Alvarion Breeze Access EZ Review

Author: Benjamin Luck – Synworks Development Group Synworks DG Website http://www.synworks.info/ Email: contact@synworks.info

Contents
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Equipment 2.1 Alvarion Breeze Access EZ ODU 2.2 The Subscriber Units 3.0 Setting up the Units for Deployment and Testing 3.1 Getting Access to the EZ Access Unit 3.2 Getting Access to th SU-12 and NMS Config 3.3 Wireless Setup 3.4 SU-12 Subscriber Status Screen 3.5 3.5 Subscriber Alignment 4.0 Product Support 5.0 The Conclusion 6.0 Product Review Rating

1.0 Introduction Over the past few days, I have been playing with Alvarion Breeze Access EZ Access Point and Subscriber bridges. These units are based on the 802.11 standard, with modifications to the protocol to deal with polling to client. The Alvarion Breeze Access EZ unit is designed for point to multipoint, last mile delivery, which is part of the Alvarion Breeze Access family of products. The Breeze Access EZ uses OFDM radios, with TDD ability on the 4.9 Ghz to 5.8 Ghz in the unlicensed and licensed frequency ranges. The layer 2 networking protocol is based on a modified 802.11a protocol.

While using TDD in the 5Ghz spectrum, over the air throughputs of up to 24Mbps (aggregate) can be archived. The Alvarion Breeze EZ is available with radios also support over the air WEP 152 encryption ability. For more information, click here for the Alvarion Breeze Access EZ data sheet located at the Alvarion website. 2.0 The Equipment Now it is time to open up the box and have a look at the equipment within. Couple of cable boxes, an Access Unit ODU kit and POE/power supply. Also we had a couple of client side subscriber ODU units with all the bits required.

2.1 Alvarion Breeze Access EZ ODU The ODU is very simple to connect and only requires two connections. One coaxial cable to hook into the the antenna and on the other end is an RJ45 connection into the POE power supply. The POE power supply then loops back into your switch.

2.2 The Subscriber Units Alvarion Breeze Access EZ Subscriber (SU-12) unit The unit comes with POE power supply, cables, mounting brackets. The manual included is very general, but enough information for a customer to install the unit (Post configuration at the workshop). A LED display located on the back of the unit show signal strength, wireless link speed.

3.0 Setting up the Units for Deployment and Testing Our next steps are to review the set-up process and get the units into the field for testing. First, I need to get access to the units. 3.1 Getting Access to the EZ Access Unit Access to the Breeze Access EZ interface can either be done by the a software utility or by console( telnet). To get the unit ready for configuration, I hooked it up to our laptop, with the IP address set to 10.0.0.10 with a netmask of 255.0.0.0. Then I powered up the unit and after a few seconds, a link on the ethernet status appeared.

Configuration is best done by the BreezeCONFIG software. You can use this program to connect to the unit's default IP address of 10.0.0.1. Just select the SNMP community password and enter into the password field the word "private" (default setting). Then a few things need to be set in the Breeze Access EZ AU before deployment.

You can also configure the unit through a software tool call BreezeCONFIG. I found it easier working through this software to the Access Unit, rather then using the console. But that is just my personal preference. 3.2 Getting Access to th SU-12 and NMS Config Configuration is best done by the web interface. You can use Firefix or IE to connect to the unit's default IP address of 10.0.0.1. Then a few things need to be set in the Breeze Access EZ AU before deployment. First, I click on the wireless client tab at the top, which displays some NMS information.

I just fill out the required IP address, subnet mask, default gateway address and VLAN ID.

3.3 Wireless Setup Just below this section, there is are some wireless settings. The ESSID, encyption type and and key are to match the Breeze Access EZ AU the client is

Then I set the Modulation and link rate to limited, 54meg. Transmit power is set to full for now and the range from the AU. Then I tick the frequancy I am using for the AU and untick anything that is not used in our regional RF licenses.

The I click the Update to save the configuration to flash and to activate the new settings.

3.4 SU-12 Subscriber Status Screen First I click on the information menu tab at the top of the screen. This shows me the current running configuration and a site survey of other wireless Access Units in the area. Its a pretty simple status screen, but it works.

3.5 Subscriber Alignment For alignment, the easiest option is to to use the LED signal strength display on the back of the unit. This produces a bar indicator, that get longer as you get the alignment closer.

4.0 Product Support Alvarion support and sales for the Breeze Access EZ product is done by their various regional headquarters and product distribution partners. Through their BreezeCARE, they provide an extensive and comprehensive suite of technical support services to protect your investment and help ensure that your systems continue to deliver reliable performance and availability. Their technical and sales staff are helpful and quick to resolve any issues and handle any requirement requests.

5.0 The Conclusion It would have been nice to have a web interface on the Breeze Access EZ Access Unit, as this would make it easier for some support staff to navigate. Though, the web interface on the client unit is adequate to work with. The Client and Access ODU are a painted white metal case with heatsink fins. Which makes it resistant to hail, wind related damage and a good heatsink for hot days. But sea salt can cause failure over time due to corrosion. For some basic throughput tests, we were getting about 9Mbs at a few kilometres with less than 2ms latency. Client equipment was easy to setup and get going. Alvarian's product support is good, with competent technicians and sales staff giving worth while service. Pros:

• Minimal equipment at the tower. (only one unit) Cons: • Not good in salty conditions. • Web interface is pretty average. • WEP encryption is a bit old 6.0 Product Review Rating This is a rating from my in-house and field testing. With a rating out of 5 stars.

Reliability: Ease of Setup: Performance:

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