Site to Site WIFI

The company I work at has two sites; the offices and a warehouse. The sites are about 500ft apart, separated by some council owned woodland. We have a couple of 24x core fibers running between the sites. However we recently realized that all the fibers went via the some underground conduit – part of which goes under the council woodland – so given that we have no control over some council worker in a digger sticking is bucket into our fiber, we decided a backup was required!!

Someone previously had installed a laser Line of Sight system, which delivered about 10Mbps, however what they neglected to realize when it was installed (maybe 6 years ago) was that trees grow. The woodland is green belt so we couldn’t touch the trees, and what use is 10Mbps anyway!! we push around 300Mbps between sites at any one time, going up to 500-600Mbps at peak times.

After looking at several solutions, we approached the company who supplied our corporate WIFI – Evolution Systems – who are a reseller for Ruckus. We use a Ruckus Zonedirector 1000 and a variety of different Ruckus AP’s to provide WIFI services to the offices, warehouse and a Guest SSID. So we were happy to have a look at the Ruckus Site to Site solution.

Evolution suggested we look at the Ruckus 7731 802.11n Bridge . Given the distance, according to the specs should expect to get at least 190Mbps, so this would provide us with sufficient bandwidth as a backup.

The guys from Evolution arranged a proof of concept by putting the AP’s on a temporary pole at each site, connecting each one to a laptop, and checking the speed between them. We were getting around between 170 – 180 Mbps, however they were not as high as they would be when permanently mounted  nor were they fully aligned for best performance. Given the speeds we decided to go ahead with them, and, signed PO in hand, we rang Evolution to place the order.

Today, after what seems like months of getting the necessary risk assessments completed (don’t your love health and safety!!) , the contractors arrived to install the mounting brackets.

Here are a few piccies from the install, we are still waiting to get the data cables run from the mounting brackets to the comms cabinets, once they are in we will be able to get a full speed test completed, fingers crossed for 200Mbps!!  !

(p.s. in the first picture, the ugly square thing is the old Laser Line of Sight)



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