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Wi-Fi Roaming 101

Wi-Fi roaming is often a tumultuous subject.  The crux of the issue is, with Wi-Fi the roaming decision is left to the client.

In the recent years, there have been great strides in improving Wi-Fi roaming with the creation of standards-based roaming technologies.  Cisco first pioneered fast roaming many years ago with CCKM (Cisco Centralized Key Management), which was the foundation for 802.11r.  11r which was ratified by the IEEE in 2008, allows for fast roaming, even on a secure 802.1X SSID.  With 802.11r it is possible to roam without disruption during a voice or video call.

While client support of 802.11r is largely lacking in the laptop space,  there is large support in the smartphone realm.  Apple iOS devices have supported 11r since iOS 6 (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5535).  The recent Samsung smartphones, such as the Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 3, also support 11r.

Note: Some non-802.11r clients can react adversely when connected to an 11r WLAN.  The current recommendation from Cisco is to have a separate WLAN for 802.11r clients.

802.11k is another amendment from the IEEE that helps to improve roaming.  802.11k provides a whole slew of information to the client, which allows the client to understand the RF environment and make an informed roaming decision.  This information can include channel load and AP neighbor lists.

11r and 11k help, however, that does not mean the infrastructure is irrelevant in the roaming picture.  With the help of a model train, we did some testing to figure out just how much impact the infrastructure could have.  We compared Cisco to one of our competitors, whom we will call Vendor A.

This video summarizes the results and shows the train in action, or continue reading for more details:
Read More »

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Empower Your Employees with a #MobileWorkspace

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[Webinar] Mobilize Your Employees with Cisco Solutions for a Mobile Workspace

We discussed the considerations behind the Cisco-Citrix Mobile Workspace solution to set the stage for the CVD (design guide available now!) earlier this month, and now we’ve planned a great technical deep-dive for customers and partners interested in finding out more about the Mobile Workspace Solution. It’s going to be at 10am PST Wednesday June 4, 2014 (Click to Register).

 Organizations are moving from just dealing with bring your own device (BYOD) and the influx of mobile devices to proactively developing solutions that use the full power of mobility. Because of the complexities and fluid technology horizon, this is often simpler said than done. Now you can simplify and accelerate your mobility projects by deploying a comprehensive mobility solution that has been tested and validated end to end.  Read More »

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Have You Registered for K-12 & Public Safety May 22nd?

Improving School Safety with Your WLAN

See how your campus Wi-Fi can improve emergency response

Register Now    |        May 22, 2013    10AM-11AM PDT

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Tony De La Rosa shared with us a teaser last week about the riveting webinar we have coming up this week on how Wi-Fi technology can be used in K-12 schools. If you missed it, here’s the original blog--it’s not too late to register for the webinar!

Join us on this Wednesday, May 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time/1 p.m. Eastern Time as our experts walk through several real-world scenarios of how Wi-Fi can be used in campus emergencies. They’ll also discuss the latest Cisco solutions and take your questions in a live Q&A. Read More »

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Register for the K-12 Education: Using Wireless Technologies in Public Safety Webcast

Innovate the education environment by deploying Cisco BYOD Solutions for K-12 to facilitate teaching innovation and emergency  safety . 

Small, medium, and large school districts across the country are utilizing Cisco technology to provide pervasive wireless coverage for their schools.  Wireless coverage can not only provide an enhanced teaching and learning resource, but it can also be utilized as a tool for public safety.

The K-12 Education (PT III): Using Wireless Technologies in Public Safety webcast will take place on May 22nd, 2013 from 10:00 – 11:00 am (PST).  To register for the webcast please click here.

Here’s a sneak preview:

There is nothing more alarming then the event of a lockdown occurring during school for the protection of the students, public safety is a huge concern for parents and teachers alike.  Leveraging Cisco BYOD Solutions for K-12 Education  real-time location tracking in schools becomes a reality in order to determine the whereabouts of mobile device users throughout the campus.  Read More »

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Public Safety in K-12 and the Wi-Fi Network

It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area.   A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter.  My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.

Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools.  The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser.  Read More »

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