cisco

CTS 132 – Location-Based Analytics

Recorded at Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, FL, we speak to Christian Gauer about Wi-Fi location-based analytics.

Meet Greg Skeene

Our featured wireless engineer for this episode is Greg Skeene. He’s a listener of the show and we finally met up during a meetup at Cisco Live. Listen to the episode to hear him answer François’ 10 questions.

Greg Skeene - Wi-Fi Engineer

Location-Based Analytics

This episode was recorded at Cisco Live 2018 in the Podcast Domain. Our guest is Christian Gauer, a TME in Cisco focused on location-based analytics.

We’re new to location-based analytics so we wanted to know more about it. Especially with the increased amount of IoT devices coming on the network. Can we use that data to make business decisions?

What are some of the expectations for location-based analytics? We can expect to do way-finding, locating a device, using an app to locate yourself to draw line on the map of where to go.

Location is calculated by a Cisco CMX box. Data going into CMX needs to be accurate. This means design will be critical. APs should be mounted on the ceiling up to 20 feet high. Multi-trangulation is used in measuring distance-based on RSSI.

More accurate measurements is done with angle of arrival. Multi-trangulation needs more than 3 APs for higher accuracy. More than just triangulation. Why 3 APs minimum? Because of triangulation. With wireless location, a device needs to be inside context of APs. For location, start at the perimeter of the walls.

But why go into location-based analytics? Everyone wants to know whats going on. Top use cases – retail wants to know what’s going on in a shop and how much time customers are spending time in the shop and which section. An airport may want to know what’s going on with security, how much time people are spending there, or maybe there are too many people crowding at the gate.

Take a coffee chain with many locations into consideration. They offer free Wi-Fi. Device get connected and now the coffee chain can track who is connecting to their Wi-Fi network. But how many APs does a coffee shop need? Maybe need 1 or 2 APs for coverage. What kind of info can you get out of it? Is it important where someone sits, maybe not? It can be difficult differentiating someone sitting next to another.. or lining up. Presence provides detection of customer which means you can find out who is stopping by multiple shops. This is how you identify return visitors and measure dwell time. Other methods of using location-based analytics includes having an idea of how busy the store is for staff planning or how long it takes customers to get cup of coffee.

But a store needs to ask the question from the customer point of view, why should I connect to the Wi-Fi? There has to be an offer.

Listen to the episode for more details!

Links & Resources

Wi-Fi Troubleshooting and Optimization

#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by technologists for technologists. In this episode, Cisco Champions Rowell Dionicio and Robert Boardman discuss Cisco WiFi Troubleshooting and Optimization with Jerome Henry.

Jerome Henry is a Principal Engineer, Technical Marketing in the Wi-Fi Business Unit. He has extensive experience in troubleshooting wireless networks. In this Cisco Champion Radio episode, we talk Jerome about tools for troubleshooting wifi, packet analysis and MIMO considerations, using Excel to troubleshoot (yes Excel!), access points coverage, most common issues, and Jerome’s process for optimizing a wireless network.

Rowell and Robert host a video channel together called Wi-Fi of Everything. Be sure to check it out and subscribe!

You can catch this episode on Sound Cloud and listen to the other Cisco Champion Radio episodes as well.

CTS 119: Our RRM Experience

Coming off the Cisco Champion Radio podcast, François and Rowell share their RRM experience.

 

Our Cisco RRM Experience

We use Cisco RRM on a daily basis and in most of the environments we configure and manage. It’s come a long way since it’s introduction but we’re both still learning so much about Cisco RRM.

For a large environment, RRM is a useful tool. But when changes are done on the WLAN, RRM needs to be reset and settled.

In this episode, we talk about our experience using RRM. What does it mean to design with RRM in mind? How does one use RRM with high density, capacity, coverage, etc while keeping ensuring it meets requirements.

We touch upon using design tools such as Ekahau Site Survey and how you use those design tools with RRM. Can it be done?

And what do we think about those who don’t think RRM works at all? We touch on that just a little.

Take a listen to the episode and share your experience in the comments below.

Links and Resources

Cisco RRM: Clear To Send Hosts Cisco Champion Radio

François and I were fortunate to be able to host Cisco Champion Radio this week. We tackled the topic of Cisco Radio Resource Management (RRM) with subject matter expert, Jim Florwick.

Jim is a Technical Marketing Engineer with deep knowledge of how Cisco RRM works.

I started off the conversation by asking Jim what the most common misconceptions are of RRM. He provides a great response because many people seem to leave RRM at its defaults or believe RRM would fix all their RF problems.

Jim provides insight into how the algorithms work and how you should consider them into your design or existing WLAN infrastructure. The important tip he provided was to initiate a DCA restart when major changes have been applied to the WLAN. These changes can be new APs, channel changes, a new controller, you name it.

François asked an important question, how do you perform your validation surveys with RRM in mind? Jim responded with freezing RRM to prevent any changes from occurring while you’re conducting your validation survey. You don’t want to see the same AP shown with two different channels or have transmit power changing while you’re doing your survey.

We then go into the addition of FRA and the complexity it adds to RRM and other topics as well. Give the episode a listen on SoundCloud!

Links and Resources

CTS 112: Wi-Fi Assurance With Sensors

Fred Niehaus and Wes Purvis, of Cisco, discuss how the network sensor brings an impact with Wi-Fi assurance.

CTS 112

The Network Sensor

This episode was all brought together because of a recent announcement of Cisco’s dedicated Wi-Fi network sensor. A smaller AP-looking device, similar to the Cisco 1815, that can be wall-mounted or placed close to the users. It’s purpose is to validate Wi-Fi connectivity.

Named the Cisco Aironet Sensor, there are three components:

  • Wireless performance analytics
  • Real-time client troubleshooting
  • Proactive Health Assessment

Wes Purvis talks about the requirements of running the dedicated sensor:

  • Cisco WLC with 8.5 MR2
  • Cisco DNA Center
Tests for the Cisco Sensor

Cisco Aironet Sensor Tests

François and Rowell ask why even build a sensor with other companies in the market also developing their own kind of sensors. Primarily it was to give more visibility into the network and to do prescribed testing.

The Cisco Aironet Sensor will associate directly with a Cisco AP. Various health checks can be performed by acting like a client device. The results of those tests bypass the Cisco WLC and get reported directly to Cisco DNA Center.

There are three modes to the sensor:

  • Active sensor
  • Wave 2 AP as a sensor
  • Radio as a sensor
Results of the sensor tests

Results of the tests ran by the network sensor

Those last two modes are interesting. A Wave 2 AP can stop serving clients and become a sensor itself to run any diagnostic tests. The third option is available to APs with an XOR radio. One of the radios goes out of service to clients and acts as a client itself, connecting to other APs.

In the episode we did speak about turning an AP into a sensor and the cautions there. Because APs are not near the clients, the results may not reflect the experience of a real client.

Currently, Cisco supports a number of different tests on the sensor. There are about 10-15 available with future expansion into custom tests. Some of those tests include:

  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • Basic connectivity
  • Default gateway
  • Connect to an IP address
  • RADIUS
  • Download a webpage
  • FTP test

Let us know what you think below in the comments after you listen to the episode with Wes Purvis and Fred Niehaus.

The heatmap of a Cisco sensor.

Sensor heatmap

This Week In Wireless

New CWNE this week – Oguzhan Eren from Turkey became CWNE #266

CWNP Wi-Fi Trek Registration – The registration for this years CWNP Wi-Fi Trek conference begins on March 12th.
Registration Link

T-Mobile Annouces Plans to Deploy 5G in 30 U.S. Cities this year. T-Mobile is already installing 5G equipment as it continues to build its LTE network in the US. The company should be able to deploy a comprehensive 5G layer in time for the debut of 5G consumer devices next year. The service will be used over the 600 MHz spectrum along with spectrum in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands. First cities to be served: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas. Read more here.

LTE University
Following a Twitter conversation which happened last weekend driven by Jeremy Ward on Private LTE networks or LTE network in general. Jeremy recommended the lteuniversity.com website to start learning about LTE.

Links and Resources