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Not All 802.11ac AP’s are Created Equal: Demand the Full Story

It’s always interesting and often entertaining to observe how competitors promote their products and what they choose to focus on—and more importantly, what they choose not to focus on and what they hope people won’t ask questions about.

Consider yet again how a competitor chooses to position their “purpose built” AP vs. the Cisco Aironet 3700 802.11ac Access Point Series.

This competitor frequently (and somewhat obsessively) points out that its 802.11ac AP has dual “active” 800 MHz cores while the Cisco AP3700 has only one “active” 800 MHz core. This is not completely true since it completely overlooks the fact that the Cisco AP3700 also has a dedicated CPU core and DSP for each radio subsystem.

Furthermore, it also overlooks that the dual “active” cores in the competitor’s AP share 512 MB of DRAM. The single “active” core of the AP3700 has dedicated 512 MB of DRAM. Also each radio subsystem has a dedicated 128 MB DRAM (for 768 MB total DRAM in the AP3700).

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Why is all of this important? Read More »

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Cisco’s 802.11ac Portfolio Expands with the New Cisco Aironet 2700 AP

As a Product Manager there is some anxiety but more of an excitement around introducing a platform to the market. Today I am proud to be part of Cisco team that is  bringing to market the Cisco Aironet 2700 Series Access Point.  What it offers is a tremendous amount of power at a very attractive price point.  

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We all know Wi-Fi is here to stay and is expanding all around us rapidly. That need for speed is exciting.  But what does that mean? Not everyone feels comfortable being on the cutting edge. Many of our customers are not as concerned about chasing the future and have more limited budgets that they hesitate to put down for the best AP knowing there are lower priced options.  At the same time, everyone is aware technology moves ahead with or without you, so they don’t want to give up lot of the new capabilities by going totally to the other extreme of not upgrading at all.  What they want is something that’s going to last for a while that gives them the advantages available today, but not have to invest a lot to get it. I equate this to buying something like a car.  A year ago when I was in the market to buy a new car I didn’t want to sacrifice whole lot of options but if there was one or two options that I could give up in order to save a bit of money, I was okay with that.

This is similar to what Cisco is offering with Aironet 2700 Series.  Customers have to choose something that they can utilize in their network that is better than any of the competitive solutions out there, truly built-for-purpose, sleek design on the outside yet tough on the inside and very powerful. Read More »

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Not All 802.11ac AP’s are Created Equal: Built-for-Purpose vs. Purpose-Built

As more and more 802.11ac devices come to the market this year, businesses need to make sure the best possible 802.11ac wireless infrastructure gets deployed to make sure those 802.11ac end points are performing at both the best possible data rates and application throughputs to maximize the move to  802.11ac.

Cisco’s Aironet 3700 with HDX Technology does just that. If you’re thinking that the 3700 is just another 802.11ac AP,  think again: not all 802.11ac AP’s are created equal.

To demonstrate this, let’s take a Cisco 3700 access point..

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When you open a Cisco AP, you will see dedicated memory (RAM) on the radio chipset itself (one on the 2.4 GHz radio, another on the 5 Ghz radio) to ensure the RF packets get processed “onboard” each radio instead of “offboard” in order to reduce latency and any packet processing collision from memory contention on the AP. Additional packet processing can be handled  on the “offboard” memory that is part of the network processor portion of the AP platform as well. This unique, innovative ASIC-based Wi-Fi chipset by Cisco exemplifies the built-for-Purpose design, and is the hallmark of Cisco’s 3700 Series AP.

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Contrast this with the competitive landscape that claims to be Purpose-Built, but in reality is leveraging off-the-shelf merchant silicon-based 802.11ac WiFi chipsets. Read More »

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How the World’s Most Advanced Network Processor is Making the Internet of Everything Possible

Over the last 30 years the Internet has transformed multiple times. Most of us take it for granted these days. We expect to watch videos on Netflix, run our meetings over WebEx, talk to our friends across the globe on Skype, and have access whether we’re at work, home, or on the go. But we forget that the Internet wasn’t originally built for this – it’s been barely 20 years since email, the World Wide Web, and always-on network access have become realities. The changes have occurred at a dizzying pace.

In the beginning the only way to handle the work of the Internet – routing and forwarding packets – was by using general-purpose computer chips. This didn’t last long as the explosive growth in network bandwidth drove Cisco and other infrastructure providers to use more customized silicon. Indeed, Cisco’s market success was driven in large part by our ability to offer industry-leading solutions with the best combination of price, performance, and capabilities. This in turn was fueled by Cisco’s use of internally developed network silicon using advanced ASIC development models ahead of competitors who continued to rely on general purpose CPUs or FPGAs to power their products.

Now the Internet is on Read More »

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On Converged Access & Wireless Controller 5760: A Screenplay

At Cisco Live London, Cisco unveiled  Wired & Wireless convergence, along with its associated products, the Wireless LAN Controller 5760 and the Catalyst Switch 3850 with built-in Wireless Controller. While on the expo floor explaining the newly introduced ‘converged access’ to our customers, I had some interesting conversations that I thought might be cool to share with you. There may be some paraphrasing here, but if my conversation became a screenplay, it would have looked like this:

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The Cisco Live! London expo show floor is throbbing with excitement, customers browse the many demos that are around the World of Solutions arena.

NAT, Wireless Controller 5760 Product Manager, stands at a demo booth with the new controller.

CUSTOMER 1 ambles over.

CUSTOMER 1

I heard about the converged access and it sounds very interesting. Why should I consider 5760 controller?

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Do you have bandwidth hungry applications such as video / multimedia  applications used by your wireless users?

Read More »

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