★ THE BLOG ★ Ramblings on WiFi & stuff.

♻︎ Today’s Quality Linkage (Tuesday, May 17, 2016)

802.11 Arbitration White Paper Posted this before, but can't over-emphasize the importance of understanding this to understand how Wi-Fi works. 

Compensate not Calibrate Adjusting your WLAN design requirements based on target client devices. Your NICs -65 may not (will not) be you phone's -67.

NetScout AirCheck G2 It’s finally out! Man, I hate keeping secrets. 🤓

Quotes from K-12 Building Architects vs WLAN Vendors @KeithRParsons bringing the point home once again. You hire professionals when designing your building, why not your WLAN? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Chrome OS Wi-Fi Diagnostics If you deploy Chromebooks in your environment bookmark this post! 👍

Verizon Android Wi-Fi Calling Nice overview of Wi-Fi calling by @NoLANWiFi getting into the nitty-gritty of what's going on.

Where is the world's Wi-Fi? Yay, we have Wi-Fi! USA! USA! USA! 
Boo, it’s slow. ☹️

Perceptual Shift @KeithRParsons used these images to explain the importance of perception when surveying. How does the client see the environment, as opposed to the WLAN? How it it different in THIS spot as opposed to THAT spot? Good to remember when planning and designing a WLAN.

Hub Holster by @Robb_404 If you're looking to do without the velcro on you survey machine for all those dongles you need then here is a custom solution you can buy!

Taking Notes By Hand May Be Better Than Digitally, Researchers Say I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no researchers, but I DEFINITELY retain information better while studying when writing notes by hand. Doing that while going for my CWNE was a eye-opener.

The Most Intriguing Spy Stories From 166 Internal NSA Reports Super secret spy stuff. Shhhh.

♻︎ Today’s Quality Linkage

Aruba Clarity. 'Cuz Wi-Fi ain't always the problem.

It’s interesting that Aruba showed off “Clarity”, a new feature in its network management product AirWave, at Atmosphere. It’s interesting because it seems that lately there have been discussions about users blaming Wi-Fi for non-Wi-Fi related issues. I even blogged about it myself a few weeks back. And recently, Lee Badman posted the "soon to be famous cocktail napkin" he drew, to explain how wireless issues are more complicated then they appear. When users are connected to Wi-Fi, and they can't get to a webpage, or get an IP address, or that fancy captive portal you spent so much time customizing, the assumption is, “the Wi-Fi’s broke” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. And the user is right… well, as far as they know, or care. And that’s where Clarity comes in.

What Clarity does is offer a window into what may be affecting the wireless user experiencing a problem. Clarity gives you a "heads up" letting you know there are issues with DHCP, or DNS queries, association, and authentication failures, by showing you an overview in its dashboard. Also, it gives you a "real-time" view of a client experience. Maybe it's taking too long for a client to associate to an AP, or the captive portal is not working, and you see DNS issues on the clarity dashboard - insight into what the REAL issue could be.

The fact is many help desk calls about wireless, are not wireless problems. The problems lay elsewhere in the infrastructure. Knowing where to start your troubleshooting helps you find resolution faster. Clarity is another tool in the help desk arsenal to help you get customer complaint resolution quicker, and more efficiently.

But, that's not all. Clarity also offers "Synthetic testing". Essentially, it allows you to simulate user activity on the WLAN, by using an access point as a client. You can then use that simulated client to run tests on the WLAN. If there are service affecting issues you have an opportunity to find them, and fix them, before you actual users arrive.

In a scenario we were shown you would go to the VisualRF tab and select the location you would like to perform the test. You then click on the AP you would like to act as your client and perform tests that simulate a client connecting to the WLAN. This test should expose issues with DHCP, DNS, captive portals, etc.

In theory, this should help predict, or rather, REVEAL problems that could occur once the real clients arrive onto the WLAN. This is what we as WLAN professionals do when we perform validation surveys after a deployment. You do perform validation surveys after all your deployments, right?  It's a very appealing idea to be able to perform tests, maybe even SCHEDULE tests, on a regular basis, to head off those issues at the pass.

This is what I would love to see - a mobile app that can be installed on a client, that can perform those same tests. This would be an improvement to the already great option of testing with an AP or an AM (Air Monitor), but here's the difference - it's an ACTUAL client. It's not an AP, on a ceiling (where there are no clients), with super RX sensitivity. It could be a single-stream mobile device, or 3-stream MacBook Pro, and you can run test AS THE CLIENTS THEMSELVES WOULD. Run test in multiple clients at the same time - like you would see with REAL clients.

Well, Aruba is already working on that. It will initially be an Android only app, that will allow you to perform Clarity tests from the client itself. There is no word on a release date, but I am hopeful that it will come in a timely manner.

At introduction, Clarity will be available only for Aruba controller-based platforms.

Aruba Clarity with real-time monitoring will be available as part of the Airwave 8.2 release coming out in the next few weeks. Synthetic testing will soon follow.

♻︎ Today’s Quality Linkage

"Integrity and the WLAN Profession” WLPC session by @samuel_clements is a “must watch” for any WLAN engineer.

Building networks where the sun don't shine. @bmroute doing some cool Wi-Fi stuff in the netherworld.

Is there a need for a Spectrum Policy within the Enterprise? by @JustDoWiFi. I can totally see the need for this especially in critical environments like hospitals.

Understanding OFDM CWNE #10 @RickMurphyWiTS posts on OFDM are great.

AiRISTA to acquire Ekahau RTLS Not the Wi-Fi side (whew), but still, big news.

Aruba Visio Stencils Updated stencils. And they work in OmniGraffle too!

COOL TOOL: Netool - Pocket sized  network tester and analyzer First batch of beta units are coming out. Looks to be pretty nice.

Want to clean up India? Turn trash into free Wi-Fi Now THAT's an interesting concept. Socially engineered Wi-Fi.

NASA Releases New High-Resolution Earthrise Image Oh, my stars. 😳

Your Letters Helped Challenger Shuttle Engineer Shed 30 Years Of Guilt What a story. This poor guy was on the right side of history and no one knew.

802.11ax: "Next Gen Wi-Fi" changes all the rules...

Chuck Lukaszewski, from Aruba, talks at the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference about what's coming after 802.11ac. Well, it's a lot. So much about how we understand Wi-Fi to work is going to be turned on its head. Two-way MU-MIMO, infrastructure control/influence on clients, SMALLER channels, and more.

This is a must watch for anyone involved in wireless.

And here's a link to ALL the videos from WLPC. So many great sessions to watch.  

​♻︎ Today’s Quality Linkage

Announcing the Ekahau Master Wi-Fi Certification Jussi from Ekahau just announced this at WLPC. Pretty excited about this new program!

SSID Overhead, Now There's an App for that! WLPC is just full of firsts! @RevolutionWiFi announced an app version of his SSID Overhead calculator built by @RAdzima. Great tool for determining if your SSID count is causing any appreciable effect on your WLAN. Also, great for proving to the customer that 10 SSIDs is not a good thing. 👍

Engineers achieve Wi-Fi at 10,000 times lower power This seems like a very interesting option for IoT. It's all just "in the lab" at the moment, but I see potential. 

WiFi Channel Simulator by CWNE Rick Murphy This is a fantastic tool to visualize channels in 2.5/5Ghz. How many 80Mhz channels are available with, and without DFS? This will show you. Want to visualize for a customer why you shouldn't use overlapping channels (anything other that 1, 6, 11) in 2.4? This will show you. Luv!

Apple: an iPhone Backdoor Would Be Reused by China, Russia, and the US It's about what the Gov't is gonna ask for in the future. Oh, and EVERY OTHER COUNTRY as well.  

802.11ah Emerges to Connect the Internet of Things Old things have become new. 900MHz is being positioned to be the savior of the IoT Apocalypse. 

Designing Wi-Fi Networks for High Capacity. @JussiKiviniemi speaks at BICSI Winter 2016 Conference It's a video. 

What do "your" WiFi clients support? CWNE #150, Mike Albino, has created an online database of wireless clients and their capabilities. In this post Mike shows various ways to get that data from probe requests. This is a great resource for anyone in Wi-Fi. 

Asus lawsuit puts entire industry on notice over shoddy router security Uhg. This is why we can't have nice things. 😕

How Wireless Works  CWNEs Rick Murphy and Devin Akin have a new site that offers resources on wireless. Also, online training to learn Wi-Fi in-depth. Looks great. 

Airport Experiment Shows That People Recklessly Connect to Any Open WiFi Hotspot Personally, I ALWAYS use a VPN when on a public WLAN. Even an encrypted one. But, that's just me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  

A tense prequel fully explores Back To The Future’s terrorist backstory Cuz, who doesn't wish Doc Brown was bad-to-bone?