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Managing an Extreme Networks IQ Wireless

This article relates to configuration guidelines and best practices when managing an Extreme Networks IQ Wireless, a sort of infrastructure that I just happen to have at my work place. 

Good practice to disable access to 811.b devices, as they set the speed low for everybody else

  1. WiFi Concepts

 

1- WiFi Concepts

In general, a higher wider range of 40 or 80 Mhz allow for better bandwidth and performance, but is more susceptible to interferences, therefore the channel width should be determine only after having a survey of the area in question

 

Wifi 6

Wifi5 was released in 2014 and its naming convention is 802.11ac, while Wifi6, released in 2019, has the name of 802.11ax

Wifi5 users the 5Ghz frequency band only, while Wifi6 uses the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz combined

Wifi6 is more efficient in handling multiple devices in crowded environments, in dense clients areas, providing better throughput; WiFi6 achieves that by using both 2.4 and 5 bands. In addition, a newly created 6Ghz band called Wifi 6e expands the channels availability

Wifi6 supports "target wake time", meaning it improves the battery life for connected devices

MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input Multiple Output); it relates to the number of data channels that an AP can serve to a single device. In WiFi5 the MIMO was a 4x4, while in Wifi6 this has been expanded to 8x8 meaning the more devices can be communicated simultaneously, performing better when density devices is an issue

OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access); allows Wifi6 only to service multiple users packet per time segment, servicing clients simultaneously in the same frequency band rather than devices having to take terms when accessing the channel in previous Wifi generations

QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation); this technical term was an integer of 256 in Wifi5, while in Wifi6 has been increased to 1024, meaning that WiFi6 can cope with more data in the same radio wave

Spatial Frequency Reuse (aka OBSS or BSS Coloring); with colour identifier, 2 AP Wifi6 enabled that are close to one another, can communicate in the same channel without causing interferences with other devices that are on the same channel but using a different colour

Beamforming; allows the AP to serve data in a specific area, instead of busting the data all around the unit

 

CLI Commands

List of useful CLI commands that you can execute in the APs while SSH do them

  • show system power mode
  • show system power usage
  • show system power status
  • show acsp neighbot # look at the RSSI (Receiving Signal Strengh Indicatior) column, we want to see -75 or lower, the closer to 0 this valu is , the loouder the AP and the more interference you'll experience
  • show int wifi0 _count
  • show int wifi1 _count # These commands check the health of your 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios respectively. CRC errors are usually related to environmental interference factors. These factors include mainly metal, glass, water, or large amounts of people. All of these factors tend to reflect, refract, or generally damage your signal, leading to more retries, which leads to slower WiFi speeds.

 

Follow this routine to capture package with WireShark:

https://extreme-networks.my.site.com/ExtrArticleDetail?an=000080183

 

Recommendations

Disable lower rates (802.11b)

Remove the lower rates from your radio, specially the legacy 802.11b; allowing devices to transmit at lower rates may increase the WiFi overhead by up to 40%. The drawback of disabling these lower rates is that the coverage area will get reduce, and clients that are far away from that AP won't be able to transmit at lower rates, but heyho, ce la vie!

However, remember that there is not a right answer for every scenario, so it all depends of the particular area where you're broadcasting

Turn off the 2.4GHz radio of alternate AP, especially from those ones which can work well at 5GHz

 

Customize clients optional settings: https://extreme-networks.my.site.com/ExtrArticleDetail?an=000080183 

Configure Voice Enterprise options: https://documentation.extremenetworks.com/XIQ/23r6/ug/GUID-B6550487-250C-4A0F-9CB4-1637F37C8BD0.shtml 

User 20Mhz channel bandwidth

For locations with many APs and a high densityh of client, and in order to avoid co-channel interferences, use always a channel width of 20Mhz

 

Enable QoS in the user profile

This is an interesting one, where the traffic should really be enable for QoS

 

 

https://docs.aerohive.com/330000/docs/help/english/ng/Content/gui/configuration/configuring-user-profile-qos-settings.htm

 

Channel Utilization

Enable this alert in Extreme IQ portal

References