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Wireless Controller Redundancy with No Client Reauthentication Needed

July 12, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

Last fall, I blogged about No SSID Outage or Access Point Stateful Switchover introduced with the AireOS 7.3 release whereby if your wireless LAN Controller fails due to some hardware failure, thousands of Access Points fail over sub-second to the standby controller! This is possible due to continuous synchronization of CAPWAP states, Configuration Changes, Radio Channel and Power, Roaming Keys and Access Point licenses between the two Controllers. This means even if the administrator changes the configuration, channel plans or the clients roam and the primary controller fails; the Access Points will simply fail over in a stateful fashion to the secondary. In this blog, I will share details on the upcoming enhancements to High Availabilty with the 7.5 release.

In the upcoming AireOS 7.5 release, we take High Availability to the next level with two critical enhancements.

1. Today, after Access Points fail over from the primary to the standby controller, each client tries to re-authenticate and the standby controller then checks against its CCKM database whether the client has already authenticated. At the rate of several tens of authentications per second, it can take anywhere from zero to a few hundred seconds for the tens of thousands of clients that are connected to a controller to re-authenticate. The client stateful essentially eliminates this downtime with sub-second failover. Thus the total downtime that any user running a voice-call or Citrix session experiences is 2-3 seconds that the application requires to reconnect.

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More on Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences in Nice, France

Last month I wrote about the Connected Mobile Experiences deployment in Nice. One of the most interesting things I saw at the iCity launch in Nice was a real cool application that can leverage the power of Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution to deliver very unique and exciting capabilities.

Imagine visiting a city and being able to leave your friends digital messages that only they can read when they get to a specific location. Or walking into a new area and getting localized information right then about a specific event. Or customizing signage in whatever language in native to the visitor. Imagine being able to create your own sticky note and making it public or private anytime anyplace electronically.

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All of these things are just some of the possibilities that are now made available using ‘digital graffiti’ from a small startup in the South of France called Geekgaps.

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The Next Big Innovation Cycle for Hoteliers

Remember the time when we were trying to figure out exactly what the Internet was? Web pages and dot coms didn’t make complete sense. Wow, how times have changed. Today, our world revolves around the Internet. Most of us connect every day. And now, we are doing more than just connecting.

Our team recently joined other industry experts at HITEC 2013, the world’s largest hospitality technology show. Hot topics discussed at the show included the next generation guest, including BYOC (bring your own content), social media, Wi-Fi services, data security, mobility and more. But one topic stood out among the others – the next big innovation cycle for hoteliers.

So what is the next big innovation cycle for hoteliers?

The one thing about innovation in hotels that stands out to me right now is that it’s almost a constant two-way dialogue between the hotel and guest. When we leverage the network beyond just connecting to the Internet, the possibilities are nearly endless.  This two-way dialogue creates an opportunity to better serve customer needs. And if we pay attention to guests’ dialogue and understand their daily physical and digital habits and desires, there is no more assuming what those needs are. By constantly gathering data to determine future needs, we can create a system that not only is a solution, but can help determine solutions for the future. Read More »

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Creating a Wi-Fi Monetization Virtuous Circle

In the decade or so that Wi-Fi has existed, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed it as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  Now mobile operators around the world are asking how they can effectively use Wi-Fi to help them cope with the huge surge in mobile data traffic and to meet customer needs and expectations.  In addition, they are all eager to understand how they can make money from Wi-Fi and to make the business case to justify investments in deploying Wi-Fi networks.

As many leading SPs are now discovering building a Wi-Fi network creates not only significant business value, but creates a virtuous circle that leads to ever-increasing sources of new Wi-Fi value. As the Wi-Fi Monetization Virtuous Circle outlined below shows, the reinforcing network and scale effects of Wi-Fi investments not only deliver unique business benefits at each of the levels, but also establish a valuable platform to exploit additional monetization opportunities at the next level.

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802.11ac in the Healthcare Industry

Live Webinar on 802.11ac in Healthcare July 16, 10am | Register Now

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With any new wireless technology, much of what is initially written in the first year is usually focused around the bits and bytes and the speeds and feeds of the technology. This is true for 802.11ac where any Google search will yield a plethora of articles on the potential of Gigabit wireless or that it runs on the 5GHz band and could have up to 8 spatial streams. However, the conversations must start moving towards discussing how the technology can be used in practical situations. In the case of our 802.11ac Module for the 3600, we feel very strongly that it is necessary to not only talk about the speeds and feeds of  802.11ac, but also show how a customer plans to use 802.11ac.

That’s why at our popular presentation at Cisco Live! Orlando, we first discussed the 802.11ac Standard, Cisco’s 802.11ac solution and how it can be used in various networks, and then invited representatives from Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX to discuss their experience to date with 802.11ac. Read More »

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