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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 1×1 MIMO. An access point that has superior performance will be needed to address the growing needs of these new clients.

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Tips and Tricks: 9 tips for a Smarter Wireless Industrial Workforce

Nine tips help enable an industrial wireless mobile workforce, including standards, self-healing technologies, and the right blend of hardware and software.

The latest copy of Control Engineering has some useful Tips and Tricks that point towards the kinds of solutions and offerings Cisco provides, to make our customer’s lives easier. In a later post I’ll elucidate on the tips and explain how Cisco is able to make for a Smarter Wireless Industrial Workforce. For now, here are the tips:

#1) Standards-based solutions: Ensure suppliers provide open standards based solutions—this is particularly important when choosing wireless mobility systems.

#2) Self-healing wireless: System integrators can provide good interference detection and mitigation wireless solutions that can automatically change channels to maintain continuity, which reduces operating expenses.

#3) Hardware vs. software: It is better to use wireless systems with specialized hardware and software implementation rather than the older software implementations when analyzing interference. Read More »

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High Density Demand Will Test Your Network’s Readiness for Mobility

I was driving home the other day when I heard a radio report on densely populated California cities. What’s interesting was a mention of a small California city that is ranked as the nation’s fourth most dense urbanized area. I guess that a lot of people don’t know Delano, a central valley city with a population density of 5,483 people per square mile. It’s surprisingly more dense than the New York-Newark, N.J. metropolitan area which is ranked the 5th.

Many people with many devices in a densely populated area can pose a challenge to WiFi networks. I was talking to a Cisco customer in the New York City area a few days ago. He said that deploying WiFi was not as straightforward as it used to be. There are many RF interferences near his office and many new SSIDs that he never saw before.

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Not all Streams are Created Equal

It can be so easy to be mislead by vendors claiming incredible bandwidth gains offered by their new ‘3 Spatial Streams’ wireless access points. The tricky part is that none of them are outright lying, they are simply describing a reality that nobody lives in.  Cisco released the new 3600 series access points at CiscoLive London last week. We have also had fun showing the incredible bandwidth gains available through this extra stream – but we did it with custom designed silicon to create a 4×4 radio.  Why is this valuable to you? Is it not just ‘more is better?’  Hardly.  The true genius being offered here is only clear when you understand some basics of how radios work.  Multiple capabilities unique to Cisco come into play here such as ClientLink and CleanAir. Watch this ‘Fundamentals of Spatial Streams’ to arm yourself with knowledge you can apply right away. It will be the best 6 minutes of your life (today at least).

When you are ready to go deeper

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Deploying the Mobility Services Engine

CleanAir continues to provide significant differentiation for Cisco Wireless as well it should. What many don’t realize, is how much of the attractive visualization and control is not from CleanAir itself, but CleanAir plus the Mobility Services Engine. I would go as far as to say there are several very important distinctions for why the MSE should be considered a mandatory element within any Cisco Wireless Design.

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