802.11s Whitepaper with Jerome HenryBy CWNP On 11/03/2011 - 24 Comments
A good friend of mine and real-deal wireless expert, Jerome Henry, just completed a new whitepaper on 802.11s. 802.11s covers mesh networking protocols within the 802.11 wireless standard. You should read this paper.
The actual 802.11s-2011 amendment is almost 400 pages long, so we’ve boiled down the need-to-know topics in a consumable format…with pictures. :) But, you might be saying to yourself: “a vendor-agnostic mesh protocol? Yeah right! No vendor will implement this. It's not real world.” And, you may very well be right, but there are a few massive reasons why this whitepaper is still important.
First, protocol junkies get their fix by reading 30 pages instead of 400. Score.
Second, for those of us who don’t work for a vendor, an 802.11 spec is the next best thing to help us understand some of the engineering challenges and solutions to mesh networking. Most of us don’t have a direct line to engineers at vendors who can tell us what vendors do or don’t do, how they determine mesh paths or secure mesh links. So, knowing the spec will help you analyze vendor implementations (even proprietary ones) to make sense of the solution (and perhaps, request missing features).
Finally, in the race to solve many mesh networking problems, the standards guys working on 802.11s also introduced new mechanisms that could solve other problems, such as weaknesses with WPA/2-PSK and some collision problems in busy enterprise networks.
Jerome teased out all the most juicy and relevant protocol goodness to share with us. If you already know Jerome, you’re probably aware that he is a super-stud in Wi-Fi. He is a wireless instructor at FastLane, a CWNE and CCIE-Wireless, and has a sexy man voice that makes women swoon (it’s true, check the link… but sorry ladies, he’s married).
I’ve read the paper about four times now (perhaps that is too many), so I have sufficient first-hand knowledge to say that it’s quite good. Read it! Do it now! Link to whitepaper below (registration required).