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.
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 »
The question isn’t IF your users will need more bandwidth, but WHEN they will need more bandwidth. 802.11ac represents the next evolution of the 802.11 standard, and, as you’ve heard, this one really pegs the gas petal in the quest for speed. Offering a link-rate of up to 1.3Gbps, 802.11ac represents the first wireless standard that surpasses the gigabit barrier.
But what makes 802.11ac unique isn’t just bandwidth. The new standard represents a forced push to the cleaner 5GHz spectrum, as well as extended battery life, made possible by getting devices on and off the air more quickly. To learn more about the technical details under the hood of 802.11ac reference this whitepaper.
Cisco’s Aironet Access Point 3600 and an alpha version of the 802.11ac module were demonstrated during Cisco’s presentation during Wireless Field Day 3 (the demo occurs at timestamp 15:30 in the video). Keep in mind that this is a demonstration of a pre-released product so it is expected that throughput and functionality will change and likely increase when the product is available for customers in early 2013.
The test goal was to measure one client, one Access Point 802.11ac performance and leveraged Ixia’s IxChariot to generate UDP traffic over the air. The test was done in an open real world environment, so the achieved throughput is less than what would be expected in a clean RF environment typical of a benchmark test.
Microsoft will launch Windows 8 in late October. Along with a slew of other features, it will be among the first to support the 802.11w standard to protect Management Frames for client devices on Wi-Fi networks.
Customers running old Cisco unified releases (between 4.2 to 7.2) in local, Flex or mesh mode will run into an interoperability bug (CSCua29504, to be exact) that prevents 802.11w enabled clients from connecting to a Cisco WLAN with Management Frame Protection (MFP) enabled. This bug does not affect customers running autonomous access point deployments or customers running Cisco unified releases older than 4.2.
What are the possible solutions for you?
1. Please upgrade your production environment to one of the following releases, which will interoperate with Windows 8.
2. Roll back to pre-windows 8 drivers as identified in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article.
3. Fall back to TKIP
4. Sign up for a beta release for Cisco’s upcoming feature release 7.4 (beta available now!) that supports the 802.11w feature in local mode.
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!
This week we saw the largest solar storm in nearly a decade and such “solar weather” or cosmic radiation is what generates such phenomena as the “Northern Lights”. However, intense solar activity which creates electromagnetic storms can generate exceptionally strong power surges that damage electrical distribution systems, knock out satellites, and affect sensitive electronics. This has happened in the past, including grid failures in Quebec in 1989 which blacked out the entire province.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this video of the M3.2 solar flare on January 19, 2012. Credit: NASA/SDO/GOES-15.