Cisco Access Points – Naming standards
When we design and commission WLAN networks, one of the variables between different customers and sites is the access point naming convention.
Few useful pointers:
While its not so important for sites with limited numbers of access points, it becomes more critical for larger installs. Take a site with thousands of access points for example – you need a hierarchical structure. There’s a few valuable tips we’ve developed from our installs, such as:
- We normally always have the AP number at the end of the name for consistency
- Some installs we’ve seen the inclusion of the characters ‘AP’- I personally don’t see the necessity of this – use the characters to be as informative as you can
We develop a schema of numbers to be used throughout the facility to uniquely identify an AP. Note the ‘unique’ keyword in there. I’ve seen installations where they start each floor as AP001 upwards and use the rest of the name to make the AP unique. Its very confusing as you get multiple AP001’s occurring.
When laying out a new numbering schema, allocate numbers in a logical way – per building and per floor, just as you would subnet the VLANs. Make sure you allocate spare as this allows you to add any APs later on and fit in the schema.
The benefit of this approach is that you can now identify the AP just based on its number. Even for a large facility, you might end up with just a four digit number. Do yourself a favour and apply a sticker to the front of the AP (in large enough text to be easily viewed) and you have a really easy technique for people to be able to report which AP is faulty, or the relative location of where they were when an issue was noted.
AP Naming – include the useful information:
Typically we use a schema such as :
It’s a nice short name with the ability to number up to 10,000 APs uniquely. Upper or lower case is your choice, but upper generally looks good. The fields can be split as:
- LLL – Site location – three letter designation of the site name
- BBB – Building number or acronym for the building
- FF – Floor or level – for example can be B0 for Basement or 05 for level five
- 0000 – unique number for this AP. You can shorten to 2 or 3 digits for smaller sites
Don’t forget to allocate the numbers in blocks though for each building and floor!