Tech Question: how many devices does the wireless network support?

wirelessnetwork

One of the questions I’ve heard with relative frequency is that of how many computers we have in the district.  While the district owns roughly 1,000 devices, not all of them are on all the time (especially mobile cart devices), and thus we’re not supporting them all at once.  Thus, the more crucial question – from a network capacity standpoint – is how many devices we’re supporting on the network at any given time.  In the chart at right, which has time on the x-axis and number of devices on the y-axis, you can see that our supported device numbers increase significantly, as teachers return with their laptops, mobile device carts are rolled out, and student devices are joined to the network.  During the night, our wireless network is supporting about 450 devices – mostly desktop computers – and during the day, our device numbers typically rise to just over 1,000; in the example at right, there are currently 1,026 devices connected, a fairly typical number for a Wednesday morning.  During periods leading up to snow storms and other large events, I frequently see these numbers spike to around 1,200 as more people connect their mobile devices to the network to check on the latest goings-on.

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