The Great Wireless Field Day 7 Pre-Blog

It just hit me… Jim Morrison was a mystic- and he predicted Wireless Field Day 7!  Think about it…

The west is the best 
The west is the best 
Get here, and we’ll do the rest 

The blue bus is callin’ us 
The blue bus is callin’ us 
Driver, where you taken’ us 

-”The End”, by The Doors

My keen powers of analysis and Rock-n-Roll sensibility tell me that “the west is the best” is a reference to Silicon Valley. “Get here, and we’ll do the rest” plays to the universal truth that if you fall asleep during a vendor session, Tom Hollingsworth will fastball a can of 7 Up at your head. Yes… yes, it’s all making sense now…

“The blue bus is callin’ us” alludes to the safety and comfort of the rolling chariot that Ramon pilots with expert wheelmanship through the mean streets of Silly Valley, taking the Field Day delegates from one vendor site to another!

And to put the ribbons on what Mr. Mojo Risin’ was portending… “Driver, where you taken us” references the fact that none of us know where the hell we’re going when we’re at Field Day! Oh, this is incredible.  It’s all there, why didn’t I see it before?

I’ll tell you what else is all there: the makings for some excellent sessions. As I write this, the current lineup features visits to AirTight Networks, Aruba Networks, Avaya, Cisco, Extreme Networks, and Fluke Networks. With these 5 network companies and one kick-ass tool maker in the mix, we’re likely to put our collective finger on the very pulse of the wireless industry for a few days.

Predictions:

Given where the industry is, there’s a bit of mystery to what we might see and hear at WFD7. If you’re tuning in expecting to simply hear about fast APs and general client access, I’d say you’ve been asleep for the last year. Anymore, it’s all about features, add-ons, and making the wireless system do a lot more than client access. To call today’s super systems “the Wi-Fi” is like calling the most advanced smartphone “just a cell phone”.

I firmly expect discussion on:

  • Updates on 11ac Wave 2 hardware
  • Hints at what’s beyond W2
  • Unified Access
  • Social Wi-Fi
  • Location Services/Analytics
  • Updates on cloud initiatives
  • Feature sets far beyond simple WLAN access
  • The word “monitize” will be said no less than 634 times

I’d personally be happy if there was some substance presented on:

  • SDN and Wi-Fi
  • Small cells, wireless offload
  • Updates to Air Magnet regarding Apple PCs, apps for Android/iOS
  • How the somewhat lame NMS of today will morph into something truly useful for the future
  • How SDN will eventually kill NMS

The “please don’t” list:

Since this is my fourth Wireless Field Day, I can safely say these topics are generally a turn-off, and I hope the vendors spare us:

  • Dissertations  on why BYOD is important
  • Long tours of onboarding solutions (unless there is something bona fide fantastic to talk about)
  • Bragfests about fast APs
  • Bashing the competition as the only message delivered
  • Bonjour gateways

I count the Field Day series among the most educational of “conferences” that I’ve either been to or monitored online, and am thrilled to be be able to attend WFD7.

If you follow these events, what are YOU hoping to hear the vendors talk about at WFD7?

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6 thoughts on “The Great Wireless Field Day 7 Pre-Blog

  1. Frank

    Can I throw my wishlist into the mix?

    * Convergence of wifi overlay technologies with DC overlay. Imagine if your APs could talk VXLAN to tunnel user traffic…
    * 11ax – should we care, and if so, when?
    * AP uplink requirements to remove the 1Gbit bottleneck fo wave 2, 11ax, or over two radio APs.
    * If the uplink is going to require 10Gbit, when are we going to see a 48 port 10GBaseT with 40Gbit uplink switch to provide it at acceptable density?
    * NMS that can give me cross vendor end to end diagnostics, from my AD backend, to my FreeRADIUS servers, to my Juniper switches, to my Aruba APs, in a real single pane.

    Reply
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