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Wireless Security and Monitoring via the Cisco Aironet 3600 Expansion Module

A recent highway project in Orlando had proposed that an off-ramp be built for a future neighborhood and development center. Because the area was planned for future development, this caused some debate within the community. Some argued that that there was no point to spending money on something that might not be possible in the future. Others argued that it was good idea to build the off-ramp and spend the money now so when the neighborhood and development center was ready, a cost savings would occur since building it now would save money in the future. Both sides have good arguments and after some healthy debate, the off-ramp was built for the future neighborhood and development center, which both are now thriving.

Well, what does this have to do with Cisco and wireless technology? This is a good example of how the 3600 Access Point was designed. Even with the pressures of time to market and cost management, the development team took the extra time to add the option for future modular expansion. The same debates in the Orlando community took place here between development engineering and product management. “It will cost too much and delay the release of the product (especially in an industry where time to market is essential)” versus “Let’s have modularity so we can address whatever future technology is available so our customers can take advantage of it without having to rip & replace their APs”. We like to say we’re “future proofing” the AP.

Well, the future proofing argument won, and the 3600 was released last January with an expansion module for additional features and emerging technology. Already in May  we announced the 802.11ac Radio Module that will support the emerging standard.

Now, we have another addition to this expansion: the Security and Monitor Module. Read More »

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BYOD on a University Campus: A Student’s Perspective

There is a new generation of college students out there, I would know as I recently was one of them.  Information being at your fingertips is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  Professors’ expectations of their students have increased dramatically due to the wealth of information on mobile devices.  Every class I attended leveraged some form of wireless access to the web.  Instant message in response to real-time questions and online submissions are just two of many examples of how network access has been integrated into the education system.  Professors would consistently use online tools such as online drop boxes for projects and web conferencing tools.  According to MarketWire 92% of college students feel a laptop is a necessity, this indicates that the requirement of mobile access at a university is a given and the college experience is defined by the ease of that access. 

Professors are on tight schedules and are generally available only at certain times of the day.  Imagine- wanting to contact a professor during open hours only to fall short because your laptop had difficulty getting any kind of connection.  I remember the frustrations of wanting to revisit PowerPoint presentations on a class website in the library, only to realize that I was sitting by the one window notorious for being a wireless dead zone.  Dorms were infamous for spotty coverage.  Having the dorm room located closest to the access point for best access was purely by luck of the draw.  I was not so lucky.  In my dorm, you would not get any wireless access unless you were sitting right next to the hallway.  That’s why I am especially envious of the students of Colorado University, whose alma mater upgraded to enterprise-class coverage. 

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Fundamentals of 802.11ac

May 12, 2012 at 7:44 am PST

We released our latest in the Fundamentals series earlier this month and it is trending quite well.  The 802.11ac standard sounds like a step backwards alphabetically…but it will soon be an incredible step forward forward for WiFi once it is ratified by the IEEE. Watch this latest fundamentals to get comfortable with the truth. 802.11n is still your best bet for 2012 and into 2013 as we continue to partner on the standards process but the future is bright indeed!

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The Mobile Industrial Worker: Control Engineering Magazine Cover Story by Cisco

May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm PST

If you’re looking for some great insight and thought leadership from Cisco on the “Wireless Mobile Worker” and the mobile industrial worker, look no further than the March 2012 Issue of Control Engineering Magazine (available from April digitally -- click below).

The digital and print versions talk about the trends going on right now -- lack of expertise, reticence  of the ‘millennium generation’ to study subjects and gain skills that manufacturers need, and how all sorts of devices are coming onto the plant floor and carpeted areas to help workers do their jobs more efficiently. Read More »

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The Cisco Aironet 3600 Access Point comes out on top in Miercom’s Performance Test Report

With all that has recently been written about BYOD, it’s clear that enterprise IT managers need to consider performance requirements on the wireless access point. With more clients accessing the network, the performance demands in terms of coverage and client density will increase. Furthermore, consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets may have difficulty connecting to an AP compared to a laptop. This could be attributed to the fact that most of these devices either do not support 802.11n or they support legacy 802.11g/a. If the devices support 802.11n is sometimes limited to 1x1 MIMO. An access point that has superior performance will be needed to address the growing needs of these new clients.

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