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  NoStringsAttachedShow.com

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 http://techfieldday.com/event/wfd5/