Knowledge and Project Execution are more important than the WiFi vendor selected.

Our team was faced with a challenge.  A client in the Federal space contacted us about correcting performance issues on their Wireless Network consisting of 225 Meraki MR45 Access Points.   This solution had been deployed 2 years prior by another integrator that the client had grown frustrated with.  System documentation was limited and none of the client’s existing staff knew much about the work that had been done.  The client was plagues with dropped connections, failed WiFi calling, and general performance issue.

First day on site and our team notices that there was no channel planning to speak of.  Almost all Access Points were screaming at max power and there was a large variety of channel widths used.  The client also has the requirement to not use DFS channels but they were used anyway.  Our team continued to dig.  The WiFi calling was not working due to misconfigured firewall settings and that was obvious almost instantly.  The problem with dropped connections wasn’t quite so obvious and was going to take some digging.

Our team dived right in quickly correcting the channel plan issues.  The team also reduced power on all access points to create signal levels optimized for a network supporting voice and video.  Correcting the channels and power were the easy part and the results were verified with Ekahau Site survey.

Our team was still concerned about the dropped connections.  Upon initial inspection the configuration to connect the client owned devices to a WPA2-Enterprise EAP-TLS network looked correct.  We they decided to capture the packets on the access point to understand what was causing the undesired behavior.  After a few minutes of analysis, the issue became obvious.  The Client’s RADIUS server was issuing CoA(Change of Authorization) packets.  CoA packets allow a end device to be disconnected in the event of a change in rules or policy AFTER an end device is already authorized on the network.  The Meraki product didn’t support CoA the way it was configured.  To correct this issue required Firewall changes in the client’s data center.  Our team created a report with details on how to correct the issue and presented to the client for further action.

Project Info

  • Category: Case Study
  • Client: Federal Client
  • Location: USA
  • Completed Date: 2021
  • Designer: Mogility Networks

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