Monday, July 29, 2013

The Next Adventure: Wireless Field Day 5

So in just over 8 days I will be heading to San Jose for Wireless Field Day 5.  I've been a long time follower of the Tech Field Day events, it has been a great way for me to gain exposure to other parts of the industry that I don't get in my dayjob.  I'm very indebted to Stephen and my fellow delegates to inviting me to this event.  In addition to getting to meet some of the best professionals in the industry, I get to see solutions from a lot of different vendors and get to directly interact with them. Stephen and the Tech Field day super-crew have a pretty exciting line-up of sponsors for us to meet.

We have a 5 AP vendors coming:

Motorola and Aerohive have been WFD sponsors before, and I've gone back and reviewed their presentation.  Devin Akin donated some Aerohive lab gear to me last year and I've enjoyed putting it through its paces.  I'm pretty comfortable with their solution and can't wait to see what they have coming.  For Xirrus, Meru and Airtight, I've been digging through their product manuals and marketing material and have a laundry list of questions.  

The next category would be what I would call "Overlay Solutions."
  • 7Signal
    • Wireless Performance and Qualiity of Experience benchmarking system.
  • Fluke Networks
    • Spectrum overlay solution
7Signal as a company wasn't even on my radar 6 months ago.  From the material they have posted on the web, as well as some stuff sent to me by Veli-Pekka via Twitter, I hope to have a pretty good overview of the solution before heading to WFD.  Essentially it's on overlay solution that you can define performance and Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics in and their hardware actively associates and tracks the metrics across your wireless networks.  I've included Fluke here due to their overlay solution as well, but I primarily look at Fluke as a tools vendor.  Without knowing what Fluke intends to bring for Show-and-Tell, I'm including them in this category as well.

And last, but not least we have our wireless tools vendors. This is the like 3 tool vendors I want to see. 
  • Fluke Networks
    • Wireless Survey/Planning Tools, Troubleshooting Tools
  • Metageek
    • Spectrum Analysis and Visualization, Wireless Packet Analysis
  • Wildpackets
    • Packet Capture and Analysis

Some of the most valuable tools in my toolbag come from these vendors.   I use Planner/Surveyor as my design tool and it works for my needs. I have tested some of Fluke's other tools like their OneTouch AT. Even in the Beta, it was a tool with a lot of potential.  So there's lot of things I'm hoping to hear from the folks at Fluke.  Fellow WFD5 delegate Ryan Adzima has a post on their OneTough over at

I'm a pretty big fan of the Metageek hardware and software.  In addition to building some of the best Spectrum Visualization software in the market, they come from my hometown of Boise Idaho (Go Broncos!).  I utilize my Wi-Spy more than any other product in my toolbag by a long shot.

Omnipeek from Wildpackets is a solution I've looked at a number of times.  It's the gold standard for packet analysis from both a wired and wireless perspective and they have the solution that will make analysis work even as 802.11ac moves to speeds that will crush our USB 3.0 buses.

Overall, I am really excited to have the opportunity to join the rest of the delegates.  There is a small amount of nervousness surrounding this event for me personally.  For starters, I'm new to the TFD family.  I have met around half of the other delegates at other industry events.  I'm not an industry veteran, having just celebrated my 4th year in the networking industry (hey now, no young-in jokes).  And let's face it, there isn't a CCIE/CWNE number after my name.  But I do have a passion for wireless, networking, and really enjoy the opportunity to participate in the dialog at an event like WFD5.

I hope everyone logs in and participates live using the #WFD5 hashtag on twitter.  I've been asking questions using this method since I started following the delegates on Twitter during TFD3 , and have had delegates ask my questions to the sponsors on more than a few occasions.  You can watch live at

Sunday, July 21, 2013

CCIE-W: QoS Study Notes

I've had some people suggest that I should post more of my study notes.  QoS is one of those black magic topics that I really do need to understand more of.  I went through with one of my co-workers who gave me the Catalyst 3750 QoS in 30 lecture.  Between that and some of Jerome Henry's QoS videos on youtube, here the basics on QoS.  So here are my notes in all their ugly glory.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One week to the CCIE-W lab, An approach

So in just over a week I will make my way to lovely San Jose to take my first attempt at the CCIE Wireless lab.  Sure it's a long shot passing on a first attempt, but even a failure at this point will give me the experience of "The Lab" and help point my studies in the right direction.  Not to say that I'm not going to give it my all, but I also don't "expect" to pass.

I'm currently going through the Fastlane lab material, and a lot of configuration guides and implementing them in my home lab.  I feel ok about the material.  I wish I had more time to to cover topics like MSE and WIPS, but I decided to go ahead with the lab on a short timetable.  At this point I'm looking more at SWTs (Stupid Wireless Tricks), learning some lesser known CLI commands and building a strategy for dealing with problems in the lab.

My focus for skills building is moving away from the simple "How Do I?" to more of a "How Do I Verify?" or "What is the quickest way to configure feature <x>?"

CCIE Wireless Study: WLC CLI commands:

This post is to be just a list of some useful CLI commands for attempting the CCIE Wireless lab.
Most of these commands are CLI only, or more useful from the CLI than from the GUI.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

5760 Session Timeout: To Infinity and beyond!

If you're familiar with the advanced tab while configuring a WLAN  on a Cisco (Airespace) WLC, you've probably seen the Session Timeout checkbox and corresponding timer value.
This timer is used to setup how long a wireless user can remain connected before reauthentication is required.
While deploying a 5760 to match an existing 4400 controller, I attempted to disable the session timeout, but to no avail.  Let's look at my simple WLAN I have configured: