Conventional wisdom says that “you get what you pay for” and “buy the best that you can afford” when it comes to quality in networking gear. Yeah… if only. Let me share what one of the most expensive solutions on the market gets you if you’re not careful. No vendor names will be named.
The call comes in. “Suddenly in this one area, I can see the Wi-Fi signal but just can’t get on the network. If I walk down the hallway the same device gets right on.” You look and see that the AP serving the area in question has the same uptime as those around it. The radios are on, and there are clients seemingly associated. Channel utilization is low on both radios, and there is no sign of RF trouble. Hmmm.
So you methodically rule everything out, and the end user who trusts that you keep a tight wireless ship waits. You’re both going on the assumption that the WLAN building blocks that you shell out fat coin for should be an operational foundation that you can trust. But when you’ve factored out all of the realistic possibilities, that little voice in your head starts questioning how solid that foundation is.
Too often, the one thing that we have very little control over (code) is the issue, and we find that suddenly there is a very ugly bag in our collective hand.
Welcome to the bug zone, Axl Rose.
Welcome to the bug zone we got fun and games
We got everything you don’t want- honey, you’ll call us names
We are the people that can’t find code you actually need
If you got the money honey we got your disease
In the bug zone, welcome to the bug zone
Watch it bring your Wi-Fi to it’s sha na na na na knees knees
I wanna watch your network bleed
(Sorry, Guns ‘n Roses- love you guys)
Maybe you open a support case, or take your angst to private channels where you share information with other wireless professionals who live the same pain are happy to compare notes. However you get there, you do get there… and then you find this sort of thing:
Yikes. Freaking yikes. The fix? (Always) migrate to new code.
That word “migrate” is kinda funny, too. Sounds adventurous… leave where you are, and go to someplace new. Kind of exotic, even.
But there are no guarantees that Someplace New is any better than Where You Were, especially when it comes to expensive WLAN systems. Yet we find ourselves migratin’ all over the freakin place, outrunning one bug after another. Sigh…
Which brings us to yet another song, by the great Moe Bandy:
You always leave me holding the bag
Don’t you know it’s gettin’ purty heavy to drag
You think it’s funny but it ain’t no gag
How come you always leave me holding the bag