Wandahome (Knottingley) Ltd, a caravan retailer, was looking to expand its Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) system to provide real-time stock control across its site. It also wanted to provide free WiFi to customers whilst on site with a stable network infrastructure that would accommodate a new VoIP phone system.
As deliveries are dropped off in the car park, away from the main building, Wandahome required a resilient, site-wide WiFi network that would allow handheld ePOS scanners to check stock in and out, logging details on its main systems in the main office. The existing WiFi coverage was patchy, and almost non-existent in the car park.
A new network would also need to provide wireless internet access to customers around the whole site as well employees, the offices and with enough scalability to add a new VoIP system without hindering coverage.
Pro Logic Computers in Pontefract, Wandahome's existing network administrators and defacto IT department, were asked to provide a solution.
Paul from Pro Logic approached Target Components with the project, armed with a site survey and coverage map of the Wandahome site and suggestions for access point locations.
Although having never used Ubiquiti for installations before, Paul was open to suggestions. Target's Ubiquiti-qualified team then helped provide Paul and Pro Logic with a more detailed plan, determining that full coverage of the site could be achieved using a range of Ubiquiti hardware.
After another site visit and a number of tests using Ubiquiti software, Target and Pro Logic agreed the solution with Wandahome.
Because the site was so large, it was initially thought up to 23 separate indoor and outdoor access points would be required to achieve site-wide coverage, including working around buildings and a lot of caravans. These would then need to be set up, controlled and maintained by Paul and Pro Logic.
However, the solution only required six Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO access points, along with a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-IW In-Wall Access Point with PoE passthrough that converted the existing CAT5 point to a Wireless Access Point. This had the additional benefit of still providing PoE, via a built-in passthrough, to a new VoIP phone system.
SFP ports in the additional UniFi US-16-150W, which powered the internal access points, also provided the fibre link to an external outbuilding via a UniFi US-8-150W switch which then powered the external access points.
A UniFi USG-PRO-4 security gateway provided routing and network separation for customers, ePOS and telephony, all separately via its built-in VLAN functionality.
The UniFi Cloud Key UC-CK ran the UniFi controller software providing a hybrid cloud solution, allowing for remote management and performance monitoring (including firewall and network health events), all of which would be controlled externally by Pro Logic.
6 x UAP-AC-PRO access points
1 x UAP-AC-IW In-Wall Access Point with PoE passthrough
1 x UniFi US-16-150W 16-port 150W PoE+ Gigabit network switch
1 x UniFi US-8-150W 8-port 150W PoE+ managed Gigabit network switch
1 x UniFi USG-PRO-4 Security Enterprise Gateway Router with Gigabit Ethernet
1 x UniFi UC-CK UniFi Cloud Key Hybrid Controller
Whilst the original network design required up to 23 separate access points to cover such a wide area, through buildings and caravans, some clever design using Ubiquiti meant the final result was achieved using a fraction of the hardware – just 7 access points in total, with the requirements for separate internet access for visitors and the future addition of a stable VoIP system, built in.
His first project using Ubiquiti, Paul from Pro Logic was suitable impressed, “As a result of this debut installation of Ubiquiti kit we have now rolled it out to several of our clients, including community centres, local councils and other larger clients, including ourselves.
"We are now up to speed with the Ubiquiti offerings and can provision the kit in less than 15 minutes at our office, then just go out and install it."