I recently had the pleasure of joining Rowell Dionicio on the Clear to Send Podcast to talk about Wi-Fi in K12 schools. Clear To Send is a great podcast about enterprise wireless networking and a great way to stay current with the Wi-Fi community.
We talked about K12 requirements, challenges, funding, my design process, security, and everyone’s favorite K12 subject, 1 AP per classroom!
After listening to the podcast, I thought about some other K12 Wi-Fi considerations that I didn’t bring up on the air.
- K12 often has requirements for mDNS applications like Apple AirPlay for AppleTV or Google Cast for Chromecast. This is a challenge in an enterprise network because mDNS does not cross layer 2 boundaries. It’s important to consider that when designing a new WLAN and selecting the vendor. Many WLAN vendors do have features that can assist with relaying mDNS traffic between vlans. Be careful to limit this traffic to only the vlans where it is required.
- Excessive multicast traffic can be a burden on channel utilization when it is not controlled. Many WLAN vendors have features that intelligently filter broadcast/multicast traffic, instead of always forwarding it out the AP radio interfaces at the lowest data rate. If you are dealing with mDNS or large subnets (common in K12) it’s worthwhile to understand how the WLAN can manage broadcast/multicast traffic.
- MSP’s are a great way to get well-designed enterprise Wi-Fi into small to medium size schools that don’t have the internal resources to handle it themselves. MSP’s can be hired to support and operate the WLAN after installing it, which gives them an incentive that VAR’s who just sell the hardware might not have–to design the WLAN properly. E-Rate funding is now available to reimburse schools for managed services contracts with MSP’s.
- eduroam is available for K12 schools, not just higher education. Check it out!
- It’s hard to listen to the sound of your own voice.
I really enjoyed talking Wi-Fi with Rowell and I’d love to return to the podcast in the future. Maybe we can talk about healthcare Wi-Fi next? Thanks Rowell!
Have a listen here: CTS 062: K12 Wi-Fi Deployments – Clear To Send