09/14/2018
An Enterprise Home Network
Used Products
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Location
5180 Kalamazoo Avenue Southeast, Kentwood, MI, USA
Description

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This spring our office was contact by an individual who found us through a Google search. They started out by asking if we did residential work. The short answer is no, but of course I didn’t say that. I asked if they were a business owner or worked out of their home and in fact they did. They customer is an author of some notoriety. For that reason, I’ll be holding back any identifying details. Obviously, as a writer, the customer primarily works from home. It turns out there is a lot more to writing than just sitting in front of a computer typing, though. They explained that they frequently do phone interviews, online interviews, video chat, and webcasts. After a recent renovation to their home, the customer’s ISP advised them that they’d need to contact an IT professional to expand the WiFi coverage within their home. This led them to us.


I scheduled an onsite meeting at the customer’s home, on a rural lake, to discuss requirements and other details relevant to quoting. We spoke for about 2 hours in the writer’s office about what they’d like to get out of their home network. One of the major issues plaguing them in this beautiful, 5000+ square foot house, was the lack of cell phone signal coverage, due to their rural location and surrounding foliage. They were having to stand by windows in two specific locations to make a call. I found that they were on current iPhones with AT&T service, which gave them the capability of using their iPhones as VOIP devices, if they had sufficient WiFi coverage throughout the house. So, that became requirement number one, a high performance wireless network, capable of QOS for VOIP traffic, covering every corner of this sprawling home.


Additional requirements:

  • Guest network to support visitors and family
  • Customer owned equipment and autonomous control
  • Enterprise level security and alerting
  • Outdoor coverage for beach area and patio
  • Minimize additional cable runs
  • Minimize aesthetic impact of network equipment


I wrestled with the significant cost of a full Unifi network compared to Amplifi or other SOHO equipment, but I took into account the client’s requirements, value, and expectations for a solution and settled on Unifi. The following is a list of the products I proposed.


The customer took a couple of days to review the proposal and called me with their feedback. They stated that there was a competitive quote from a friend, which was half of my proposal. However, they also stated that they were leaning my way because of they perceived my solution would provide the functionality and reliability they were seeking. After a few technical questions and a request that we provide support for 3 years, which we agreed to, the customer approved the quote. I’m not saying this to demonstrate how great I am, but rather to illustrate the need to propose the right solution. Be mindful of a client’s value of technology so that you can propose the right solution, not just a cheap option or technically exciting option.

quote items.png

 
Supporting Components
I opted to install a cloud key instead of putting them on our controller because it was ultimately a residential installation. I felt it was best to give the client a solution that was supportable with our without us. I specified a 5 outlet WattBox, which is a smart power conditioner that enables automatic reboots based on ping rules. I generally set one ping by IP(8.8.8.8) and another by name(Google.com). After 90 seconds failing to ping both hosts, the WB resets the modem’s outlet. After 10 minutes the USG’s outlet is reset. I also installed a “remote” trigger, which is programmed to reset the modem on demand. I racked it all in a very cost effective Navepoint 6u wall-mount rack. The residence has a whole home generator, however there is a lag of 1-5 seconds before it kicks in. So, to provide uninterrupted power to the network devices I installed a 450w UPS. Finally, I installed an Arris SB6190 cable modem to increase performance and eliminate the ISP’s $15/month equipment lease.

IMG_0814.png
Network
I specified IW-AC-Pros for the visible access points in the sitting room and the owner’s loft office. I decided to go with these for a few reasons. First, during the renovation they ran CAT6 to a few outlets in the baseboard. These two rooms are also fairly small and offset from the main house. Lastly, I wanted to preserve the aesthetic balance of these spaces.

IMG_0818.pngIMG_0819.png
Two AC-Pros cover the basement living areas, kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. One of these is connected via wireless uplink as a cable run was not available. Running a cable to this location was outside of my capabilities. I advised the client of this and that we should monitor performance on that end of the house. If it became an issue, we would have the cabling contractor back to make that run. That was 4 months ago and I haven’t heard any negative reports. The uplink speed is typically 150Mbps, which is sufficient for that area.


Finally, there are two outdoor Mesh APs. The AC Mesh is on the fascia, just under the roof adjacent to the outdoor fire place and patio. In the picture you’ll notice the antenna are not positioned correctly. I fixed this later by putting them in a 45-degree position, but I failed to get another picture. To cover the beach and fire pit I installed an AC Mesh Pro, fixed to a tree about 12 feet above the ground. They were running conduit from the house to the beach to provide electricity for the dock, so we simply had them add another, smaller conduit (3/4”, I believe), and ran CAT6 to the same location they mounted the breaker box. From there I ran a cable up a nearby tree, secured with nail in cable clips. I got creative with some Rustoleum camouflage paint on this AP to minimize the preserve the natural beauty.

 

 

 

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IMG_0811.png

 

IMG_0812.png

 

IMG_0813.png

 

 The project took 22 hours of labor to complete, though there were a few hours lost to dealing with the contractors and a few other issues that are typical of a residential project under renovation. The client was very happy with the project and referred to it as “the 8th wonder of the world” after a few weeks. I endeavor to learn from all my projects and this was no exception, but I am very happy with the execution, price, and result. 

An Enterprise Home Network

by on ‎09-14-2018 10:58 AM

IMG_0816.png

 

This spring our office was contact by an individual who found us through a Google search. They started out by asking if we did residential work. The short answer is no, but of course I didn’t say that. I asked if they were a business owner or worked out of their home and in fact they did. They customer is an author of some notoriety. For that reason, I’ll be holding back any identifying details. Obviously, as a writer, the customer primarily works from home. It turns out there is a lot more to writing than just sitting in front of a computer typing, though. They explained that they frequently do phone interviews, online interviews, video chat, and webcasts. After a recent renovation to their home, the customer’s ISP advised them that they’d need to contact an IT professional to expand the WiFi coverage within their home. This led them to us.


I scheduled an onsite meeting at the customer’s home, on a rural lake, to discuss requirements and other details relevant to quoting. We spoke for about 2 hours in the writer’s office about what they’d like to get out of their home network. One of the major issues plaguing them in this beautiful, 5000+ square foot house, was the lack of cell phone signal coverage, due to their rural location and surrounding foliage. They were having to stand by windows in two specific locations to make a call. I found that they were on current iPhones with AT&T service, which gave them the capability of using their iPhones as VOIP devices, if they had sufficient WiFi coverage throughout the house. So, that became requirement number one, a high performance wireless network, capable of QOS for VOIP traffic, covering every corner of this sprawling home.


Additional requirements:

  • Guest network to support visitors and family
  • Customer owned equipment and autonomous control
  • Enterprise level security and alerting
  • Outdoor coverage for beach area and patio
  • Minimize additional cable runs
  • Minimize aesthetic impact of network equipment


I wrestled with the significant cost of a full Unifi network compared to Amplifi or other SOHO equipment, but I took into account the client’s requirements, value, and expectations for a solution and settled on Unifi. The following is a list of the products I proposed.


The customer took a couple of days to review the proposal and called me with their feedback. They stated that there was a competitive quote from a friend, which was half of my proposal. However, they also stated that they were leaning my way because of they perceived my solution would provide the functionality and reliability they were seeking. After a few technical questions and a request that we provide support for 3 years, which we agreed to, the customer approved the quote. I’m not saying this to demonstrate how great I am, but rather to illustrate the need to propose the right solution. Be mindful of a client’s value of technology so that you can propose the right solution, not just a cheap option or technically exciting option.

quote items.png

 
Supporting Components
I opted to install a cloud key instead of putting them on our controller because it was ultimately a residential installation. I felt it was best to give the client a solution that was supportable with our without us. I specified a 5 outlet WattBox, which is a smart power conditioner that enables automatic reboots based on ping rules. I generally set one ping by IP(8.8.8.8) and another by name(Google.com). After 90 seconds failing to ping both hosts, the WB resets the modem’s outlet. After 10 minutes the USG’s outlet is reset. I also installed a “remote” trigger, which is programmed to reset the modem on demand. I racked it all in a very cost effective Navepoint 6u wall-mount rack. The residence has a whole home generator, however there is a lag of 1-5 seconds before it kicks in. So, to provide uninterrupted power to the network devices I installed a 450w UPS. Finally, I installed an Arris SB6190 cable modem to increase performance and eliminate the ISP’s $15/month equipment lease.

IMG_0814.png
Network
I specified IW-AC-Pros for the visible access points in the sitting room and the owner’s loft office. I decided to go with these for a few reasons. First, during the renovation they ran CAT6 to a few outlets in the baseboard. These two rooms are also fairly small and offset from the main house. Lastly, I wanted to preserve the aesthetic balance of these spaces.

IMG_0818.pngIMG_0819.png
Two AC-Pros cover the basement living areas, kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. One of these is connected via wireless uplink as a cable run was not available. Running a cable to this location was outside of my capabilities. I advised the client of this and that we should monitor performance on that end of the house. If it became an issue, we would have the cabling contractor back to make that run. That was 4 months ago and I haven’t heard any negative reports. The uplink speed is typically 150Mbps, which is sufficient for that area.


Finally, there are two outdoor Mesh APs. The AC Mesh is on the fascia, just under the roof adjacent to the outdoor fire place and patio. In the picture you’ll notice the antenna are not positioned correctly. I fixed this later by putting them in a 45-degree position, but I failed to get another picture. To cover the beach and fire pit I installed an AC Mesh Pro, fixed to a tree about 12 feet above the ground. They were running conduit from the house to the beach to provide electricity for the dock, so we simply had them add another, smaller conduit (3/4”, I believe), and ran CAT6 to the same location they mounted the breaker box. From there I ran a cable up a nearby tree, secured with nail in cable clips. I got creative with some Rustoleum camouflage paint on this AP to minimize the preserve the natural beauty.

 

 

 

IMG_0810.png

 

IMG_0811.png

 

IMG_0812.png

 

IMG_0813.png

 

 The project took 22 hours of labor to complete, though there were a few hours lost to dealing with the contractors and a few other issues that are typical of a residential project under renovation. The client was very happy with the project and referred to it as “the 8th wonder of the world” after a few weeks. I endeavor to learn from all my projects and this was no exception, but I am very happy with the execution, price, and result. 

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Comments
by
on ‎09-14-2018 11:25 PM

 I sent you a direct message Man Happy

by
on ‎09-18-2018 11:03 PM

Outstanding job! Nice of your client to let you post images online.

by
a month ago

I think this is exactly the niche where UniFi will shine. Great job. Thanks for this write up. 

 

Why did you chiose AC-Pros instead of 3rd generation APs? Is the Internet connection capped at below 100 Mbps?

by
a month ago

@sirozha

 

by
a month ago
AC-Pros are 2nd generation APs.

Third generation APs are: AC-HD, AC-SHD, nanoHD, and IW-HD
by
3 weeks ago

@jimrouse - why the Security Gateway Pro rather than just the Security Gateway? I'm setting up something similar at my house. 

by
2 weeks ago

I am building a simple network at home.  I have the modem collecting the signal from cable.  Then I have the netgear R7000 wifi router. From that I connect to a Cisco switch.  If I leave things at that, all is well, but I want to increase the boost on the system so I am putting in a Unifi AP that was given to me.  I ran my Cat5e and power up the wall.  I installed the POE and connected the AP to that.  I fired up the controller software and for the life of me I cannot find that AP.  I can't find any Unifi AP at all. I can get on the internet using the primary wifi but that will be a bit more difficult as I move everything to its new home in the rack along with the storage server.  So is there someone that can help or should I just bag it and find a far more simple set up?

Tim 

by
2 weeks ago
You should bag it and find a more simple setup.

UBNT makes business-class gear that requires at least some rudimentary knowledge of computer networking to deploy. Based on your post, it's not one of your strengths.

There are consumer-grade mesh Wi-Fi solutions from several vendors available now. Go with one of those solutions that are designed with a non-technical person in mind. UBNT AmpliFy is one of them, but I've never used it, so I can't recommend it. Google is your friend.
by
2 weeks ago

@Tmelchior1967 I would start by resetting the AP to factory defaults (if it was previously configured), then connecting to the AP directly. I believe the default IP is 192.168.1.20. Set your computer's IP to 192.168.1.x. Then ping .20 and use the UBNT discovery tool to make sure it is discoverable. If your able to SSH into using Putty, then you can run the set-inform command to tell the AP where the controller is. If you're still unable to communicate with it at all, then there's definitely something wrong with it.

 

The only problem I see with your set up is if you leave the radios on on the R7000. I have an R6000 at home and it covers my entire house and outdoors perfectly. If you add an AP to the network without disabling those radios your devices aren't going to switch between the R6000 and the UAP seemlessly. I would get another UAP or two so that you get the benefits of a seemless network.

 

As far as a simpler solution, I don't have any first hand experience with it, but Ubiquiti's Amplifi is reviewed higher than the other home mesh solutions. It's truely plug and play.

by
2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago

Maybe I should do a writeup, this setup is amateur grade stuff when compared to infrastructure I set up in our home Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)