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No Bad Wi-Fi Series E01– Cisco ENT Wireless, an End to End Solution

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Could you benefit from Wi-Fi 6? How many Wi-Fi 6 clients are already in your environment? Join us for this first episode of WWT’s “No Bad Wi-Fi” series where featured guest, Cisco’s Jim Florwick demonstrates how you can see if it’s worth it, without buying new AP’s. Throughout this series, hosts Robb Boyd and Jennifer Huber give you the inside look into OEM and Ecosystem Partners solutions and services revolving around “wireless.” In subsequent episodes, the panel will include thought leaders and leading engineers from Aruba, Meraki, Ekahau, 7Signal and more. Be sure to check back each month for a new, informative and exciting session. #NoBadWiFI

Please view transcript below:

Robb Boyd:                   Well, all right. Hey, welcome. So excited this is the first in our series of the No Bad WiFi with World Wide Technology and I get to work with a brand new co-host and I'm so excited. Please, welcome Jennifer Huber! Jennifer, how are you?

Jennifer Huber:             Hi, I'm doing great. Thanks, Robb.

Robb Boyd:                   So good to have. They said, "You know what? Rob needs a wireless expert. Someone to keep him on the rails and make sure that our guests are preaching good wisdom." And Jennifer, I couldn't ask for a better expert to join me here on the camera, on the mic. You're in Tampa, Florida. Welcome. What have we got for today's inaugural episode?

Jennifer Huber:             Well, today's episode the sponsored vendor is Cisco, and we're going to be talking to Jim Florwick. And he's going to show us how DNA Center can tell you whether or not you're prepared for Wi-Fi 6, even if you don't have any Wi-Fi 6 access points. We're going to talk to Anssi from Ekahau and he's going to show how the same office can look wildly different to client devices, and that makes designing Wi-Fi challenging. And if you haven't seen their Sidekick tool to collect accurate Wi-Fi data, you're going to want to stick around and see that. And last but not least, we're going to also talk to Carter from AccelTex and he is going to showcase antenna connectivity with Cisco Wi-Fi 6 access points.

Robb Boyd:                   Excellent. And Carter is a Texan, I liked this guy. I like Anssi, too. I like everybody here and of course Jim Florwick and I go way back as do you. You go way back with everyone on this show and I bet we're going to see a lot of that as the series continues. Because the whole idea of the series is we're going to talk to a lot of different vendors, we're going to talk to a lot of different wireless experts and get a complete story about what's happening and what's most important at that moment in time. Jennifer, let's go ahead and get started with the show. We'll talk to Jim right now.

                                    Jim, excited to have you here because we've worked together for a long time. You've worked with Jennifer for a long time in a lot of different ways all over the world. We all have different paths as we cross. But specifically you were talking about how Wi-Fi 6 has as it started to be deployed even with people that aren't deployed there's still a ton of value in terms of how you can look at your active network situation. And understand more about either what it's giving you or what it could give you, given the tools that are already out and available now. Am I characterizing that correctly?

Jim Florwick:                 You are. And I'll tell you something, we've been around now for more technology changes than I care to admit. But every few years we get a new protocol and the same questions come up, how do we change our design principles based on this? And really what we've gotten thus far has been increases in speeds with Wi-Fi 1 through 5. AC was actually really stable and got us a lot further. I used to fear doing high density and that has gone away now. It's done, we do it all the time. But Wi-Fi 6 came along and people were like, "Do I really need to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6? The bottom line is every time that we've gotten a new protocol or we'd gotten a better radio, things in general seem to run better and Wi-Fi 6 is no different.

                                    And if you look at the efficiencies that Wi-Fi 6 brings, even if you have a little bit of Wi-Fi 6, you're going to see a benefit in those efficiencies because those clients are using less airtime. They're increasing the efficiency of at least a portion of the cell. And People say, "When's the right time to turn over or start integrating?" I'd say now. I mean, stay ahead of the curve and that's not just because I work for Cisco. I've been to so many scenes Robb, where we didn't upgrade or provide for the capacity and suddenly it's a surprise. It's always a sad story.

Robb Boyd:                   Got you. Because there's this thing where we're waiting on clients to show up, right? And so, do we even know what the prevalence of clients in a given environment is? And is there any kind of visibility to know that it's maybe trending in a certain direction that would be good for us to stay ahead of?

Jim Florwick:                 It is an excellent question. And as a matter of fact we do with Cisco's DNA Center, the Assurance modules, we've added a Wi-Fi 6 Dashboard to tell you exactly that. And the important thing to remember about this is all the Wi-Fi 6 data is actually available and being collected not just by Wi-Fi 6 APs, but we can do that with any of the second release ac APs. So our Wave 2 APs can all collect Wi-Fi 6 data and contribute to this Dashboard.

Robb Boyd:                   Well, I think that's key because that's exactly how you're going to know what's happening in your environment. Because I would have thought that until I deploy Wi-Fi 6 APs, I wouldn't have any visibility to what may already be there but you're saying that's not an issue. A lot of customers who have been deploying on Wave 2 for quite a while now they do have that visibility and you're going to show us how that works in DNA Center.

Jim Florwick:                 So, this is Cisco's DNA Center. And as a matter of fact, some of the things that DNA Center lets me do is set a context right so I can get very granular. I can pick the site that I want to look at. I can pick the time range out to 14 days that I want to zero in on. And if I want to, I can filter either by a group, a or single SSID and this is in our Lab so don't look at our example of the number of SSIDs we have, it's bad. And then you can also take a look at either 2.4 or 5 GHz and filter that just from the context of the Dashboard, which is pretty cool. So when you open up... Any questions?

Robb Boyd:                   No, I just love the visibility on this because I think the... I hadn't looked at this UI in a while and I feel like it's getting stronger and stronger.

Jim Florwick:                 It really is. Yeah. So to get into it, and this is new in 2.2 as well, you drive over through the menu, I'm going to go to Assurance and I'm going to pick up just the Wi-Fi 6 dashboard. And as soon as you log into the Dashboard, there's some insights up at the top which tells me right off and pretend your boss just came up and said, "Well, what percentage of Wi-Fi 6 clients do you think we have on the network?" You want to impress him for extra points after school? Tell him, "18.6% of this moment, 78.57% of your AP Infrastructure is Wi-Fi 6 ready." So you're going to send him back up the hall with a new expectation. And that could be dangerous as well because he's probably going to expect a snappy answer of his next question.

Jennifer Huber:             Yeah.

Robb Boyd:                   It a good point.

Jim Florwick:                 [inaudible] and don't overachieve, right? So, upgrade your controller in the insights. You're going to need 8.10MR3 or 17.3.1 controller code for this. And then of course well, this is Cisco, so upgrade your AP hardware to the Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 AP Series for better client experience. But that is actually true. We are seeing really good client experience on this. And before we actually instituted a world where we don't get together anymore, we did have 9120 deployed at Cisco Live in Europe. We were in the keynote on them and I was impressed that's actually what led me to think I need a new gig iDAD is just getting too easy.

Robb Boyd:                   Yeah. That's interesting because the efficiency in this is so much different. Jen, what were you going to say?

Jennifer Huber:             I was going to ask how does this dashboard quantify the percentage of more efficiency where it says voices more efficient with a giant percentage, 140% more efficient, and the latency is 220% less. How does it quantify that?

Jim Florwick:                 Well I mean, we were going to get to that, okay?

Jennifer Huber:             I'm sorry.

Robb Boyd:                   It's math. It's just math.

Jennifer Huber:             [crosstalk] over. Nice.

Jim Florwick:                 It's math, but we don't hide anything here. And one of the things that I love about this interface is copious use of tool tips, right?

Jennifer Huber:             Cool.

Jim Florwick:                 So that is the question. It's like, "What is that number telling me?" Right? And how am I getting to that number? We don't hide any of that. So, I'll run through from the top because I think the ones across the top are also pretty important too from a readiness standpoint. But the first thing that you see as a client distribution by capability. That's in my experience right now is the number one thing on customers' minds is when am I going to have the clients? When do I need to really think about this, right? So this tells you of course, the inner circle depicting the actual wireless capabilities, right? So this is the clients that are on whatever protocol they happen to be on. So it's going to be client counts for 11ac or 11n or 11ax Wi-Fi 6, right?

                                    And then there's a second circle here that tells you Wi-Fi 6 associated clients, right? So this is telling you two things, it's telling you the number of Wi-Fi 6 clients you have and then it's telling me that a hundred percent of the Wi-Fi 6 clients are associated to a Wi-Fi 6 network. That tells me that I do have resources where the clients are located, right? Now again this is, I can take a look at a trend view on this and take a look at the time period that I configured and see if this is a changing trend or an increasing trend. And then I can drill down and I can get some real details on this.

                                    So by picking a point in the timeline and clicking on that, it gives me the actual conditions down here and allows me to drill in because [inaudible] a couple of extra metrics that we can throw in there. Now, one of the things that I loved about this is right now this is showing me all the clients that are down there. But let's say I wanted to focus in on just one of these APS, right? Just by clicking that metric, I just filtered that entire list to show me the three clients that are on that AP.

Jennifer Huber:             That's cool.

Jim Florwick:                 So this is fairly usable. The workflow is very circular. And I'll tell you what, if you get into this keep clicking things, you just never know what's going to pop up. So that covers how many Wi-Fi 6 clients do I have, right? Then I want to take a look at my network readiness, right? How many APs do I have versus the number of APs that I have in the total deployment that are Wi-Fi 6 ready? And I'm 78.57% Wi-Fi 6 enabled. So, I've got a lot of Wi-Fi 6 APs already deployed, 14 of them in my lab environment. So, the other thing this does tell me though is of those 14 APs how many do I actually have that are enabled for Wi-Fi 6? Because you can enable or disable the Wi-Fi 6 data rates. And some people have talked about should we enable it yet? Should we not?

                                    Right now other than what you'd expect the new client, new driver, occasional it just won't associate or something like that that comes up. And we did a couple of bumps, but this was all brand new technology and it's usually resolved very quickly. So, this tells you whether or not you're actually taking advantage of Wi-Fi 6 or able to take advantage of it. And if you disabled some because you were troubleshooting some, you would catch that over here. And then of course, AP distribution by protocol and this gives you another really interesting trendline once it loads, there we go. And again you can drill down on the specific metrics of the hardware that's involved in that.

                                    And then we're getting down to where your question was, now that I have Wi-Fi 6 what's it doing for me, right? And if I take a look you asked specifically about what this means. Wi-Fi 6 traffic is traffic that is operating between a Wi-Fi 6 client, any Wi-Fi 6 AP. Non Wi-Fi 6 traffic is anything that's operating with any other client whether it's on a Wi-Fi 6 AP or not, and it's any non Wi-Fi 6 AP talking to a Wi-Fi 6 clients. So pretty much everything except a Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6 conversations being watched. And what we're looking at is a total amount of data being sent. And the time it takes to send that. All right. So that brings us down to wireless airtime efficiency which was your initial question, Jen.

                                    And this, like I said, is really important because once you have the resources out there, you want to know whether or not it's buying you any benefit. So the way this is measured is it's looking at Wi-Fi 6 traffic, which constitutes anything between an AP and a client directly that are both Wi-Fi 6 or non Wi-Fi 6 traffic. Which could be a Wi-Fi 6 AP talking to a legacy client or a non Wi-Fi 6 AP talking to a Wi-Fi 6 client. Basically anything besides a Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6 resource conversation shows up as non Wi-Fi 6 traffic. And that would be the same, if you disabled your Wi-Fi 6 data rates it would not qualify as Wi-Fi 6 traffic. And what we're looking at here is really the total amount of time, airtime, that's expended for the total amount of data that's being transferred.

                                    And that latency, that total packet trip or the time that it takes to expand that that throughput is then rated as an efficiency rating, right? So when we started talking about why Wi-Fi 6 now? One of the big reasons for that is they are more efficient clients. And this comes right down and it tells us as an insight voices are 139.82% more efficient on Wi-Fi 6. And you can break this display down into different access classes, right? So you can look at background, best effort, video, voice the things that really matter to you. Again, we've got the now familiar trendline and I'm going to blow this up for a little more detail. So, by picking a point anywhere along here, and this was one of the features that I love in Assurance and DNA C is this timeline. Everything is contextual, right?

                                    So if you find something that went on in the network and you've got a time horizon for it, you can look in a lot of places what happened before and what happened afterwards. And again this display lets me filter down, for instance, if I wanted to drop down into just a single AP and take a view of that, this would let me drive down to that level. The other aspect of efficiency which is in the other dashboard view is wireless latency by client, right? So, latency is one of the promises that we get a reduced latency with Wi-Fi 6. And looking at the trendline and then more details, we've had very little traffic because our office like everybody else's right now is not very populated.

                                    There we go, I got some details. So if I look down at the details this is actually measuring the clients, right? And it's looking at the efficiency or the airtime efficiency that the clients are exhibiting. And again, I can zero in and filter on anything that I want to. And if I drop in and click on one of the APs, the workflow even takes me through to say the device 360 views. So if I had a question about how this AP was behaving, and I mentioned to you, we actually had an outage over the weekend. Somebody changed the power capable believe it or not and our lab was offline over the weekend. So I've got a very short history, this guy-

Robb Boyd:                   The one person that came into the office had to yank a power cable, huh?

Jennifer Huber:             Oh my gosh.

Jim Florwick:                 Actually they were replacing them and putting a bad one.

Jennifer Huber:             Oh.

Robb Boyd:                   Oh, Jesus.

Jim Florwick:                 And they were neatening the rack up. Altruistic as it was.

Robb Boyd:                   It doesn't work but look how good it looks.

Jim Florwick:                 Look how good it looks. Absolutely. So I can drop right into any of the workflow which I don't know if you've seen the Assurance workflow, but again on the timeline and you can see all the metrics and everything that is changing across that timeline. So you can get a really good view. One of the aspects of Assurance that I like a lot, and again there's not a lot of data here. I'm going to try this and see if the Spectrum is actually working, Robb. We can drop this out if it doesn't. And I am getting no data.

Jennifer Huber:             Yeah. But that's still really cool that you can change the operating. So it used to be you would change the operating mode of the AP and it would have to go through this whole process and then reconnect to it. Now it's just a little dashboard trigger and it just... I mean, there's no data to display but in theory it just works. That's cool. That's cool though. It's a lot easier than it used to be.

Jim Florwick:                 What I was trying to show you since this is of interest, and again we had an outage in the lab last night so I got no data yet. Somebody's got to actually get into the building to finish fixing what we lost. The Spectrum feature came from the RF ASIC and so anything with an RF ASIC in it can actually talk to DNA C and with Assurance in the ICAP, you select Spectrum and it gives you that Spectrum View. Now what's really cool about this is we're getting all the CleanAir interferes in here in the lower display there. One of the things that I love about this is, there we go, is the level of detail that I can pull. Because to get into this I'm just dropping down into Spectrum mode and then the Spectrum View is on the right-hand side once I'm into ICAP. I'm going to go ahead and launch it now. If the AP is not set up for CleanAir it'll go ahead and enable it, and it'll enable the telemetry which is going to be streamed to be an ac to actual make this view.

Robb Boyd:                   Does this give us the ability to see side-by-side the efficiency of the connections that are not Wi-Fi 6 compared to ones that are Wi-Fi 6? Because part of me I thought I understood back when you and I used to work on this in the theoretical standpoint, when things were just in the lab, that if you still have older than Wi-Fi 6 connecting it's got to take some hit on resources because it's got an older style of how things are queued up, right?

Jim Florwick:                 That used to be a lot easier to show when it was 802.11b at 1 Mbps, now that everything is sped up it's a lot harder to see visually in the Spectrum.

Robb Boyd:                   The good old days when things were slow enough to watch.

Jim Florwick:                 The good old days. I remember I used to troubleshoot modem connections with an audio amp [inaudible] but-

Robb Boyd:                   In audio amp.

Jim Florwick:                 ... Again, if you could hear it. So-

Robb Boyd:                   Interesting.

Jim Florwick:                 ... It got suboptimal when it got fast. So, this is a display that I was attempting to show full bandwidth, right? Because we're pulling it off the RF ASIC which is constantly scanning two, four, and five. Clear detail on the interference type, there's a legend across the bottom. And this actually represents, the size of that, represents a duty cycle of that interference and how much of a threat it would be.

Jennifer Huber:             Cool.

Jim Florwick:                 Now, if I wanted to go take a look at that directly, one of the cooler features is it lets me select a range of the frequencies that I want to see. And when I do that it blows that up so that I can get a really granular look at what's going on. And this is good down to like 5 MHz, I can fill the whole screen.

Jennifer Huber:             Wow.

Jim Florwick:                 And so, it's got a lot of resolution, a lot of usefulness from a Spectrum guy I was thrilled to see this. And it's in the management server, so it's part of the workflow if you want to drive down to it.

Jennifer Huber:             So I've got a quick question. I noticed that it had to enable CleanAir on the AP, that used to be enabled by default for everything. When would an AP not have CleanAir enabled? Or is that not a normal thing to have turned on all the time? Did I miss something? It's possible.

Jim Florwick:                 It clears everything. We may not be subscribing to the data stream and DNA C, so it clears everything and makes it so that this is enabled back in ICAP. So, you don't have to physically go to the controller or the AP to change anything because at the controller level you've got the subscriptions that you're subscribing to or the feeds that you're sending. So that takes care of all of that in the background just by clicking that start Spectrum View.

Jennifer Huber:             Cool.

Jim Florwick:                 And then as long as we're covering all of these wonderful features with ICAP and everything else, I thought it'd be useful to go ahead and show what versions, what builds, and what you're getting where. So, this is a good reference sheet. We've shared this as CBT and all of this is current as of 17.3.1 which is the latest IOS XE software that we've got.

Robb Boyd:                   So two questions. One, does every Cisco wireless customer today, are they going to be running DNA Center, or is that an optional thing that they would have these capabilities now? So is this the only way you're going to be running your wireless operation with Cisco? Or is this something only a certain subset of customers would be buying into at this point?

Jim Florwick:                 Well, at this point in time not everybody's buying into it, but that's because they've been doing this for a period of time. If the question is, is this the future? Yes, absolutely it is. But it's just too much going on in networks and we're getting rigged in to a period now. NBO operations, Multiband operations is going to become a reality. With the 5G coming down the pipe, there are things that 5G does better. One of the things that we've been after for the longest time is the elusive cellular handoff, right? How many [inaudible] have you seen where we just walk into a building and automatically transfer onto the Wi-Fi? And how many times has that been attempted?

                                    The protocols and the technology is there. It's there for a handoff, from a Wi-Fi 5 to a Wi-Fi 6 client. We actually have the ability to match up the quality of service classes or provide much better information. So I think you're going to see things like that happening as we add these networks, it's going to be more and more experts that you're going to have to consult if you're troubleshooting these. So AI, ML, machine reasoning those things are going to become more important. And I think we'll see more of it rather than less.

Jennifer Huber:             I think, just to comment, I think if people begin to adopt DNA Center now and they can see the business use case for putting in more Wi-Fi 6 for clients, it's just going to smooth the transition from Prime to DNA Center all that much more. Because the only way to really troubleshoot a Wi-Fi 6 enabled network is with DNA Center. So, you have to change the lens through which you're viewing your network in order to transform into the future of what's here and what's coming next.

Robb Boyd:                   I love. I don't think it's often that we always get very much data around. One of the challenges with wireless for me historically has always been, it just feels like it's very subjective. It's like I feel like I'm getting better connectivity, people are complaining less. You've got just bad metrics that aren't really comparable from one moment to the next. And here Cisco's continued to invest it feels like in tools that allow you to say, "Put some very quantitative numbers behind both the decisions that have already been made, so you can do some cost justification in tweaking of that. But also to where it needs to be invested in next." Because you've got the data that says that's where it's needed and we do see a demonstrable benefit that's rare. Or at least in my experience anyway. Yeah.

Jennifer Huber:             Yep.

Robb Boyd:                   So very good.

Jim Florwick:                 So [crosstalk 00:24:19]-

Jennifer Huber:             I haven't seen a dashboard like this before for any of the transitions from end to ac. There was no this is what you've got, this is what you need to do to get to where you want to go. I haven't seen any like that before.

Robb Boyd:                   It's faster trust us.

Jennifer Huber:             Yeah.

Robb Boyd:                   Yeah, exactly.

Jim Florwick:                 And Jennifer brings up a very good point. Troubleshooting Wi-Fi 6 is different. I don't know if you've been out there yet tried to get a good packet capture on Wi-Fi 6. But ICAP gives you a lot of view into that environment that you're not going to get any other way. And honestly, that was getting hard in ac, beamforming has gotten that good. If you take a packet capture and you're not sitting right next to that client, you'll find that there's a lot of packets that we just don't capture because they're being beamformed and we're creating those [inaudible] around the cell. So yeah, this stuff's getting more complex, but sufficiently complex yet. It's becoming indistinguishable from magic. Some of us here remember when Wi-Fi was not really magic and that was the explanation that we had to give to people that you really did have to fix it. I think we're in a new age.

Robb Boyd:                   It still feels like magic to me. But Jim, thank you so much. I always learn a ton from you every time.

Jennifer Huber:             I'd say from Ekahau, welcome.

Anssi Tauriaine...:          Thank you, Jennifer. Good to be here. I thought it would make a lot of sense to also bring an additional angle of that discussion and talk about measuring user experience. And I insisted today is the first episode of the series of podcasts. We thought it would make sense to start from the foundation. And showing you some examples on why the accuracy of the measurement data matters when designing and optimizing and troubleshooting the networks. And then also provide you a quick overview on how we have resolved this at Ekahau. So a common way to analyze user experience is to conduct a site survey. So basically you take a measurement device and you go onsite and you walk around the site and then you record the results and you display them as a heat map. There are some coverage areas here and there but then I mean, overall it looks great.

                                    Now switching the angle and moving now to device number two, we can actually see that this is the same office space but it's been measured with a different device. So there's much more green, sorry, much more gray in the floor plan which indicates on the heat map, which indicates that there are more coverage gaps. But nothing actually changed, this is the same network just measured with a different device. And just to give you a third example, this is again the same office space measured with the third type of device. And now you can see that the heat map is completely green. So there are no coverage gaps at all. So how would you start fixing or optimizing your network after results like this? You have three different angles to same data nothing changed in the network.

                                    One of them is really bad, one of them is okay-ish, and one of them is perfect. Do you want to start increasing the transmission power so that you start removing the access points? What should you do when your customers are complaining? So, to overcome this problem we have actually designed a very accurate measurement device at Ekahau we call this the Sidekick. It's basically a unit you carry with you whenever you are doing surveys or whenever you are doing troubleshooting and hence the name Sidekick, right? You use a cable to connect it to your device. Either you can connect it to your desktop or you're connect it to your mobile phone or your tablet. And basically it has an eight hour battery life so you can survey all day long by carrying it. But what makes it truly unique is that it has actually two different radios and seven different antennas.

                                    So that guarantees the optimal reception on all kinds of conditions. And we spend a lot of time in measuring the accuracy of device that we can say with confidence that this is the most accurate device in the market. There's very little variance in the measurements and in the data, in all kinds of conditions, with all kinds of signals and with all kinds of networks. So I thought it would be good to take a closer look on how do you use Sidekick and what kind of use cases it supports. So I wanted to show you a quick video.

Speaker 5:                    Accurate, fast, reliable. Meet your Ekahau Sidekick. When Wi-Fi is down, work stops. The ability to optimize and troubleshoot your network for performance is essential. If your business needs high-performing, reliable Wi-Fi you need the accurate measurement of your Sidekick. The precision of the Sidekick assures that your network is set up right the first time. And it makes it easy to identify common wireless interferes saving you time and money. Two enterprise-grade Wi-Fi radios, a high resolution dual band spectrum analyzer, and seven omnidirectional antennas combined to deliver the most advanced all-in-one measurement device on the market. The old ways of doing things just won't cut it. And without accurate data, you're putting your network and your reputation at risk.

                                    The Sidekick gives you the power to diagnose issues faster, more accurately, and on the go. With all day battery life and weighing in at just over two pounds, the Sidekick redefines surveys. Just connect to your tablet or phone for a mobile surveying or troubleshooting solution that delivers up to two times faster surveys and up to 10 times faster spectrum analysis. Analysis so fast that you can catch and fix channel hopping interference that other devices miss. Just sling the Sidekick over your shoulder and enjoy hands-free operation that never gets in the way of maneuverability or safety. And at up to 25 sweeps per second, your Sidekick is designed to keep up with your pace lasting all day on a single charge.

                                    Validate your designs to ensure you always have the right number of APs in the right locations. Analyze both Wi-Fi and non Wi-Fi interferences, conduct packet captures and collaborate with your team through the Cloud all with Ekahau Connect. Every leading AP manufacturer uses Ekahau as their tool of choice. And the world's biggest brands and events trust Ekahau for their wireless networks. When accuracy, speed, and reliability matter for your Wi-Fi, you need a Sidekick you can depend on.

Anssi Tauriaine...:          So that's the video I wanted to add.

Jennifer Huber:             I imagine there's been a lot of improvements to it since it first launched. And I'm curious, what in your opinion would you think has been the biggest improvement to the Sidekick since it's been around for a while?

Anssi Tauriaine...:          I think really the biggest innovation we've done with it was that originally it was connected always to a laptop. And over the last 12 months we've actually connected to tablets and mobile devices.

Jennifer Huber:             Cool.

Anssi Tauriaine...:          So we are now supporting iOS, but the Android release is coming very soon.

Robb Boyd:                   Perfect. Well Anssi, thank you so much. Appreciate your-

Jennifer Huber:             Thank you.

Robb Boyd:                   ... Time today for our Ekahau moment.

Anssi Tauriaine...:          Thanks for having me.

Robb Boyd:                   Take care.

Jennifer Huber:             We have known each other what feels like forever. I'm super glad to have you on our podcast. Tell us about where you work, what you do.

Robb Boyd:                   Sure.

Jennifer Huber:             And who you are. Take it away.

Carter Burke:                Yeah, no. So thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank World Wide Technology Eugene and Steve and Martin, everybody for letting us be on this call. We really appreciate it. Had a great history with you guys to work with you guys since before I had gray hair, so awhile. So AccelTex we've been around, gosh going on almost 10 years. I personally been in the industry, I was trying to date myself the other day about 22 years, but we work with all the radio manufacturers. Whether it's Cisco, whether it's Aruba, whether it's Mist you name it. And our job is really putting together solutions that help compliment the entire installation.

                                    So let's say you go into any kind of vertical, let's say it's a stadium and you're working with Cisco. Cisco is going to do a great job with a lot of obviously the whole backbone technology, but there's going to be a lot of needs around maybe specially in tennis, maybe specially enclosures. So really our goal at AccelTex is really trying to wrap the whole solution around what you need for the complete application. Working hand in hand with Cisco or in hand in hand with WWT.

Robb Boyd:                   Let me ask you, I'm curious, what is top of mind then for Carter and AccelTex in terms of our topic? We've been talking to Cisco about assurance, especially around Wi-Fi 6 and some measurement capabilities. But again as you kind of lead off with nothing happens in the space until that signal can get out and about and in the right areas.

Carter Burke:                You bet.

Robb Boyd:                   How are you guys actually solving those problems right now?

Carter Burke:                You bet. Yeah. And I always tease people, it's put the access point anywhere it's the antenna. Where it goes is what matters. So the cool thing is I started working with Cisco in 2000. I was working with Aironet back when they bought them and then that's how I got thrown into Cisco. So I have a really strong partnership and part of that partnership is, they've really want companies like ours to come up with solutions that help compliment the stuff they're doing around their new, whether it's Wi-Fi 6, around the Catalyst Series, or 2100 Series products. So some of the cool stuff we're doing is around some of the DART technology. If I could get that in a pitcher make sure I go the right way.

                                    So what Cisco's doing is if you look at it a regular access point, like I have a 3800 Series right here. Four antenna ports, pretty easy to hook an antenna to it which is fine. The thing is as you start going into Wi-Fi 6, it's getting more complicated where an antenna like this has eight antenna elements. So trying to get eight antenna elements off of an access point it looks like an octopus. So Cisco very smartly did what's called a DART connector. And this is actually an 8-port DART, which is really cool. And what we've done is we've said, "Okay, working in partnership with Cisco how do we come up with some antenna solutions that maybe fill gaps in their offering?"

                                    A good example would be this antenna right here, which we're starting to do quite a bit with you guys, with WWT, this our warehouse antenna. It's designed for really big manufacturing and warehouse and distribution centers. Has the DART connector already direct connected to it, so it can be used with either the 9130. If you're using the 9120 you need a 4-port DART. We actually have a 4-port, I get that in the picture. But what we're trying to do is go into all those verticals and say, "Okay Cisco, what are you doing on the backbone side with your Catalyst Series? The 9100 Series? Where can we fill those gaps in the antenna technology?

                                    But then we take it one step further, we start looking at mounts. It's not as simple sometimes as having this cool antenna, how in the world am I going to mount it? So what we do is look at different ways we can mount it so that it's really easy for the installer to go out, quickly mount it and get it set up, and test it. And really try to maximize the efficiency of the network. We always tease Cisco that our job, if we do a good job you may actually use less access points because we're going to try to cover it more efficiently. Now they don't want to hear that. No, they do. But I just want to make sure the network's efficient.

Jennifer Huber:             I heard a little something about your partnership between AccelTex and the Wi-Fi Alliance. You want to elaborate on that?

Carter Burke:                Yeah. So that's an interesting one. So, I've been fortunate to get involved with the Wi-Fi Alliance, gosh, in the early 2000s. And one of the guys working there at the time Edgar Figueroa who was just working. He was a technical person, he ended up working his way up to becoming the CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. So that's been kind of nice. He's actually headquartered in your old stomping grounds Jen in Austin. So what it is is everybody's familiar on this call and this [inaudible] with the Wi-Fi, it must mirror the Wi-Fi. And where there is a Wi-Fi Alliance it oversees all Wi-Fi. So in order for you to have your product let's say Wi-Fi certified, whether it's Cisco, whether it's really anybody doing IOT, it could be a TV manufacturer like Samsung as an example, that wants to have the Wi-Fi radio embedded.

                                    In order to carry that Wi-Fi stamp, you have to have your product certified. So what that means is you need to go and send your product to a testing lab. And the testing lab tested to all these parameters and they said, "Okay, based on what the Wi-Fi Alliance says, is it says for 6 or 6E and it's coming up, "as long as it meets these parameters you're going to get the thumbs up. You're going to get to carry that logo, because if you don't get the stamp approval, you get to [inaudible] carry our logo." Well fast forward to what we're doing with them, it's a very complicated bringing together all these players in the industry. I mean, big name companies that you guys would know well.

                                    So what we do is we work with all of them and pull it all together so we can ship it out and get it to people in kits. The reason they wanted to work with us is they knew we know the technology, we know how to be careful with it, we know how to make sure that it's being taken care of and put together. And it's been really neat because we're getting to work with all the big players. We get to attend the meetings although right now we're not having really a lot of meetings because of what's going on. But in the future we get to attend and allows us to sit in and really be with the brains, if you will, of the industry. And help them really learn what's coming down the pipe which is neat.

Robb Boyd:                   Excellent. Well, thank you so much. Appreciate your time, Carter.

Jennifer Huber:             Yeah. Thank you.

Carter Burke:                Thank you.

Robb Boyd:                   All right. We'll see you on the next one, okay? Great first show content, Jennifer. I appreciate everything you put together there. Of course the big question at the end of every show is, well where do we go for more? You tickled my interest. What would you recommend?

Jennifer Huber:             Well, I would recommend pointing any browser at wwt.com. And if you haven't already created a log in account, go ahead and do that. And once you've done that there are all kinds of interactive lab content. You can get access to a DNA Center instance and poke around at the Dashboard and see how it works. And that's just the top of the pile. There's so much stuff on the WWT platform that you really need to go check it out.

Robb Boyd:                   Absolutely. I know you've been publishing there for years. Everybody there there's so many different experts at World Wide Technology, obviously well beyond wireless too. And the idea is you join, it's a community. You interact, you comment but also the Labs and the fact that the ATC that you guys have in St. Louis is certainly a physical feat to behold but it's a very much accessible and available. Well before we went into COVID, this thing was available for remote access and people have been engaging with engineers there through the Labs to make sure that things are working the way they're supposed to. Ask those deep personal questions about their own infrastructure. It's good stuff. I love where you guys have invested on that. Well, Jennifer, thank you so much. This has been a ton of fun I look forward to doing the next one. And to the rest of you watching, please subscribe. Join us on the rest of the series. wwt.com. My name is Robb Boyd, that's Jennifer Huber. We'll see you on the next one.

 

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