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  • CWNP

Aruba copies Meru? You decide.

http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/article.php/3774851

If you haven't read the articles or gotten the countless press releases, Aruba just released ARM 2.0.  The more I read about ARM 2.0, the more it sounds like Meru...someone who's technology Aruba dedicated a 31-page whitepaper to dismissing earlier this year.  "Coordinated Channel Access", "Airtime Fairness", and "Performance Protection" are all concepts pioneered by Meru and absolutely TRASHED by Aruba in their whitepaper here:

http://www.arubanetworks.com/pdf/technology/whitepapers/wp_RFARCH.pdf

So now we trash the ideas and features of the competition publicly in long, detailed, inaccurate whitepapers - immediately followed by announcing the same ideas and features in our own company and products?   What the @!#$&^ ??  It's not like people aren't watching and listening already.

Continue reading...

  • CWNP

RF Barrier

As you may have already read in various online high-tech rags about Meru Networks' new offering: RF Barrier.  If not, here's a good one by Lisa Phifer: http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/article.php/3761666

What's missing from these articles is the technical details, which are nothing short of COOL!  For example, the RF Barrier APs listen on their "internal" antenna, read in the MAC header (analyzing the source and destination MAC addresses), and then make a decision on whether or not this traffic is part of the internal (authorized) network.  If it is, then it immediately begins transmission on its directional, externally-facing antenna to "talk over" the frame.  The AP typically transmits a data frame (that's essentially just saying, "hello") to corrupt the original transmission on the exterior side of the building.  By transmitting at the same time as the original transmission, additional airtime is not used.  That makes RF Barrier a very good neighbor.

 

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  • CWNP

802.11r - R is for 'Radar, not on the'

I'm shocked.  I've been pinging infrastructure manufacturers, VoWiFi manufacturers, client vendors, and anyone else who will eventually add a new form of standardized key management to their equipment.  Everyone says basically the same thing, 'It's on our roadmap, but not a big priority at this time.'  They all elude to the fact that they are either waiting on the Wi-Fi Alliance to finalize the Voice-Enterprise certification or they are waiting to see what other vendors are doing.

 

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  • CWNP

The Price of Education - A Follow-Up

Wow.  I heard the mother of all Wi-Fi horror stories today.  Believe me, I've heard some doosies in my time, but this one is the worst.  Fortunately for the customer, it has a good ending.

My good friend, and CWNA, Jeff works for a company that manufacturers an application that uses Wi-Fi as a transport.  Like other such applications (Wi-Fi, RTLS, etc), this application depends on having a dependable and somewhat-optimized Wi-Fi infrastructure in place.  And so the story begins...

 

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  • CWNP

802.11r - R is for Rapid

Soap Box: On

802.11r ratification is the most important standard to hit the Wi-Fi industry in a long time - yes, even more important than 802.11n.  802.11i was sorely lacking - giving us only fast roam-back (to an AP to which your client was previously associated) and preauthentication, which is slow and rarely supported by WLAN infrastructure providers.  In the absence of a standard, many WLAN infrastructure vendors (Motorola, Colubris, Aruba, Cisco, Meru, etc.) have been using Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC) - also called Opportunistic PMK Caching.  Both the client device and the WLAN infrastructure have to support this for it to work, and on laptop computers, that gives us only Microsoft's WZC client and Juniper's Odyssey client.  While both are popular, they don't represent the entire industry - not even half when you consider how many appliances like VoWiFi phones there are in the market.

 

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  • CWNP

Apple MAController?

Ha!  Made you look.  Wouldn't that be the coolest thing though.  Is there anyone not sick of overly-complicated WLAN controller and WNMS interfaces?  In fact, if Apple would make their latest AirPort Extreme in a 2-radio version that could be powered with 802.3at PoE and managed by something as simple as their AirPort Utility, small companies wouldn't need much else really.  Stick in a USB2 Hub, USB2 HDD, and a USB Printer or two, Bonjour zero-config networking, and presto: instant, fast, user-friendly mobile networking.  Not bad really, for a small-to-medium office. Continue reading...

  • CWNP

Consolidation Is In The Air

We've just seen Belden buy Trapeze, Motorola buy AirDefense, and now HP buys Colubris.  All this happened in what...2 months?  Wow.  If this isn't the end-all of WLAN industry consolidation, I'm not sure what is.  We all know Cisco never sits idly by while this kind of thing happens (remember Juniper buying Funk software and Cisco following suit by buying Meetinghouse?), so I'm anxious to see who they scarf up next.

I'm also anxious to see if any of the other big players in the industry start getting a little worried about their long-term position.  Consider the following (just my humble rambling, because I'm not privy to anything secret)...

 

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  • CWNP

A Book for CWSP

Every once in a while, a new Wi-Fi book comes along that's worthy of the front page.  I've recently stumbled across one such book: "Implementing 802.1x Security Solutions for Wired and Wireless Networks " by Jim Geier. Continue reading...

  • CWNP

If You Think Education is Expensive, Try Ignorance.

If we do not pay for education, we pay for the lack of it in a myriad of ways...

* We pay for it right up front when our customer loses confidence in our sales person when he/she uses terminology in the wrong way or tries to sell a wrong solution because he/she didn't think that they needed a basic understanding of the technology they're selling.
 
* We pay for it when we have to revisit a customer's site to redo a site survey or a Wi-Fi install that should have been done right the first time.

* We pay for it when everyone at the company is working many long hours, but for some "unknown" reason, many deals are lost and revenue is down.

* We pay for it when key employees walk out the door because the company won't invest in their future.

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  • CWNP

Surveying Mess....uh, Mesh.

Site surveying has finally standardized.  The process is well-understood among industry professionals - though not always implemented properly.  Just when we thought we had it whipped, we get a curve ball: mesh.  Have you checked out systems from vendors like Ruckus, Motorola, Meru, Cisco, and Aruba that have the option to have mesh APs connecting back to root APs?  This is a seriously nice feature, but have you thought about doing a manual survey for such an implementation?  Let's explore that, shall we?

 

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