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Miercom Agrees: Cisco Controllers with Dynamic Bandwidth Selection are the Tops

Cisco recently introduced another addition to its Radio Resource Management (RRM) algorithm – Dynamic Bandwidth Selection (DBS). Previously, controllers only had the ability to automatically assign channels and power levels, while the AP channel widths were manually assigned for each AP Group. A choice of 20MHz, 40MHz, or 80MHz channel widths were offered within the Access Point (AP) groups, allowing for the APs to all be on the same chosen channel width. With the addition of DBS, the APs can now be automatically assigned to individual channel widths. This allows the radio resources more opportunities to fine-tune the network according to changing RF conditions for higher granularity.

Independent testing company Miercom recently carried out a full scale RRM testing to run Cisco’s DBS RRM against Aruba’s Adaptive Radio Management (ARM). This testing was performed to validate and benchmark the best-in-class radio resource management feature in Enterprise Wireless. The RRM testbed was designed to achieve real world apples-to-apples comparison between the Cisco 5520 controller with five AP 2702i against the Aruba 7210 controller with five AP 225.

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The result was a runaway win for the Cisco controllers over Aruba.

RRM is a vital element for strong performance and reliability of a wireless network. RRM involves intelligent management of the channels and power transmission of AP radios based on the environment Radio Frequency (RF) conditions. Cisco introduced RRM on its WLAN Controllers in 2005, and since then has been an industry pioneer in automatic AP channel and power management. Cisco’s RRM has evolved over the last decade to become one of the most important WLAN features. RRM is especially helpful for high-density networks where scores of APs need to assign the best possible channel and power plans. These channels and power plans create minimum RF interference and maximum RF performance.

Miercom independently verified the functionality of both the RRM and ARM over a period of several days to analyze the overall performance impact on the network. They observed each controller with different channel width conditions ranging from 20MHz to 80MHz. Typically the radio management algorithms for both RRM and ARM take a few hours to zero-in on what is considered to be the best channel and power plan by the respective vendor controller. Miercom allowed each test setup a period of 12 hours to settle down to the best possible AP channel and power plan. Read More »

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Love Wi-Fi? Tune in for #WFD7 this Friday

Tomorrow’s a special #WirelessWednesday, hats off to the folks working hard at Tech Field Day for kicking off the SEVENTH installment of Wireless Field Day. It’s an exciting time  for the industry to give the delegates and the world wide web of Wi-Fi enthusiasts a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the latest technologies, and we are ready to put on a show.

This year, Cisco will host Wireless Field Day 7 delegates at the Cisco Meraki San Francisco office this Friday.

We will be spending 2 hours discussing the forefront of Wireless technology with Cisco thought leaders. Here is a sneak peek of what will be covered.

  • Latest updates on the Cisco Meraki MR product line.
  • Deep dive into the Cisco Meraki traffic analytics algorithm; how it works and how it scales for large deployments.
  • Deep dives into MU-MIMO and RX-SOP; what they are and how they work
  • Discussion on 802.11ac and where it’s going.

The show will start at 9:30am PST. We’ll be on Twitter with #WFD7 and streamed live on the TechFieldDay website. Tune in Friday to hear updates on the future of wireless networking.

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Third Time’s A Charm: Cisco is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure Again!

Gartner has released their 2014 Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Infrastructure.  For the 3rd year in a row, Cisco is recognized as a leader in both vision and execution.  We believe this Gartner recognition is validation of Cisco strategy and investments for unified access, policy management and cloud managed solutions.

Cisco’s position in the Wired and Wireless Gartner MQs has been consistent over the past 3 years as the market landscape has shifted we believe validating our commitment to meeting shifting customer priorities and requirements.

Qartner Magic Quadrant 2014
This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The complimentary copy of the Gartner document is available to view here.

The 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure (Authors: Tim Zimmerman, Andrew Lerner, Bill Menezes; Published 26th June 2014) reflects the evolution from prior years and highlights what customers are looking for:

With limited growth in IT resources, administrators require one network management application, one access security solution, one guest access application or one policy enforcement solution with the flexibility to be deployed in a public cloud, private cloud or on-premises. This integration reduces the costs associated with the upfront capital expense of multiple network service applications each dedicated to either the wired infrastructure or the wireless or cloud components. This savings is also extended to the ongoing software maintenance costs of all access layer management, security and policy enforcement components.”

What Does Being a Leader Mean?  Read on for the full story Read More »

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Miercom: Cisco Aironet AP3702i

Cisco’s newest 802.11ac product, the Aironet 3700 Series Access Point is now orderable and shipping in the next few weeks.  The AP 3700 features an integrated 11ac radio with a 4×4 architecture and Cisco’s High-Density Experience (HDX) Technology.  HDX is a suite of features specific to the AP 3700 that delivers the best possible user experience, especially in high client density networks.  HDX is enabled by a combination of  hardware and software features on the AP 3700, features including:

  • CleanAir 80 MHz – Interference detection and mitigation
  • ClientLink 3.0 – RF link quality
  • Smart Roam – Intelligent roaming handoff
  • Turbo Performance – Performance with high client density

Aruba recently launched their 802.11ac access point, the AP-220 series, featuring a 3×3 design.

Miercom recently published a third-party evaluation of the performance between the AP 3702i and the AP-225.  The report consists of a diverse range of test cases meant to gauge real-world performance of the access points.  The tests include; multi-client performance, single client rate vs. range, performance in the presence of interference, and performance on reduced power.  Here are some of the highlights from the report.

Multi-Client Performance

The AP 3700 performed very well in the multi-client performance test, thanks impart to HDX Turbo Performance.  With 60 clients, the AP 3702i had a 6x performance advantage over the AP-225.  The AP-225 struggled to serve all the clients and only mustered 40 Mbps total.  The AP 3702i was able to transmit a healthy 236 Mbps, while maintaining fair throughput to each client.

The test consisted of 60 11ac clients, all associated to the 5 GHz radio.  The clients used were 10 Dell E6430 laptops with Broadcom 4360 three spatial-stream chips, 20 Apple Macbook Air two spatial-stream laptops, and 30 Dell E6430 laptops with Intel 7260 two spatial-stream chips.  Clients were setup in an open office environment surrounding the AP.  Distances varied from 10’ to 50’.

1-Mulit-Client Read More »

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Keeping the Momentum with Business-Relevant Wi-Fi Solutions

Can you remember life without Wi-Fi? Mobility is an integrated part of our daily lives – from how we operate as a mobile user or consumer to how we conduct business. And as Cisco continues to focus on architectures and solutions that transform our customers’ businesses, our Wi-Fi business soars: in last week’s Q3 earnings, we reported a 27 percent increase in year-over-year revenue and a 200% increase in sales of Service Provider Wi-Fi. We’ve now seen 6 out of 7 quarters of Wi-Fi growth, and we continue to be the clear industry leader.

We’ve made exciting new announcements in wireless – the industry’s first edition of the 802.11ac module; extending our portfolio for a cloud-managed offering with the acquisition of Meraki; and unveiling several marquees customer deployments.

One of the truly differentiated ways Cisco is delivering business-relevant solutions is extending the Unified Access architecture through the Connected Mobile Experiences solution. This solution embodies Cisco’s commitment to deliver relevance to line of businesses by shifting the network to a revenue enabler that creates meaningful Wi-Fi user experiences and increases business efficiency.

The Connected Mobile Experiences solution uses Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure– access points, controllers, Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and management – to detect, connect, and engage end users and to provide unique insight to venue owners through location analytics.

cmx1 Read More »

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