Mid-Range, iPads And Laptops Aggregate
We already know that Apple and Meraki collapse under 60 clients, but for the remaining contenders, what happens when you bring another five iPad 2 tablets into the mix? For one thing, HP seems to hold up surprisingly well. While the HP disappointed in our interference testing, it seems revitalized when it comes to handling massive traffic loads...or does it?
When we break out the data for laptops versus iPad 2s, a different story appears. Recall from our single laptop versus iPad comparison how the laptop’s throughput was roughly 7.5x greater than that of the tablet. Yet we have 12 times as many laptops as tablets. What should be the proper ratio of notebook to tablet bandwidth in this test—7.5x, 12x, or somewhere in between? There may be no perfect answer, but it’s safe to assume that somewhere in the middle is best. Ruckus and Cisco both land in this zone, showing notebook throughput of about 11x and 9x that of the five attached tablets. HP, however, comes in with nearly 60x, starving the iPads with only a trickle of data. Not much airtime fairness there.
Aruba goes in the opposite direction, giving the iPads far more time than they deserve—over one-third of the total bandwidth. Given this, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Aruba disabled airtime fairness by default. We can only assume that this is a gross oversight on Aruba’s part, but our mission to only use default AP settings before starting testing was clear. Regardless, this highlights the importance of airtime fairness in a crowded Wi-Fi environment with mixed device types.