We had struggled to get anything to work properly since moving to the property. I had tried quite a few "All-in-one" solutions. And still had problems. I had chained them and whilst that improved things it was a pain to sort out and wasn't ideal. So I thought I would try Ubiquiti's UniFi solution. There are some peculiar design considerations at my property, and that is to be expected in a house over 400 years old. To start with it is a Grade 2* listed property, And for those of you not from England, that means you are severely limited in what you are allowed to do to it. (No visible antennas etc, strangely they allow a TV aerial in the eaves).
But by far the biggest problem is that is made of damp clay. All exterior walls and most of the interior ones are clay lump construction. They eat radiowaves for breakfast.
So I have installed 2 UAP-LR's, One in the living room and one on the first floor landing. A standard UAP installed in a study to capture the wireless printers and other users. And finally a Flashed Pico with a 9 dbi omni on top installed on the weather board at the back of the house. They have been setup with a single SSID for all with no guest net. I have done this for simplicity, as there is no need to add layers of complication if you don't need to. I configured the AP's individually for MIN RSSI as I believe in the tried and tested approach.
On the map page below, you can see the ground floor of the property, The middle AP actually on the first floor and the Pico attached to the back of the house, facing part of the garden and supplying connectivity to users and IP-Cameras dotted around the place.
All users are able to access the network and roam successfully, I would like to be able to report some teathing problems, but there just weren't any. The signal is so good we can often get a signal from the Pico whist walking the dogs in the field at the back of the property.
As you can see, from the users tab, everything is working fine.
All of the above is connected to my ISP via an Asus N55U which is a UK variant ADSL modem/router. I have got an EdgeRouter lying around so I am thinking of using PPPoE passthrough from my Asus and using it as well. One final note on the above user data, you will notice the IPCamera(WiFi) connected to the Pico (PS-1). It has been streaming 720 HD at 25fps from a PTZ Camera installed in my polytunnel for a couple of weeks now and its not dropped a single frame. Outstanding.
The controller as you can see from the shot below. Is running on Debian under VMware workstation. I have had it running under other unix flavours, but this is (or appears to be) UBNT's preferred flavour. I have run it under ESXi, Hyper-V (if you have too) and xen. It functions flawlessly under all conditions, you can even shard the db If you are adventurous. I used HP Test center to hammer it too and it passed with flying colours, couple of security issues came up, nothing major. I would caution anyone about using SNMPv1 in a production environment as it's a bad idea generally, I'm sure the UBNT Coders are adding V3 Functionality as we speak.
Now for some pretty graphs... The first graph shows the throughput of the UAP's wireless interface. This is graphed using SNMP in this case by PRTG. But I use HP SiteScope and NNMi for the detailed stuff.
This next one shows the Unix load average obtained by PRTG using SSH. This instance of UniFi Controller is a VM with the following settings.2 CPU, 1GB RAM 20GB SAS Bridged Networking. I have found that whilst MongoDB may need more ram, this is in direct proportion to how large your system is. I have tested this setup with 16, 8, 4, 2 1 and 512MB, and to get good performance from the frontend I found 512 to be too small and 1 Meg is about right for a small house network with 4 AP's.
In all, I am very pleased with the solution and would recommend it to anyone. I would like SNMPv3 and it would be nice to have a MongoDB Enterprise option for monitoring db queue depth on larger corporate installations and all the other benefits it brings, but for me, now, its fine. I challenge anyone to achieve this at this price.