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Old 2021-03-03, 14:35   #8
kriesel's Avatar
Mar 2017
US midwest

2·33·5·19 Posts

It's not clear which problem you're facing, server hosted application scaling, or wireless access scaling. The following assumes the latter.
How many limits are there? At least:
  1. Access point chipset constraints, typically in the hundreds
  2. Limits in practice are typically much lower
  3. Presence of consumer grade firmware, perhaps imposing a much lower device count limit
  4. Bandwidth consumption per device, depends on the app & usage patterns
  5. Adjacent-channel crowding by someone else's WAP next door (or they're channel hopping, sometimes landing on the same channel) reducing usable bandwidth
  6. Other activity/bandwidth consumption on the same access point/router/uplink, especially bursty high peak use
  7. EMI from other devices lowering S/N so lowering usable data rate (break room microwave, unshielded open frame multigpu mining rig, nearby analog radio or tv transmitters including amateurs, someone else's garage shop arc welder or a failing fluorescent ballast etc. I once had a computer monitor whose CRT high voltage supply leakage became visible tracking across its insulator surface.)
  8. Distance & antenna gain considerations, attenuation by walls and other material perhaps including the humans holding the phones, again lowering signal strength and so lowering achievable data rate
  9. Interference between multiple close-spaced phones
  10. Multipath interference
  11. ISP-imposed limits?
  12. unaccounted for IOT devices inflating the device count (what do the AP/router MAC address tables say?)
  13. Open access or compromise and someone's wardriving and piggybacking
  14. Occasional router-enforced client or upstream-enforced router DHCP expiration and renewal can be disruptive
  15. Marginal NIC in the wired section causing packet storms or table overflow, or a marginal piece of wireless gear
  16. Timeout issues
  17. If n wireless range extenders or bridges are being used in series, divide nominal bandwidth by ~2n
  18. What else?
Or is the scenario 20 students in a classroom all hitting the same cell tower upon command by the instructor?

Due to your occupation, I expect you're quite familiar with all that. Sometimes making the whole list can help. The vagueness of the initial post makes an on target response a challenge. I'm guessing there is contractual or law enforcement basis for the lack of information, perhaps as benign as a nondisclosure agreement.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-03-03 at 15:04
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