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MSE Blog Series Part 1: How to Optimize Your CleanAir Experience

This is the first in series of blogs discussing various features of the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), an integral, yet often overlooked component that can turbocharge your existing interference detection capabilities. This post describes MSE and how it can help locate interference in your wireless network.

So you have a CleanAir Solution comprised of top-grade, enterprise-class Cisco access points and controllers: finally, a network of minimized interference.

But what happens when a rogue device intrudes on your peaceful network? How can you maintain crisp, fast wireless performance?

Luckily for you, the enterprise-class wireless experience enabled by CleanAir technology can be further enhanced and maintained with Cisco’s Mobility Services Engine (MSE).

MSE is a platform on which you can run services like Context Aware Service (CAS), Wireless Intrusion Prevention Service (wIPS), and Mobile Concierge, all of which are services that can help in monitoring your wireless infrastructure. Designed to integrate with existing CleanAir infrastructure, MSE is a ground-breaking technology that allows network administrators to achieve extremely high quality, interference-less wireless performance.

How exactly does it do this?

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Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Cisco Wireless Network for the Apple iPhone 5 & Other Dual Band Smartphones

Last week Apple dominated tech headlines when it announced details of the iPhone 5. With its release today, thousands of fans will line up across the globe to be the first to try the new smartphone.

There have been a number of iPhone improvements, but the one I find significant is the fact that the iPhone 5 will have dual band Wi-Fi. This means that in addition to supporting the 2.4GHz band, it will now support the 5GHz band. Why is this significant? Well, the iPhone joins a number of other smartphone vendors who now have products capable of operating in both the 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) and 802,11a/n (5GHz) Wi-Fi bands. Other vendors that stack up include Samsung’s Galaxy S III and HTC’s One X.

Why is this 5GHz important? There is certainly nothing wrong with the 2.4GHz band. Both bands are unlicensed in most regions of the world. However, with the proliferation of devices due to the growing BYOD trend, the 2.4GHz band is getting real crowded. Remember: the 2.4GHz band only has 3 non-overlapping channels available. Think about it: all these devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and access points are competing for the available bandwidth while interference increases.  In short, the 2.4GHz band just doesn’t have enough capacity for all these competing devices.

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Pervasive Wireless for BYOD Webinar: Q&A Session

We recently recorded a webinar on Pervasive Wireless for BYOD. If you missed the webinar, you can find a recording of it here. During the session there were a number of great questions that came up and we felt it would be good to post them on the Cisco Mobility Blog. Here is a selection of the most informative questions from the session:

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Four Steps to Prepare Your Network for the Challenges of BYOD and Pervasive Wireless

I know BYOD is hitting close to home when I’m receiving notices from the local middle and high schools requiring students to bring their own tablets to class. It is efforts like these that show BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as more than simply a marketing term being thrown around by various network vendors—it’s undeniably real and it’s all around us.

With that in mind, the promise of BYOD will come with its challenges—the deployment and management risks involved threaten to be a major headache for IT managers if they are not properly prepared for it. When it comes to wireless networks, preparing and planning for potential future technological trends is always a best practice. We know our customers will be faced with the challenge of preparing for BYOD, and we want to help. That’s why we are hosting a webinar called Pervasive Wireless for BYOD.

We plan to discuss how to best prepare your network for the challenges and management risks inherent to a BYOD deployment:

  • New user expectations in an evolving workplace landscape.
  • The enterprise no longer owns the mobile devices accessing the network.
  • IT has lost visibility and control of user devices and applications.

With BYOD, anywhere, anytime, any device usage is expected from the user, and the workplace is now globally dispersed with users touting mixed wireless devices. This paradigm shift calls for dramatic changes in how IT controls and manages users, devices, and applications.  It is critical to be aware of these challenges when planning, deploying and managing your network for BYOD.

To give you a taste of what is included in the webinar; here are four steps we will be discussing:

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Wireless Security and Monitoring via the Cisco Aironet 3600 Expansion Module

A recent highway project in Orlando had proposed that an off-ramp be built for a future neighborhood and development center. Because the area was planned for future development, this caused some debate within the community. Some argued that that there was no point to spending money on something that might not be possible in the future. Others argued that it was good idea to build the off-ramp and spend the money now so when the neighborhood and development center was ready, a cost savings would occur since building it now would save money in the future. Both sides have good arguments and after some healthy debate, the off-ramp was built for the future neighborhood and development center, which both are now thriving.

Well, what does this have to do with Cisco and wireless technology? This is a good example of how the 3600 Access Point was designed. Even with the pressures of time to market and cost management, the development team took the extra time to add the option for future modular expansion. The same debates in the Orlando community took place here between development engineering and product management. “It will cost too much and delay the release of the product (especially in an industry where time to market is essential)” versus “Let’s have modularity so we can address whatever future technology is available so our customers can take advantage of it without having to rip & replace their APs”. We like to say we’re “future proofing” the AP.

Well, the future proofing argument won, and the 3600 was released last January with an expansion module for additional features and emerging technology. Already in May  we announced the 802.11ac Radio Module that will support the emerging standard.

Now, we have another addition to this expansion: the Security and Monitor Module. Read More »

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