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Cisco Spark Board – Innovation in Collaboration

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Absolutely Amazing! Simplicity

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This is an “iPhone” moment

If you look back at some of the big changes in our industry – the big challengers and innovators have continually challenged the status quo in how we use technology.

A perfect example of this is the iPhone.  Until then we all thought keyboards, roller balls and scroll wheels were the answer.   Smart PDA devices counted on using a pen to be accurate, and you needed an owners guide the side of war and peace to understand how to get things done.


Then comes this guy – Steve Jobs, who intuitively understood user interfaces.  The guy just knew it.   The interface was so clean, so natural and so easy – 2 year olds were picking up iPhones and using them like a part of their natural life.   Scrolling feels very natural, and button presses are so precise even with big fingers.  …

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One in one hundred and fifty three quintillion.

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Sam’s point of view on Radio Resource Managment (RRM for the masses). Make sure to grab a double espresso.


RRM – a common term for Radio Resource Management – or the set of algorithms that set the channel and power level of your Access Points in an automated fashion. You’ve heard it all before, “RRM is broken, RRM picked the wrong channel, RRM hates me, RRM isn’t right for my network”. The reality is that RRM:

  • Isn’t dumb
  • Doesn’t hate you
  • Doesn’t love you
  • Doesn’t feel anything for that matter

As it turns out, RRM isn’t even smart. It has no feelings, passion, hate, love, real, imagined, or otherwise. In fact, RRM is just a series of algorithms that are built to do one thing – whatever you tell it to. RRM is a framework, meant to be built, adjusted, tweaked, and tuned. To be fair, there are two major topics that tend to give RRM a bad name and they are:

1) Every vendor implements RRM differently. This…

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10 reasons to take another look at 2015 Cisco Mobility

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Let’s face it, Cisco is huge. They’re massive, and occasionally they get things wrong. If you’ve strayed away from Cisco in the past year (or longer) because of a specific issue or gap, it’s high time you took another look. The Cisco Mobility offerings today are a far cry from what they were just an easy year back. Here are 10 great reasons to go get reacquainted with the 2015 Cisco Mobility offerings:

1) 5520/8540 WLCs

The introduction of a Converged Access 60G solution highlighted the gaps in the WLC portfolio in the 20/40G of throughput range. Both of these new controllers (one 20G, one 40G capable) are based on the more mature AireOS codebase running 8.1 and later. While this doesn’t mark an EOS/EOL announcement for the 5508 (clocking in at 8G), it does give that 7 year old platform some good alternatives for lifecycle management.


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eero Just got approved by the FCC and they plan to hit the home faster than you can roam.

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Meet “eero”


Several months ago a little startup came upon the Wireless realm promoting “Finally, WiFi that works”.   Yes, we’ve all heard those words before.  However, eero may have something up the their sleeves to back up that claim.  From the onset these little Access Points or they like to call “WiFi System” will blanket your home with not one, but three of these little guys. Why three you ask?

It was only a few years ago most homes had maybe one to three wireless devices connected and they were usually located in one room.  Fast forward to today and we see up to 20 devices throughout the average home.

Todays Home Connected Devices but not limited to:

  • Notebook or Desktop (with WiFi) Tablets
  • Smart Phones
  • SmartTV’s (TV Cable boxes that use WiFi bridges between rooms)
  • Game consoles Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, etc
  • Blue-Ray /DVD Player,
  • AppleTV, Chromecast, RaspberryPI
  • NEST type thermostats
  • Refrigerators
  • Garage doors
  • Alarm Systems / Including video surveillance

That’s just the personal home devices.  What about those that work from home devices?

  • Notebook or Desktop (with WiFi)
  • Tablets (iPad, Surface)
  • Smart Phones
  • Corporate Phones

Let’s not forget the iKettle2.0 from That’s right, you can now use your WiFi to boil water. Look for a mention of iKettle on an upcoming episode of the

In order to have really good WiFi or WiFi that works well, we need to have more than one Access Point (depending on the size and floors of your home).  Some consumer vendors claim that more antennas on their “Wireless Router”  will address coverage range issues in the home. Thats not entirely accurate, because you need to contend with a wide range of obstacles in todays home environment, and one point of access will not do.

This type of configuration is not new, in fact its how many large corporate wireless environments are configured today.  However, Enterprise grade wireless can cost prohibitive for the home.


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eero to the rescue.

What makes eero so special?  Well, these cracker jack folks have come up with an easy system using Bluetooth to setup and  automagically mesh each Access Point together to provide the best experience for the home. Once these units are all in sync, they will provide behind the scene’s health and system checks to make sure the wireless network is running the way it should.

Some of you i’m sure dread the calls from home while at work or on the road.  You know the ones, “Netflix is not working” “Internet is slow” “I’m not connecting. Can you fix it?”

Who is eeros?

This startup doesn’t fool around they have some big backers, including 40M in raised capital.

A quote from eero Blog Post
“In addition to the trust and investment you’ve placed in us, we’ve now raised over $40M in capital. Shasta Ventures, an early backer of Nest, and Redpoint Ventures, an investor in Sonos, have joined existing investor First Round Capital. Rob Coneybeer from Shasta and Satish Dharmaraj from Redpoint have joined Rob Hayes on our Board of Directors. We’re also thrilled to announce funding from Andy Rubin’s Playground. Andy co-founded Android and built it into the world’s largest smartphone ecosystem while at Google.”

You’re FCC Approved.  Time to make it happen eeros.

Todays announcement from Co-founder and CEO Nick Weaver offers a great deal of in-site to when we will see the product come to market.  Weaver is quoted in saying, “Waiting sucks”.  And I agree.

However, when you read further into his statement you will see that his company is taking a page out of “a fruit companies” playbook.  They will not sacrifice quality or design of their products as they will be working on making it work right out of the box.

I think we should really watch eeros carefully as they will definitely create some much needed disruption in the home wireless realm.  And if they play their cards right, who knows we just might see better WiFi in the home.


Disclaimer:  I created this post on my own accord and was not endorsed or prompted to create it.

Wireless Field Day 8: Day One Recap

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Day One of #WFD8
Screenshot 2015-10-01 01.23.43Well, TechField Day did not disappoint!  The morning started off running with new comer Cambium Networks to the WFD Arena with Point to Multipoint technologies, leveraging GPS tech to enhance the experience.  Followed up by the new CnPilot product line and CnMaestro end to end management.  Ahmed, Senior Director of Engineering, gives the delegates some real product meat and potatoes so to speak, to sink their teeth into.



After the lunch break Screenshot 2015-10-01 01.24.37we saw the return of Cradlepoint, not seen since Networking Field Day 1.  Ken Hosac (VP, Business Development & Dir Product Management) takes us through brief “what we’ve been up to since then”.  With corporate head quarters in Boise ID, “The New Cradlepoint” now employs a staff of 400 and offers a wide range of purpose built solutions including a 4G-LTE Could-Managed Network Platform.  Aside from the juggling of balls, big knifes, and chopping up fresh watermelon. The Cradlepoint team is one to keep a close eye on in this ever changing LTE environment.


Screenshot 2015-10-01 01.39.15Also returning from a short hiatus is Ruckus Networks.  GT Hill ‏@GTHill and team bring back that excitement and enthusiasm and detail that we’ve all missed hearing at WFD.  Ruckus knocked it out of the park by impressing WFD Veteran Keith R. Parsons ‏@KeithRParsons, with a real live demo of MU-MIMO Clients.  Ruckus never disappoints when it comes to deep dive. To quote delegate Chris Little “The only problem with presentations is that there is so much good info I never have time to take a lot of notes “. I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Day one session ended with Dave Wright of Ruckus Networks, taking the WFD arena by storm with the hot topic of the day LTE /LTE-U.  The LTE discussion is something that I did not expect from any vendor. However it was a well worth the price of admission.

Todays sessions have really opened up many eyes to “Whats the next big thing?” LTE and WiFi coexistence perhaps? Well folks its pretty much already here.

If you missed todays sessions, never fear the good people at @TechFieldDay have got you covered.

Catch the replay here…


Photos are courtesy of friend and WFD delegate Jennifer Huber


Meraki founders are back with new #IoT Startup Samsara

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#Meraki founders Sanjit Biswas & John Bicket are back as And at the right time for #IoT.

Samsara is already headlining with some familiar faces you may already know.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what these creative geniuses have in store for us.

WiFi Entertainment @ 30,000+ FT Air Canada rouge Style.

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WiFi Entertainment @ 30,000+ FT Air Canada Rouge Style.


While on route to Wireless Field Day 7 #WFD7 in San Jose,  I had the pleasure of boarding Air Canada’s new Air Canada rouge planes.

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This hot new service has a cool new look, complete with a classic tail logo, updated interior and lets not leave out the cool flight attendants uniforms.  Once you enter the plane you are greeted by friendly up beat staff who makes sure you are boarded safely and efficiently.  One thing you will notice with this air crew is they are very patient, something you don’t find too often on board aircrafts today.
Now to the best part of the flight, and thats the onboard entertainment.  “Wait, onboard entertainment?  But I don’t see a screen on the seat in front of me.”


In the past, and still today screens on headrests are the norm for many airlines.  But today they are becoming very old school due to power, weight issues and maintenance.

What if I don’t have notebook, iPad, Smartphone etc.? Never fear Air Canada rouge has got you covered with Red Apple iPad Mini’s on standby to rent for a nominal fee.

How does it work? Well, its works in two ways.
You can connect via the Air Canada App for iOS / Android.

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The other is via any browser on your notebook.  Once connected to the Air Canada rouge WiFi you will be directed straight to the player.  The image is super clear and never slows down or pauses.

What about those in-flight Announcements we all love?  Well, here is a what it looks like.  You don’t miss a moment of your favourite movie.


Now what really got my attention was the ease of connecting and wait for it— 5GHz 802.11n.  Yes, folks thats right 5GHz on a plane.  I know fellow WiFi Pioneer Devin Akin of Divergent Dynamics would be salivating right about now.  Why you ask?  With my WiFi tools at hand I saw more clients connected to 5GHz, and that tells me that more devices are shifting away from the traditional 2.4GHz.


One suggestion I would like to make is that Air Canada rouge might want to use a single SSID name instead of the two they currently are broadcasting.  For some travellers this could cause confusion.

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I have to hand it to the folks at Air Canada rouge they did a very nice job delivering in-flight entertainment via WiFi.  I was super  impressed.

So the next time you are on an Air Canada rouge flight, sit back have a coffee.  Now if we could only get them to serve fresh movie popcorn.


Disclaimer:  I created this blog on my own free will.