Cisco Live 2017 – (CLUS) Summer Camp

“You’re iT” was the theme of this year’s Cisco Live 2017 in Las Vegas, along with a Cisco superhero influence.


This being my fourth Cisco Live (CLUS) in person,  I still managed to somehow miss the NetVet Status.  That aside, the event still contained all of its awesomeness with or without the status.  This year was full of really smart people from all over the world.  People that actually make cool “stuff”.  In the words of Peter Jones @Cisco,  “I like to build stuff that gets used”.


This year was special for me on a few fronts.

First:  The Opening & Closing Keynotes.  This year, Chuck Robbins took to the stage right away.  A shy departure from past keynotes where you would see SVP’s do an opening act so to speak.  Then came the WOW factor when Tim Cook from Apple joined Chuck on stage.  The audience was shocked, a surreal moment so to speak as CLUS attendees would never have thought someone like Tim would show up on stage. But, in true Apple fashion “shock and awe” is what they delivered.  For more on this, head over to Tom Hollingsworth’s latest Blog.

Second:  I was really looking forward to getting to a tone of sessions.  One, in particular, was BRKARC-3467: Cisco Enterprise Silicon – Delivering Innovation for Advanced Routing and Switching.  Hosted by Dave Zacks and Peter Jones.  These guys are a great networking duo that brings a fresh look at whats happening behind the scenes at Cisco.  You don’t often hear about how things are made and these two deliver in a style all their own.

I’d like to mention that I have known Dave and Peter for many years, and it’s always a pleasure to see them present.  I sure hope Peter joins Dave on the Distinguished Engineer list soon. He’s got my vote!


Third:  Customer Appreciation Events, A New Cisco Live Hat,  Bruno Mars… Enough said!  Let’s not forget fellow #hoser, Rob Boardman.  Who single-handedly gave new life to TheCiscoHat and printed a whole body on a 3D printer.  Who’s now known as Figus?  Ingenuity at its finest.



Fourth: Friends.
What made this year standout more than ever was meeting up and travelling with a great bunch of geeks from CLUS 2016.  That event was one of the best years on record for me as I met some great people.

A particular part of this year’s journey was getting a kick in the pants so to speak, from my best bud Brennan whom I met last year.  He was instrumental in persuading me to make sure I made it to CLUS 2017 to get the gang back together again.  “Thanks, Man”


I found my inspiration for writing this blog at 2 AM on a Sunday morning from reading a blog recap of CLUS 2016, by none other than Brennan Martin. Go figure.

“The biggest surprise though, would come from closer to home than expected, when I had the pleasure of meeting another fellow Canuck and Wifi guru @wirelessstew!
I was blown away when Stew said that, not only did he know who I was from my (very new) online presence, but that he had hoped to meet me and find out more about me and my mobility experience. Stew would turn out to be the final, and likely most influential of the hosers group of Canadians (Stew, Steve, and myself), and honorary Canadians, Robb and Meru Mitch.”


It’s true.  You “Enter As Strangers and Leave As Friends”  That should be the slogan to CLUS 2018.  Because that’s exactly what it is!  No other event brings like-minded geeks together on such a large scale and makes it fun for everyone.  It’s the everlasting bonds of friendship that last a lifetime.

See you all in Orlando 2018

PS:.  Mitch, Steve & Mckim, if you are reading this let’s make sure the whole gang gets back together again.  Never miss another Summer Camp, cause we all missed you.


One in one hundred and fifty three quintillion.

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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Wireless Field Day 8: Day One Recap


Day One of #WFD8
Screenshot 2015-10-01 01.23.43Well, TechField Day did not disappoint!  The morning started off running with newcomer 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 the 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 a brief “what we’ve been up to since then”.  With corporate headquarters 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.

Today’s 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 today’s 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


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

Update: Stay Tuned for an update to Air rouge in-flight WiFi.

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.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.34.22 PM
This hot new service has a cool new look, complete with a classic tail logo, an updated interior and lets not leave out the cool flight attendants uniforms.  Once you enter the plane you are greeted by friendly upbeat staff who makes sure you are boarded safely and efficiently.  One thing you will notice with this aircrew 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 that 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 a 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, it works in two ways.
You can connect via the Air Canada App for iOS / Android.

IMG_6102Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.58.21 PM

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, that’s 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 travelers, this could cause confusion.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 3.31.58 PM

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 of my own free will.

Who is behind the scenes of WiFi Tools @Ekahau?

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 1.58.44 PM

I have been a user of both Air Magnet and Ekahau products and each has its own cool features and use cases.  However, I prefer Ekahau toolsets, and here is why.

The one key item that truly stands out here is the Wi-Fi Tools team @Ekahau.

With Jussi Kiviniemi’s ( @jussikiviniemi )appointment to Vice President of Wi-Fi Tools at Ekahau in June 2013 was one of the best things to have happened to WiFi tools at Ekahau.

He has shown great interest and understanding in finding out what the boots on the ground need to do their job right the first time.

Not only does he market the product, but he is an actual user as well.   Jussi knows how to survey/design.  He also knows whats needed to be done from a logistics point of view of making a great product and getting into the hands of every Wireless Engineer at a fast pace.

Jussi is always upfront / honest and listens to what’s griping us or why is that feature not working or can it be done.

This is a rare trait and it’s something you don’t find at every vendor.

Remember folks, it’s the people like Jussi that are behind the scenes that reach out to the community and get involved in making outstanding products that we can actually use.

I don’t often speak out like this publicly, but when I do, I do it because recognition is needed.


Disclaimer: The above comments are my personal views and opinions.

AirTight (MiniBlog)

Another reason why I’m really stoked to be apart of #WFD7 is AirTight Networks.

That’s right folks AirTight will be at Wireless Field Day 7.  This will be AirTights third appearance at a Wireless Field Day event.  

AirTight has always intrigued me for the cool “Nerd Knobs” and interactive web GUI.  They get right to the point and show you the cool metrics that we Wireless folks love to see.   

With lucky number #WFD7 fast approaching, I wonder what AirTight has in store for the delegates?


Aruba eh? (MiniBlog)

Sweet!!!! I was hoping Aruba would be present at #WFD7.  

This will be my first visit to the big Aruba HQ and really looking forward to getting a behind the scenes look at this mobility company up close and see how they are focusing on #GENMOBILE and 802.11ac.

Oh and lets not forget a new comer to the wireless vendor arena Sean Rynearson; Aruba’s Chief Airhead.  Over the past year I have been following Sean on twitter and on the Airhead community pages where he has been actively building up the Aruba Airhead’s.  


Avaya does Wireless? (MiniBlog)

Yes folks you heard it right.  Avaya enters the Wireless Field head on.

Avaya in my mind has always been a heavy hitter in the VoIP, and Video space for years.  I’m really interested to see what Avaya will bring to the WiFi playground and how they will play with devices  at Wireless Field Day 7

My fellow #WFD7 delegate  Jennifer Huber also commented on this at Excited to hear Avaya present at Wireless Field Day 7!




MSE Licensing Gotchas

Make sure you order the right Licensing PAK’s quantities for your Mobility Services Engine based on software and platform release.


Since the recent release of the free Mobility Services Engine (MSE) Base AP Licenses in late 2013.  Mobility folks including myself,  jumped at the promotion to max out the base licenses per MSE.  What a great opportunity to get your customer introduced to the Cisco Mobility Engine and all of its cool features including WiPS and CMX (Connected Mobile Experience).

Special Thanks
Before we continue, I would like to give a great big “Hats” off to the folks at the ENG (aka WNBU for us legacy crowd) for making this happen.  This promotion only last until April 2014.  My wish is that they keep this running permanently.

Now for the meat and potatoes:
As you read further on, keep in mind that the NEW MSE Licensing scheme is now based on AP’s (Access Points){which can be used with Cisco Prime Infrastructure 1.4 and 2.0} instead of the traditional CAS (Contextual Aware Service). This only becomes enforceable until the release of MSE version 8.x.  So don’t worry about your existing CAS licensing on earlier Prime/MSE platforms,  they will be auto converted to AP licences once you move to Prime 1.4+.  Confused yet?  Don’t worry I will try to explain.

There are a few things you need to be aware of when it comes to licensing an MSE per release version.  The first thing you need to do is check out the Mobility page on  Take a close look at the MSE Product Specifications limitations based on platform.


Wow those numbers are excellent. Especially for the MSE 3355 physical appliance where you can license up to 2500 Base Location Licences.

Here are the gotcha’s
Be aware that the data sheet does not mention what code you should be running, so we have to assume its the latest release.  But as you and I know we can not always upgrade our code beyond what Prime Infrastructure Supports for obvious SLA reasons. (which is being worked on by the PI folks).

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 2.0 Compatibility matrix reference.


I have highlighted the supported AP licence count based on version of MSE platform.  What this means is when you go to apply the actual L-MSE-PAK’s in Prime you will have to engage Cisco TAC Licensing to either break up the PAKs into 500’s to be able to import into 7.4 x to

Another alternative is when ordering your MSE License PAK’s, work with your Cisco Partner to make sure that the PRO-L-LS-1000AP is broken up into separate line items or PAK’s as this will at least help you make your adding of licensing less painful.

PRO-L-LS-1000AP  QTY 3 = 3000 AP LIC cannot be added to MSE when it supports 500 AP’s based on certain versions of code.

Below is a breakdown of MSE release notes based on version

Cisco MSE 3355 supports up to 500 access points for Cisco MSE Location Services or Advanced Location Services. The Cisco MSE virtual appliance supports up to 1,000 access points, depending on the server resources.  There is no change to endpoint support and MSE 3355 supports 25,000 and high-end virtual alliance supports 50000.

Cisco MSE 3355 supports up to 500 access points for Cisco MSE Location Services or Advanced Location Services.  Cisco MSE virtual appliance supports up to 1,000 access points, depending on the server resources.  There is no change to endpoint support and MSE 3355 supports 25,000 and high-end virtual alliance supports 50000.

Cisco MSE 3355 supports up to 2,500 access points for Base Location/CMX or 5000 access points for wIPS.  Cisco MSE virtual appliance supports up to 5,000 access points, depending on the server resources for Base Location/CMX or 10,000 access points for wIPS. All licenses are additive. The new scaling numbers for Base Location and CMX licenses are as follows:

–For Low End VA—200APS
–For 3355 MSE and Standard VA—2500APS
–For High End VA—5000APS
There is no change to endpoint support and MSE 3355 supports 25,000 endpoints and high end virtual appliance supports 50000.

Cisco MSE 3355 supports up to 2,500 access points for Base Location/CMX or 6000 access points for wIPS.  Cisco MSE virtual appliance supports up to 5,000 access points, depending on the server resources for Base Location/CMX or 10,000 access points for wIPS. All licenses are additive. The new scaling numbers for Base Location and CMX licenses are as follows:

–For Low End VA—200APs. Low end VA does not support CMX licenses.
–For 3355 MSE and Standard VA—2500APs
–For High End VA—5000APs
There is no change to endpoint support and MSE 3355 supports 25,000 endpoints and high-end virtual appliance supports 50000.

Shameless Plugs


If you need a refresher on what the Cisco MSE does, look no further than the Geeks You Can Trust @TechwiseTV @Robbboyd on the Fundamentals of the Mobility Services Engine on and @JimmyRay_Purser  In the Lab: Deploying the Mobility Services Engine


And last but not least, don’t forget to check out a two other Wireless Guru’s, Blake Krone and Sam Clements on the @NSAShow   E17 – Enhancing Your Wireless With A MSE

Disclaimer:  I was not approached or offered any endorsement for this post.  This is just something I wanted to share because I like things without wires.  Also I couldn’t find it on google.