Tag Archives: Aerohive Networks

The Wirednot Year-Ending Drone Blog

It’s been a busy year for drone-related articles from your’s truly. But that’s only because there’s a lot to talk about- and it’s far from over as drone technology gains a bigger foothold in the practical world. In this piece, I’ll hit on a somewhat disjointed list of drone-related points, and then review what else we’ve looked at on the subject to date here at wirednot.

  • Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVShas been in the wireless tools/security game for a long time (they pre-date many of the bigger names in this space.)  The company is takng a page out of Fluke Networks’ playbook and describing how their Yellowjacket tool can help you track down an intruding drone and it’s operator. Check out the video:

  • Amazon  is demanding that the FAA accommodate the company’s desire to test drones for package delivery, under the threat of taking their efforts overseas. I don’t like Gizmodo’s characterization of Amazon as throwing a tantrum on the issue, but they do a decent job of telling the story here. (Hint for the FAA- Amazon may be researching more than package delivery- it would suck to see this kind of innovation and research leave the US.)

  • One company that is making a go at profitable use of drone technology is Aeryon Labs, Inc. With military, public safety, and commercial applications, Aeryon is a fascinating example of how drones can be used in a number of real-life use cases. Give their site a look and you’ll find your imagination getting quite piqued as you just know that this is just the start of bigger things for similar companies in the future.

  • One of my children is soon to graduate high school, and is considering going to college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (my own alma mater). What does this have to do with drones? It just so happens that ERAU has a major in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science. And when you graduate, there are jobs out there…

It should be obvious that the drone paradigm will continue to gain in both magnitude and dimension. There will certainly be more to talk about in the coming months, but here’s my drone year in review:

Network Computing Magazine

Drones- the Next WLAN Menace
Drones Take On Cell Tower Maintenance 

Wirednot

Fluke Networks Enables Drone-Centric Tower Operations
A Bit More About Drones, Wi-Fi, and Beyond

Others of Interest

Hak5 is doing a lot with drones
Adam Conway at Aerohive Networks is also doing a lot with drones

Am I the only one in the WLAN community thinking this is just fascinating tech to follow? Please let me know of any other IT-related or otherwise significant drone happenings.

Thanks for reading!

11ac- Unintentional Noise

The WLAN Industry is a curious beast. A significant part of  this kind of networking is invisible with wildly variable data rates based on a slew of influencing factors. This makes Wi-Fi a great place to be in marketing, as there’s very little that will be patently, technically false in even the silliest of product boasts. But the WLAN moving target also makes for some difficult conversations between the Smart People of Industry and those of us that just want to know where things stand- and where we stand.

Add the complexities of 802.11ac to the mix, and the last couple of sentences that you just read get amplified by an order of magnitude.  

Which brings me to my point. Now, even as 802.11ac is starting to get deployed in real wireless networks with real 11ac client devices, there still is no clear message from the WLAN industry on how to cable for 11ac, or what the “real” expected throughput for 11ac will be through Wave 2.

The confusion arguably is of little concern to smaller WLANs that get popped up in places where cable lengths are measured in tens of feet and adding another run to what little might be in place is no big deal. But many of us have big WLANs with thousands of APs in challenging buildings where altering the cable plant can be daunting, because of pathway sizing, asbestos concerns, required low-voltage permits and other red-tape hurdles that are more political than technical. We don’t have the luxury of guessing what’s right, and adjusting later and yes- we have to plan well in advance for Wave 2.

It would be nice if the WLAN industry would throw us a bone. I have the utmost respect for the companies and folks I’m about to mention, but I don’t think those on the WLAN provider side of life understand how utterly confusing their messages still are on the simple question “how do we prepare for 802.11ac?“.

These folks are the best in the industry, and they are also seriously contradicting each other.Image

Source is here.

Then there’s this:

Image

from this page.

There’s also this nuanced message:

Image

Are you starting to see the confusion? What are customers supposed to believe? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols got the message of two Ehernet cables per AP (bullet point 5), and Michael F. Finneran also figured “probably two 1 Gbps Ethernet connections to each access point.” There’s a lot of this going around. Why is this is so hard to properly nail down, as an industry? 

I personally railed against the notion of sticking the customer with the burden of dual-UTP runs per AP and any Etherchannel requirements that might go with them, and my friend Kieth Parsons has shared that Aruba Networks has mentioned the very type of switch I was dreaming of at their AirHeads Conference:Image
I read this as Aruba Networks expecting that bandwidth beyond 1 GB will be needed in Wave 2.

But enough of this. If you do own your own searching or talk to enough people in the WLAN industry, you’ll see the same mixed signals on how to do the simple act of cabling for an access point that will eventually do or be swapped out for 802.11ac. Everyone is trying to figure it out, and is sincerely offering their experienced opinion and analysis with the best of intention. Yet, we don’t have consensus, and the customer is left scratching their head. If the “right” answer is “it depends on the situation, so you figure it out”, that’s OK, but that’s not what we’re hearing often times. (And when more than 1 Gig is expected, I personally still want to do that on a single cable.)

For an industry that counts noise as it’s arch-enemy in the RF domain, we sure have enough of it on the topic of expected bandwidth requirements and cabling for 802.11ac. How did the standard get out of the gate with this big of a loose end dangling? And how long can something this unclear go on?