cisco live

CTS 163: Cisco 802.11ax APs & Cisco Live

Cisco Live

We have an episode full of Cisco goodness. Recently, Cisco released the data sheets to two 802.11ax access points. We have the details on these two APs, their capabilities, and some of our opinions.

And speaking of Cisco, right around the corner is Cisco Live. We have our tips and the sessions we’re looking forward to.

Cisco Live Tips

The following Cisco Live tips were written on Rowell’s blog – Attendee Guide to Cisco Live 2019. It’s going to be hosted in San Diego, CA this year which should be a fun event. Check out the blog and register for Cisco Live if you haven’t done so already!

  • Bring a smile!
  • Meetups
    • Cisco Champions
    • Twitter
    • Friends
  • Exams – book early
  • Bring walking shoes.
  • Bring a jacket – sometimes the A/C is blasting inside the conference.
  • Portable battery packs – for your mobile devices.
  • Drink plenty of water – it’s best you bring your own reusable. I like to use my Hydro Flask. Empty out the contents before you pass through TSA.
  • Tylenol might be useful for those headaches. Either from learning so much by the fire hose or from partying the night before.
  • Book your sessions once they’re available. Some fill up quickly and you’ll be let on the waitlist.
  • Book your exam early! Schedule it on Saturday or Sunday before the chaos of the conference begins.
  • Download the Starbucks app. The lines for coffee get really long. Download the app and do mobile purchase. Skip the lines.
  • Don’t bring a backpack. You’ll get one at Cisco Live.
  • Leave room in your luggage. If you plan on grabbing swag, this is the conference that will fill up your bag, easily.
  • Hang around after each of your sessions and thank the presenter.
  • Check out DevNet Create and get hands on.

Sessions on Wi-Fi to Look Out For

Roadmap: Wireless and Mobility – CCP-120

Hear about the future of wireless, and how Cisco bridges 5G and WiFi 6. And, learn how our open platform delivers network and location analytics to support IT and business use cases.

Securely Designing Your Wireless LAN for Threat Mitigation, Policy and BYOD- BRKEWN-2005

The session will cover effective strategies to build a defence-in-depth security model and the role of network segmentation in implementing Software-Defined Access (VLANs, VRF and TrustSec) for wireless networks. Participants will learn the principles of secured wireless networks (encryption, 802.1X, guest access, etc.) and the latest identity services available to securely onboard different kinds of devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, IoT etc.) and users (employees, guests, contractors, etc.). This session will guide you through designing a fabric-integrated wireless deployment enabled for security, mobility and policy.

Introduction to Next Generation Wireless Stack – BRKEWN-2010

This session will introduce the Next Generation Wireless Stack for enterprise and branch office WLAN deployments, i.e. the core technologies that drive and enable mobility services. Topics covered include protocol details like CAPWAP, deep-dives into new controller Catalyst 9800 features like High Availability, Security and integration with Cisco DNA Center and Cisco 11ax Access Points. We will also introduce Cisco DNA spaces and integration with the next generation stack.

Introduction to Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers – BRKEWN-2670

Your next generation Wireless controller is the Catalyst 9800, available as an appliance, cloud and embedded controller on switch form factor  with IOS XE 16.10 and later. In this introductory session, you will learn how to get your Wireless network up and running with the C9800 controller, from Day 0 provisioning, High Availability, Patching, Programmability, Telemetry to Simplified configuration and Migration. You will also learn about the capabilities of the new wireless controller appliances running the Catalyst 9800 Wireless software.

Advanced Troubleshooting of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller – BRKEWN-3013

The session will cover troubleshooting of new-generation Wireless LAN Controllers including real-life examples. Participants will learn how IOS-XE capabilities like packet tracing and radioactive tracing are replacing debugs. The session will cover the hardware and software architecture specifics and all the serviceability improvements pertaining to making the troubleshooting effortless in everyday scenarios. The session assumes general knowledge of Cisco Unified Wireless troubleshooting and focuses on the methods to troubleshoot the newer platform.

Design and Use Cases of a Location Enabled Wi-Fi Network Supported by Cisco DNA Spaces – BRKEWN-2012

WLAN location based services is opening a whole new ecosystem of applications applicable to numerous verticals such as retail, healthcare, hospitality, education and others. New capabilities in device silicon have improved the accuracy of the ‘blue dot’, the user experience and the networks ability to provide relevant services. This session will explain the fundamentals of WLAN location based services, architecture, design and best practices. RF triangulation and architecture will be explained in light of the AP, Controller and CMX. Several models will be covered, including: location mapping, analytics, and location based application integration.

Advanced Troubleshooting of Wireless LANs – BRKEWN-3011

This session discusses troubleshooting techniques and best practices for the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Architecture (CUWN). Major topics include RF Validation, Wireless Authentication, and Client Roaming. We will talk about common client problems by looking at the various WLC and AP information, tools, and debugs used by TAC to resolve issues. We will also discuss the best practices to ensure you keep your users online and working.

Cisco DNA Assurance for Next Generation WIreless: Isolate problems for faster troubleshooting – BRKEWN-2034

You do not have time to deal with network issues anymore. In the past you would design RF coverage, build the WLANs, hope for the best, and react to alarms and user complaints. This logic would force you to constantly react to fire drills, running every day to assess issues as they were reported to you. What if you could benefit from tools that would anticipate these issues, instead of simply reporting once they occurred? The logic of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is not only to provide an abstraction for automation and policies, but also provide a virtuous feedback loop, allowing you to visualize the consequences of your configurations. Intelligent analytics allows you to observe trends, work on what-if scenarios, and be warned about issues before they actually explode and collapse your network. In this session, you will get a deep dive exposure to the new Cisco DNA Center Assurance tool, to monitor trends in your network, anticipate issues, get intelligent (human readable), meaningful and synthetic messages on the state of your network, your clients and their applications, and easily troubleshoot issues once you identify an unsafe trend.

Optimize your WLANs for small and mobile devices (phones, tablets and alike) – BRKEWN-2003

Smartphones and tablets often represent 60 percent or more of your WiFi clients, and people use voice and video calls on these devices while roaming. Turn aroud, and their signal drops by 30 dBm in less than a second. Optimizing a WLAN for highly mobile devices running real-time applications requires careful design and specific configurations. Cisco has introduced new features to optimize WiFi experience for Apple iOS devices, and iOS comes with new settings to better associate, roam and optimize traffic in Cisco WiFi networks. Cisco also works with large Android and laptop system manufacturers to tailor the WLANs to these devices’ needs. In this session, you will learn how to configure both sides, and how to optimize your wifi design to offer a seamless experience to your mobile clients, especially with real time applications. At the end of this session, you should know how these different types of clients see the network, and how to deploy and configure your WLANs to offer an optimal quality of experience for these clients.

High Density Wi-Fi Design, Deployment and Optimization – BRKEWN-2013

This session will cover an array of detailed tips, tricks, and tools for configuring and optimizing High Density WiFi networks in today’s most challenging environments, including valuable real-world insights on how the Cisco Access Point and Antenna portfolio can be leveraged to deliver an unparalleled user experience. Attend this session to hear real-world hints directly from engineers who have deployed networks for some of the largest sports venues and events worldwide.

Understanding RAN Spectrum Co-ordination and Cisco RF Features – BRKEWN-3010

The RF Landscape continues to change…With 802.11ax now entering the market and 5G standard beginning to mature a paradigm shift is re-shaping the entire industry . This session will focus on how Cisco’s RRM and related tools will help you to keep pace with and manage the transition into the next generation of wireless networks. RRM, CleanAir, ClientLink and other tools, explaining how they work, and how to use them effectively to optimize your network. This use-case-driven session promises to help you put these tools into perspective, and solve and prevent issues related to changing network demographics like coverage vs capacity, 802.11ac and now 802.11ax and the Overlapping BSS (OBSS) channelization and deployment strategies. This is an advanced session, so a solid understanding of 802.11PHYbasics and a little exposure to the 802.11ax specification and a basic familiarity of RRM are advised.

Advanced Troubleshooting of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers – BRKEWN-3013

The session will cover troubleshooting of new-generation Wireless LAN Controllers including real-life examples. Participants will learn how IOS-XE capabilities like packet tracing and radioactive tracing are replacing debugs. The session will cover the hardware and software architecture specifics and all the serviceability improvements pertaining to making the troubleshooting effortless in everyday scenarios. The session assumes general knowledge of Cisco Unified Wireless troubleshooting and focuses on the methods to troubleshoot the newer platform.

Advancements in Wireless Security – BRKEWN-2006

Recently, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced three new programs to advance wireless security: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™, Wi-Fi Certified Enhanced Open™, and Wi-Fi Certified Easy Connect™. This session will explore the details around these programs, including the history of wireless security, its ties to other standards bodies, the problems they solve, and guidance on how and when to adopt them in an enterprise wireless network. Attendees will hear from and speak with Stephen Orr, the Wi-Fi Alliance’s® Security task group chairman, and Bob Sayle, a contributing member of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s® Device Provisioning Protocol task group.

Sessions on 5G

5G Technology Updates – BRKSPM-2017

The mobile industry is constantly evolving by building capabilities to enhance value to consumers. 5G technologies will not only provide higher throughput, low latency and enable connectivities to billions of devices but it will provide enable new use cases to drive industry growth. 5G will be deployed on virtualized platforms which will have big impact on infrastructures, security, automation and this will require network and operations transformation.

The speakers are doing hands-on work to build 5G use cases in Cisco laboratories and working with customers globally for 5G proof of concepts and trials. We will start with 5G industry updates and what has changed in last one year, Cisco 5G plan, use cases we are working and learning, 5G security landscape and how to manage. You will also see live demonstration of how we can auto-deploy 5G services using end-to-end automation platform.

5G Mobile Transport Design and Deployment

Mobile service providers seek a new approach to address the increasing traffic demands. They require solutions that can help them to: Lower operational expenditures Improve Time to Revenue and Average Revenue per User (ARPU) Profitably transport the massive increase in user bandwidth Provide ultra-HD video, virtual reality, and tactile internet services anywhere, anytime, to any Internet-enabled device. Cisco Mobile xhaul Solution combines best of class Mobile & IP technologies to provide a simplified programmable transport of Mobile services using High performance platforms. A converged IP/MPLS architecture greatly increases service agility and decreases Time-to-Revenue. With an Agile, open, and virtualized architecture supporting open standards, and programmatic APIs for services orchestration, the Cisco Mobile xhaul Solution is “SDN ready” today.

5G xHaul Transport – BRKSPM-2012

LTE was about connectivity, however 5G will be about immersive experience, led by new services enhanced mobile broadband access everywhere (1Gpbs per UE), massive Internet of things, tactile Internet, higher user mobility, ultra-reliable communications & enterprise use cases. These services have divergent latency and throughput requirement requiring network transformation in addition to radio evolution “5G NR”. It is critical to invest in backhaul, midhaul & fronthaul (xHaul) evolution otherwise RAN gains will not be realized This session will address transport transformation through Segment Routing, stringent synchronization through phase and frequency, CPRI evolution to address 5G fronthaul requirement, virtualization and split of packet core to bring data plane closer to the user, telemetry for network insight and proactive health monitoring and orchestration through Cisco Crosswork.

Voice Over 5G Mobile Packet Core – BRKSPM-2017

The 5G specifications developed by 3GPP have completed the specifications for voice support for both non-standalone (5G NSA) and 5G standalone (5G SA) networksThe completion of 5G NR specifications for standalone (SA) has been approved by 3GPP. Also, after the 5G NR specifications for NSA, standardization of 5G at the first stage is pretty ready. Although the main drivers for 5G evolution is data, voice and video servcies are still very important as SPs will not be able to keep the voice on their LTE netwrok for a long time. At the beginning, 5G uses the LTE voice network and to provide those services using existing IMS architecture. The 5G radio technology is NR and the voice services called VoNR in 5G. In this session, the presenters will speak about the various 5G architecture options that SPs are planning to use and the voice/video evolution over each option. Cisco packet core and 3GPP experts will provide a comprehensive view on those options including: 1-CSFB–>VoLTE–>VoNR for Option 3X, 2- EPS or RAT FB / VoLTE –>VoNR for option 4/4a, 3- EPS or RAT FB / VoLTE –>VoNR for option 2, etc. After this session, audience will walk out with a better understanding on Vo5G and the evolution path options that large service providers are taking during their journey for 5G Network

Links & Resources

Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points
Cisco C9115AX Data Sheet
Cisco C9117AX Data Sheet

IEEE 802.11be PAR (.docx file)
Tweet from Jim Vajda

WLPC EU in Prague

CTS 162: 802.11ax OFDMA Subcarriers

With OFDMA in 802.11ax, the size of the subcarriers has been divided by 4. Going from 312.5KHz wide with OFDM to 78.125KHz wide.

The symbol duration has been increased by 4 times in the meantime. Going from 3.2 microseconds with OFDM to 12.8 microseconds.

Zooming into the subcarriers of a 20 MHz channel width

View the full image here

Advantages of having more subcarriers

  1. Allow OFDMA to extend to small sub-channels. Each sub-channel requires at least one (usually two) pilot subcarriers, and with a 2 MHz minimum sub-channel size, a smaller subcarrier spacing loses a much smaller percentage of the overall bandwidth to pilots.
  2. The number of guard and null subcarriers across a channel can be reduced as a percentage of the number of usable subcarriers, again increasing the effective data rate in a given channel. The figures above show a ~10% increase in usable subcarriers compared to 802.11ac, after allowing for the 4x factor. Example: OFDM: 64 subcarriers, 12 GuardNull subcarriers = 18.75%, OFDMA: 256 subcarriers. 22 GuardNull subcarriers = 8.5%.
  3. The longer OFDM symbol allows for an increase in the cyclic prefix length without sacrificing spectral efficiency, which in turn enables increased immunity to long delay spreads, especially in outdoor conditions. The cyclic prefix can be reduced to a smaller percentage of the symbol time, increasing spectral efficiency even while more robust to multipath conditions. And it reduces the jitter-sensitivity of uplink multi-user modes.

The smallest sub-channel is composed of 26 subcarriers.

Type of subcarriers:

  • Data subcarriers
  • Pilot subcarriers
  • DC subcarriers
  • Guard subcarriers
  • Null subcarriers

A 26-tone RU consists of 24 data subcarriers and 2 pilot subcarriers.

A 52-tone RU consists of 48 data subcarriers and 4 pilot subcarriers.

A 106-tone RU consists of 102 data subcarriers and 4 pilot subcarriers.

A 242-tone RU consists of 234 data subcarriers and 8 pilot subcarriers.

A 484-tone RU consists of 468 data subcarriers and 16 pilot subcarriers.

A 996-tone RU consists of 980 data subcarriers and 16 pilot subcarriers.

DC (Direct Current) subcarriers are used for the subcarriers located in the center of the channel. Depending on the channel width and the number of tone used, the number of DC subcarriers can vary (Ex: 3 or 7 for a 20MHz wide channel). Most of the time it will be 7 for the 20MHz and 80MHz wide channels and 5 for the 40MHz wide channels.

A 20MHz wide channels has 11 guard interval: the first 6 and the last 5 of the channel.

Here are the diagrams extracted from the 802.11ax draft document detailing the structure of the subcarriers for each channel width using different RUs sizes:

Links & Resources

Meraki MR55 and MR45 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access points
Meraki MR45 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access point
Meraki MR55 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access point

CTS 129: 5G Technology

Recorded at Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Florida. We speak to Mike Geller and Pramod Nair about 5G technology and what Wi-Fi professionals would know about.

5G Technology

Rowell Dionicio, François Vergès, Mike Geller, and Pramod Nair talking about 5G

We’ve been hearing a lot about 5G lately. But do many of you what is involved with 5G? We just know it’s the next number up from 4G 😉

We recorded an episode with Mike Geller and Pramod Nair, Cisco employees, at the Podcast Domain in Cisco Live Orlando, Florida. There’s some background noise from the attendees at Cisco Live but you’ll still be able to hear the conversation.

As Wi-Fi professionals, what should we know about 5G? What is it all about? Hopefully, Mike and Pramod can shed some light on this topic for us.

First thing to know, is 5G caters to a set of use cases. Pramod points out this is the first time we’ve seen something driven by use cases. Some of those use cases for 5G are low latency for IoT and fixed wireless access. There’s the vehicle to everything use case. It can include Wi-Fi transmission but doesn’t define what RF interface to use, regulated or not.

What we do know, spectrum is always going to be a scarce, finite, resource. There is a possibility to use Wi-Fi and LTE together. Possibly use Wi-Fi on specific IoT use cases so we can better use spectrum more efficiently.

More importantly, we will not see 5G replace Wi-Fi. Mike Geller and Pramod Nair do not consider them as competing technologies.

Wi-Fi has been there yesterday, Wi-Fi is there today, Wi-Fi will be there tomorrow. – Pramod Nair

If you listen around the 10:50 minute mark, Pramod makes a funny statement. 

The differentiator in 5G is the network has the capability to tell the device which slice of network resources it should follow. There can be a radio interface to cover your phone, your friends phone, and another phone. Each phone can have a different profile because of data packages. You can put any of those phones on a different slice all together. Here, it just becomes more flexible. The network is becoming more complex but the use case is becoming easier.

Listen to the episode to hear the full conversation.

Links and Resources

The Story Behind the Ekahau Hat

During Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Florida we were able to meet up with Jussi Kiviniemi from Ekahau. We were enamored with the Ekahau hat which was being given out at their booth.

The quality of the hat is exceptional. There’s even a little detail inside the hat with reference to the Simpsons. If you’ve received a Sidekick then you know what I mean.

Minimalism is key. If you’ve used Ekahau, you know what the bar represents on the hat and I think it’s a genius idea.

Another great detail about the Ekahau hat is the reflective sticker on the top.

François asks Jussi about the hat and the story.. just check out the video for yourself.

CTS 124: Wireless Session Quick List – Cisco Live Orlando

Clear To Send is headed to Cisco Live Orlando.

Cisco Live Orlando

One of the largest conferences is headed back to the East Coast – in Orlando, Florida. If you know anything about Cisco Live then you know there are a plethora of sessions to select from. But we’re passionate about Wi-Fi which is what we’re going to highlight in a list here.

These session’s we’re interested in attending and the ones you should keep an eye on. Even if you aren’t attending, most of the sessions will be made available weeks after the conference is finished.

#CLUS Giveaway

Participate in our Clear To Send Giveaway. Because François and Rowell are joining together for the first time for CTS episodes, we wanted to give back to our listeners. We’re offering two giveaways, a Ventev Mobile Device Accessory kit ($300 value!) and a Cisco Press book of the winner’s choice.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Fill out the form below (United States entries only)
  2. For an extra entry, find Rowell or François at CLUS, take a photo with one or both of them, and share it by tagging @cleartosend on Twitter.

Contest is over!

Live Recordings

Come watch François and Rowell do a live recording of a Clear To Send episode. There are a total of three recordings:

  • Monday June 11th @ 1PM– WiFi Analytics with Christian Gauer at the Podcast Domain Booth #1059 in World of Solutions
  • Tuesday June 12th – Cisco Live WiFi Meetup at 6:30pm – RSVP and Location here
  • Wednesday June 13th at 4pm – 5G with Mike Geller at the Podcast Domain Booth #1059 in World of Solutions

Wireless Session Quick List

Monday June 11

Tuesday June 12

Wednesday June 13

Thursday June 14