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Enhancing the MSE User Experience: Backup & Restore, Menu-based Device Setup

Following the last MSE blog on CleanAir, today I wish to explain how we prioritize the Mobility Service Engine’s user experience.

Listening to customers and implementing changes/features based on customer feedback has been a great strength of Cisco products. We from the Mobility Services Engine team strongly believe in this principle and make sure that we reach out to each and every customer who has provided a feedback on Cisco MSE and take their experience with MSE into consideration when designing future features and enhancements.

After analyzing the feedback we received during the MSE 7.4 release, I am pleased to announce that we have decided to implement the following two features as part of series of enhancements that we believe will improve the customer’s user experience with MSE.

Convenient Backup and Restore

Until the 7.4 release, MSE users had limited options in backing up their MSE data. The only supported option was to use the NCS FTP server as the destination for MSE data backups. Due to the limited disk capacity on NCS, as well as sharing of the disk space with other network elements, disk space limitations prevented MSE users from regularly backing up their data. If you are one of those users who always wished you could regularly backup MSE data without running into NCS disk space limitation, or if you wish you could back up your MSE data to non-NCS devices, we have some good news for you.

In the latest MSE 7.5 release, we have added the option to backup and restore your MSE data on remote FTP servers, provided there is connectivity between the MSE and the FTP server.  Similar to NCS Backups, MSE data can be backed up to configured repositories (internal or external FTP servers).  Love the command shell? We will also be coming up with CLI to backup MSE data. You can now start MSE backup using just a single command.

msecsat1 Read More »

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Interference Detection and Mitigation with Cisco CleanAir

The previous blog on CleanAir went in depth on how MSE uses CleanAir information to locate interferers and the impact zone for each interferer. This blog takes a step back and gives an overview of the CleanAir technology.

How Interference Affects Your WiFi

802.11 devices operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands. These are unregulated and experimental bands. As such, there are way more non-802.11 devices, including but not limited to cordless phones, video cameras, microwave ovens, Bluetooth headsets, DECT phones and even X-Boxes. Now even more devices are coming out that emit in these bands. These devices interfere with your WiFi network since they don’t work cooperatively with 802.11 devices, causing reduced network capacity and coverage, poor quality of voice and video, and link failures.

When an 802.11 device is ready to transmit and it senses interference, it will hold off transmission until it is finished.  If it is in the middle of a transmission where it has sent a packet and never receives an acknowledgement, then it will try to send the packet again. Issues like these  impact the throughput and capacity of your Wireless Network. An interferer like a microwave oven, which emits interference on a 50% Duty Cycle, will reduce the throughput by 50 percent. In the case of an interferer like a video camera, which emits interference at 100% Duty Cycle, when seen at Access Point above CCA threshold will stop the Access Point from beaconing. Due to this clients will not attempt to associate. Read More »

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CableLabs Summer Conference 2013– CMX Live Demo

At the CableLabs Summer Conference last week in the Keystone Conference Center outside of Denver, Colorado, Cisco CMX was demonstrated live on stage showing up to the moment information on the venue and the attendees.


The audience consisted of approximately 400 attendees, with the room at full capacity, mostly business leaders from CableLabs member organizations including all the top tier operators. Read More »

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Cisco CMX Solution – Version 7.5 Released

Released along with the Wireless Release 7.5 earlier this month was the latest version of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), continuing Cisco’s leadership in the emerging field of WiFi location based services and analytics. Release 7.5 delivers a rich set of innovations to enhance the existing Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution.

This is a very exciting new release delivering many new features and functionality to the solution. Here is a brief summary of the highlights from the release:

CMX Analytics:

Version 7.5 continues ongoing improvements to the existing analytics capabilities such as improved usability, enahnced ‘look and feel’, as well as easier to generate analytics results and increased support for complex building layouts. In addition, the user interface and the appearance of the 3D interface has improved to display clearer information enabling a better understanding of the visitors to the venue.

cmx7.5.1 Read More »

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Cisco CMX Analytics in use at CiscoLive! Orlando

Editor’s Note: This blog post was co-written by Dr. Brendan O’Brien, who is authoring the post, and Dr. James Little, technical lead for CMX Analytics in Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group.

This year’s CiscoLive! in Orlando with over 20000 visitors was  selected as an ideal opportunity to test and prove CMX Analytics over a large venue with high volume usage.

This year’s CiscoLive! was spread over two huge venues of the Orange County Convention Centre and the Peabody Hotel between June 23rd-27th. Over two and a half days, approximately 40,000 different devices were detected using CMX Analytics. (This figure is not uncommon any longer, assuming 50% of people had WiFi on and most of us had 2 or more devices)

The main purpose of the Wi-Fi network at CiscoLive! is to provide a high quality service to all  attendees, providing CMX Analytics with its toughest test yet. With a peak of around 15,000 connected devices on the opening day serviced by 750 access points and 1500 radios, the challenge was to see how well CMX could take the raw numbers and translate it into insights on the movements of the delegates.

Let me break down some of the reports for you:

cmx clo 1

In the table above, CMX Analytics shows:

  • The second floor being busier than the 1st, 3rd or 4th during lunchtime. as expected with the catering facilities located there.
  • The World of Solutions was also busy over this period as it was a break between sessions.
  • The keynote areas are expectedly quiet during this time. Read More »

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