Learning and Tracking the 802.11 Standard

I wrote a couple articles for the Airheads Community on learning the 802.11 standard and on how to track what’s going on with the 802.11 committee. I’ve included a snippet of each with links to the full articles in case you’d like to read more.

The 802.11 Standard and You

IEEE 802 Amendment.png

The 802.11 standard can be something of a mystery, especially when you are new to wireless networking. Have you ever wondered why wireless LANs work the way they do? WLAN configurations are full of cryptic options. Do you know what they do? Ever tried to make heads or tails of a packet capture and not understood what all the pieces are or if they are working the way they are supposed to? You can search for the answers with Google, but you might consider looking to the standard for the answers. If you really want to understand wireless, you need to gain some familiarity with the standard. Read the full article…

 

Learning the 802.11 Standard

imgres.jpgThe 802.11 standard can be something of a mystery, especially when you are new to wireless networking. Have you ever wondered why wireless LANs work the way they do? WLAN configurations are full of cryptic options. Do you know what they do? Ever tried to make heads or tails of a packet capture and not understood what all the pieces are or if they are working the way they are supposed to? You can search for the answers with Google, but you might consider looking to the standard for the answers. If you really want to understand wireless, you need to gain some familiarity with the standard. Read the full article…

Thanks for reading them! Feel free to give me kudos in the community if you like them, as well. :)

FIN

Unofficial #WLPC Twitter Attendee List, PHX2018 Edition

It’s a tradition here at Mostly Networks to run the unofficial Twitter attendee list for the US edition of the WLPC conference. I hope you find the list useful! It’s not updated real-time, but it will be updated at least daily as long as people keep adding themselves.

To be added, fill our the form at the bottom of the page. You can add a note to share anything of interest, like your CWNE status, podcast, that you work for a vendor, or that you really like tacos. The airport code is to help people find you if they end up in your neck of the woods. Obviously, the note and airport code are optional.

Note: This is for attendees. Sorry, if you aren’t attending I will not add you to the list.

[Last Update: 2018-03-03 00:37:42Z]

Name Twitter IATA Blog Notes
Keith Parsons @KeithRParsons SLC wlanpros.com Runs the WLPC Conferences!
Scott McDermott @scottm32768 SEA mostlynetworks.com Creator of this list and alpaca owner.
Smitty @elonsmitty BWI acceltex.com/blog/ Human Pin Cushion/Free Food Connoisseur
Rich Hummel @accelhummel SAT
Shaun Bender @welles MCI onwhereyoustop.com Tacos
Scott Lester @theitrebel MSY blog.theitrebel.com Trying to find the solution to all Lee’s problems.
W. Todd Smith @wifitodd TVA wifitodd.com CWNE#239 Does not own an alpaca!
Anders Nilsson @HerrNilsson2 ARN Hälge the Swedish WiFi Moose is riding along
craig schnarrs @the_wifi_guy DTW
Jamie Jackson @techiejames BIS First time attendee – long time listener
Brad Weldon @bradweldon PDX Tacos are always good…
Devin Akin @DevinAkin ATL divdyn.com/blog
Brennan Martin @CdnBeacon YXE 80211eh.com
Alex Burger @aaburger85 DIA wirelesslywired.com
Jake Snyder @jsnyder81 BOI transmitfailure.blogspot.com/
Drew Lentz @wirelessnerd MFE wirelessnerd.net Check out Wi-Fi stand: wifistand.com !
Veli-Pekka Ketonen @VPonwireless CLE 7signal.com/blog/ @7signal
Nick Shoemaker @nshoe18 DFW/DAL wirelessnick.com
Ryan Adzima @radzima LAS My beard has dual-5 GHz radios
Darrell DeRosia @Darrell_derosia MEM DashingDerosias.com CWJA#01 – making wifi work and taking pictures
Adrian Granados @adriangranados MCO adriangranados.com Maker of WiFi Explorer
Chris Reed @TheCMReed MHT Has pet an alpaca previously
Keith Miller @packetologist CAE www.thepacketologist.com Former meteorologist, loves to BBQ, looking to break into wireless field!
Blake Krone @Blakekrone MSP BlakeKrone.com The tie guy
Trent Hurt @wifiguy502
Jim Palmer @wirelessjimp DEN I want an alpaca that eats tacos
Robert Boardman @Robb_404 SJC robb404.com Something witty
Beef Wellington @wirednot SYR wirednot.wordpress.com I think you’ll find I’m mostly all business.
Eddie Forero @HeyEddie DEN BadFi.com ACMX #365, CWNE #160, Flounder/CEO at CommunicaONE Inc. – Mortal enemy of elevators everywhere.
Lance Romigh @ Wifi_romigh AUS wifiromigh.wordpress.com First time attendee. Looking forward to it!
Zachary Wheat @80211Zach TUL www.wlanforums.com
Patrick Nefkens @Dutch_Fi AMS dutch-fi.eu
Murray Pickard @Murray_Pickard STL No good snarky comments… :)
Mark Raats @MarkRaatsWiFi GSP/ATL raatswifi.com
Jason D. Hintersteiner @EmperorWiFi JFK www.emperorwifi.co
Dawn Douglass @Dawnpeppertech Rdu Pepper-tech.com
Jim Vajda @jimvajda CVG framebyframewifi.net CWNE #183
Martin Ericson @Vofi_Martin GOT CWNE 239, CWNT, CWNP-ALP
Brett Alger @crabby_fi BWI
Mitch Dickey @badger_fi IAD badger-fi.com #SingleChannelAdventurer and lover of all things Canadian
Curtis Larsen @curtisklarsen SLC
Amy Arnold @amyengineer DFW amyengineer.com Short on everything but snark. ;)
Aaron Scott @wifidownunder SYD blog.wifidownunder.com My wife used to have Alpacas
Myron Dingle @Mydingledangle LGA First timer!
Stephen Montgomery @StevieWireless MEM One of these days I need to get back to taking these tests.
Steve McKim @alfmckim greatwhitewifi.com/blog
François Vergès @VergesFrancois YYZ semfionetworks.com/blog
Panos Vouzis @pvouzis https://netbeez.net/blog
Tim Dennehy @justdowifi SMF Justdowifi.blogspot.com
Jason Rinaldi @jasonmrinaldi1 SAT 1/3 of the Bald Guys
Jussi Kiviniemi @JussiKiviniemi HEL www.ekahau.com/blog/ Trying to get out of Ekahau since 2002. Almost did it once!
Timo Sass @dot11_de HAM wlan.training
Nate York @dot11Nate LEX dot11nate.blogspot.com If Forrest Gump did WiFi
Mark Edwards @311_WiFi XNA I like turtles
Ferney Munoz @Ferney_Munoz SLC thewifiofthings.com CWNE #187 Tratando de construir comunidad Wi-Fi en Latinoamérica
Samuel Clements @samuel_clements BNA www.sc-wifi.com
Tim Smith @Timjsmith24 XNA
Robert Haviland @havilandweb BNA havilandweb.com My WiFe also WiFis
Jonathan Davis @subnetwork GSO subnetwork.me
Manon Mae Lessard @Mae149 YQB missmaeswifi.com Women in STEM Rock. Especially the Canuk ones!
Dan Ryan @danryan06 MHT dcrwireless.com
Matthew Norwood @matthewnorwood BNA insearchoftech.com I come for the attendee bag and the pudding filled churros. Just kidding. I love all you nerds.
Revital Gorsht @taligorsht YYZ Hockey freak
Ravi Gundu @ravi_143342 PHL Caffeinated WiFi Guy……
Robert Eubanks @@EubanksRob IAH
Troy Martin @troymart YYC Bringing the magic of Wi-Fi to the people.
Mike Atkins @MikeAtkins SBN
Terri Haviland @terrihav BNA havilandweb.com
Jonathan Finney @wifispy BNA
Tim Higgins @smallnetbuilder CHO smallnetbuilder.com There are lessons to be learned from consumer Wi-Fi too!

FIN

#WLPC_US and Free Wi-Fi Training Resources

Registration for #WLCP_US is now open! If you work in Wi-Fi you should really check it out. It’s a great place to learn and network with other WLAN Pros. New this year are Deep Dive Sessions, which are described as:

These will be two 90-minute sessions – the first to do whatever prepatory work and laying foundational information and then the next day followed up with more hands-on work for getting deep into the subject.  Each of these has a ‘kit’ of gear that is included for each attendee.

Sounds pretty slick and it should be both fun and educational. There are a number of sessions including Advanced WLAN Site Survey, to 3D printing, Python, and SDR. My friend Jerry Olla and myself will be teaching a session on Real World Mobile WLAN Testing, where we will use a single board computer and mobile devices to analyze a network using a variety of tests.

On a related note, I have a post up at the Airheads Community where I point out some of the Free Wi-Fi Training Resources that are available, which includes all the videos recorded from WLPC. If you can’t get to WLPC, want a taste of what the sessions are like, or just want to find a few free ways to learn, please check it out!

FIN

A Wi-Fi Guy Meets 3D Printing

A couple people at my office went to CES last year. One of them was showing me pictures and it seemed like everything was made with a 3D printer. Not just the usual things you expect like prototypes for various electronic toys. They showed me clothing, food items, art, jewelry, eyeglass frames and even a prosthetic arm with art incorporated into it. The sky seems to be the limited, based only on the imagination and skill of the designer.

The prices of these 3D printers are coming down, as well, with printers available under $300 and a few that are closer to $200. It wasn’t that long ago that they were $1000 or more! So what does that have to do with Wi-Fi and networks? People are designing useful objects that can be 3D printed because the market is just too small for traditional production methods or there just aren’t that many people who can use it. It’s also great for solving that problem that is unique to you, but here’s a few examples that you might actually be able to use.

Example #1: Network Jack AP Mount

Available at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:895923

Need to mount your AP to a network jack? Problem solved, if you have a 3D printer.

Example #2: AP on a Stick Mount

Available at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:705857

Many wireless engineers like to travel light and build their survey rig on site using painters poles and some ACME threaded 90 degree adapters. Jake Snyder (@jsnyder81 on Twitter) created this adapter to make it easy to connect various APs to this survey rig using their stock T-bar adapters. This is a good example of a product for a small niche that is really useful for those who need it!

Example #3: Aruba AP Bench Stand

Available at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:705865

Ever need to stick an AP on a bench for testing? It ends up sitting on the cables and power supply if you aren’t using PoE to power it. This is another Jake Snyder design. He got tired of that and made this stand to hold the AP on a bench. Very niche and very nifty. The actual design is a little taller than what’s shown in this picture, so there’s a little more clearance than it looks like here. The AP pictured is sitting in his home lab.

One of the great things about these designs is that they are Creative Commons licensed, so you can improve and/or modify them for your purposes and share them with others. For example, in the network jack AP mount, I might want to reduce the height of the bar to make a cleaner looking mount. Or maybe I might want to modify the bench stand to work with another product. Unlike a mount you might buy from someone else, you can modify these fit your needs pretty easily.

3D printers are great technology to enable the creation of items we just could not have had before and aren’t just for inventors of the fancy stuff you can see at events like CES. They can be used by everyday people who just need to solve a problem. Take a look at the tech and design at sharing sites like thingiverse.com and pinshape.com. Get ideas and solve real problems or just have fun. Regardless of your purposes, 3D printing is already a great tool and is going to shape our future.

Exploring Mesh with an AP-205H

Note: All APs used for this are actually IAP units, which can run with either the Aruba Instant controller or a campus controller. Campus APs prior to the more recent unified SKUs cannot connect to an Aruba Instant controller.

After Wireless Field Day 8, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company™, generously provided the delegates with a variety of hardware to take a look it. It was quite the spread and a very impressive sampling of products. One of the devices I particularly like is the AP-205H 802.11ac access point. The AP-205H is intended for both hospitality and remote worker deployments. It can be powered through PoE, has 4 Ethernet ports, and can even provide up to 10W of power to another PoE device. It can be wall mounted, ideally at on a wall plate using the Ethernet port on the rear for uplink, or desk mounted with a stand.

I can see this unit being great in dorms, study rooms, and in hotels, however I decided to try something a bit different and turn it into a wireless bridge for my media devices. I have a home theater PC, a Roku, and a PS3 connected to the living room TV. The PC connects using a flaky 802.11ac USB adapter, the Roku has built-in 802.11n, and the PS3 only supports 802.11g. In my neighborhood, 2.4GHz is typically at 70% or more airtime usage, so performance leaves a bit to be desired. This would make moving everything to 5GHz a big win, as well. By moving all the devices to a mesh connected AP, we can reduce channel contention, move everything to 5GHz, and improve the overall network performance for all the devices. Also of important note, there is both an AP-205H and an AP-205. These have different form factors, so don’t forget the ‘H’! That said, you could also use the AP-205 to make a wireless bridge.

205 vs 205H

Given an existing IAP deployment, the first thing to do is add the AP-205H to the wired network so it can join the virtual controller. This did not work for me at first because the version of code on my VC was older than what the 205H required. I upgraded the firmware on both the 205H and the 225 I’m using as an uplink so they were on the same version. I had to upgrade them anyway, since the 802.11ac APs require 6.4.3.1-4.2.0.0 or later to support mesh operation. Worth noting is that Aruba Instant 4.1 and later default to having Extended SSID enabled, which will disable mesh operation. You may need to disable that feature to use mesh. This comes with the minor caveat that with Extended SSID disabled you are limited to creating six networks, but you weren’t going to do that, anyway.

Disabling Extended SSID

After all the settings are in order and the 205H joins the controller and synchronizes the VC configuration, switching to mesh operation is easy. Just disconnect the wired uplink and wait. After a couple minutes you’ll see that the AP has rejoined the controller using Wi-Fi for the uplink. However, there’s still a couple more changes to make before you connect wired devices to the mesh AP. If you connect a device to Ethernet ports 1-3 at this point, that device will obtain a controller provided IP address and may be stuck behind a nonexistent captive portal. If you connect a device to Ethernet 0, you’ll find the mesh is disabled since the AP will just believe the wired uplink has just returned.
To enable the Ethernet 0 port to be used as a downlink port, select the AP in the virtual controller and edit it. Under the Uplink tab, you want to enable “Eth0 bridging.” You may need to reboot the AP for this to take effect.

Enabling Eth0 Bridging

To make sure your wired ports are bridging to the wireless, you also need to configure the rules for wired ports. This is accessed in the VC under the More menu and selecting the Wired option.

Wired Settings

Now you can either create a new wired network profile or do what I did and just update the “default_wired_port_profile.” The correct settings are dependent on your environment and goals, but for this instance simplicity works fine. You also need to assign the wired ports to use the new/updated profile(s). Notice that the devices I have on my wired ports are listed in the Wired Users window.

Wired Profile Settings

Once your ports are set, you can edit your profiles to operate as you see fit. In the Wired Settings tab, make sure the ports are admin up and that the uplink setting is set to disabled.

Wired Settings

In the VLAN tab, make sure Client IP assignment is set to “Network assigned” unless you are using the VC’s internal DHCP server.

Client IP Assignment

Now you can connect wired clients to the AP’s Ethernet ports and they will connect to the network through the Wi-Fi uplink. In mesh mode, the AP will continue to provide service to wireless clients, so you can also extend coverage in this way.

I hope you find this a useful little guide. This was a fun little project to solve a small problem. It helped me learn a bit about mesh operation in an Instant deployment and challenged me to implement something I’d not done before. That’s a great way to learn new things. Just pick something you haven’t done before and do it!

FIN

Unofficial #WLPC Twitter Attendee List, PHX2017 Edition

It’s become a tradition here at Mostly Networks to run the unofficial Twitter attendee list for the US edition of the WLPC conference. I hope you find the list useful! It’s not updated real-time, but it will be updated at least daily as long as people keep adding themselves. A new addition this year is the airport code. This way you can see if anyone worth sharing a meal with is in the town you’ll be in for your next gig. :)

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to be added (easiest for me), but you can also send a tweet to me at @scottm32768. You can add a note to share anything of interest to the attendees, like your CWNE status, podcast, that you work for a vendor, or that you really like tacos. The airport code is to help people find you if they end up in your neck of the woods. Obviously, the note and airport code are optional.

Note: This is for attendees. Sorry, if you aren’t attending I will not add you to the list.

[Last Update: 2017-02-2106:54:42Z]

Name Twitter IATA Blog Notes
Keith Parsons @KeithRParsons SLC wlanpros.com Runs the WLPC Conferences!
Scott McDermott @scottm32768 SEA mostlynetworks.com Creator of this list and all around swell guy.
Alan @Papageordy
Brian Smith @elonsmitty BWI Human Pin Cushion
Adrian Granados @adriangranados MLB www.adriangranados.com Maker of WiFi Explorer
Luke Jenkins @wifiluke SLC wifiluke.com
Matthew Norwood @matthewnorwood BNA www.insearchoftech.com
Patrick Swackhammer @swackhap STL swacknet.net
Troy Martin @troymart YYC Forced by circumstance to be a WiFi Cowboy
Robert Boardman @Robb_404 SJC robb404.com Creator of HubHolster and all around nerd
Brennan Martin @CdnBeacon YXE blog.mroute.ca Part of the Canuck invasion
Anders Nilsson @herrnilsson2 UME Bringing Hälge the Swedish WiFi Moose
Blake K @blakekrone MSP blakekrone.com That guy that wears a tie
Stewart Goumans @WirelessStew YVR www.WirelessStew.com
Darrell DeRosia @Darrell_DeRosia MEM I did Wi-Fi before it was cool
Jacob Snyder @jsnyder81 BOI Transmitfailure.blogspot.com
Aaron Scott @wifidownunder SYD wifidownunder.com
Steve McKim @alfmckim YWG www.greatwhitewifi.com/blog How’s it goin, eh?
Ryan M. Adzima @radzima LAS Techvangelist.net The beard that doesn’t need a tie to impress.
Patrick Nefkens @Dutch_Fi AMS
Richard Steiner @Rick_WiFi_guy
Mitch Dickey @badger_fi CHO badger-fi.com
Joshua Williams @802dotMe OKC eight02.me I’m as old as Chili’s, but only half as salty.
Nigel Bowden @Wifinigel Wifinigel.com Typical Brit
Ronald van Kleunen @@globeron BKK www.globeron.com CWSP Bootcamp. Wi-Fi profs are on Twitter
Scott Staapleton @scottpstapleton phasedcoexistence.blogspot.com ᚡ <– AP in the corner or a spiders web?
François Vergès @@VergesFrancois YXU semfionetworks.com/blog
Zaib Kaleem @wlanbook IAD wlanbook.com
Ian Beyer @Ianbeyer MCI Blog.ianbeyer.com
Glenn Cate @grcate TPA gcatewifi.wordpress.com CWNE #181
Beef @wirednot SYR wirednot.wordpress.com I’m sorry, Senator- I don’t recall.
Shaun Bender @Welles MCI onwhereyoustop.com Tacos
Chris Reed @TheCMReed MHT TheCMReed.com Too fly for the Wi-Fi
Mark Edwards @marke3117 XNA Wifi for the win
Nick Martinez @networkengin33r DFW networkengin33r.wordpress.com
Matt Frederick @mattbfrederick OKC finesine.com
Brian Long @blong1 SNA blong1wifiblog.blogspot.com/
Stephen Montgomery @Steviewireless MEM
Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz YYZ
Timo @dot11_de SFO www.wifi-blog.com
John Deegan @Sn1ph3r EWR
Rich Hummel @accelhummel SAT
Jason Rinaldi @jasonmrinaldi1 SAT
Rick Dagon @rickywireless SAN rickywireless.com Currently Aruba So Cal SE (Previously Cisco LAN/WLAN SE for Presidio)
Charlie Clemmer @charlieclemmer DAL www.charlieclemmer.com
Joel Crane @Potato_Fi BOI potatofi.blogspot.com Mostly attending for the In-N-Out run.
Scott Lester @theitrebel MSY Stuck in a Stadium catwalk with AP
Chad Teal @chadteal ATL
Scott Lester @theitrebel MSY Stuck in a Stadium catwalk with AP
Joshua Gochee @Jgochee BNA
Justin Cetko @Justinskyline SMF
Curtis Larsen @curtisklarsen SLC Work at UofU
Veli-Pekka Ketonen @VPonwireless CLE @7signal, the Wi-Fi performance company
Nathan Shirey @Know_Tech MHT
Dan Ryan @danryan06 MHT
Dennis Burrell @TGIWiFiGuy AUS
Martin Ericson @vofi_martin GOT
Miss Mae @Mae149 YQB Missmaeswifi.com That French Canadian chick, eh!
Bryce Floyd @bfloyd08 MSP it’s all ball bearings…..
Doug Mason @wifidoug SFO Wouldn’t miss it!
Robert Eubanks @eubanksrob IAH
Jonathan Finney @wifispy BNA
David Wilson @Daviddbwilson SFO Co-founder & CEO, Cape Networks
Jonathan Davis (JD) @subnetwork GSO subnetwork.me Y’all got any more of that…WiFi?
Jim comment @jimwifi1 DTW
Todd Hall @tmhall2 GTR
craig schnarrs @the_wifi_guy DTW
Jason D. Hintersteiner @EmperorWiFi JFK www.emperorwifi.com SMB Wi-Fi Expert
Brad Weldon @bradweldon PDX tacos are the best
Tom Carpenter @carpentertom CMH cwnp.com Warm weather, here I come!
Tim Rousset @TimRousset WAS
Vladan Jevremovic @v_jevremovic IAH www.ibwave.com
Dilip Advani @advani_dilip SFO CWNE#43; @ Netscout
Eric Garnel @wifistrong ABIA Does the hotel have a gym?
Chris Kelly @WiFiFrood ATL I need an ippy for my appy
Nigel Kemp @NigelKemp1 LHR Still learning
Aren @SrScalability MRY wifirabbithole.wordpress.com We’ll see.
Chris Harkins @capiowifi ATL wififorthedatabaseguy.wordpress.com/ Aerohive Knowldege Services
Mike Jordan @OFDMJ RNO
Brian Blume @AMABrian803 MKE
Tim Smith @timjsmith24 XNA
Kristin Kråkmo @KristinKraakmo
Frank Wikstrøm @frankwik
Ignacio Sánchez @NeseNueve MVD
Rick Murphy @RickMurphyWiTS Den Affiliations: IEEE SA, WiTS, WLAN-AB, WLAN Stress Testers, BICSI Wireless Standards Board
Peter Mackenzie @mackenziewifi pnmackenzie.tumblr.com
Jason Hill @wifirockstar DTW
Alex Burger @aaburger85 DIA
Michael Champanis @capenetworks CPT ‘); DROP TABLE attendees;–

FIN

ArubaOS 8: VMC and AirMatch

As part of Mobility Field Day Live, I had the opportunity to visit Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company at their Executive Briefing Center in Sunnyvale to learn about their newly introduced Mobile First platform. The foundation for the platform is ArubaOS 8, which is a major new release with a long list of new features that will give you flexibility in your deployments.
Let’s start with the Virtual Mobility Controller (VMC). This is a virtual wireless controller that includes feature parity with the hardware controllers. Yes, that really does include the data plane. I’m told that the only real bottleneck is throughput and they are seeing 4-5Gbps on your average VM host, which sounds pretty reasonable. If you need more throughput, you can scale out with more VMCs or you can still go with hardware controllers. The physical controllers have hardware acceleration for the encryption processes, which is why a big controller like a 7240 can push as much as 40Gbps.

The way Aruba has chosen to license the VMC makes scaling with it easy, at least assuming you have the VM hosts around to accommodate them. The Virtual Mobility Controller is licensed by the number of APs managed by the Mobility Master, not the APs managed by individual controllers. You can license the VMC in groups of 50, 250, or 1000 APs, but if you install a VMC in standalone mode you must apply the license directly to the controller and lose the ability to share the licenses. This means that if you have 1000 AP licenses attached to your Mobility Master, you can attach any number of VMCs to the Mobility Master so long as your total AP count does not exceed the license. This gives you the flexibility to add additional controllers when and where you need them. Currently, only VMware is supported, but KVM support will be coming with ArubaOS 8.0.1.

Since I mentioned the Mobility Master, let’s look into that a bit more closely. The Mobility Master is the next generation of the Master Controller. The Mobility Master can be an x86 hardware appliance or a VM. The Mobility Master gives you the ability to move services out of the wireless controller so that these services do not impact network performance. In fact, some services are only available when you have a Mobility Master available. AirMatch is Aruba’s new RF optimization technology aimed at improving spectrum reuse in high density WLANs. Due to the processing power required, you only get it if you are using a Mobility Master. AirMatch looks at groups of 50 APs and use statistics from the last 24 hours to determine the best AP power levels, channel plan, and channel width for the network. This is a much more powerful than ARM. Here’s a quick side by side comparison:

AirMatch and ARM Comparison

So how does this actually work? Every half hour, each AP will measure the RF environment for 5 minutes. During the day, these measurements are collected by the Mobility Master. At 5am every morning, the Mobility Master will churn through the numbers from the last 24 hours to determine the optimal channel plan for all the APs and deploy those changes to the network. There are two exceptions to this. First, when an AP is first detected by the Mobility Master, it will recalculate that APs channel and power settings every 30 minutes for the first eight hours. After that, the new AP is on the same schedule as the rest of the network. The second exception is in the case of a DFS event or significant interference. In either of these cases, the AP can change channels on its own. If you want to see the changes that the Mobility Master is making, you can view some of the details in the AirWave Network Management console.

This really only scratches the surface of what’s happening with the Aruba’s Mobile First Platform launch. Updates to Aruba Central to manage ArubaOS switches, Aruba Clarity for proactive monitoring, ClearPass Extensions that enable third party development, APIs for developers to create detailed analytics and much more. Aruba has released a lot of exciting enhancements that will be the foundation of your networks for years to come.

FIN

Disclosure: As a delegate for MFD Live with Aruba, Aruba indirectly paid for my travel and meals during the event and also compensated me for my time to write this post. This post is still my opinion and only I have editorial control of the contents. This stuff genuinely is exciting! Aruba did request I use their tracking links, which seemed like a reasonable request.