A new year means new users and new devices. More devices means more network crowding. Mobile users demand bandwidth and speed, while the network is increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer number of devices. The networks of today and tomorrow have to be ready for high client density environments.
That’s why we’ve developed the Cisco High Density Experience (HDX). I announced HDX in a blog last October with a high level look at Cisco’s answer to handling high client density environments. Each feature in the HDX solution was designed specifically to alleviate the introduction of more clients, more bandwidth hungry applications to provide an unparalleled user experience.
Starting tomorrow we’ll kick off an HDX blog series to dive deep into the four key features that come with HDX:
Joe Rogers is the Associate Director of Network Engineering for the University of South Florida. He is a graduate of USF’s Computer Science and Engineering program and has worked as a network engineer at USF for the past 20 years. He is currently responsible for all aspects of USF’s network which provides connectivity to over 100k devices across three campuses. He’s held a CCIE routing and switching certification since 1999. When not working, he’s an avid mountain biker (if you can call it “mountain” biking when you live in Florida).
Universities face some of the most complex design challenges in wireless networking. Our user population is highly mobile, bandwidth-hungry, and often simultaneously using at least two wireless devices in rooms with hundreds of their classmates. The wireless network isn’t simply a convenience to them. It’s critical to their educational success as many of the students are taking tests or working on assignments across the network.
At the University of South Florida, we support over 20,000 concurrent wireless users on our network of over 4,000 access points. We have more than 90,000 unique devices registered this semester. Our biggest challenge is designing the wireless network for the device densities in our large classrooms and popular study areas. In these locations, we often have a thousand devices in a few hundred square feet of space.
We heavily rely on band select to place as many devices as possible on 5Ghz where more channels are available. Unfortunately many devices such as older tablets and smart phones simply don’t have an 802.11a/n radio. So we must carefully RF engineer the environment with smaller cells to provide the necessary coverage density. Read More »
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.
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 »
At WWDC this week, Apple announced that their new Macbook and Macbook Air are 802.11ac enabled. As we predicted in our red-hot Client Adoption blog earlier this year, the list of 802.11ac clients, like the new Macbooks and Samsung Galaxy S4, will continue to grow and expand throughout 2013. These devices come with the promise of Gigabit wireless, at faster speeds and better performance. How will your enterprise networks meet those expectations? The Cisco Aironet 3600 with 802.11ac module is your ticket for enterprise-class 802.11ac wireless.
Cisco Aironet 3600 AP with 802.11ac module
The 802.11ac module will make these new clients fly at new higher speeds--3 to 4 times faster than 802.11n. So if you are connecting your new Apple device to an Enterprise Network supporting Cisco’s 3600 AP with the 802.11ac module, you will be able to get some of the highest bandwidth rates ever seen out of your Wi-Fi network which will open the opportunity for better quality video streams, better online collaboration and the support of more high-bandwidth demanding applications. Check out the Aironet 3600 here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps13128/index.html
Can’t get enough of 802.11ac? Neither can we. Read More »
In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, we hear from VMware’s Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) and Chuck Hirstius (@rexremus) as they discuss how to Be Kind to Your Protocol, including solutions to common problems and the art of tuning.
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
Practice drawing unicorns
Andre Leibovici and Chuck Histrius on Engineers Unplugged at VMworld Barcelona.
Do you agree with Andre and Chuck? Are you being kind to your protocol? Find more information on Chuck’s blog and Andre’s blog. Post a comment or a question here, or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter or Facebook.