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Deploying, Testing, and Tuning 802.11ac

By now you’ve probably heard quite a bit about the newest generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac.  I’ll save you the gory details, just know it’s about 3x faster than 802.11n and will help to improve the capacity of your network. Jameson Blandford and I were recently guests on the No Strings Attached Show podcast with Blake Krone and Samuel Clements (Click to listen to the podcast).

I wanted to follow up the podcast with a blog to go over considerations for deploying, testing, and tuning 802.11ac.

Considerations for deploying 802.11ac

Switching infrastructure

The first question you’ll want to ask yourself, is, if your switching infrastructure can handle 11ac?  The answer probably is, yes.  The things to consider are the port speed and power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.  You’ll want the access point to have a gigabit uplink to the switch.  Each 11ac access point could potentially dump several hundred megabits per second of traffic onto your wired network.  It’s also not a bad idea to have 10 Gig uplinks on your access switches to distribution or your core.  If you have even just a couple access points on a single access switch, you may quickly find yourself wishing you had 10 Gig uplinks.

Next you’ll need to consider how you will power the access points.  If you are like the majority of our customers, you will use PoE from your switches.  While 11ac access points require 802.3at (PoE+) for full functionality, the Aironet 3700 will run happily on standard 802.3af PoE.  In fact, it remains 3 spatial-streams on both radios, so performance does not suffer because you have a PoE infrastructure.

Will you deploy 80 MHz channels? Read More »

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IoE: Dead or Alive on Wireless

September 12, 2013 at 2:51 am PST

When we examine the average wireless client on a network today, we see a few options. There is the smartphone, the tablet, or the laptop. Even the Apple TV and Roku are often based off of similar technology and chipsets. All of these devices connect to a wide range of services, often consuming large amounts of bandwidth: we stream music while we browse; we video chat with friends, family, and coworkers across the globe; catch up on our favorite shows or sports teams. Occasionally, we do all of these things at the same time.

Our current wireless networks are built to handle this type of traffic. With 802.11AC, it is clear that we will be ready for anything that our standard client will encounter in the near future.  But what happens when the standard client model is broken?  The increasing shift to an Internet of Everything (IoE) forces us to face this question about the future of wireless clients.

There are lots IoE devices already on the market, and the next couple of years will see developments not that dissimilar from those during the “internet revolution” of the late 90′s. Finally, the average user will have the access and the ability to afford the smart homes we have been dreaming of for the past thirty-plus years. Read More »

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Summary: [Cisco Cartoon Catalyst Series] Prime Your Network for the Rise of the Devices

Teachers, students, and staff with their varied wired or wireless gadgets and corresponding application access makes up a daunting sea of devices  for any IT professional, whose responsibility is to provide optimized network performance.

In his latest blog, Prime Your Network for the Rise of the Devices, Cisco’s Rahul Chohan discusses how Cisco Prime Infrastructure, a part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education helps simplify network management and improves operational efficiency with converged wired and wireless management. Rahul’s blog covers how Cisco Prime Infrastructure helps with device management, network performance and IT simplification. How exactly can it do this? You’ll have to read his blog to find out.

Don’t miss our demo-heavy webinar next week on August 21 covering Prime Infrastructure--Register here.

For more on Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education page.


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[Cisco Cartoon Catalyst Series] Prime Your Network for the Rise of the Devices

It’s a nightmare out there. School districts’ wireless networks now have to support teachers, students, and staff – all touting desktops, tablets, smartphones, and/or laptops.  For some in IT, knowing who is accessing what using what on the network (a confusing statement itself) could very well be cosmic chaos; for others, it is simply a black hole of the unknown.


For those IT professionals in the know…life becomes much simpler with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, part of the Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education. Cisco Prime simplifies network management and improves operational efficiency with converged wired and wireless management.  Here are a few ways that Prime Infrastructure makes life easier for IT: Read More »

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Cisco Aironet 3600 AP Passes 1 Million Units Shipped!

Hey folks, I’m back in the blogosphere to make a super exciting announcement.

The Cisco Aironet 3600 Series Access Point with its purpose built best-in-class Wireless performance, industry’s first and only Enterprise Class AP to support 802.11n with 4x4 MIMO architecture, and signature modular design was launched in January 2012 at Cisco Live! London. Cisco was first to market with an 802.11ac wave 1 solution and first to be published with WiFi Alliance certification. Just 18 months since launching, the flagship 3600 AP has now surpassed the ONE MILLION mark in units shipped!

We designed the access point with modular architecture in mind to give our customers more flexibility for upcoming technological innovations in the wireless space. Since the initial launch, we have announced three exciting modules tailored to help our customers meet their wireless needs: Wireless Security and Spectrum Intelligence, 3G Small Cell, and most recently 802.11ac Wave 1. The modules have been extremely successful, having deployed 40K units of the .11ac module and 10K units of the Wireless Security and Spectrum Intelligence module, which speaks volumes about the versatility of the 3600 Access Point. Read More »

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