky (and 802.11n has some techniques to try to guarantee that luck) you can end up getting much higher throughput by sending a different bitstream from each antenna. One thing to keep in mind - you only get this indoors and in areas with multipath. If you have line of sight between you and the transmitter, and not much for signals to bounce off of, you're really not going to get the huge performance boost. There are, in fact, over 300 different rate adaptation algorithms in 802.11n so there's a wide variety of different speeds you might get, depending on conditions. (Vast oversimplification, but there's lots of reading material out there if you want more..)

HOW many? how big is this place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19611619)

err, 900 APs seems to be a hell of a lot. I thought there were 2 major advantages
to 802.11n - more real data throughput and more coverage. givenm that...how big
is this college as I know of many colleges/universities that are fairly big
that have around that many 802.11a/b/g access points. and some that have even less.
i know that MERU used to like the idea of sticking one 802.11a AP into practically
every office...like Trapeze do...but with a real wireless survey and location mapping
plan that is an amount to paint a small town with...AND 802.11n isnt ratified. thats
a scary attitude to funding money.

First ever? I think not. (1)

kaiborg (801983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19612653)

I attend and work at DeVry University in Illinois and we deployed campus wide 802.11N AP's months ago.

For what purpose? (1)

arrenlex (994824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616419)

I assume most of the devices used to access these APs will be wireless g devices. As such, won't the APs fall back to g compatibility mode, preventing you from getting either the range or the speed that wireless n offers? What's the point of having an n sender and a g receiver?
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