My Layer 8 Rant

17 posts by 9 authors in: Forums > CWNA - Enterprise Wi-Fi Admin
Last Post: April 20, 2012:
  • I've spent the last 3 days running cable and hanging some new gear replacing our G access points. The sad part is, management was sold on some new hardware by a sales guy who promised high-density coverage, with fewer access points.

    The result: AP placement maps done by a sales guy who never stepped foot in any of the buildings. No site survey, no walk through, no measurements of existing RF, nothing.

    His design document even had all AP's on channel 1 at max power. Obvious defaults for the tool he used.

    How hard is it to become a reseller these days? /sigh

    Are there vendors out there who take their product seriously enough to rebuke resellers who clearly haven't taken any product training?

  • Sadly, I have no trouble believing your story. Don't get me started...

  • Obviously manufacturers should have standards for their vendors.

    Like one of their own certifications. Maybe ?

  • Even then, vendor certifications usually only cover how to use the gear. None of the Aruba certifications I have taken require me to know RF fundamentals lol. Most people take wireless like they do wired. You do not need an ?engineer? to know if the signal in an ethernet cable will be adequate for the current situation, why would you need it for Wifi? Sadly, one of the hardest part about being a wireless engineer is getting people to understand the need to have a wireless engineer... For most customers and employers, the average do not expect to need RF knowledge (real wireless engineer) to deploy wifi.

    Let me have your comments on why RF best practice knowledge is necessary for a Wireless engineer. Why can?t a Network engineer simply pick AP placements and simply the gear?

    I am looking for 10 reasons and explanations? lets see what we can come up with.

  • I know Aruba and Cisco certs don't impress me. Sometimes I wonder why I did them, but it was just because everyone knows a Cisco cert; simple as that.

    My biggest problem is not RF issues, although sometimes it comes up as you described. Instead, it's politics I have to deal with.

    People in some position of power dictating why the SSID in beacons should be turned off drives me crazy.
    The term 'self licking ice cream' comes up sometimes when talking about them.

    My way of overcoming these problems is to just become the authority. After meeting key players around town (who have brains), it carves your name as the one who knows how things work. When talking technical, it's very hard for someone to debate a fact that's in black and white. Those politics will always be a big problem though, as everyone has their own agenda, and money plays a bit role.

    Slowly but surely the wheels are turning.

  • I blame Best Buy :) SOHO Networking has made everyone think that it's 2-3 steps in a fold up manual and you're good to go. They assume the experience they have at home will translate to the same at work.

  • Don't get me started on Best Buy ! Most of their people can't spell "wireless". Heck, they don't even know what gear they have in stock.

    It seems like, maybe, one of their sales people have some kind of wireless knowledge, but they are usually not in the store, or they're working in another department - and unavailable.

    I have seen some of what their Geek Squad can do, and I'm not impressed with it much either.

  • I have to agree. I got in to wifi via Aruba and their classes don't touch any RF. the only times it has has been when David Westcott taught the class. Now, I make sure I only go to his classes if I can help it. Iearned a lot from him.

    Now, I'm starting on the path to CWNP and I'm embarrassed by how little I know. Fortunately, Ive had some good people to learn from, but I'm spending a lot I time reading as much as I can. I've even gone back to some customers to correct mistakes I've made because of my ignorance.

    Please don't be sucked into believing that of you understand your manufactures product that means you understand RF, or wireless design. I've stuck with Aruba and I really like what they have to offer, but I think they along with all the manufactures need to add some basic RF to their classes.

  • I also got into this stuff via Aruba equipment. To give them a bit of credit, it was one of their techs who is a CWNE and got me into this program.

    It just depends on who you end up dealing with.

  • True... True...

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