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Cisco will ride the 802.11ac Wave2

If you recall, back in the early days of 802.11n, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) rolled out the 802.11n certification program in phases.  Here we are several years later and in that same fashion, the WFA has split the IEEE 802.11ac specification into two certification phases: Wave 1 and Wave 2.

Last week we announced the availability of our 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the 3600 Access Point and along with that, our intention to develop an 802.11ac adaptive radio module that will support the second phase of 802.11ac, or Wave 2. Most of the 802.11ac discussion in the last year has been focused on Wave 1, so we want to kick off the conversation about the second phase, Wave 2.

80211ac1
If Wave 1 promises increased wireless performance to address the increasing demand for higher performance including growing number of clients demanding higher performance for applications such as HD video streaming, then Wave 2 will stun you with its ability to provide even more throughput beyond the 1.3Gbps that Wave 1 provides as well as a number of other features that will further improve wireless connectivity. It is like taking a really good rock song and adding more cowbell to it.

SNL jokes aside, with the additional features packaged in Wave 2 comes the opportunity for further innovation in Cisco’s Wireless portfolio. We feel that it is important to stay ahead of the technology curve so that customers can plan and benefit from these advances sooner rather than later. So let’s discuss what features are coming with 802.11ac Wave 2. Read More »

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Harsh Wireless Environment? Not a Problem.

It’s a fact – everyone wants wireless access.  Recent research indicates that by 2015, more US internet users will be accessing the internet over their mobile devices than on traditional computers.   With that many people online and on their mobile devices not having stable, secure wireless access is surely an impediment for companies as well as every day users. Companies leverage mobile devices to enable a more efficient workforce. Mobile devices are used to leverage “always-on” applications, increasing access for employees and as a better means of time management. Both of which increase employee productivity.  Companies also often rely on their wireless network for regulating employee safety.  Such is the case for the iron manufacturing company, North American Hoganas Inc.

With 11 production facilities across four continents in eight countries including the United States, where it staffs 250 employees, North American Hoganas Inc. needed to deploy an end-to-end wireless network in order to keep up with market demands and target new operational efficiencies.  Up to the minute communication is vital not only for business operations, but also for the safety of their plant employees.  Updating employees on risk assessments, proper product handling techniques, and work schedules are just some examples of mission-critical, daily communication from management to employees.  There was one problem that stood between North American Hoganas Inc and a successfully deploying a pervasive wireless network: North American Hoganas Inc. itself.

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Application Visibility & Control: CleanAir at the Applications Level

October 8, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

The Problem:

There are many challenges IT managers face on a daily basis. As the proliferation of user devices and the growth in business, personal and collaborative applications continue to grow, almost exponentially, these challenges only make the job of an IT manager harder. For instance, imagine what goes through the mind of an IT administrator who is responsible for helping a hospital and medical school get a handle on device and application growth and usage:

  • Is a guest or patient downloading movies using Bit-Torrent –in other words, stealing valuable airtime away from my mission-critical applications?
  • My network supports a mixed use of guests, employees and vendors/doctors. Without prioritizing applications on the network, employees risk losing productivity and response time to patients, insurance providers, labs. Can I prioritize business-class applications such as Cisco Webex/Jabber and de-prioritize the applications such as Netflix?
  • Who are my top 10 users and the top 10 upstream and downstream applications? Can I save a detailed report of all application flows in my network for compliance purposes?
  • The number of devices, number of users is exploding, and use of video is growing 50% year over year. Should I add more access points in my auditorium or conference room areas? Or should I upgrade to 802.11ac for more capacity?

Enter Cisco Application Visibility Control(AVC) integrated into wireless infrastructure.

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MSE Blog Series Part 1: How to Optimize Your CleanAir Experience

This is the first in series of blogs discussing various features of the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), an integral, yet often overlooked component that can turbocharge your existing interference detection capabilities. This post describes MSE and how it can help locate interference in your wireless network.

So you have a CleanAir Solution comprised of top-grade, enterprise-class Cisco access points and controllers: finally, a network of minimized interference.

But what happens when a rogue device intrudes on your peaceful network? How can you maintain crisp, fast wireless performance?

Luckily for you, the enterprise-class wireless experience enabled by CleanAir technology can be further enhanced and maintained with Cisco’s Mobility Services Engine (MSE).

MSE is a platform on which you can run services like Context Aware Service (CAS), Wireless Intrusion Prevention Service (wIPS), and Mobile Concierge, all of which are services that can help in monitoring your wireless infrastructure. Designed to integrate with existing CleanAir infrastructure, MSE is a ground-breaking technology that allows network administrators to achieve extremely high quality, interference-less wireless performance.

How exactly does it do this?

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Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Cisco Wireless Network for the Apple iPhone 5 & Other Dual Band Smartphones

Last week Apple dominated tech headlines when it announced details of the iPhone 5. With its release today, thousands of fans will line up across the globe to be the first to try the new smartphone.

There have been a number of iPhone improvements, but the one I find significant is the fact that the iPhone 5 will have dual band Wi-Fi. This means that in addition to supporting the 2.4GHz band, it will now support the 5GHz band. Why is this significant? Well, the iPhone joins a number of other smartphone vendors who now have products capable of operating in both the 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) and 802,11a/n (5GHz) Wi-Fi bands. Other vendors that stack up include Samsung’s Galaxy S III and HTC’s One X.

Why is this 5GHz important? There is certainly nothing wrong with the 2.4GHz band. Both bands are unlicensed in most regions of the world. However, with the proliferation of devices due to the growing BYOD trend, the 2.4GHz band is getting real crowded. Remember: the 2.4GHz band only has 3 non-overlapping channels available. Think about it: all these devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and access points are competing for the available bandwidth while interference increases.  In short, the 2.4GHz band just doesn’t have enough capacity for all these competing devices.

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