Anyone have any suggestions for methods of load-testing wireless networks for enterprise network deployments?
We've got a wide array of different wireless worst-case scenarios to support.
- rooms with either nobody or 300 people, each of whom have 1-3 wireless devices and they want to use all of them, potentially at once (large classrooms)
- buildings with lots of people who want to bit-torrent the latest episodes of "my so called life" or "shania twain" albums using their brand-new 802.11N laptops, all while playing counter-strike (student dorms).
- large spaces where people expect to roam from building to building, all in a large metro area with lots of non-enterprise 802.11 networks and other noise.
So, we're planning on buying a new generation of 802.11 network and we're not happy with our existing vendor, so it's going to be a forklift upgrade.
Is there any way of simulating these above use-cases without buying 800 laptops and hiring student droids to "pretend" to surf the internet or do homework? When we have bakeoffs, it would be great if we could do things in a controlled and repeatable environment.
I'm aware of the ixia testing devices which seem to kinda do what we want, but without expertise in how to properly do the testing, I'm not sure we'd get it right. So, in addition to alternatives to this thing (or 5 of these things randomly placed around the building), are there any firms that come out and do site-wide testing?
Also, let's say I've got a linux / freebsd box with an atheros wireless radio -- are there any good tools for inspecting existing wireless traffic to give breakdowns of spectrum utilization, packet retransmissions, and so on?