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HDX Blog Series #4: Optimized Roaming

Editor’s Note: This is the last of a four-part deep dive series into High Density Experience (HDX), Cisco’s latest solution suite designed for high density environments and next-generation wireless technologies. For more on Cisco HDX, visit www.cisco.com/go/80211ac.  Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here.

If you’ve been a long time user of Wi-Fi, at some point you have either observed someone encounter (or have personally suffered from) so called “sticky client syndrome”. In this circumstance, a client device tenaciously, doggedly, persistently, and stubbornly stays connected to an AP that it connected to earlier even though the client has physically moved closer to another AP.

Surprisingly, the reason for this is not entirely…errr…ummm…unreasonable. After all, if you are at home, you don’t want to be accidentally connecting to your neighbor’s AP just because the Wi-Fi device you’re using happens to be closer to your neighbor’s AP than to your own.

However, this behavior is completely unacceptable in an enterprise or public Wi-Fi environment where multiple APs are used in support of a wireless LAN and where portability, nomadicity, or mobility is the norm. In this case, the client should typically be regularly attempting to seek the best possible Wi-Fi connection.

Some may argue that regularly scanning for a better Wi-Fi connection unnecessarily consumes battery life for the client device and will interrupt ongoing connectivity. Therefore the “cure is worse than the disease”. But this is true only if the client is very aggressively scanning and actually creates the complete opposite of being “sticky”.

The fundamental issue with “stickiness” is that many client devices simply wait too long to initiate scanning and therefore seeking a better connection. These devices simply insist on maintaining an existing Wi-Fi connection even though that connection may be virtually unusable for anything but the most basic functionality. Read More »

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HDX Blog Series #3: 802.11ac Beamforming At Its Best: ClientLink 3.0

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a four-part deep dive series into High Density Experience (HDX), Cisco’s latest solution suite designed for high density environments and next-generation wireless technologies. For more on Cisco HDX, visit www.cisco.com/go/80211ac.  Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here.

The 802.11ac wireless networking standard is the most recent introduction by the IEEE (now ratified), and is rapidly becoming more accepted and reliable industry standard. The good news is that the client and vendor adoption rate for 802.11ac is growing at a much higher pace as compared to when 802.11n was introduced back in 2009. There has been an accelerated growth seen with the mobile and laptop devices entering the wireless market embedded with an 802.11ac WiFi chipset. Unlike in the past, laptop, smartphone and tablet manufacturers are now acknowledging the fact that staying up to date with the latest Wi-Fi standards is as important for the bandwidth hungry users as having a better camera or a higher resolution display.

With the launch of the new 802.11ac AP 3700, Cisco introduces the Cisco HDX (High Density Experience) Technology. Cisco HDX is a suite of solutions aimed towards augmenting the higher performance, more speed and better client connectivity that 802.11ac standard delivers today.

ClientLink 3.0 features as an integral part of Cisco HDX technology designed to resolve the complexities that comes along with the new BYOD trend driving the high proliferation of 802.11ac capable devices.

So what is ClientLink 3.0 technology and how does it work?

ClientLink 3.0 is a Cisco patented 802.11ac/n/a/g beamforming technology Read More »

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HDX Blog Series #2: Scaling with Turbo Performance

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a four-part deep dive series into High Density Experience (HDX), Cisco’s latest solution suite designed for high density environments and next-generation wireless technologies. For more on Cisco HDX, visit www.cisco.com/go/80211ac.  Read part 1 here

With any new technology comes a new set of obstacles to overcome.  802.11ac is no exception.  Last week we talked about CleanAir for 802.11ac and why spectrum intelligence still matters. Another challenge is scalability. In this post I will give you some details on new HDX feature, Turbo Performance, which allows the AP 3700 overcome common scaling issues to scale amazingly well.

What’s Different with 802.11ac?

802.11ac means higher data rates, which means more packets per second (PPS).  There are three reasons for more PPS with 11ac: wider channels, increased modulation and increased aggregation.  Channel width doubled to 80 MHz, modulation increased from 64 QAM to 256 QAM, and aggregation increased from 64k to 1MB!

With 802.11n, an AP might have had to push 30,000 1500 byte packets per second through the APs data plane. Today with 802.11ac that could now be 75,000+ PPS.  More PPS means more load on the APs CPU, so to really keep up with the demands of 802.11ac, we needed to go back to the drawing board.   Read More »

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Cisco Small Business Online Device Emulators

August 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm PST

How do you get a feel for things? Perhaps a little research online, a review or two, maybe a referral from a friend or co-worker. But big purchases, such as a new car may require more; more information.  So you go to take a test drive. Well, we have something similar to a test drive.

As you may know, it is not often you get a chance to check out how an IT device’s graphical user interface (GUI) looks and feels. Sure you might see a couple of static screen capture and be able to point how the navigation menu is laid out. But beyond that, it is not until the device is purchased and in the installation process, that the real user experience is realized. It’s hard to get a grasp on on the level of complexity for set-up and deployment, let alone configure a VLAN or set-up a secure VPN.

EM page shot

Well, we have offered something better. Our team has delivered a set of device emulators, including switches, access points and routers. You can actually navigate through the actual menus, see how the wizards look and work, and truly get a sense of how easy the small business products are to configure, install, deploy and manage.

Here is what the emulators/GUI’s look like:
Emulator screenshot

wapmain

Small Business Online Device Emulators

You will notice that all of the small business product user interfaces share the same look and feel, as well as similar general navigation principles. With our Small Business product line, we truly take to heart the need for a great user experience and are always looking to make our products easier to use.

Please, leave us a comment or suggestion good, bad or otherwise to help us improve our products.

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Picking a Networking Solution for a Fast-Growing Small Business

June 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm PST

Network Connectivity is a big concern for any size of business, let alone a small, growing business. Picking the right solution to address  growth is a key decision.

There are countless options available to small business owners ranging from asking cousin Jimmy, calling a “computer expert” you found on Yelp, or even a quick Google Search. No doubt, this experience can be a daunting one.

All jokes aside, choosing the right solution can save some money now and in the future. That is where right-sizing your network solution comes into play. It does not take long for a successful, single-person business to transform into a growing small business.  A consumer wireless router could probably do the job for a single person home office adequately. But if you are looking to use your network for more than just accessing the Internet, then the choice is not so obvious.  Now or in the future, you may want to access local network resources remotely and securely, use Voice over IP, or segment your network to securely support guest access.  Moreover, as you grow, business applications become more critical.  They need to be readily available, dependable and always on-line.

This is where the new Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points and RV Series Router come into play.

 

Cisco AP551

Part of a growing small business portfolio, the all-new Cisco WAP551& 561 are perfect wireless solutions for your small business These access points enables small businesses to deliver high-capacity wireless N connectivity and guest access, securely and reliably. Simple yet powerful, it delivers business-class features such as Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with PoE, a captive portal for customized guest access, multiple SSID, VLAN’s and more…

Makes sense right?

But wait! How does the network connect to the WAP’s? First, you need a router. The business-class RV320 is the new flagship in the Cisco Small Business RV Series portfolio.

The Cisco RV320 is a powerful, yet highly secure business class router, offering strong networking performance throughput. Add in business-class features such as dual WAN’s for fail-over and load balancing, an intelligent user interface, USB 3G/4G Broadband failover, and you have a router that will provide years of reliable service.

The last piece of the puzzle is a Cisco’s business class switch that offers power-over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, allowing Access Points to be flexibly optimized for placement. The Cisco SG300 Series of PoE switches offer PoE functionality, with the Security, Quality of Service, Scalability, and Reliability to deliver the best experience for your users. These switches are available in 10 to 52 port configurations.

Cisco SG300 Series

The bottom line is this: Cisco Small Business Products are changing the way you connect your business to the world.

 

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