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6 Tips for High Density Network Design

The guys from No Strings Attached Show just published their podcast we sponsored featuring Jim Florwick yesterday and already the verdict is in: Jim Florwick is awesome.

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to download the podcast yet (What are you waiting for?! Download  podcast) or you have a few extra minutes to scan a short blog to decide whether or not you want to download the podcast, I asked Jim what his key takeaways are when it comes to high density design.

Here are Jim Florwick’s 6 tips for HD network design (for the REAL meat, tune into the podcast):

  1. High density client environments are quite common with today’s users being very connected – today’s users are always connected.  With planning, this can be managed quite successfully.  Understand the limitations, be aware of how legacy requirements will affect the outcome, and set expectations accordingly. Efficiency is key and removing some of the blockers (legacy) first is essential.
  2. 802.11ac represents another quantum leap forward in technology and will eventually allow a much richer user experience.   It is a transition that must be managed and balanced against your current mission requirements.  Evaluate channel/bandwidth requirements carefully.  Monitor the mix of client devices operating in your environment and update frequently. Read More »

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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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Top 7 Facts to Know about Cisco HD Experience Technology

Last week, we announced at Interop-NY  our newest Indoor Access Point, the Aironet 3700 Series. This access Point includes an integrated 802.11ac radio and is the first and only access point to support a 4×4 MIMO on 802.11ac. This latest Wi-Fi Standard will provide wireless networks better performance and coverage, and address the demand for client access including 802.11ac enabled clients.  Whether you are in Higher Education, K-12, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail or other verticals, we are seeing our customers across industries face the same challenges: more users coming onto the network, more users bringing more devices, more devices that are only wireless connectivity (no Ethernet port), more security, OS and application updates on each of those devices. All this drives the larger problem of high density.

Enter the Cisco HD Experience Technology. Available on the new Aironet 3700 Series Access Points, the Cisco High Density Experience or “HD Experience” Technology is a suite of solutions serving up a feature set designed specifically to alleviate the introduction of more clients, bandwidth hungry applications and high density network strain in order to provide an unparalleled user experience.

Here are the top 7 facts to know about Cisco HD Experience Technology:

1. HD Experience Technology is a suite of solutions only available on the AP3700 that helps  OPTIMIZE performance, mitigation, scalability and roaming for High Client Density networks

2. HD Experience is a hardware-based solution on a WiFi chipset designed BY and FOR CISCO. This is *not* software features based on merchant silicon WiFi chipset. HD Experience includes…

3. CleanAir 80 MHz, where Cisco fundamentally retooled the award-winning CleanAir technology to provide the same level of granularity and accuracy of RF interference detection and mitigation across 802.11ac’s 80 MHz bandwidth…but it also detects and mitigates for 802.11a/b/g/n clients as well. Read More »

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What Not to Miss: Interop NY 2013

Interop New York kicks off today at the Jacob Javits Center. Here’s the short list of what’s coming in the next few days:

Tech Field Day Round Table

Catch the tech deep dive on Cisco enterprise networking and wireless technologies on Tuesday October 1 at 10am EST.

Mobility & BYOD Workshop 

I’ll be live tweeting from the Mobility & BYOD Workshop on Tuesday October 1. Catch the latest from @Cisco_Mobility


See John Chambers speak on the future of networking and the opportunity created by the Internet of Everything, live from the keynote stage on Wednesday October 2nd from 9:00 – 11:00 AM EST.

Unified Access Momentum Launch Event 

On Thursday October 3 from 1-2pm EST, we will introduce Cisco’s lateest business-changing network innovations. We will unveil new products and solutions that enable you to expand business applications to more places with Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences. Space is limited and registration is required.

If you are not going to the show, we will also be broadcasting it live.

Cisco Booth #409

Join us for demos, theater sessions, and Meet the Expert! We’ll be keeping updates on Twitter via @Cisco_Mobility


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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 4×4 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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