September 10, 2012
WFD#3. What I’d like to see.

Upgrading to Mountain Lion on my iMac broke a couple of things. One thing I like with the update though is the new, slick integration of the notification.

And it was displaying “WFD#3 - tomorrow” as I set behind the keyboard today. I am very excited to be able to be a part of this event.

Events focused on the WiFi industry are few and far in between. So I was very aware of the previous events and followed live streaming sessions and watched recordings of the first two events. So I was able to watch all presentations. There were good ones and there were bad less than good presentations.

WFD#3 is organised by Gestalt IT. Read more about the event here: http://techfieldday.com/event/wfd3/

Also, I am very excited that Keith Parsons is joining us as a delegate. Keith is a giant in the WiFi industry, a friend and a mentor. You can follow Keith on twitter on @KeithRParsons and read more about the wonders of the WiFi on his webpage: www.wlanpros.com

So what are my expectations of the vendors presenting?

TO ALL VENDORS / PRESENTERS

I know what marketing is for. I appreciate competition. I understand hows and whys of FUD and I do not hold that against anybody but please… the group attending will be technically sound, with the hands on the equipment expertise and experience. So we will cry bloody murder if you go that way. Just focus on the technical problems and the solutions your product line provides. 

Please do the hands on as much as possible. Labs, wires sticking out of the products, etc. I’d also like you to talk about your support capabilities and support flow. How do you go about helping your customers, what are the procedures your customers have to go trough to get help, etc. 

General topics of interest: data offload, 802.11r, 802.11u, 802.11w (client support finally showing up), IPv6.

TO INDIVIDUAL VENDORS (in alphabetical order):

AEROHIVE NETWORKS

One of the three fastest growing WLAN companies (all three are presenting on the event) is interesting because of the extreme focus on particular market verticals: enterprise, education and health. While they can successfully cater others there are features not being persued aggressively. I’d like Aerohive to talk about IPv6, northbound APIs from HiveManager to the OSS for huge networks, integration to HMS for hospitality vertical and future 802.11u support. Also talk about 802.11r.

"Yes, 802.11u will be widely accepted and used outside carrier and WISP verticals. Mark my words".

ARUBA NETWORKS:

The leader of bells and whistles supported, Aruba Wireless is a company to be respected. I’d like to hear about Aruba’s vision of the development in regarding to centralised, or distributed network controll. While not providing fully distributed controll, Aruba has options of providing controllerless solutions with their Insant line and controller solutions to the customer. The diplomatic answer is “we are not religius in architecture”. Fair but still, what is your vision with WiFi going further, introduction of 802.11ac, introduction of MIMO capable tablets and smartphones…

I’d also like Aruba to talk more about it’s oudoor portfolio. It has been more than a year since Aruba purchased Azalea and its mesh productline. What is the status of integration of the product?

"And yes. Market is growing, you are making good sales. But when will the licensing be simplified?. BTW I’d like to have a presentation about Aruba licensing to understand it fully". 

CISCO:

The big daddy of the enterprise WiFi. I’d like to hear more about virtual WLC and cloud WLC offerings. What is the roadmap regarding the feature discrepancy between WLC/virtualised WLC and cloud based WLC. Cisco indoor AP line is slick and robust at the same time. With the blue led it is just as strong brand as is the logo itself. So what is that about with the ugly not so good looking outdoor units? And what is with the interfaces placing on the units. And the weight? And…. Lets just talk about it.

Cisco is also the leader in 802.11u. What is the potential of the standard. How does Cisco see it implemented in various industries? Talk about data offload architecture as well.

"I know about 802.11ac module. Its sweet. Cool, you will probably be talking about it. Just do not go overboard with this, pretty please."

JUNIPER NETWORKS:

Whoa! Where have you been? Its hard to have any really and concrete expectations about this vendor. Juniper acquired Trapeze in late 2010. So, what is new besides the logo? Is the product running JUNOS (now that wold be sweet). Juniper being a bit behind the game in the fast growing enterprise market, what are you bringing to the game?

"Just no extensive powerpoint, pretty please. And good luck, nothing better than more competition out there for further developing WiFi". 

MERAKI:

The best looker of the group. GUI design to die for. Simple, elegant and it works. I have had no extensive hands on the equipment my self, other than just clicking trough the GUI. So I’d like to see some labs, maybe some performance testing (delegates running iperf clients to an iperf server behind a Meraki AP, L2 roaming, L3 roaming…). I’d also like to understand what happens when the connection between the APs and cloud controller gets broken? How do the APs communicate to each other then? What features are not supported, etc?

"Sure, I’d like to see switches and firewalls as well. But with as much hands on as possible please."

METAGEEK:

Love you guys. That is all.

"Seriously. I have nothing but respect for Metageek. Building affordable yet extremely useful troubleshooting equipment has become standard for them. And seriously. No WiFi vendor acquired Metageek to this date? The GUI experience alone would make it worthwhile. 

RUCKUS:

The bark is getting louder and louder. Are we making bets yet? Acquisition (and by whom) or IPO?.

I always enjoyed presentations from Ruckus. They have guys that can just nail it. On the topics though, I’d like them to talk about 802.11u (use cases, vision), SSG phantom platform (show me the money!!!), data offload options with SSG, Channelfly feedback from deployments…

"Or if Victor does his excel presentation again. Maybe even teach us how to do it. That would be cool enough for me".

TANAZA:

A relative unknown of the bunch, Tanaza is not pursuing the enterprise or carrier verticals but is providing tools for simplifying small deployments. I do not have specific expectations for this one, but am looking forward to learning something new.

"Dazzle us. That is all."

WILDPACKETS:

Arguably one of the most robust and feature full frame/packet capture tool vendor out there. I do not have any experience with it so I am looking forward how it compares to the tools I know and use (CommView for WiFi and Wireshark). I’d also like to see if the 802.11u standard capture is supported.

"I know what I am going to read on the plane to prepare for this presentation - CWAP book".

See you all out there!!!

Cheers, 


Gregor

February 9, 2012
Wireless tech field day 2

Tech field day is an event organized by Gestalt IT, focusing on bringing the network vendors closer to its customers. What they do is organize events, bringing a dozen independent network professionals together directly to vendors. The event is 2 days long, and is divided in 6 slots all together. Each vendor has a slot (2 hours) to engage with the delegates (as the invited independent network professionals are addressed).

Wireless field tech day (abbreviated as WFD) is a subset of field tech days and as the name implies it focuses on the WLAN industry. A fortnight ago, a second consecutive WFD was organized, following the first one that was held a year ago. 

For the first time a WiFi mobility symposium was held prior to the WFD, where industry giants were discussing topics as BYOD and mobile devices, 802.11u protocol, 802.11ac/ad protocol (gigabit WiFi). The whole event was streamed live and also recorded:

  1. WiFi mobility symposium introduction.
  2. BYOD and mobile devices.
  3. 802.11u.
  4. 802.11ac/ad.

A couple of additional videos of panelists introduction (Devin Akin of Aerohive, GT Hill of Ruckus Wireless, Carlos Gomez and Peter Thornycroft of Aruba and Paul Congdon of HP)are available on Vimeo for all interested. 

As for the WFD2, the vendors presenting were as follows: Aerohive Networks, Metageek, Ekahau, Meraki, Aruba Networks, Ruckus Wireless and HP (not necessarily in that order). 

The delegates present were as follows (source: http://techfieldday.com/2012/wfd2/):

Wireless field day as an event is something special. Its not just the unique format but the fact that the whole event is live streamed to the internet and recorded. Based on the recordings available I will make a series of blog articles. I will not focus on recapping the presentations (you can watch the recordings yourselves) but I will comment on the topics of the presentations and end with my personal take on it.
Till then, 
Gregor

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