Wireless LAN solution engine

The university’s WLAN currently consists of 60+ Accesspoints. We are planning to double this number to cover whole buildings in the near future. Monitoring is currently done by a shellscript/MRTG combination that monitors Reachability, Configuration changes, Associations and Traffic.
Now we are evaluating buying a Cisco product called Wireless LAN solution engine for $$$$.
It is basically a pentium-machine running an IOS like Operating System with a Web/JavaApplet Application.
It has tons of features including statistics of everything and a Radio Manager that monitors the coverage, interferences etc. Of course it also includes Configuration and Firmware management.
Unfortunately I haven’t found any neutral reviews on the Net. Only Product information and a default password vulnerability earlier this year.
What speaks against it:

  • The Handbook consists of 1102 pages.
  • It requires specific Browers and specific versions of Java Plugins. For Cisco Works, another Network Management Tool we use, I have not found a working combination of Browsers/Java Plugins that works on FreeBSD.
  • It needs to be updated with every new Firmware version Cisco releases for its Accesspoints
  • It requires a lot of effort to use it optimal:
    • A LEAP setup needs to be established between the Accesspoints
    • For every Accesspoint you need to collect data by running running around the covered area with a Laptop
    • Sometimes the Radio Manager needs to recalculate its data, which requires the WLAN to be shut down
    • Maps and Sizes of every building and every floor need to be scanned and imported into the WLSE

I tend not to buy it, but I am not sure if this are just my predjudices against closedsource Software. I would be glad to hear a review from anybody who bought this product.

One thought on “Wireless LAN solution engine”

  1. Now I know why nobody uses this product.
    Today I tried to configure WDS and this feature is alpha-quality. The documentation is incorrect and outdated. The Webfrontend likes to catch you in endless JavaScript popups and greys out the required input-fields.

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