Many network engineers recall the iOS7 update on September 18, 2013 as one of the most historic download days of their network’s history. All the more reason for us in the wireless world who anxiously anticipated the September 17 release of iOS8.
We asked a few of our customers to monitor the effect of the software release on their networks and the results for the first two days are in. Those in the education and healthcare space in particular are filled with early adopters of WiFi technology and devices, and eager to get their hands on the latest updates.
Joe Rogers, Associate Network Director at the University of South Florida shared this picture with us from 1pm September 17th, showing 1 Gbps more traffic than he would normally see at this time of day:
Another customer, Greg Sawyer, Manager of Infrastructure Services, shared this picture of the iOS8 effect on his network at the UNSW Australia.
He noted that his experience handling the release this year felt smoother than last year, despite the new peak internet download of 4.65 Gbps and 21Tb downloaded for the day! Not too surprising when considering that there were 27,000 concurrent connections on the wireless network and approximately 60% of those being Apple devices.
How should organizations be considering and handling these network spikes? I sat down with Cisco technical leaders Matt MacPherson and Chris Spain (@Spain_Chris) to get some insight on the effect of big updates like iOS8 on the wireless network. Here are some of the highlights of what we discussed:
The World We Live In
The truth is, more and more services are being moved to the cloud—a cloud that will push updates to millions & in the future billions of users and devices on our networks. Read More »
Tags: #80211ac, 11ac, 8.0, 802.11, 802.11ac, 802.11n, aireOS, Akamai, Android, App, Apple, application, bandwidth, best practice, Burst, business-critical, byod, byte, cache, Cisco, cloud, control, design, device, engineer, fix, Gbps, guide, infrastructure, internet, IOS, ios8, iphone, iphone 6, iphone6, IT admin, IT administration, itunes, mbps, mixpanel, mobile, mobility, network, operation system, OS, patch, peak, pervasive, policy, protocol, protocol pack 11, release, secure, security, services, signal, TB, technology, throughput, unsw, update, USF, visibility, WAN, wi-fi, wide area network, wifi, wireless
Location-based services have been getting a lot of attention lately and people are increasingly curious about how Wi-Fi and beacons play together in the hot space that is indoor location technology. In my last blog I reviewed how beacons work and how to differentiate when to use Wi-Fi and beacons. There’ve been some great questions about beacon technology and how it complements Cisco’s location-based Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so I want to follow up on these topics with everyone.
What types of beacons are there?
Generally, there are two different classes of beacons: transmit only and backhaul enabled.
Transmit only beacons are exactly as they sound -- they simply transmit information to anyone that is capable of hearing (bluetooth enabled smartphones). They do not receive or pass any data or information upstream.
Apple’s iBeacon is the best example of this type of BLE beacon. You can think of them like the navigational beacons used by airplanes when on approach to major airports. The beacon doesn’t even know the plane is there, but the plane is aware of the beacon and knows where the beacon is allowing it to take the correct action. Same is true for smartphones and transmit only beacons like iBeacon -- the intelligence is located in the mobile application which must recognize the beacon and take appropriate action.
Backhaul enabled beacons generally include a Wi-Fi chipset for either management or data capabilities. Some backhaul enabled beacons are USB enabled and take advantage of whatever connectivity exists within the PC they are connected. Read More »
Tags: access, analytics, Apple, beacon, BLE, bluetooth, byod, Cisco, cmx, consumer, customer, deployment, device, dimension, Enterprise, GPS, granular, Guest, healthcare, ibeacon, indoor, Indoor location, IT, lbs, line-of-business, location, location based services, marketing, mobility, mse, network, operation, productive, productivity, proximity, retail, sales, tag, technology, track, tracking, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
This fall your wireless networks will experience many devices upgrading to the new Android 5.0(L-release) and Apple iOS 8 releases (cue: IT managers groan). There have now been many blogs attempting to capture the enhancements expected with these releases. Today I am going to focus on describing how Android L and iOS 8 may affect customers deploying Cisco enterprise grade Wi-Fi networks based upon our research and testing of the Apple seed. Our verdict: Carry on with business as usual.
Here are four features we predict will have the most impact your networks:
1. Chromecast and Google Cast Enhancements (Android L)
Rishi Chandra, the Director of Chromecast Product Management announced that, starting with the Android L release, users have the ability to cast to your neighboring devices such as a TV without having to connect to your Wi-Fi network. In the demo, a phone used the cellular connection to connect to chromecast through the cloud. A variety of techniques are used to authenticate the users in the same room OR use a pin-code as an alternative. Users can Google Cast an ecosystem of applications or even their own applications over any Android or iOS device as well as Cloud based apps on Chrome.
Predicted Impact: Given that this feature works transparently to the Wi-Fi, it is expected that there is no impact on the WLAN in your classrooms or dorm rooms or auditoriums where this will most likely be used.
2. Peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback (iOS 8)
Starting with the iOS 7.1 release, AirPlay devices will discover an AppleTV via the bluetooth network. Users could also secure their AppleTV via a 4 digit pin-code. With the iOS 8 release, Airplay devices can also mirror their content via Airdrop. This feature offers an alternative method for customers to discover and mirroring of Bonjour traffic without accessing the corporate Wi-Fi network.
Predicted Impact: Again this feature operates transparent to the Wi-Fi and therefore customers using this feature should not see any impact on the WLAN. Cisco wireless customers also have the ability to use the Service Discovery Gateway on Cisco IOS based switches, routers or wireless LAN controllers or the Bonjour Services Directory on AireOS controllers. Read More »
Tags: 5.0, 802.11, airdrop, aireOS, airplay, App, Apple, appleTV, application, authenticated, AVC, bluetooth, Bonjour, bonjour services directory, calling, cellular, chrome, chromecast, Cisco, client, client mix, cloud, controller, customer, deployment, enhancement, Enterprise, Google, HDX, health, interference, IOS, ios 8, ios8, LAN, location, mac, mac address, mdns, meraki, messaging, Mission Critical, mse, network, optimized, peer-to-peer, QoS, radio management, release, roaming, Rogue, Service Provider, SP, Voice, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
As you may have read, Apple’s iOS 8 will come with some changes to the way MAC addresses are exposed in Wi-Fi probe requests. Apple’s intent was to provide an additional layer of privacy for consumers and target those companies that offer analytics without providing any value to the end consumer. We’ve been getting some questions about what this means and how it impacts our Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so we wanted to clear this up for our customers.
What does this mean for you?
First and foremost, Cisco has always been dedicated to privacy for our customers and their end-users. There are four aspects of privacy that are built into our CMX solution:
1. Anonymous Aggregate Information: All analytics are based on aggregate, anonymized location data.
2. Permission-based: Users have to opt-in to join a Wi-Fi network or download an app
3. MAC Address Hash: Users’ MAC addresses can be hashed before exposing to 3rd party apps
4. Opt Out: End-users are always presented with the option to opt out of location-based services
The true value of CMX analytics for organizations is in aggregate location data to be used for business analysis to improve the customer experience for end-users. Providing customers with high performing Wi-Fi not only keeps always-on mobile users happy and opens the doors to delighting customers with more personalized experiences, but also helps provide more granularity to those aggregate trends to feed back into the experience creation machine. Win-win.
What does this mean for our CMX value proposition? Read More »
Tags: address, aggregate, analysis, analytics, App, Apple, application, Cisco, cmx, connect, consumer, customer, data, download, engage, experience, IOS, ios 8, ios8, lbs, location, location based services, location-based, login, mac, mac address, market, meraki, mobility services engine, mse, network, onboard, permission, Presence, privacy, probe, probe request, services, trend, value, value proposition, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
In just two years, indoor location technology has taken off and attracted a lot of buzz across industries, from retailers to healthcare. But it’s no longer a conversation about just Wi-Fi – the introduction of beacon devices, including iBeacon, has added a new dimension to location technology for IT and their line of business counterparts to grapple with on how to leverage it to better reach their customer base.
Some customers have been asking about beacon technology and how it fits in with Wi-Fi, so let’s start from the beginning:
How do beacons work?
Beacons are sensors that send out Bluetooth low energy (BLE) tracking tags. These sensors can be placed around a venue, such as a store, and a mobile device can pick up the BLE signal and determine that it is in close proximity. When a mobile app is built off of this technology, it can be used in interesting ways to interact with the end user, such as notifying a customer of a promotion for an item they are close to.
I’m having trouble differentiating Wi-Fi and beacons. What do I need to know? Read More »
Tags: access, analytics, Apple, beacon, BLE, bluetooth, byod, Cisco, cmx, consumer, customer, deployment, device, dimension, Enterprise, GPS, granular, Guest, healthcare, ibeacon, indoor, Indoor location, IT, lbs, line-of-business, location, location based services, marketing, mobility, mobility services engine, mse, network, operation, productive, productivity, proximity, retail, sales, tag, technology, track, tracking, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan