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A Riddle for Wireless Field Day 7 Delegates: What am I?

August 1st, 2014

_______________ updated with the answer _______________

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In addition to our solid technical agenda, we’ve got some nice surprises planned for the Wireless Field Day 7 delegates. We tweeted a picture of our work-in-progress. Keith Parsons was the first delegate to venture a guess with “Wi-Fi Mancala”.  That was a good try but that’s not quite it.

 

Keith Parsons - Wi-Fi mancala tweet

 

Following are seven clues to help the delegates resolve this Wireless Field Day 7 riddle.

1) It is personalized

2) There is one for each day of the week

3) Helps you relax

4) Smooth and sweet

5) Travel size

6) Better than a t-shirt

7) Works like magic

 

The answer to this Wi-Fi brain teaser will be unveiled during AirTight’s #WFD7 segment.  Addition insight can be found in Wireless Field Day: Are you ready for Lucky Number 7?  As a viewer tuning in, you’ll be able to see which of the delegates manages to solve AirTight’s #WFD7 riddle.  More on AirTight via TechFieldDay archive.

 

Join AirTight for #WFD7 on Wednesday August 6th at 1:30 p.m. PST  (GMT-8)

Join AirTight for #WFD7 on Wednesday August 6th at 1:30 p.m. PST (GMT-8)

 

Wireless Field Day 7 Delegates (WFD7 Delegates are selected by the Field Day Delegate community)

 

WFD7 Delegate Thought Leadership Twitter-
Blake Krone http://blakekrone.com/ @BlakeKrone-
Craig Schnarrs http://thewifiguy.net/six/ @The_WiFi_Guy-
George Stefanick http://www.my80211.com/ @WirelesssGuru-
Glenn Cate http://gcatewifi.wordpress.com/ @GRCate-
Jake Snyder http://transmitfailure.blogspot.com/ @JSnyder81-
Jennifer Huber http://jenniferhuber.blogspot.com/ @JenniferLucille-
Keith R. Parsons http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/ @KeithRParsons-
Lee Badman @WiredNot-
Peter Paul Engelen http://www.peterpaulengelen.com/ @PPJM_Engelen-
Richard McIntosh http://ciscotophat.wordpress.com/ @CiscoTophat-
Samuel Clements http://sc-wifi.com/ @Samuel_Clements-
Stewart Goumans http://wirelessstew.wordpress.com/ @WirelessStew

 

 [YouTube]  Wireless Field Day 7: On the fly wi-fi webcast featuring Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz with Tom Hollinsworth @NetworkingNerd and Stephen Foskett @SFoskett

[YouTube] Wireless Field Day 7: On the fly wi-fi webcast featuring Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz with Tom Hollinsworth @NetworkingNerd and Stephen Foskett @SFoskett

 

 

 

 

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_______________ updated August 8th 2014 _______________

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An interesting suggestion:  Wireless Field Day 8 is on April 1st

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Follow Lee Badman @wirednot

Follow Lee Badman @wirednot

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And the answer is …

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All AirTight Wireless Field Day 7 videos can be viewed via Tech Field Day.

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802.11ac, WiFi Access, Wireless Field Day, Wireless security, WLAN networks, WLAN planning , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Channel Bonding Caveats – Over and Above Spectrum Hogging

July 14th, 2014

Popular literature on 802.11ac describes 40 MHz and 80 MHz operation (channel bonding) as doubling and quadrupling of the data rate, respectively. Every time I saw that mentioned, the following question came to my mind.

When radio transmits over 40 MHz (or 80 MHz) channel, is the total transmit power proportionally increased over 20 MHz to maintain the SNR (signal to noise ratio)? And, how is the data rate multiple with channel boding distributed over the cell?

This question nagged me like a little stone in the shoe that is impossible to ignore. My subsequent findings from the lab tests show that the popular literature is only partially true. Read on to find out why. Read more…

802.11ac, WLAN planning , ,

Management System Diversity: “Manage WLANs from Anywhere Using Anything!”

April 2nd, 2014

by Devin Akin

So much competitive marketing noise has been made over the last half dozen years about managing WLANs that vendors are now trying to manage WLANs from anywhere using everything. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear a vendor say that they can now manage a branch WLAN in France from the comfort of their kitchen’s refrigerator’s management widget. It has gotten downright silly. I thought I would recap just how diverse the WLAN management scene has become: first for a good laugh, and second as a reference for those newcomers to the Wi-Fi industry.

You may be thinking, “why are there so many ways to manage a Wi-Fi system?” There’s a variety of answers to that question, such as:

  • Cost
  • Differing use cases
  • Partner eco-system
  • User preference

Not every vendor provides each of the management methods described below, but rest assured that every vendor will tell you that you don’t need anything other than what they sell. Can I get an amen? Below, I have offered a visual reference of the seven prevalent methods of managing a Wi-Fi infrastructure. It’s important to note that I will not address Wi-Fi client management methodologies in this post.

WLAN-management-diversity

Read more…

WLAN planning , ,

Away from Corner Cases: High Density, Low Throughput Wi-Fi

March 19th, 2014

by Devin Akin

In my blog called Corner Cases, I mentioned that high density, high throughput (HDHT) cases are in the extreme minority (<1%). In this blog, I would like to discuss High Density, Low Throughput (HDLT), which I believe will be the situation that over half of the installed Wi-Fi infrastructures of the world will face at some point over the next 5-7 years. I want to clarify that that when I use the term “high density”, I’m referring to client density (lots of clients in a physical area), not AP density (lots of APs in a physical area).

Unless you’ve been camping out under a rock, you may have heard the term “Internet of Things” or IoT for short. This moniker refers to the movement toward connecting previously-unconnected devices onto the Internet. To clarify, things are being connected to the Internet, thus we get Internet of Things. So how many of these things are we talking about? Oh… a few I suppose. Gartner is saying there will be 26 billion IoT devices and an additional 7.3 billion smartphones/tablets/PCs by 2020.

Read more…

WLAN planning , ,

Corner Cases

February 26th, 2014

by Devin Akin

Most Wi-Fi manufacturer’s marketing departments would have you believe that 99% of all deployments are what I’d call “corner cases.” I call B.S. (as usual).

Here are the high-density/high-throughput (HDHT) corner cases that so many manufacturers would have you believe are so prevalent:

  • Large K-12 and University libraries, cafeterias, lecture halls, and auditoriums
  • Stadium or gymnasium bowls
  • Large entertainment venues (e.g. music and theater halls, night clubs)
  • Trade shows
  • Urban hotspots
  • Airports

Read more…

WLAN planning , ,

11 Commandments of Wi-Fi Decision Making

September 4th, 2013

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Are you considering new Wi-Fi deployment or upgrade of legacy system? Then you should be prepared to navigate the maze of multiple decision factors given that Wi-Fi bake-offs increasingly require multi-faceted evaluation.

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Follow these 11 “C”ommandments to navigate the Wi-Fi decision tree:

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  1. Cost

  2. Wi-Fi CommandmentsComplexity

  3. Coverage

  4. Capacity

  5. Capabilities

  6. Channels

  7. Clients

  8. Cloud

  9. Controller

  10. 11aC, and last but not least …

  11. seCurity!

 

|hemant C tweet

 

Read more…

802.11ac, Best practices, WLAN planning , , , , ,

802.11ac (Wave-1): MORE Network Engineering Insights

June 24th, 2013

802.11ac more engineering insightsIn my previous blog on the 11ac series, I explored 80 MHz channel operation in 802.11ac in the context of data rate, OBSS (Overlapping BSS), network throughput, and auto-channel assignment.

802.11ac (Wave-1): Network Engineering Insights

In the present post, I explore the other speed factor of 1.33X that shows up in the Wave-1 data rate equation: (2.16 x 1 x 1.33) x 450 Mbps of 802.11n rate = 1.3 Gbps. This 1.33X factor is attributed to the new modulation technique called 256-QAM introduced in 802.11ac (802.11n had only upto 64-QAM). Consistent with the theme of this blog series that the data rate equation does not bring out critical network engineering aspects, this post explores 256-QAM from the enterprise network design perspective.

Read more…

802.11ac, WLAN planning

How to implement BYOD with Wi-Fi / WIPS assist

June 18th, 2013

BYOD Bring Your Own Device

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Wi-Fi has become the de facto access medium for smart mobile devices in enterprise networks. Sitting at the edge of the network, Wi-Fi can assist greatly in implementing secure and disciplined BYOD in these networks.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to BYOD management in the enterprise. However, from my experiences working with Wi-Fi and WIPS deployments, I have seen certain features that are particularly useful for organizations in implementing BYOD. This blog post explores some of these in greater detail. |

 

1)      Monitor new devices entering Wi-Fi

 

Monitoring for new smart devices entering the network is a first and important step in the implementation of disciplined BYOD. Wireless clients connecting to Wi-Fi are fingerprinted using packet level and protocol level characteristics to identify smart mobile devices.

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WPA2 alone is not sufficient to stop personal devices from entering the protected Wi-Fi network.

|Monitor new devices entering Wi-Fi

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2) Enforce pre-configured policies on new devices entering Wi-Fi

 

Once a new smart mobile device is detected in the Wi-Fi network, different types of pre-configured policies can be automatically implemented. For example, one policy would be to block or limit access to new smart devices pending authorization. The Wi-Fi/WIPS solution can facilitate such policy enforcement by blocking new devices from accessing the secure network or provide them only limited access (e.g., access to only Guest SSID) until they are approved by IT administrator. |

Devices pending review |

3)      Automated approval/onboarding of new devices on secure Wi-Fi

 

Using mobile apps provided by Wi-Fi/WIPS vendor:  With the rising volume of new devices entering the network, manual approval and inventory may prove to be cumbersome. Using onboarding apps provided by the Wi-Fi/WIPS vendor, this process can be automated. New smart mobile devices are redirected to a portal and upon installation of the onboarding app, devices are allowed to enter the protected Wi-Fi. The onboarding app facilitates automated inventory and tracking for smart devices after they are admitted into the secure network. This app can also automatically configure secure WPA2 settings on the device without administrator intervention.

| Onboarding with AirTight Mobile app

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Using third party MDM agents: Many organizations deploy specialized MDM (Mobile Device Management) systems to manage smart mobile devices accessing corporate assets. Several MDM systems choices are available in the market. So, BYOD onboarding workflow in a Wi-Fi solution that facilitates device onboarding with third party MDM agents is useful. With this workflow, new devices attempting to connect the network without hosting the MDM agent prescribed by IT are detected and redirected to install the MDM agent. Upon installing the MDM agent, they are allowed to enter the protected Wi-Fi. A point to note here is that MDM alone does not complete the BYOD story, combination of MDM and Wi-Fi gatekeeping is what is required. This is because MDM can control only managed devices, but Wi-Fi/WIPS gatekeeping detects unmanaged devices and helps bring them under MDM control. Airtight Wi-Fi provides API to implement this workflow using third party MDM agents.

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4)      Wireless security for the admitted devices

 

Once admitted into the network, the mobile devices need to be afforded strong protection from vulnerable wireless connections and wireless attacks including rogue APs, tethering, personal hotspots, Wi-Phishing, client connections to neighborhood APs, ad hoc connections, etc.  With BYOD, the sheer volume of wireless endpoints seen in the wireless environment is expected to triple or quadruple over next 2-3 years. As a result, fully automated strong WIPS, free from false alarms and not requiring excessive configuration and signature maintenance is needed to be the part of the Wi-Fi solution in order to implement truly secure BYOD. |

As we can see, enterprises can take advantage of many Wi-Fi and WIPS features to implement secure and disciplined BYOD in their networks. These features range from identifying new smart devices entering the network to assist in smooth onboarding of the new devices to securing the new devices once they are admitted into the secure Wi-Fi networks. So don’t get stressed by BYOD, there are Wi-Fi and WIPS to assist you.

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Additional Information:

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BYOD, WLAN planning

802.11ac (Wave-1): Network Engineering Insights

June 6th, 2013

Have you noticed all the buzz on 802.11ac especially now that Wave-1 has arrived?

How could you not!  802.11ac is the new Wi-Fi standard and it has new techniques to increase the wireless data rate above the existing 802.11n standard.

11ac is slated to arrive in two Waves – Wave-1 this year and Wave-2 next year.

At its full potential (Wave-2), the standard is characterized as: 802.11ac max data rate of (4.33 x 2 x 1.33) times the 600 Mbps max data rate of 802.11n, which comes out to be about 6.9 Gbps. The current version (Wave-1), which is commercially limited to 80 MHz channels and 3 spatial streams per AP, the standard is characterized as: 802.11ac max data rate of (2.16 x 1 x 1.33) times the 450 Mbps current data rate of 802.11n, which comes out to be about 1.3 Gbps. It is also important to note that Wave-1 does not have MU-MIMO. The MU-MIMO effect does not explicitly show up in the data rate equations, but it can have profound benefits in practice. |

So what is missing in the above characterization?

| N802.11ac (Wave-1): Network Engineering Insights etwork engineering insights – that’s what is missing!  There are several network engineering nuances which do not show up in the above equations. I will discuss them in a series of blog posts starting with this one. In this initial post, the focus is on the nuances of operating 80 MHz channels in the practical network deployments. These 80 MHz wide channels are responsible for the first multiplicative factor of about 2X in the Wave-1 data rate equation.

Read more…

802.11ac, WLAN planning , , ,

Don’t deploy 802.11ac without thorough RF planning

May 29th, 2013

Wi-Fi RF Planning has never been trivial

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AirTight Planner : the solution to all your RF planning questionsTraditionally, anyone contemplating Wi-Fi deployment has always faced questions like:

  • How many access points?
  • Where do I install them?
  • What channels should they operate on?
  • Will the deployment meet my coverage and capacity objectives?
  • What will be my security exposure?  and so on.

Due to the myriad of issues that need to be addressed while making these determinations, manual processes and rules of thumb have always been cumbersome and/or imprecise, particularly for Wi-Fi deployments with large footprints.

 

802.11ac will only exacerbate RF planning challenges

 

802.11ac adds more elaborate channeling structure and new techniques to raise wireless data rates. 802.11ac is slated to arrive in two Waves – Wave-1 this year and Wave-2 next year. While the decibel level in the market is raised to prematurely hasten the 802.11ac upgrade cycle, the reality is that this is just the beginning of Wave-1. Many people may not see justification to jump on Wave-1 due to a myriad of practical, network engineering, and interoperability issues that Wave-1 faces. Also important is the fact that Wave-1 lacks the complete feature set of  802.11ac and new radios will be required when Wave-2 hits with those features. All this points to Wave-2 next year to be realistic timeline for large scale network upgrade to 802.11ac.

Read more…

802.11ac, WLAN planning