With the growing influx of new mobile devices, connected things, bandwidth intensive applications and more data, the network is more relevant to business success than ever before. Back in June of 2012, Cisco saw that we needed to move away from multiple network systems loosely linked together to an agile and simple infrastructure, streamlined policy and centralized management would be needed to support new business demands. We called it Cisco Unified Access and we aligned the solution to three pillars: One Network, One Policy and One Management.
For the last few years, we have focused on delivering new products and functionality under this Unified Access model. Below is a timeline of products released as part of the Unified Access framework. Cisco lead the way in delivering gigabit 802.11ac Wi-Fi., converged wireless control in access switches and through the acquisition of Meraki – a complete cloud-managed network solution.
The timeline above doesn’t represent every feature and function we have delivered, but it shows Cisco’s commitment to this Unified Access model, both from a cloud-managed and on-premise solution perspective.
Today, Cisco is announcing a number of new products and new functionality to existing products that will help mobilize the workforce, secure the business and increase IT agility. The announcement includes the following: Read More »
Tags: #80211ac, 11ac, 802.11ac, access, access point, Agile, agility, Aironet, anyconnect, AP, App, application, asr, bandwidth, business, byod, Cisco, compliance, converge, converged, Converged Access, data, device, emm, employee, Enterprise, experience, feature, foundation, function, gigabit, Guest, guest access, HD, HDX, high density, identity, indoor, infrastructure, interop, ISE, ISR, IT, LAN, lifecycle, Manage, management, MDM, meraki, mobile, mobility, model, network, operation, outdoor, policy, portfolio, prime, Prime Infrastructure, product, secure, security, services, simple, simplify, system, System Manager, technology, traffic, unified access, vpn, WAN, wi-fi, wifi, wired, wireless, wlan, workforce
In my last blog on 5 GHz spectrum, I discussed the recent FCC ruling that permitted outdoor access points to use the U-NII 1 band (5150-5250 MHz).
But the story doesn’t stop there. As mentioned last time, there are significant technical challenges to using the 5 GHz band. It is not cleared spectrum. It contains incumbent uses that are important for national security and public safety. Therefore, it is imperative that Wi-Fi not create harmful interference to these incumbent systems. Cisco will not settle for less.
On the topic of interference, a particularly interesting component of the same FCC ruling that opened the U-NII1 band for outdoor AP’s is that it also re-opened the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) band (channels 120, 124, 128) with new test requirements for DFS protection. Hold on, let’s backtrack a bit before diving into what this means:
What is TDWR?
In brief, Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) “is a Doppler weather radar system used primarily for the detection of hazardous wind shear conditions, precipitation, and winds aloft on and near major airports situated in climates with great exposure to thunderstorms in the United States.” TDWR uses the frequency band from 5600-5650 MHz which is why wireless network equipment needs to be proven to “do no harm” to TDWR. If you’re curious for more information on TDWR, then please click here and/or here.
A Brief History
Many of you reading this will recall that the FCC closed the use of the TDWR band several years ago as the result of numerous reports of wireless equipment creating interference with TDWR. Read More »
Tags: 802.11, 802.11ac, access point, AP, band, bandwidth, capacity, certification, channel, co-channel, device, DFS, DFS protection, doppler, emission, emissions, equipment, FCC, Firmware, GHz, gigabit, HD, high density, interference, Mhz, operation, procedure, radar, radio, requirement, ruling, spectrum, tdwr, test, weather, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
Northern Kentucky University is among the fastest growing universities in Kentucky. It hosts over 15,000 students with about 13,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. The goal of the wireless program at NKU is to provide secure, robust and ubiquitous wireless access throughout the campus, both indoors and outdoors. This ensures that students always stay connected and feel at home. The classrooms are equipped with smart technology to ensure that the teachers can benefit from technology when collaborating with students. The IT team has blanketed the libraries, the classrooms, the dorm-rooms as well as the outdoor areas with Wi-Fi. In the previous blog in 2012, we described how the Cisco 7.5 release allows networks to recover with no client re-authentication in the rare event of your primarily wireless LAN controller goes down.
At a Glance:
Located in: the Highland Heights Kentucky
Number of students: 15,000 of which about 2000 stay in residence halls
Number of teachers/staff: 2000
# WLAN clients: Approximately 8500 concurrent clients
Access-Point Model and Units: 1200 units of AP models including AP702W, 3502, 3602, 3702, 1550 and a few older Access Points which are being phased out
Controller Model and Units: 2 Pairs of WiSM2 operating in 18.104.22.168
Switch Models: Various models 2960, 3650, 3850, 3750X and 6500
Prime Infrastructure: 1.4.2
Mobility Services Engine: 7.6
Deployment Details: We talked to Christopher Johnson, the Senior Infrastructure Systems Analyst II at Northern Kentucky University to capture some of his thoughts around their choice of this solution and the associated benefits. Read More »
Tags: 11ac, 802.11, 802.11ac, access point, AP, application, AVC, bandwidth, CCIE, client, control, controller, device, gigabit, graduate, kentucky, LAN, mobile, mobility, nku, prime, professor, re-authentication, smart, staff, student, switch, system, teacher, technology, university, video, visibility, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, WiSM2, wlan
Everybody’s talking about 802.11ac, but we’ve sensed some confusion for next steps as far as how CIO’s and IT organizations should be approaching the new standard.
Should I move to 802.11ac?
You’re probably thinking: Chris, you’re a leader at Cisco, of course you want me to migrate to 802.11ac. That, my friends, is where you are wrong. There is no simple answer to the question of whether you should move your network to 802.11ac. Here’s my simple rule of thumb:
There is no premium for 802.11ac from Cisco. If you are deploying new Access Points’s today, you should be buying 802.11ac. If you’re not buying, you are probably satisfied with your network and how it will handle the growth of more and more clients associating with your network and the bandwidth demands that come with that client demand. If you feel you have a plan to handle this demand, then you are one of the few that can pass on 802.11ac.
That said, there is a strong ramp up for Cisco 802.11ac products in the market, the AP3700 is the fastest ramping access point in our history and we have yet to see if the AP2700 will claim that crown in the coming months. ABI Research estimates that currently 50% of new device introductions are 802.11ac enabled, a statistic expected to increase to 75% by the end of 2015. This is enough proof of the overwhelming interest in adding the benefits of 11ac to networks. Let’s take a step back and consider the basics of why people are moving to the new standard.
Today, everything is about getting what we want, when we want it. Instant gratification. It’s not just the millennials—we’ve all been conditioned to expect things within seconds. Could you imagine the days pre-Internet if you had the capability for on-demand movies? Read More »
Tags: 11ac, 11n, 802.11, 802.11ac, 802.11n, access point, AP, bandwidth, battery life, CIO, Cisco, client, consumer, dell'oro, deployment, device, education, End User, GHz, gigabit, HD, HDX, high density, IEEE, IT, laptop, macbook, mbps, Mhz, migrate, migration, network, networking, optimization, performance, retail, rf, Scalability, scalable, smartphone, spectral optimization, spectrum, standard, technology, university, visibility, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
We live in amazing times, ask anyone who ever had to look up a phone number in a phone book. In the past this was the only way you could find the number to your favorite restaurant if you wanted to make a reservation. Today, all we need to do is reach into our pocket or purse and grab our mobile device, open an application and in a few seconds (not minutes) we have the phone number. Not only that, but we can see the menu and make a reservation right from the device. Over time we have become dependent on carrying the world (both personal and professional) in our pocket. With mobility, we are always on, always connected: nothing—whether it’s your team’s latest score or that email from a vendor you need to send to your boss—is more than a quick search away.
What once seemed unfathomable, this way of always being connected is now commonplace. However, as the application developers sit and think of the next killer app, the IT team has to make sure the network can not only support this new app, but also assure the performance meets the higher and higher demands of new apps. This requires the network to be more application-aware. And the reality is that more applications that require higher network performance are coming at a faster rate. Add to it new devices that use these applications are becoming accessible to everyone. On top of that, the people that use these applications and devices are becoming more demanding in terms of reliability and experience. So what is an IT person to do?
“We were ahead of the times,” says Joseph Tufano, VP and CIO of St. John’s University. “But times have changed. You see it everywhere: for example, if you go to a basketball game on campus, and there’s a timeout, everybody is using their mobile devices.”
IT is always working to increase the wireless performance of the network. However, as more bandwidth becomes available, users increase their usage and consume that bandwidth. Read More »
Tags: #80211ac, 802.11, 802.11ac, access point, App, application, bandwidth, campus, data, data rate, density, design, device, environment, gigabit, healthcare, infrastructure, IT, mobile, mobility, network, performance, standard, wi-fi, wifi, wired, wireless