So the CEO decided to "move forward" (sic.) and asked us for a draft on how we plan to implement an extensive WiFi coverage in our main building.
Right now we're limited to a single Cisco WAP AP in our meeting rooms, VLAN encapsulation and captive portal on a CentOS server. It's a no-brainer to see we can't really scale that without shooting ourselves in the foot, so I went and asked around..and I kinda didn't expect what I saw.
Picture this: you can buy a single AP from Cisco (WAP Serie) for about 100€ - you're quite limited to a single point but those things are sturdy, reliable, have a good range and support separate VLAN on different SSID..
The game gets rigged when you try to add a couple more and you fancy some features like scalability and roaming...
I fell in love with Fortinet lately, they even integrate a WiFi controller in each of their appliances, so I went and took a look at their product matrix: you can't pick something too little, as the lower products (sub 1000€) just support up to 4/6 APs, so you're bound to invest at least 2000€. Fine. And then you ought to dig MUCH DEEPER in your pocket because the APs are 450€ each (of course if you're prepared to give up on 802.11ac - because that's at least 650€)
Fancy and all, but how do you justify a 400%+ price increase for basically the same features? (nope, Sonicwall etc. are not much cheaper)
I'm not even talking about heatmaps, placement, routing or even basic planning... I'm talking about having to shelve 10k at the very least to cover a couple key rooms, we're talking 20-30k on hardware alone for the whole building.
TBH I didn't expect it to be so expensive...am I missing something?