cisco

CTS 169: Just The Tech

Rowell and François were invited to Cisco Headquarters, along with many others, as part of the #JustTheTech event which was planned in coordination with the Wi-Fi 6 announcement that happened on April 29, 2019.

It was a jam packed day of discussions with key people from Cisco.

The folks in attendance for #JustTheTech were:

We kicked off the event with a tour of the Customer Experience Center. Taking a look at the possibilities using Cisco solutions. It’s an impressive facility on the first floor of one of many Cisco buildings. There’s an entry way with a large Cisco logo on the wall. On the other side of the wall is the beginning of the Customer Experience Center.

During our tour we ran into Todd Nightingale who is an SVP, General Manager of Meraki. It was a delightful surprise but he was able to talk to us for a bit and even tour with us.

So the main purpose of #JustTheTech was to take part in the coordinated announcement of Wi-Fi 6 products from both Cisco and Meraki. But instead of marketing material, we were able to speak directly to engineers.

This means taking a look at the new Wi-Fi 6 access points up close

  • Catalyst 9115, 9117, 9120
  • Meraki MX55, MX45

The actual event started off with Sacha Gupta, Senior Vice President, Product Management – Cisco Enterprise Networking. He talked about Reinventing Access, Unplugged and Uninterrupted.

Reinventing Access, Unplugged and Uninterrupted by Sacha Gupta

Next, Jérôme Henry, Principle Engineer, Office of the CTAO, talked about OpenRoaming which is an interesting concept in today’s world where 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will converge. Cisco has developed partnerships with the biggest device manufacturers showing they really want to make these products work on our networks.

Understanding OpenRoaming and the Device Ecosystem Project by Jérôme Henry

Next, Fred Niehaus and Jeevan Patil begin their combined talk about Wi-Fi 6. This is where we really get interested as everyone was expecting new Wi-Fi 6 hardware.

What Wi-Fi 6 will bring to the market by Fred Niehaus & Jeevan Patil

Of course, Fred goes into the details of the new Catalyst access points. These are the equivalent of the AireOS 1800 and 2800 access points.

Introducing Cisco’s Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 Access Points by Fred Niehaus

Jeevan introduces Meraki’s new Wi-Fi 6 access points. They look radically different from the Cisco Catalyst access points. Something out of a Marvel movie.

Next-Generation Meraki Access Portfolio by Jeevan Patil

And as a bonus, we get to hear about the new Catalyst 9600 chassis switch. The thing is a beast.

Bedrock of the Cloud-scale Campus by Shawn Wargo

Speaking of the Catalyst 9600 Series, there was a Roundtable Discussion.

We also took part in a Wi-Fi 6 Roundtable Discussion with Fred Niehaus and Cristian Raducanu.

One of the highlights of the day was taking a shuttle over to another Cisco building where Wi-Fi 6 access points and devices are tested. This facility is essential as all of the tests for Wi-Fi 6 starts here. Inside the building is a caged off room – it literally has a chain-link fence which requires special badge privileges.

There are tables of laptops with Wi-Fi 6 adapters installed and also many Wi-Fi 6 mobile devices. Currently, being all Samsung as they were the first ones out with Wi-Fi 6. On the ceiling are the Catalyst 9115, 9117, or 9120 access points.

Various tools were used to test Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and roaming. We had a question of 1024 QAM come up and the test engineers stated it was possible to get 1024 QAM at some distance. No access point above your head required.

Closing Thoughts

We were fortunate to be invited to Cisco’s headquarters and take part in this awesome event. It does help that we are both Cisco Champions. With a small group of individuals, it was an intimate setting. The access we had to engineers within Cisco was great and led to great discussions about Wi-Fi 6 including an up-close look at the products.

Links & Resources

CTS 168: OpenRoaming

With Wi-Fi 6 and 5G now taking the stage, one has to think – what about the coexistence of the two technologies? Rowell and François met together at Cisco HQ to speak with Jérôme Henry about OpenRoaming and Cisco’s vision of seamless roaming.

François Vergès (left), Jerome Henry (center), Rowell Dionicio (right)

Rowell and François participated at an event called #JustTheTech at Cisco HQ in Milpitas, CA. At this event we were table to speak to technical experts just about the technology and how it works in regards to Wi-Fi 6, switching, testing, and more.

In this episode, François talks with Jérôme Henry, following his presentation on OpenRoaming. In the room is Rowell Dionicio, Sam Clements, and Dave Benham – all who participated at #JustTheTech.

OpenRoaming

What is OpenRoaming? According to Cisco:

Cisco, along with other vendors and enterprises, is working to provide a better bridge between mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks. With frictionless and secure guest onboarding, users can roam across Wi-Fi 6 and 5G networks, automatically maintaining connectivity with security and achieving the ultimate experience.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/enterprise-networks/802-11ax-solution/openroaming.html

OpenRoaming also bridges the network operator with the provider. A way to seamlessly onboard users to Wi-Fi with existing credentials.

Learn more about OpenRoaming from Jerome Henry by listening to this episode today.

To see more about OpenRoaming check out Cisco’s website.

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