Monday, April 4, 2016

Aruba AP 330: Resilience and RF Performance in the Access Layer

It's an interesting time in the industry.  Each AP manufacturer is trying to differentiate against their competitors.  We're seeing speeds, feeds and radios popping up all over the place.  I recently had a chance to look at the new Aruba a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company 330 series AP at Atmosphere 2016 in Las Vegas.

The keynotes talked about how our reliance on wireless are increasing, and how it's becoming a more critical part of our network infrastructure.  I see the 330 series AP announced as a big part of Aruba's strategy moving forward.

Instead of giving a big detailed spec sheet for the AP, I'm going to highlight the things I found interesting.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Shifting Views on RRM

So RRM is the hot topics these days.  We have notable CWNEs out in the media actively discouraging its use, with others (including myself) advocating its use when you understand how to use it.  It’s really hard to cut through the FUD and make a good decision as to what wireless operators should be doing.  I’m going to take a minute to relate RRM to another technology and hopefully let you make some informed decisions for yourself.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cradlepoint as a Backup WAN

I've been skeptical of using cellular as a backup solution, cost being the primary concern.  Cellular data is not exactly cheap.  Yet I found myself in a situation recently where I was working from and had a remote cutover.  Less than an hour before the cutover, my home internet went down.  Now posed with the option of either driving into the office, or finding another internet connection with less than an hour.

I grabbed my IBR1100 that @Cradlepoint gave me from #WFD8.  I pulled the SIM out of my work cell phone and 3D printed an adapter in order to get my SIM into the router.  One I powered the IBR1100 up, it came up and I logged into the interface for the first time.  The interface is simple, the initial setup wizard asks a lot of the right questions to get the device up and running quickly for most of their primary use cases.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

A look at HORST on a Raspberry Pi.

I've been working on diagnosing wireless issues from a Raspberry Pi for almost a year now.  And after writing a bunch of python around packet capture and upload I was searching for some airtime calculations when I stumbled across a piece of software called HORST.  Standing for Highly Optimized Radio Scanning Tool, HORST allows you to analyze wireless statistics and packets in real time.  In just a few minutes, I had it running and was amazed at how well it can analyze a network remotely.  

#WFD8 and the ACMA

For those of you who don't know, Aruba has been pretty generous with the TechFieldDay delegates over the last few years. They are a great contributor to the community, even giving away hardware and software at wireless industry events like #WifiTrek and #WLPC. And with #WFD8, we're heading back to Aruba to hear what's new.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Post #WFD7 RX-SOP Musings

Shortly after #WFD7, I decided to sit down and do some testing with RX-SOP.  During a lazy Saturday afternoon in the lab, I was testing this "dangerous" feature to determine why there was so much hesitation about using this feature. 

And shortly after starting on my testing, things started to go horribly wrong.  I had gotten too aggressive with the setting and my test clients had "hit the wall."  Meaning that my clients dropped below the RX-SOP threshold and the AP was no longer responding to it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hallway Design Nightmares Part3: Channel Selection

I'd like to start with the fact that I am an RRM guy.  I think Radio Resource Management does a pretty good job of managing TX Power and Channel selection when configured properly.  I know that some people out there don't have confidence in RRM, just know that this reflects my opinion regarding the matter.

We covered TX power in part 2 of this series, now let's talk about Dynamic Channel Assignment (DCA).  I can't tell you how many times I've been talking with a customer or fellow engineer and they tell me "DCA is broken," "DCA makes poor choices," or "DCA is making poor channel selection choice."

When I ask them to show me why they think this, they generally show me a map that has multiple APs in the hall and several of them are on the same channel and adjacent to each other.  Much like the following:

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