Xirrus array vs Aerohive AP

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What are the benefits of Aerohive AP product in comparison with Xirrus AP?
I heard that Xirrus is also controller-less architecture.
Is there any difference between Aerohive and Xirrus array?
My customer wants to know about this difference.

Thanks.
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Jeongmo Jeong

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Posted 5 years ago

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Bradley Chambers, Champ

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Xirrus' setup really won't work well for your clients in my opinion. All of their radios are together in the arrays so you get lots of interference from the radios and the clients. It's also EXPENSIVE!

Aerohive is affordable, scalable, and ready for a small office or a large enterprise building. The secret is in its Cooperative Control Protocol: http://www.aerohive.com/pdfs/Aerohive...

Aerohive (in my opinion) is the only WLAN company that excels for 802.11n and going to be able to handle the additional throughput of 802.11ac
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David

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"Xirrus' setup really won't work well for your clients in my opinion. All of their radios are together in the arrays so you get lots of interference from the radios and the clients. It's also EXPENSIVE!"

Sorry I had to pipe in on this. This reply shows a lack of understanding Wi-Fi. With any companies products you need to do channel planning for the where the AP's are placed. Each AP (radio) uses a channel and can handle a specific amount of data (or clients). There is a standard bandwidth formula to help plan the number of client per AP vs bandwidth. Anyone rolling out Wi-Fi should do this for the customer, and that determine the correct number of AP's and their placement during the installation.

Now for the "EXPENSIVE" myth. I am going to use some made round numbers. Please get real quoted number from any vendor you deal with. You have determined your band width needs are work out to 20 user per AP in a single large office space with 80 people.

4 x Aerohive AP's $200 = $800
4 x Cable run $25 = $100
4 x port on core switch $10 = $40
Project total = $940

1 x Xirrus 4 Radio = $750
1 x Cable run $25 = $25
1 x port on core switch $10 = $10
Project total = $785

This is a very simple example busting the expensive myth. For any given installation the total users vs bandwidth must be used figured out to determine how many radios are needed with any vendor. Then channel planning must be done to determine the correct density, and placement of those radios. If a rep from any vendor make a broad general statements, get the to back it up with real planned and quoted numbers.

David
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Crowdie, Champ

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David's point is very valid but you also have to consider that any solution with access points can have the access points mounted in different locations while a single multi-radio array must be mounted in a single location. This may or may not be suitable for your deployment depending on environmental issues such as walls and other obstructions.

As David said you need to invest some time to determine which wireless product is must suited to your deployment.
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Aaron Scott

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Also the Xirrus 4 radio array is only 4 radios - the 4 Aerohive APs would be 8 radios in total.
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TJA

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Xirrus has 8 and 16 radio arrays... also all radios can be 5 GHz if preferred... Anyone who says Xirrus arrays don't work are trying to sell you something else.

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Crowdie, Champ

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To put a more technical spin on it an array is designed for a very large amount of concurrent connections is a finite area. For example, 500 students in a large university lecture hall or a sports stadium. They are not designed for deployment in low density areas so you would commonly deploy access points and arrays (if required).
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Bradley Chambers, Champ

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Good answer Crowdie!
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David

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Crowdie is incorrect, if you take into the account the full Xirrus product line. They have products with omni directional, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 radios. The higher radio count devices handle denser areas, vs lower radio count. In additonal the multiple radio devices have directional antenna's help avoid the channel interference that limits omni directional radio's. So if you need need both low and high density coverage, Xirrus is your choice to do both with a single vendor. Omnidirectional radios only work well in low density areas. Of course if BYOD is the goal of the WiFi installation, any area eventully becomes a high density area.
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Crowdie, Champ

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I believe my comment was on arrays rather than the Xirrus product line. I was trying to be vendor agnostic.
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Joel V

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This seems to imply that there can be a coexistence of high radio count Xirrus Arrays with low radio count arrays in order to address high density areas and low density areas in the same deployment. The realities of RF take over in such a scenario and complicate matters quite a bit more than is being implied.

In addition, "Omnidirectional radios only work well in low density areas" is an amazingly gross generalization and "low density" is also relative. If you have a very open floor plan with an extremely high number of clients in it (say a conference center or stadium bowl) then a 16 radio array may have some merit and I believe that is was @crowdie was referring to as it was the answer to the original question. To Xirrus' credit, they have a design that seems to help in these scenarios, or so I'm told. The key there is "open floor plan" because objects such as walls, furniture, people, etc. cause such radios to propagate signal in a much less predictable pattern and complicate matters.

The nuances of RF design really make it important to do a comprehensive survey and understand your user base and driver for having Wi-Fi before considering the solution.

We provide a simple predictive tool for free to get you started on the WWW site: http://www.aerohive.com/build-your-ne...

We've also enhanced HiveManager with Google Maps integration that will allow you to use the predictive tool without even having a floor plan.
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Crowdie, Champ

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I have done wireless for a long time. When I started there was only proprietary 1 and 2 Mbps spread spectrum wireless and Symbol equipment couldn't communicate with Proxim equipment and so forth. So here are a couple of things I have learnt over the years:

* No vendor is "the best" or "the one you must have". If somebody says this then they are in sales :-)

* Different vendors or equipment (centralised vs. distributed, for example) may be better or worse for a customer's requirements but only by sitting down with the customer and working through their requirements and the site(s) that require coverage can you determine this. If you are driving to the initial meeting with the customer and you have already decided what you are going to deploy then you are doing the customer a disservice.

* Whatever vendor or design is currently flavour of the month will not be next month.

* Wireless is 80% design and 20% do.

* Deployments commonly require a mixture of radios and antennas. Make sure you know the actual performance of your antennas as the manufacturer's specifications can be hugely different to what you experience when the antenna is deployed. Once the antenna is deployed twenty metres up in the air it can be difficult to change without incurring cost for your customer.

* Wireless is about providing signal where it is required and no signal where it is not. This is one of the hardest things to achieve with any deployment. Being able to do this separates the true wireless engineers from the LAN engineers who can purchase wireless equipment.

And I thought I would finish with my personal favourite:

* Customers want an experienced wireless engineer to perform their deployment but they don't want the wireless engineer to get that experience on their deployment.
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Jeongmo Jeong

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Thanks for comments!
It helps me to understand this.
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Jody Butstraen

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The Quote: All of their radios are together in the arrays so you get lots of interference from the radios and the clients. It's also EXPENSIVE!

is not exactly true.

Many different manufacturers have different approaches on WiFi. All of them work great with their own set of features.
Expensive is something you must calculate in the long run (total price vs devices).

And NO, I am not a customer or do not work for Xirrus or any other compagny.
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Richard Bance

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Get a site survey done..Xirrus do it for free...not sure if Aerohive do though....
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Crowdie, Champ

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It really depends on what you call a "site survey".  I know a number of companies that will come in and tell you where to place the access points based on coverage requirements but will they do a complete site survey and design for free?  If your site is large I am sure they will but for smaller sites I doubt it.

As the requirements for wireless networks increase the need for qualified and experienced wireless engineers increases.  Rather than getting a free "site survey" from a wireless vendor you would do much better by getting a qualified and experienced wireless engineer to work with you on your requirements and complete a site visit.  Once this is done the wireless engineer will be able to come up with a list of wireless vendors/products that would best suit your requirements.
(Edited)
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Richard Bance

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Further to all this.   It will all depend on your geographic layout, and how that fits in with the technology on hand....
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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To be honest, I was highly sceptical about Xirrus from an interference perspective. The the recent WFD6 presentation on their antenna design has made me rethink this, but I would still like to play with one first hand at some point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KG7buNafqI

Crowdie is absolutely is correct that the devil is in the detail by what is meant by a site survey. You usually get what you pay for here...

Clearly we should all buy to the best of our abilities what best fits our requirements.

Despite the niggles (which I find with every company), I have been much happier with Aerohive's APs than those of the competing vendors that I have used.

Nick
(Edited)
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Richard Bance

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the interesting thing is that Xirrus warranted the results of the survey they did for me.
However the devil is in fact in the detail, or rather what your requirements may be. For me I said wanted campus wide coverage at nothing less than -70dB levels throughout the in-scope areas, and to cater for certain numbers on how many devices where to connect in each area.
In saying this, it is really important to understand what your non-functional requirements are....poor or unscoped requirements will hurt....

Also, it is not all about wifi, but what is happening at your edge network, and your core network. Often a brilliant wifi implementation comes undone here as well....
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Bob Nesta

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Just doing some digging here - Xirrus has APs and has multi-radio Arrays. I don't get the issue here. If you need an AP then they will be the same price as everyone else I assume. If you need more density and do not want to run more cables or cannot due to whatever issues there may be then get an Array. The thing I like about Xirrus is the option and the ability to run an all 5GHz network if you have to. At a recent large Public even I attended there were reported 83% or the devices that were 5GHz capable.

i can only assume that this will increase with the release of the iPhone 6.

Why would you want to run a 50% 2.4 network where I would have to turn all that 2.4GHz off like it recommends in several LPV documents I have read recently. With Xirrus I can run 75% 2.4GHz or 100% 5GHz. with everyone else I am stuck with 50/50... 802.11AC is all 5GHz isn't it?

I like having options...

Everyone has their own set of bells and whistles but no one seems to be able to run in all 5GHz.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks

Bob
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Arrays do not necessarily give you better performance in dense, loaded deployments as they often end up exhibiting much of an omni antenna pattern due to the reflections seen in many real world environments.

Regardless of that, you also have the same issue of communications being a two way affair between clients and APs, a fact often forgotten - the clients certainly do contend with each other limiting the potential for improvement.

Clients themselves are often poorly optimised for use in dense environments with behaviors that cause channels to quickly get consumed with 'background chatter'.
(Edited)
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Crowdie, Champ

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All high density deployments are 5 GHz only as, with only three non-lapping channels, the 2.4 GHz spectrum is not suitable for high density deployments.  In high density deployments you will normally you will see a much smaller number of 2.4 GHz radios for devices, such as the iPhone 4, that are 2.4 GHz only.

In terms of the array vs. access point discussion it really depends on how you want to deploy for a high density environment.  In some situations it is better to use an array while in others it is better to use access points with directional antennas.  Aruba did an excellent presentation on high density deployments at Wireless Field Day 6 using a large sports stadium as the example.  You can find a link to the video recording of the presentation on the Wireless Field Day website.

(Edited)