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Deploying, Testing, and Tuning 802.11ac

By now you’ve probably heard quite a bit about the newest generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac.  I’ll save you the gory details, just know it’s about 3x faster than 802.11n and will help to improve the capacity of your network. Jameson Blandford and I were recently guests on the No Strings Attached Show podcast with Blake Krone and Samuel Clements (Click to listen to the podcast).

I wanted to follow up the podcast with a blog to go over considerations for deploying, testing, and tuning 802.11ac.

Considerations for deploying 802.11ac

Switching infrastructure

The first question you’ll want to ask yourself, is, if your switching infrastructure can handle 11ac?  The answer probably is, yes.  The things to consider are the port speed and power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.  You’ll want the access point to have a gigabit uplink to the switch.  Each 11ac access point could potentially dump several hundred megabits per second of traffic onto your wired network.  It’s also not a bad idea to have 10 Gig uplinks on your access switches to distribution or your core.  If you have even just a couple access points on a single access switch, you may quickly find yourself wishing you had 10 Gig uplinks.

Next you’ll need to consider how you will power the access points.  If you are like the majority of our customers, you will use PoE from your switches.  While 11ac access points require 802.3at (PoE+) for full functionality, the Aironet 3700 will run happily on standard 802.3af PoE.  In fact, it remains 3 spatial-streams on both radios, so performance does not suffer because you have a PoE infrastructure.

Will you deploy 80 MHz channels? Read More »

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CMX plays an important role in the Internet of Things at IoT World Forum in Barcelona

iotwf

I have the privilege of attending the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum in Barcelona. The event brought in global executives across multiple industries, all with the common goal of using the network to connect ‘things’ and increase operational efficiencies. Here are some of the highlights: 

Smart City Tour

One of the most popular break out sessions at the IoT World Forum has been the Smart+Connected City Tour throughout the old city of Barcelona. Having blogged about the Connected Boulevard project in Nice, France earlier this year, it’s very exciting to see another city make a great leap forward in marrying the city with technology.

The tour took groups of delegates from the conference venue to the old Gothic part of the city with various demonstrations along the way. Within this tour many different aspects of a connected city were demonstrated, showing the potential for the CMX solution to both the citizens and city workers alike. Read More »

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Honesty is the Best BYOD Policy

Does BYOD really mean that my device will become the company’s device? Do I control my private data or does my employer? How can I make sure I maintain a work-life balance when my personal device is also my work device? Will my company support any device I choose?

Some of these questions might seem familiar as more business employees consider adding their own device to their company’s network. These questions also represent an important part of a comprehensive mobile strategy: User buy-in.

Brett Belding BYOD - without headerRecently, I read an interesting CIO article by Adam Bender that highlighted the importance of getting employees on board when implementing a BYOD policy. The article discusses that according to Frost & Sullivan analyst, Audrey William, many employees are worried that they won’t be able to control data on their device once they begin using it for work. In addition, William states that employees are also concerned about the lines blurring between work and play when both personas are merged onto one single device.

Although the concept of BYOD is not new, these concerns have important consequences in our networked world. So, what’s the answer?

An honest, safe, and secure MDM solution and effective policy communication. Read More »

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Deep Dive: Major User Interface Transformation in CMX 7.6

You read about the three flavors of analytics we offer with the Connected Mobile Experiences solution last week. One of the key innovations Evyatar discussed is the a completely transformed user interface for onsite analytics, so I want to give you all a closer look at exactly what enhancements are in store for location analytics CMX 7.6 (available later this year).

Redesigned from the bottom up, the UI update came from a strong team effort to  deliver a solution that is not only relevant to our customers, but intuitive and easy to use for business users. Our vision is that anyone from sales to marketing,  from store management to customer operations should be able to use the tool without having the call the IT guy.

The redesign process considered around the needs and learnings of our early customers, with over 20 individual customer interviews and previews, and incorporated input from proven UI and HCI experts.

The most important feedback was from our customers, and we listened! The new UI contains both overt and subtle changes, all tailored from our customers’ perspective in order to deliver tools they need to make better business decisions, enhance their customers experiences, improve their operational efficiency and increase their revenues

Some of the major UI innovations coming in this release include:

Analytics Dashboard

A new dashboard introduced to deliver key information at a glance when the user first logs in. The dashboard layout can be configured to display the most relevant information to the user so that they can immediately make use of it within the business.

ui1 Read More »

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Mobile Devices Will Transform Your Business IT

There’s no question that more people around the world are connecting to wireless networks at home, work and play via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This rise in mobile device usage begs the question: How soon will it be (if not already) before these mobile devices dominate the mobile network, especially in the workplace?

Chris Spain - with header FINALJust recently, I read an article in Forbes, by Louis Columbus, that addresses the issue of increased mobile devices and unprepared network infrastructures. The article examines a study by IDC that predicts that 87% of sales for connected devices will be tablets and smartphones in next four years. As many employees prefer working from their own mobile devices, corporate networks, as they’re currently designed, will not be capable of successfully managing such a large volume of mobile data traffic generated by these mobile devices. With such expansive growth expected, the majority of businesses will either need to adapt an existing strategy to support this increase in mobile devices or adopt a new strategy.

Currently, there is a clear need for enterprises to better prepare and invest in their IT infrastructure. As more employees use their own devices at work for business and personal use, it’s imperative that business organizations require a secure mobile device and BYOD strategy to accommodate their business needs and employee preferences. However, the decision to adopt BYOD comes with a set of challenges for IT organizations.

Many of the benefits of BYOD, such as having the choice of device and anywhere, anytime access, are somewhat adverse to traditional IT requirements for security and support. In the past, IT pre-determined a list of approved workplace devices, typically a prescribed desktop, laptop, and perhaps even a small, standardized set of mobile phones and smartphones. Employees could choose among these devices, but generally were not permitted to stray from the approved devices list. With BYOD, IT has to approach the problem differently. Read More »

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