Wireless networking is now considered a must have in nearly all industries. It’s no surprise I get a lot of comments from clients who believe they are experiencing wireless trouble in some form or fashion. They aren’t sure if it’s related to wireless controller configuration, AP placement, coverage gaps, interference, or even client machine problems. Even though Wi-Fi is nearly as prevalent as indoor plumbing, it doesn’t mean it’s always deployed properly, is reliable enough, or fast enough to address our clients needs. When something is not quite right with WIFI performance, what do I do? I’ll tell you what I do! I suggest a wireless survey and wireless assessment. Surveys are the best tool a wireless engineer has available to assist them with visualizing an invisible medium like RF. Actively scanning the frequency ranges often used for Wi-Fi as the physical location is walked is the de-facto way to record concrete data on signal, strength, interference, and a whole range of other valuable information. It’s really the only way to understand exactly what’s happening between a laptop client and the access points that dot a location.
A few months of ago I was asked to help bring up a branch site for one of LookingPoint’s clients. This was unscheduled work and it was the first time I encountered Cisco’s Mobility Express. My previous projects have been enterprise deployments either using the traditional WLC or Meraki’s cloud managed APs. With Mobility Express, Cisco allows an AP to run as a wireless controller. Starting with 802.11ac Wave 2 access points, Cisco embedded a virtual WLC into the access point. I was pleasantly surprise and thought this make perfect sense for branch offices or for small to medium-sized businesses. No longer are branch sites tethered to HQ for wireless with capwap tunnels from branch site APs having to register with the WLC at HQ. This can be a great solution for sites with limited IT staff.
Yesterday Cisco hosted the Cisco Spark Launch in San Francisco, CA. The event included an exclusive look at the latest Cisco Spark innovations, hands-on demonstrations, and thoughts and remarks from event hosts Chuck Robbins, CEO, and Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM of Cisco's IoT and Applications.
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