Location-based services have been getting a lot of attention lately and people are increasingly curious about how Wi-Fi and beacons play together in the hot space that is indoor location technology. In my last blog I reviewed how beacons work and how to differentiate when to use Wi-Fi and beacons. There’ve been some great questions about beacon technology and how it complements Cisco’s location-based Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so I want to follow up on these topics with everyone.
What types of beacons are there?
Generally, there are two different classes of beacons: transmit only and backhaul enabled.
Transmit only beacons are exactly as they sound -- they simply transmit information to anyone that is capable of hearing (bluetooth enabled smartphones). They do not receive or pass any data or information upstream.
Apple’s iBeacon is the best example of this type of BLE beacon. You can think of them like the navigational beacons used by airplanes when on approach to major airports. The beacon doesn’t even know the plane is there, but the plane is aware of the beacon and knows where the beacon is allowing it to take the correct action. Same is true for smartphones and transmit only beacons like iBeacon -- the intelligence is located in the mobile application which must recognize the beacon and take appropriate action.
Backhaul enabled beacons generally include a Wi-Fi chipset for either management or data capabilities. Some backhaul enabled beacons are USB enabled and take advantage of whatever connectivity exists within the PC they are connected. Read More »
Tags: access, analytics, Apple, beacon, BLE, bluetooth, byod, Cisco, cmx, consumer, customer, deployment, device, dimension, Enterprise, GPS, granular, Guest, healthcare, ibeacon, indoor, Indoor location, IT, lbs, line-of-business, location, location based services, marketing, mobility, mse, network, operation, productive, productivity, proximity, retail, sales, tag, technology, track, tracking, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
Tomorrow’s a special #WirelessWednesday, hats off to the folks working hard at Tech Field Day for kicking off the SEVENTH installment of Wireless Field Day. It’s an exciting time for the industry to give the delegates and the world wide web of Wi-Fi enthusiasts a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the latest technologies, and we are ready to put on a show.
This year, Cisco will host Wireless Field Day 7 delegates at the Cisco Meraki San Francisco office this Friday.
We will be spending 2 hours discussing the forefront of Wireless technology with Cisco thought leaders. Here is a sneak peek of what will be covered.
- Latest updates on the Cisco Meraki MR product line.
- Deep dive into the Cisco Meraki traffic analytics algorithm; how it works and how it scales for large deployments.
- Deep dives into MU-MIMO and RX-SOP; what they are and how they work
- Discussion on 802.11ac and where it’s going.
The show will start at 9:30am PST. We’ll be on Twitter with #WFD7 and streamed live on the TechFieldDay website. Tune in Friday to hear updates on the future of wireless networking.
Tags: #80211ac, #WFD7, #wirelesswednesday, airtight, aruba, avaya, Cisco, Extreme, Fluke, Industry, meraki, network, networking, tech field day, techfieldday, technology, wi-fi, wifi, wild packets, wildpackets, wireless
Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 was the largest mobile industry exhibition in the world, where over 1800 companies showcased and launched their latest products and services. This event was visited by over 85,000 attendees from over 200 countries around the world, to learn, network, inspire and innovate. Providing them seamless and robust data network was the first priority. GSMA , Fira de Gran Via and Cisco took this challenge to provide them next generation Wi-Fi experience with seamless connectivity and onboarding using Hotspot 2.0 service on the top of baseline free Wi-Fi service.
Hassle and risk are the two key factors involved in connecting free public Wi-Fi. When you are traveling in the different countries, you get off the plane and turn on your cell phone… and within few seconds you get connected to the cellular network. There is no need to search for a suitable network manually (hoping it’s not rigged by a hacker), then enter long password or credit card details to pay for the service. But unfortunately connecting to Wi-Fi is not that simple. Hotspot 2.0 Service addresses these problems by automatic network discovery and selection, seamless network access and secured authentication for the Passpoint certified devices.
Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, the venue of MWC 2014 is a massive 280,000 meters2 (Three Million Square Feet) facility with 8 grand exhibition halls, conference rooms, multiple outdoor areas and restaurants. Read More »
Tags: #MWC14, barcelona, cell, cell phone, cellular, cellular network, Cisco, connectivity, data, device, experience, fira de gran via, GSMA, HDX, high density, Hotspot, HS2.0, mobile, mobile world congress, mwc, network, onboarding, Passpoint, public, seamless, technology, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
In my last blog I discussed setting the stage in preparation for the Wi-Fi network for Mobile World Congress 2014 which supported more than 80k devices over a span of 4 days. Today I’ll talk about one of the many site surveys we conducted at the Fira Gran Via to ensure the success of our high density network. Full details in the white paper here.
High Density Wi-Fi deployments and site surveys go hand in hand. Pre-installation and post-installation site surveys account for the most effective way to identify the contours of your RF coverage and eliminate potential multipath distortions, hidden nodes, and other coverage issues. Special attention was given to the large keynote auditorium halls in order to keep a check on the additional RF coverage needs to accommodate the high density of users packed in a very close range.
View of inside the Hall-4 Keynote Auditorium (23000 sq ft) before the Facebook keynote session
Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium
The Hall-4 auditorium was one example of such a high density area with the 2000 person capacity area had a peak connection of 1924 concurrently connected Wi-Fi devices distributed across 16 Cisco APs while the Facebook keynote was in progress, with a max load of 530 Mbps of internet traffic. To avoid an RF overlap, the ceiling mounted APs above the auditoriums were converted to monitor mode. Using the final pre-keynote site survey data, the RF profile for the Hall-4 auditorium was tweaked, and RRM automatically optimized the coverage to the desired degree by adjusting the Tx power levels. Read More »
Tags: access point, AP, application, barcelona, beamforming, Cisco, client, coverage, data transfer, deployment, device, Dual Band, event, experience, fira gran via, GHz, HD, HDX, hidden node, high density, hotspot2.0, infrastructure, internet, keynote, mobile world congress, multipath distortion, mwc, network, network operations, radio resource managmeent, rf, RRM, rx-sop, site survey, TB, traffic, traffic pattern, user density, users, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wireless data transfer
Cisco has a broad base of data center customers with a diverse set of requirements and we meet their needs with Nexus -- the most comprehensive switching portfolio in the industry. This week, we are making announcements for both the Nexus 9000 series and the Nexus 3000 series that provide design and deployment flexibility for our commercial, enterprise, service provider, as well as cloud customers. Key points of the announcement include:
- ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) is shipping this month;
- Additional linecard and chassis options provide customer choice and flexibility;
- 100G linecards for the Nexus 9500 will be available in Q4CY14 and will offer the highest density in the industry; and
- New starter kits and bundles help customers ease transitions.
The Nexus 9000 Series
ACI is shipping this month
The Nexus 9000 series can operate in standard NX-OS mode or in ACI mode. In either case the Nexus 9000 portfolio delivers the value of the “5 P’s” of Power efficiency, Price, Port density, Performance, and Programmability. NX-OS mode provides customers with the value of the NX-OS operating system used by tens of thousands of customers in data centers around the world. ACI mode adds to NX-OS capabilities by providing an application driven policy model, integration of hardware and software, and centralized visibility, among other things. ACI requires a controller and switch software. Both are shipping this month. It is important to note that the pricing for this solution is simple and predictable. There is a perpetual license for each leaf switch. Other pricing approaches in the industry are monthly and are based on varying elements like number of VM’s. Comparing the two approaches is somewhat like comparing a cell phone bill that is either flat rate or usage based. Personally, I like the simplicity and predictability of flat rate. See The Future of Networking, as well as SDN and Beyond for additional details on new ACI announcements and how they can take you beyond SDN.
Additional linecard and chassis options underscore flexibility
We’ll consider how flexibility is delivered for both modular and fixed platforms. For modular switching, the Nexus 9500 modular chassis family offers different line card options that can be mixed in the same chassis and allow customers to “dial up” or “dial down” their design based upon the price, performance, feature set, and scale they want to achieve. There are basically 3 different ‘flavors’, all of which are now shipping:
- The Nexus 9500 X9400 set of 1/10G and 40G line cards are based on merchant silicon and provide industry-leading price and performance compared to other merchant silicon switches. These provide a very cost effective solution ideal for traditional modular data center designs.
- The Nexus 9500 X9500 set of 1/10G and 40G line cards are sometimes referred to as “merchant plus” because they have custom Cisco ASICs, in addition to merchant silicon, and are ideal for customers that need performance together with additional buffering and VXLAN routing capabilities. The X9500 line cards can be used in future ACI designs as well.
- The Nexus 9500 X9600 set of 40G line cards provide performance without compromise even for small packet sizes.
The Nexus 9300 series offers ACI capabilities (ala the X9500 linecards in item 2 above) in a fixed form factor. For customers interested in a merchant only fixed form factor, we offer the Nexus 3000 family. This week, we announced the new Nexus 3164, which provides 64 ports of 40G and is a great solution for 40G access or space constrained aggregation.
We are also announcing 100G linecards that we believe will deliver industry leading port density of up to 128 ports of 100G in a single chassis. 100G for both the X9400 and X9600 series will be available for the Nexus 9500 in Q4CY14. Cisco will offer an 8 port 100G X9400 line card and a 12 port 100G X9600 line card.
New starter kits and bundles ease transitions
There are numerous packages available to ease transitions -- from 1G to 10G, 10G to 40G, or from traditional networks to ACI. There are 2 bundles I want to quickly call out. The first provides a smooth transition for customers with older End of Row Catalyst 6500’s in their data centers. It occupies the same rack space and uses the same cabling as they currently have, but provides 10X the performance. The second is basically an ACI starter kit, providing the APIC, spine switches and leaf switches, even optical cables – everything required to set up and get started with an ACI pod.
In summary, Cisco is continuing its rapid pace of innovation and execution around ACI and data center switching overall. Ultimately, this means customers gain choice, flexibility and true innovation to support their business needs.
Tags: ACI, application centric infrastructure, Cisco, cloud, data center, data center switch, network, networking, nexus, Nexus 3000, Nexus 9000, SDN, switch