Review: Agere ORiNOCO AS-2000, part 2

Some setups are a breeze, while others reinforce the accuracy of Murphy's Law. Learn how the Agere ORiNOCO AS-2000 fared for configuration as we put it to the test on addressing and monitoring.

By Lisa Phifer | Posted Sep 6, 2001
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from ISP-Planet

In Part 1, we established the basic building blocks of our Agere WLANinstalling ORiNOCO cards, drivers, Client Manager, and AS Client software. Today, we continue our saga, describing AS-2000 installation, configuration, and monitoring, explaining how to integrate this wireless access server with an existing wired network.

AS-2000 and AS Manager
Surprisingly, the easiest component to install was the AS-2000. At 2 x 7 x 10", this petite device is easily mounted on a ceilingpower is optionally passed over Cat5 to the single 10/100 Ethernet port. Radio transmission occurs over ORiNOCO NICs, inserted into one or both CardBus slots. Status LEDs are visible with the removable plastic cover in place. The unit accepts an outside antenna, but is designed for indoor deployment.

In a pinch, the AS-2000 CLI (accessed by serial port or telnet) can be used to load image or configuration updates from a TFTP server or reconfigure addresses. Traffic counters are visible from the CLIa ping client would be a great addition. Admins can also monitor traps or administer the device using its enterprise MIB and a third-party SNMP manager.

Click for full sized image But most will use the AS Manager, a Java application for AS-2000 configuration and monitoring. We installed the AS Manager 2.03 and JRE 1.3 on NT Server and Windows 2000 PCs. At startup, the AS Manager scans attached subnet(s) to locate AS-2000s. Alternatively, AS-2000s can be added manually, identified by IP address. The first step is to select an AS-2000 and over-ride factory default addresses using Initial Device Setup. (Click on image to enlarge.) After renumbering, you may need to delete the old device and re-add or re-scan the subnet.

Configuration
Device Configuration is password-protected by an SNMP community string with read-write permission. Use this menu to set system, network, physical interface, PPP, IAPP, SNMP, and RADIUS parameters.

System parameters include the ability to administratively take the AS-2000 offline now or later. SNMP parameters include an access table that limits administrative access to specified source IPs. (If you lock yourself out or forget the IPs entered here, you can get back in by resetting the device to factory defaults.)

Click for full sized image Physical interface parameters configure ORiNOCO radio cards in the AS-2000. (Click on image at left to enlarge.) Here you can specify a message size requiring RTS/CTS handshake for networks experiencing excessive frame collisions. Transmit rate, frequency, and density defaults are typically fine, but can be modified if desired.

IAPP parameters control communication between ORiNOCO base stations, such as announcement interval and response time, handover timeout and retransmission count. With only one AS-2000, we were unable to exercise handoffbut its intent is to enable roaming by eliminating the need to reconnect when moving from one AS to another.

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