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17th Century Farmhouse in England

by ‎03-12-2015 08:13 PM - edited ‎03-13-2015 06:49 AM

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.

 

UniFi-House-page.png

 

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.

 

UniFi-Map-page.png

 

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.

 

UniFi-AerialShot-page.png

 

As you can see, from the users tab, everything is working fine.

 

UniFi-Users-page.png

 

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.

 

UniFi-CCTV-page.png

 

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 Man Happy 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.

 

UniFi-VM-page.png

 

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.

 

UniFi-ath0-page.png

 

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.

 

UniFi-Load-page.png

 

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.

 

Comments
by
on ‎03-12-2015 08:19 PM

Nice.

so how did unifi work for you?

can you give us more details?

layout performance old vs new?

 

thanks.

 

by
on ‎03-12-2015 08:31 PM

I do detail

by
on ‎03-13-2015 04:45 AM

What kind of server do you have to run sooo much virtual machines?! Smiley Surprised

by
on ‎03-13-2015 06:24 AM

The VM's in the screenshot are running on an 8 core AMD tower with 16 GB of RAM. You can run many linux VMs at the same time without much CPU Drain,

but like air conditioning, things start to go wrong when you open Windows.

by
on ‎03-13-2015 09:34 AM

Icon Razz I've never heard this quote... very very good! :-D  

Thanks for the info :-)

by
on ‎03-25-2015 06:41 PM

Thats a Nice easy going setup you have there..

Regarding your ASUS router, have you tried it on the merlin firmware as it offers alot more handy features.  http://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/

 

 

by
on ‎03-28-2015 07:37 AM

Nice setup Man Happy