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Outdoor 802.11ac AP Performance Report by Miercom

The brisk inflation of 802.11ac in the Wi-Fi industry is evident from the large stream of wireless products entering the market with a stamp of the latest IEEE wireless standard. With that said, the Outdoor Wi-Fi Market is certainly not staying behind to join the 802.11ac bandwagon either. Cisco recently launched industry’s first 4×4, three spatial streams outdoor 802.11ac access point – Aironet 1570 series AP.

Taking into consideration an outdoor environment’s lively nature with the least multipath opportunities, and the presence of trees, high rises, and open spaces, it’s crucial to have a robust wireless solution to achieve the true benefits of 802.11ac. Miercom’s recent report helps find out the answer to the most ideal outdoor 802.11ac solution question. A comprehensive performance analysis on 802.11ac Outdoor Access Points, this third party vendor test report comprises of throughput performance, consistency and feature tests for flagship outdoor access points from three vendors including Cisco AP1572, Aruba AP275, and Ruckus APT300.

The report encompasses four major tests which provide an outlook of the performance capabilities of each access point in a real world environment. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from each test analysis.

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Miercom Report: High Availability and Real-time Applications

The transition to 802.11ac has been swift.  Two months ago, Cisco announced crossing 1 million units sold for 802.11ac.  It’s a testament to just how pervasive Wi-Fi has become.  These days, Wi-Fi needs to always be available, aMiercom Performance Verifiednd it needs to be quick, no matter the mix of applications on the network.

Miercom recently published a third-party report testing these two areas – high availability and real-time voice / video performance of Cisco, Aruba, and Ruckus.

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Miercom Performance Verified – Cisco Nexus 7700 Delivers Industry’s Highest 100Gbps Scalability, Performance and Availability

This will probably date me, but when I started in telecommunications a few years back, 10-Mbps thin-net Ethernet was the cool new technology. I used to think, “Who would ever need that much bandwidth?” Since then, IT technology has changed dramatically, with applications continually demanding more and more bandwidth. Ethernet switching capacity has advanced by leaps and bounds to keep pace with demand, ratcheting up connectivity speeds from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps. For most data centers today, 1- and 10-Gbps connectivity is commonplace. But now 100 Gbps is quickly gaining traction in the vertical markets that require the highest performance. If history is any indication, 100 Gbps will be commonplace in most data centers in the not too distant future.

To meet the high-performance demands of today’s service providers, research labs, and large enterprises, Cisco started shipping a 12-port 100-Gbps module for the Cisco Nexus® 7700 platform switches about a year ago.

Nexus 7700 100G, 12 port module

Nexus 7700 100G, 12 port module

The module is based on the Cisco® F3 chip, which offers the industry’s most comprehensive data center feature set for the core and the data center interconnect, including multicast, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN), Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV), and Cisco Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). The module was designed to deliver line-rate performance with a total switching capacity of 1.2 terabits per second (Tbps). So, theoretically, a fully loaded Cisco Nexus 7700 18-Slot Switch chassis with 192 100-Gbps ports could deliver up to 38 Tbps of bidirectional throughput. No matter how you slice and dice it, that’s a lot of throughput—enough to meet the demands of any network.

As a matter of fact, 192 100-Gbps ports with 38-Tbps throughput would make the Cisco Nexus 7700 18-Slot Switch the industry’s highest-density 100-Gbps switch, with the Industry’s highest throughput rate. To verify this industry leadership, we put the switch to the test.

Cisco commissioned Miercom to conduct an independent performance test on a fully loaded Cisco Nexus 7700 18-Slot Switch with 192 100-Gbps ports. One of the first challenges Miercom faced was how to generate 38 Tbps of traffic to test line-rate performance. Miercom called upon Ixia’s world-renowned labs to help. The solution called for multiple Ixia Xcellon modules in Ixia’s iSimCity lab to conduct the tests (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Ixia test lab set up

Ixia test lab

 

Along with the raw throughput testing, Miercom also tested critical Cisco Nexus 7700 platform features to see how they would perform under full load. Tested features included MPLS, IPv4/IPv6 multicast, and hitless In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU).

After the testing was complete, the Cisco Nexus 7700 18-Slot Switch proved that it offers the industry’s highest 100-Gbps density and performance with line-rate services and exceptional availability. This level of scale provides customers with many years of investment protection as they transition from 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet to 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet architectures in the future.

Robert Smithers, CEO of Miercom, summed up the test results nicely: “Miercom independently exercised and evaluated Cisco Systems Nexus 7718 and was frankly stunned by the incredible power and throughput of this system, coupled with consistent low latency and latency variation, as well as solid MPLS support and high-availability features. The first switch we have independently tested with 192 x 100GE ports, the Cisco Nexus 7718 is awarded Miercom Performance Verified in our ongoing Data-Center-Class 100GE Switch Study.”

For the full details of the test, check out the comprehensive Miercom test report and accompanying test/results video. Also, here is what Miercom and Ixia had to say in their press releases.

Here’s a quick summary of the Miercom test results:

  • Testing found the Cisco Nexus 7718 can forward at line rate on all 192 of its 100GE ports – delivering over 38 Terabits/s of bidirectional traffic
  • Testing confirmed the Cisco 7718 can distribute real-world IPv4 and IPv6 multicast traffic at wire speed, with each of 191 receiver ports handling 1,250 IGMPv2 groups
  • The Cisco 7718 can process real-world MPLS traffic at line rate on all 192 of its 100GE ports, with no loss and low latency
  • Testing confirmed that an active Supervisor module or fabric module can be replaced with no packet loss, with IPv4 and v6 traffic running at high capacity on all of its 100GE ports
  • The Cisco 7718 executed an in-service software upgrade, with IPv4 and v6 traffic running at high capacity on all 192 of its 100GE ports, with no loss

Visit the Nexus 7000 series webpage for more information on all the F3 modules and the latest innovations such as Cisco Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE) and Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) that continue to raise the industry bar for scale and efficiency.

 

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All 802.11ac Vendors are the same…Right?

If you are an Enterprise IT Manager, this is a question that you must ask yourself if you are considering deploying 802.11ac for your enterprise wireless network. 802.11ac has some great benefits such as wirelike speed and being able to handle a high concentration of clients. However, there is more to consider when deploying 802.11ac. For instance, how do I handle RF interference now that 802.11ac support 80MHz channels? Will legacy devices such as 802.11g/a/n allow me to achieve the best performance that 802.11ac advertises? How can I ensure that my users get the best wireless performance when they roam across a building? And lastly, as more clients join the network, is my performance going to suffer? These are all valid concerns and are something that Cisco addresses with HDX. HDX is High Density Experience and is part of Cisco’s 802.11ac solution. We just wrapped up a 4 part blog series on HDX where we answer these questions:

–          For Interference Mitigation, we have CleanAir for 80MHz Channels

–          Getting the best performance out of your network even with legacy clients, we  have ClientLink 3.0 Read More »

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Miercom: Cisco Aironet AP3702i

Cisco’s newest 802.11ac product, the Aironet 3700 Series Access Point is now orderable and shipping in the next few weeks.  The AP 3700 features an integrated 11ac radio with a 4×4 architecture and Cisco’s High-Density Experience (HDX) Technology.  HDX is a suite of features specific to the AP 3700 that delivers the best possible user experience, especially in high client density networks.  HDX is enabled by a combination of  hardware and software features on the AP 3700, features including:

  • CleanAir 80 MHz – Interference detection and mitigation
  • ClientLink 3.0 – RF link quality
  • Smart Roam – Intelligent roaming handoff
  • Turbo Performance – Performance with high client density

Aruba recently launched their 802.11ac access point, the AP-220 series, featuring a 3×3 design.

Miercom recently published a third-party evaluation of the performance between the AP 3702i and the AP-225.  The report consists of a diverse range of test cases meant to gauge real-world performance of the access points.  The tests include; multi-client performance, single client rate vs. range, performance in the presence of interference, and performance on reduced power.  Here are some of the highlights from the report.

Multi-Client Performance

The AP 3700 performed very well in the multi-client performance test, thanks impart to HDX Turbo Performance.  With 60 clients, the AP 3702i had a 6x performance advantage over the AP-225.  The AP-225 struggled to serve all the clients and only mustered 40 Mbps total.  The AP 3702i was able to transmit a healthy 236 Mbps, while maintaining fair throughput to each client.

The test consisted of 60 11ac clients, all associated to the 5 GHz radio.  The clients used were 10 Dell E6430 laptops with Broadcom 4360 three spatial-stream chips, 20 Apple Macbook Air two spatial-stream laptops, and 30 Dell E6430 laptops with Intel 7260 two spatial-stream chips.  Clients were setup in an open office environment surrounding the AP.  Distances varied from 10’ to 50’.

1-Mulit-Client Read More »

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