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Showing posts from May, 2013

Cisco ACS Policy Decisions Based on SSID Name

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If you're using an authentication server (such as Cisco's ACS) to make policy decisions about wireless users, there may be times when you'd like to make a decision based on the name of the SSID that the user is joining. In this article, we'll look at how you can do this.
In this article, I'm going to assuming that we are using a Cisco wireless LAN controller, together with a flavour of Cisco ACS 5.x. I've seen this method used with Cisco ACS 4.x (see references at the bottom of this article) and wouldn't be surprised if you could modify the technique for other RADIUS servers. When Googling about this subject, I don't see any results that show how to do this in ACS 5.x, so thought it was worth a quick note.

Background
In brief, when a wireless client is attempting to authenticate to an SSID on a Cisco WLC network, if 802.1x is being used to authenticate users, then various RADIUS attributes are sent to the RADIUS server (e.g. ACS) as part of the authentic…

Aruba Tech Field Day - 802.11ac Product Announcement

Yesterday was the official launch of Aruba's journey in to the world of 802.11ac with their online (and real-world) Tech Field Day event where they presented their products and strategy for 11ac. I was a virtual participant, watching from over here in the UK. I have to say up-front that I do not currently supply or support Aruba products, but was very interested to hear more about their views on 802.11ac, together with their product offering. There was a lot of ground covered, but here a few (brief) notes of things that I found of particular interest for the sessions I managed to view.

802.11ac
There was a very informative and lengthy discussion around 802.11ac technology, together with the lessons learned by Aruba in their testing to date. I won't cover all points here, but the headlines that stuck in my mind were:
Smartphones/tablets will continue to be primarily single stream, capable of 80MHz bonded channel supportAlthough 11ac brings significant speed advances, it's not…

Aerohive BR200-WP 3G/4G Backup Testing

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This is just a quick note about some interesting things I found out about the Aerohive BR200-WP today when I was having a look at our demo kit for a possible customer solution. 
The BR200-WP is a great little branch router/switch/AP platform. It boasts a single AP radio (5GHz or 2.4GHz, 3x3:3!!!) and has 5 x 1Gbps switched Ethernet ports (one is the WAN uplink). If you throw-in in the fact that its cloud managed and has all of the usual powerful HiveOS features (VPN, firewall, AVC, airtime fairness...etc,. etc.), you've got a great branch-router platform. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it has 2 x POE ports too!)
But in addition to the mass of great features outlined above, the BR200-WP has one more trick up its sleeve: 3G/4G backup. The unit has a USB 2.0 port which can be used to attach a 3G/4G dongle to provide WAN backup in the event that the main WAN link should fail. This was the area I was interested in taking a look at in my testing.
You'll have to excuse my ignoranc…

Top 10 Things a WiFi Installer Does Not Want To Hear...

Here are the top 10 things (IMO) you don't want to hear from a customer when you arrive on site to install a new WiFi network (I compiled this rather quickly in a flippant moment - please don't take it too seriously...):
Our networking guy, who was going to be helping you today, isn't available, I'm afraid he's... (choose from the following): On a late shiftOff sickOn leaveOver-sleptDouble-bookedLeft the companyHad a babyBuying a radiation suitOh, you wanted POE ports for those APs?Our goods-in department has definitely received the kit, they're just not sure which part of the hospital it went to...Oh, we thought you were bringing the kit with you. No, we haven't received anything.You know that 500-person call-center where you said we might have issue with personal hot-spots? The good news is, we've introduced a policy of 'no personal hot-spots' in that area! As a sweetener, we gave all of the operatives a bluetooth headset, mouse and keyboard ea…

5GHz - 3 Missing Channels in Europe

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Last year, I put up a posting which highlighted the fact that here in the UK (and I suspect all of Europe) we often have 3 channels missing from our allocation of unlicensed channels in the 5GHz band.  Looking at many manufacturer data sheets, channels 120, 124 and 128 are often shown as not being supported. This is despite the fact that they are allocated for use by local regulatory bodies (OFCOM here in the UK).

I recently posted a question about this on a partner forum of a major WiFi vendor that I deal with and finally got a definitive answer on this. In this post, I'll share my findings.

The reason that these particular channels (120 - 128) receive special treatment is that they occupy frequencies that are used by weather radar systems. WiFi systems have to be very careful not to interfere with those systems during their normal operation. Therefore, WiFi equipment has some additional checks and tests imposed on it to make sure that it does not inadvertently cause any interfer…

Samsung Galaxy S4 WiFi Capabilities

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With all of the excitement around 802.11ac that is currently unfolding, I was very interested to hear about the support for 11ac by the recently released  Saumsung Galaxy S4. Having a quick scan of the reviews across the web about the new handset, I was intrigued to see claims that it supports 802.11ac, allowing speeds up to 1.3Gbps! Feeling a little sceptical that it would support anything close to those speeds, I did a bit of digging to see what I could find.

My first port of call was a product tear-down over at TechInsights.com. They revealed that the WiFi chip in the S4 is the Broadcom BCM4335

A quick look around the Broadcom site soon revealed the product page for the BCM4335, with an overview of the chipset specification. In summary, it supports:
Single stream IEEE 802.11ac solution with data rates up to 433.3 MbpsFull IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n legacy compatibility with enhanced performanceSupports 20, 40, and 80 MHz channels with optional SGI (256 QAM modulation)The BCM4335 features adva…