I thought since I posted about golf yesterday, I'd throw you a technical blog today. Enjoy!
There are four HT Protection modes. There are at least a dozen protection mechanisms. Dual CTS, Non-HT Duplicate Mode, PCO Mode, RTS/CTS, CTS-to-Self, L-SIG TXOP, Dual Beacon, 40 MHz Intolerance, 20 MHz BSS Width Requests, and others. It's ridiculous. Does an analyst have to learn all of this? I know you're hoping my answer is a big fat NO, but unfortunately...my answer is a big fat YES. Manufacturers will tell you that their system magically 'handles' and 'optimizes' all of this stuff. Well, it might be able to do the right thing according to the standard, but that's where the problem lies to begin with. When it comes to protection mechanisms, modes, and operating methodologies, the standard is hideously bloated and confusing.
Dude. PPSK. 'nuff said.
Well, actually, I have lots more to say, but you get my point. My friends at Aerohive would have you believe that their new solution, 'Private PSK' (let's just call it PPSK), was designed to:
1. Incease security on enterprise-class devices that either don’t support 802.1X/EAP or don’t support it very well (e.g. no fast/secure roaming)
2. Offer secure hotspot services
While on both counts they are right on the money, the story doesn't end there. When combined with their Virtual HiveManager (vHM), this stuff becomes the coolest thing since...well, the last Aerohive solution I wrote about: HiveUI. See my blog article called ‘Collectonomous’ and another cool article from Lisa Phifer here: http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/reviews/article.php/3812366 . There are SO many things you can do this type of, ‘half way between 802.1X/EAP and PSK’ solution! vHM is an online WNMS that manages their PHAT APs (my new term for describing the coolest, fastest, smartest APs I've ever seen). You just connect each AP, let it pull an IP (DHCP), SSH into it using the default un/pw, issue one command - 'hivemanager x.x.x.x' - and then 'save config'. Poof, you're off and running. Just log into vHM with your personal login, and you have control of your APs. SOOOOO simple. Now, where was I? Ah yes, PPSK...Continue reading...
Warning: this blog might make you whine...or perhaps weep.
I have twin girls, Abbey and Hannah. They're in the 4th grade, and just the other day they brought home a graded science exam. I was in shock when I looked it over. In so many ways, it was CWNA-level material. I just couldn't believe my eyes... I went through each of the questions, making sure I could answer and explain each of them and found myself explaining some of the same concepts to my 4th graders as I explain in seminars and CWNA classes. Abbey...Abbinator...my OCD rocket scientist child, scored 95. I was thinking of giving this same 4th grade exam as a pre-class assessment to CWNA students. :-)
Holy smokes batman. Vocera's gear is slick. Complicated on the back-end...but slick. Of course, like any good IT system, the complexity is hidden from the end-user. There's only one button, and the rest is just voice recognition bliss. We already had a phone system that works fine, but who wants to use that old thing when you have a Star Trek communicator? Within a week, everyone in the office suddenly wanted a badge. It's like a virus that everyone wants to catch. We learned very quickly that it's one serious electronic leash though.Continue reading...
In the Wireless LAN (WLAN) world, we have started to worship in front of the False God of dB.
Books, white papers, study guides, and design manuals have touted the value of the RSSI (dB) so much we have used this as a sole way of designing and evaluating our Wi-Fi Networks. dB is a false god and we need to mature and move past having ‘Signal’ be our main goal in WLAN designs!Continue reading...
I was going to write long, thoughtful emails to all of my Strategic Marketing VP friends and Sr. TME friends individually, but I just don't have the time. So, this is the next best thing - albeit a bit impersonal. If you work at a Wi-Fi manufacturer and hold either of these positions, or perahps another similar position where you find yourself speaking with industry analysts and media professionals, please lend an ear. It'll pay liberal dividends.
I'm not trying to ruffle feathers. I just want to be helpful to both sides of this equation. This is just a polite observation. Do with it as you will.
Based on an Apple iPod Touch!
OK, before you ‘freak’ and think that I’ve lost my mind… just hold on a minute and read the rest of the article. This is the smallest, lightest, and ‘funnest’ WLAN test kit out there.
For doing a lot of smaller, quicker WLAN troubleshooting, this is a suitable solution. In addition, you get all the benefits of having an Apple iPod – with music, podcasts, videos, and games available as well as the Network Troubleshooting Tools!
Since I went ahead and threw down the gauntlet in my last post, I thought you should taste-test a couple of Kool-Aid 'samples' while I had everything out on the table.
'Kool-Aid' is about a company's overall approach (philosophy) to networking (in this case, Wi-Fi networking). At first sip, you might think the two flavors we’ll be discussing taste similar, but one of them has a bit of a 'twang.' It's like sweet tea that's been sitting out a little too long, and if you're an avid sweet tea drinker like me, that twang isn't a good thang. Motorola, Aruba, and Meru, (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place Wi-Fi vendors in the market) ALL serve up an 'All Wireless Enterprise' flavor. In contrast, Cisco serves up the 'Wireless-is-an-Extension-of-the-Wired-network' variety.
ALL WIRELESS ENTERPRISE (AWE) means the distribution and access layers of the traditional 'Core, Distribution, Access' network design layers are primarily, if not entirely, wireless. Wi-Fi would, in today's market, be the primary technology for access. But Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and other technologies could serve in a distribution layer capacity. It's a given that the core of any sizable network will remain wired for capacity and dependability. Vendors who are serving AWE flavor know this, and have typically partnered with wired infrastructure vendors (if they can't offer wired infrastructure equipment themselves) to provide this part of the networking meal plan. More or less, AWE vendors believe that wireless brings a significant value to the enterprise when implemented properly, and they want to specialize in that area alone.
WIRELESS as an EXTENSION of the WIRED network (WEW) gives you a mixture that allows wireless to add value to the wired network, but the wired network remains 'primary' - even out to the network's edge (access layer). WEW flavor has the underlying requirement of the vendor or the vendor's partner(s) being able to (and wanting to) sell primarily wired networking equipment. Wireless networking equipment is then sold only where specifically needed (when wired network equipment can't do the job) for the purpose of maximizing gross income.Continue reading...