It is no longer a question of “if” your organization will face the new reality of mobile device proliferation, just an ever closer “how soon.” Users expect the network to enable trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and they aren’t just using smartphones and tablets to be more productive, they are falling in love with them. For businesses, simply allowing access isn’t the answer. It’s a question of relevant, secure access across the entire network, while protecting corporate assets and delivering an optimal user experience. Cisco focuses on exactly that – how to enable a simple and secure mobility experience, with a consistent end-to-end architecture across wired, wireless and VPN access.
As a cornerstone of this wired-wireless access architecture, the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) has already been helping customers like Whittier Union High School, San Antonio Water System and BlueWater Communications Group apply consistent security across the entire network through a centralized, single policy source.
Whittier Union High School District, a California high school district serving more than 13,600 students, was facing the challenge of mobile devices. Both faculty and students were bringing their personal devices on campus, many for educational apps and tools.
“It’s becoming increasingly critical to provide employees, students, and visitors access to our network and extensive educational resources given the growing expectations of our tech-savvy population,” stated Karen Yeh, Director of Information Technology, Whittier Union High School District.
Whittier needed a way to apply differentiated policy across their student and staff populations, somehow managing access for both personal and corporate devices, all without increasing IT resources. Karen called Cisco, and two weeks later her team was deploying the Cisco ISE, implementing a single point of security policy for their networks across wired, wireless and VPN. Considering that Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the US went to Whittier High School, the flexible network access enabled by Cisco ISE may be empowering the next generation of leaders, scientist or artists. But, mobile devices aren’t confined to education. San Antonio Water System, a public utility owned by the city of San Antonio, is seeing surprisingly similar issues.
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Tags: 802.11n, 802.1x, byod, Identity Services Engine, ISE, mobile devices, mobility, network management, policy, security, Smartphones, Tablets, vpn, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wireless LAN, wlan
Lately I had been spending a lot of time in the office rather than on the road. Which isn’t all bad, as it gives me some semblance of a routine rather than living out of a suitcase. It has also has given me some spare time to come up with another blog topic, which actually stems from some of the work I have been doing for customers lately.
Typically when a site survey is being done, we will do spectrum analysis work as well, part of my job entails creating and reviewing documents from this work, prior to delivering them to customers, which means I have been watching a lot of spectrum analysis lately. Most of the customers I have worked with recently have been with CleanAir APs, so they will be able to monitor their environment in real time, once the WLAN is up and running. However it’s always a good idea to perform some spectral analysis while you are walking around doing a site survey. And really why not? If you are there and you have a few minutes, fire up the old spectrum card and get a capture of whats going on with your RF. This helps make sure there aren’t any major layer 1 surprises when you go to install the new WLAN. It doesn’t mean things won’t change, and they often will, due to the dynamic nature of RF. It’s an ever changing environment, so what wasn’t there on Monday, might show up on Tuesday and be gone again by Wednesday.
Before jumping into particular types of interferes let’s talk about some of the data that Cisco Spectrum Expert can show you. Two of the things I like to look at when looking at the RF in Cisco Spectrum Expert, are Real Time FFT and Duty Cycle plots, as pictured below.
The Real Time FFT is showing you is the RF energy in real time measured in dBm, so how loud or quiet the device is. The next is the FFT Duty Cycle, which simply put it’s how utilized the RF is. Let’s say you have a device that is being captured as having a 1% duty cycle. This means it’s using a very small amount of the available ‘air time’ to transmit its data. Conversly if there is a device that is showing a 100% duty cycle it is using up all the ‘air time’ and not allowing other devices to use the RF medium to transmit.
Two other views I find helpful are the Spectrogram views. These display the same info as the plots above, but are plotted out over time. I use them in a few of the examples below.
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Tags: bluetooth, cleanair, interference, rf, rf interference, site survey, spectrum analysis, wi-fi, wifi, wireless LAN, wlan
In a classic performance, captured here on Youtube, Steve Balmer does a pretty good job of illustrating his feelings on the importance of developers. We share his enthusiasm.
You have probably already heard that we have an enterprise tablet, the Cius, with corporate telepresence, baked-in security/encryption, VXI, docking stations, display out and a bunch of other features that make it the ideal corporate citizen. One of those features of particular note to developers is the enterprise app store, AppHQ. The AppHQ makes it easier for Cius owners to find apps, while providing an easy route to market for developers. Of course, things like the AppHQ are far more interesting when well stocked with interesting apps, which brings us to the next point…
Cius Developer Program
Speaking of developers, Cisco has a substantial developer network, not surprisingly called the Cisco Developer Network. Better yet, part of that larger effort is the Cius Developer program. We make it easy. Cius uses the popular Android OS, the apps you write will appear in the Cisco AppHQ (if you charge for your apps, you get 70%) and we will help you along the way, with forums, extensive documentation including a solid API reference, and sample code and apps. By the way, did you know what 85% of the Fortune 500 use Cisco Unified Communications?
To help get the word out on the Cius Developer program, Cisco will be at Droidcon London. Participate in our “Crack the Code” breakout session with Marcus O’ Sullivan, Business Development at Cisco on the first day at 2:40 PM in room two. Then, have a drink on us; we’ll be sponsoring drinks later in the exhibit hall. On the second day, Tim Stone, Cisco Business Development Director will give a key note on the insights on enterprise mobility strategies first day at 9:35 AM in the auditorium.
If you miss some of these events, that’s okay, you can always drop by our booth, [booth number] any time—you wouldn’t be able to miss it. Bring some ideas, we’ll be glad to chat with you about the possibilities that are out there for you.
We are also giving away two Cius tablets at Droidcon—just drop your business card off at one of the events or at our booth and we will pick two winners!
So, if you can, please join us at Droidcon – we look forward to hearing from you. If you can’t make it to Droidcon, we certainly encourage you to join the Cius Developer Program.
Remember, there are lots of ecosystems out there but the good ones all have one thing in common…
Developers, developers, developers!
Tags: Android, byod, Cius, developers, droid, droidcon, mobile devices, wi-fo, wifi
We all see a growing trend of using wireless technologies in hospitals due to its benefits in cutting healthcare costs and increasing accessibility for patients and healthcare providers. Wireless applications have the potential to improve care by providing real-time access to a patient’s medical history including treatments, medications, laboratory tests, insurance information and more.
Our customer, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics – one of the leading children’s hospitals in the U.S.—works tirelessly to help ensure healthcare providers, administrators, and patients have access to leading technologies. So when it came to managing the hospitals’ wireless network, IT managers knew they needed a best-in-class solution. Deploying the right wireless technologies is not only a matter of adopting reliable solutions – it’s also about putting the systems in place to identify and mitigate wireless interference, which can be a major challenge at a busy hospital.
To combat this, the hospital deployed the Cisco Aironet 3500 Series access points throughout the campus to enable high-performance 802.11n wireless services and Cisco CleanAir technology to both troubleshoot problem areas and optimize the wireless environment. The IT team quickly identified and addressed many areas of interference, including pinpointing that some interference was coming from public buses changing traffic lights at a nearby bus stop. With the powerful Cisco environment, Children’s Mercy Hospitals is moving to a “self-healing” wireless network that will automatically fix itself when interference is encountered.
Listen to what the customer has to say about their deployment and Cisco CleanAir: Watch now. You can also read and download the PDF version.
Tags: cleanair, rf interference, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wireless LAN, wireless network, wlan
During last month’s Cisco Live event in Las Vegas, we invited a few guests to take a tour of the data center of one of our customers, Switch Communications Group. Switch hosts data and servers for several casinos and government agencies, among other high-profile customers, and they take security VERY seriously.
As Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal described, once the guests passed through security – which included a holding room and confiscated IDs – armed guards monitored every step the guests took while inside the data center, and strictly enforced all policies that disallowed any photography and basically touching anything.
You could think of this experience as a metaphor for the capabilities of Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) – just without the armed guards.
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