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Passing notes with paper airplanes and resilient MACs

Here’s the fact folks -- I’m getting married… in three months. In order to ensure that I’m going to be an awesome husband, I’ve been going to marriage class. Unfortunately, sitting in class made me regress to my younger years when I spent time honing my airplane making skills. Read More »

How to defeat the laws of physics

In my blog posting on enterprise WLAN, I talked about how the 2.4 spectrum simply does not have enough capacity for large scale deployments. My thesis was that users should really be looking to maximize the 5Ghz spectrum for their use (while recognizing that legacy devices will continue to exist in the 2.4 spectrum). Following this article, some vendors argued that existing WLAN architectures could not meet the needs of the enterprise, and the only valid architecture was one that used the same channel across all APs. They claim that a single channel architecture is the only one that can support fast roaming and provides maximum performance. In this blog series, I will explain why this is myth. Read More »

What’s up with MIMO? – Part Deux

In my first episode on MIMO (What’s up with MIMO), I introduced the concept of multiple antennas and the home audio analogy. In this example, I discussed one particular mode of MIMO that transmits the same stream across all antennas, and makes use of multipath to increase the chance of correctly decoding the received signal -- thus lowering the bit error rate. This method exploits what is known as spatial diversity, which is one of the simplest method to achieve MIMO gains. But MIMO is much more than that. Read More »

What’s mobility to an SMB?

When it comes to WLAN applications, small and medium businesses clearly have a different set of priorities than enterprise customers. In a much more direct way, their IT strategy (if there is one) is driven by immediate business needs. For example, I recently spoke with the administrator of a small medical group. He needs to move the clinic from a paper based operation to an electronic medical records system. His key business problem is moving paper charts around -across multiple sites. To use his words, it’s a nightmare. This medical group has no wireless network today. Security continues to be his greatest concern. However, when they do implement an EMR system in the next 6 months, it will drive the need for a pervasive, reliable, and of course secure wireless network.So how’s this different then enterprise? He’s not even thinking about niceties such as guest access, VoWLAN, location or asset tracking. His mobility application is EMR, plain and simple. He readily ticks off the benefits from improved staff productivity, more accurate records, and therefore better patient care. BTW -his most trusted technical advisor is his son. He has one outsourced, part time IT guy. And he still needs to figure out what it means to be HIPAA compliant in a wireless world.

What’s an SMB?

I love Wikipedia. I just do -it just speaks to me. So of course I had to check out the Wikipedia definition of SMB. Lot’s of interesting possibilities including Small Mouth Bass, Steve Miller Band, Server Message Block protocol. Plus some of which are just way too inappropriate to mention. Here’s a liberally paraphrased version of the Wikipedia definition I was after:”┼ôSmall and medium enterprises or SMEs are companies whose headcount or turnover (revenue) falls below certain limits. The EU categorizes companies with fewer than 50 employees as “small”, and those with fewer than 250 as “medium”. In the US, SMB often refers to companies with less than 100 employees, while medium-sized business often refers to those with less than 500 employees.” Cisco defines SMB pretty much along the lines of the EU definition. These definitions are fairly meaningless because they imply that SMBs are just small enterprises. But thinking in terms of mobility, small and medium size companies are different than enterprises in 3 key ways: Read More »