Let me begin by saying I have been using controller based wireless for years. I started with a system from DLink in a school district I managed for 13 years. I put the system in that district around 2004 before that we used standard home based routers with many SSID’s. Back in those days you would sit for hours typing in all of the SSID’s and the passwords for anywhere that the laptop might be used. Then I stepped over to easy street. When I installed the DLink system I was able to use one SSID and the laptop was able to move through the district using only the one SSID. We used that system for at least 4 years and it held up well. I would have to guess that the system is still sitting in that school in a closest?
As wireless got better and as I was able to find grant money from the state called Block Accountability Block Grant I was able to step up to a new system. I bought a Cisco System. You see these in a lot of hospitals around the country. Yes I know I was a little ahead of the times when I put this system into the District. This system also had a back end controller that was in our rack. I worked great for the time when we were using a 50 MB Internet connection.
Before departing from the District I was able to increase the Internet speed to 1 GIG and found an issue with the controller model of wireless. The controller was a bottleneck for the wireless speeds. I had to find a way to increase the speed of the wireless without breaking the bank. I found a great little company called Meraki. These guys had the very best in Cloud Controller Wireless Access Points. With this type of system you off load all of the Internet traffic straight to the Internet. No more bottlenecks in the server rack. Meraki was bought out by Cisco a few years later and the price started to increase for the licenses.
Step up till today and you will find Ubiquity Wireless in all the networks I build. These are also great wireless units that off load at the access point while maintaining a solid connection to your internal network. And the price is right for any small to large business. The system will also grow with you and your needs. I am currently installing 8 of these in our business and the users are over joyed of how the handle all of their needs with no slow downs or performance lag. I have to admit I am still digging into the controller software but so far it is easy to follow and very easy to get the access points set up and running data. Below is a few pictures from me installing the first unit and the final results.