Updated WLC Snippet

Just a quick note to share my updated TextExpander snippet for downloading files to a Cisco WLC. I’ve added a dropdown for my most commonly used datatypes and transfer modes and made the username and password optional. Enjoy!

transfer download datatype %fillpopup:name=datatype:default=code:config:webadmincert:webauthbundle:webauthcert%
transfer download filename %fill%
transfer download path %fill:/%
transfer download serverip %fill%
transfer download mode %fillpopup:name=popup 7:tftp:default=sftp:ftp%
%fillpart%transfer download username %fill%
transfer download password %fill%%fillpartend%
%fillpart%transfer download certpassword %fill%%fillpartend%
transfer download start

Exploring Mesh with an AP-205H

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

Ventev Keeps Antennas Interesting at #MFD1

In case you missed it, Wireless Field Day is now Mobility Field Day, and day one of the inaugural MFD is complete. I am not a delegate this time, but there’s a great group of delegates with a number of new people who really added to the discussions. The day ended with a great roundtable session that you really should go watch. Check the Mobility Field Day 1 Playlist for that and the other sessions from MFD1. In particular, they have an excellent conversation about RRM, which has been a hot topic as of late. This, however, is not what I wanted to write about.


You probably see Ventev gear all the time and don’t notice it. They don’t make radios, but they do make antennas, mounts, enclosures and other tools and hardware useful in the WLAN space. That may not sound like a very interesting topic, but the 2 hour session flew by because they had so many great ideas to share.

I really like the innovation that stadium deployments are driving. From enclosures that have a slight slant to them so rain will run off, to handrail mounted enclosures and antennas. I particularly like this two AP enclosure. There’s no questioning what’s in that box!

In case you are wondering about the antennas in this confined space, they actually have you mounting the external antennas back to back with a metal backing plate between them. They had data showing sufficient RF separation in their testing, despite them being so close.

Ventev has some great new ideas for antennas designed to serve the places that have always been difficult to cover. They are putting antennas everywhere and making them hard to spot.

They also discussed their in floor antenna system, which is a unique solution designed for areas with raised floors, a nice antenna built into an old work junction box, and a number of mounting systems designed for challenging environments.

It really was a great presentation and I highly recommend watching the video. It’s full of solutions to real problems facing WLAN designers who are trying to figure out how to install more APs into areas that are not designed with that in mind!

The videos are included below so you can see it all for yourself.

FIN

Unofficial #WLPC Twitter Attendee List, PHX2016 Edition

Last year I ran an Unofficial WLPC Twitter Attendee List after Jennifer Huber (@JenniferLucille) wondered if there was a list of Twitter peeps who were attending. Obviously, I’ve decided to do it again this year. 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. This year I’ve upgraded the list by allowing notes so you can share anything of interest to the attendees. You can share your CWNE status, your podcast, that you work for a vendor, or that you really like pie.

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

Name Twitter Blog Notes
Keith Parsons @KeithRParsons wlanpros.com Runs the WLPC Conferences!
Scott McDermott @scottm32768 mostlynetworks.com Creator of this list
Scott Stapleton @scottpstapleton phasedcoexistence.blogspot.nl Wi-Fi Smartass
Shaun Bender @Welles Tacos.
Matthew Norwood @matthewnorwood www.insearchoftech.com I come for all the wired sessions.
Luke Jenkins @WiFiLuke www.wifiluke.com
Nate York @dot11Nate dot11nate.blogspot.com
Adrian Granados @adriangranados www.adriangranados.com Maker of WiFi Explorer
Tom Carpenter @carpentertom tomcarpenter.net CWNP.com
Aaron Scott @wifidownunder The one with the best Aussie accent
Brian Smith @elonsmitty Here for the Free Food
Darrell DeRosia @Darrell_DeRosia 2.4 is official dead. Cisco and Apple said so…
Samuel Clements @samuel_clements www.sc-wifi.com The one, the only.
Blake Krone @blakekrone BlakeKrone.com Mr Big Deal Himself
Ryan Adzima @radzima whiskeyandwireless.com Blame Canada
Steve McKim @alfmckim www.greatwhitewifi.com/blog Polite Canadian
Kimberly Graves @KimberlyAGraves Aruba Networks
Jonathan Davis @subnetwork subnetwork.me Equal Opportunity Offender
Jim Comment @JimWifi1 First time at WLPC
David Coleman @@mistermultipath whiffie
Jake Snyder @Jsnyder81 transmitfailure.blogspot.com Peter Griffin impersonator
Trent Cutler @Firemywires
Joshua Williams @802dotMe eight02.me First timer. These are my people.
Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz Canadian who accepts no blame
Troy Martin @troymart riding the Wi-Fi fad
Nathan Wilder @Wildernets
Brian Long @blong1 blong1wifiblog.blogspot.com/ Let’s do this …
Ronald van Kleunen @Globeron www.youtube.com/wwwgloberoncom Globeron – Wireless Certification Training
Colleen Szymanik @wifi_unicorn Nothing witty to say
Eddie Forero @HeyEddie BadFi.com RRM is dead… along with 2.4GHz and Elvis. (Ok, Elvis is NOT dead…)
Joel Crane @FuelCellWiFi My Twitter handle means nothing.
Glenn Cate @grcate gcatewifi.wordpress.com
Manon Lessard @Mae149 Not always polite Canadian.
Andrew Fly4WiFiGuy vonNagy @revolutionwifi http://www.revolutionwifi.com
Jerry Olla @jolla Meow
Jonathan Finney @wifispy I like turtles
Anders Nilsson @HerrNilsson2 Part of Team Sweden and yes I’m bringing the Moose
Stephen Montgomery @steviewireless hanging with Jack and some smart people
Juan Carlos Luna @jclkanter Mad about wireless
Eddie Klaczko @EddieKlaczko I like warm weather.
Brad Weldon @bradweldon coffee, tacos, chocolate, repeat…
Trent Hurt @Wifiguy502
Martin Ericson @maer1952 Yihaa in cowboy land
Austin Godbey @austingodbey wireless == magic
Chris Young @netmanchris www.kontrolissues.net On behalf of Canada “I’m sorry”.
Robert Eubanks @eubanksrob
John Turner @wifijt “where do I plug this in?”
Ben Montour @BenMontour First time WLPC attendee.
Dan Ryan @Danryan06
John Cosgrove @rtr_man
James Garringer @jamesgarringer Apple
Daniel Dillon @Trilithic
Shaun Neal @sv_neal blog.svneal.com
Simon “Cucumber Tony” Morley @@cucumbertony
Kenneth Fernandes @wifiblogdotcom WiFiBlog.com
Andrew Campbell @wifiandrew www.syranova.com/
Mark Edwards @marke3117 Yes
Jay Botelho @jaybotelho Savvius (OmniPeek)
Van Le @Vansterzzz 1st WLPC
Timothy Otto @mage2 Wireless Noob , security guy
Joeri De Winter @joeri_Skyline

FIN

In Wi-Fi They (Don’t Really) Trust

Sometimes, the biggest problem with the network is its very existence. Anytime something breaks, the fingers start pointing at the network. Database stopped responding? It must be the network. Client can’t access the Internet? Must be the network. Never mind that what the client can’t access is just their home page and everything else is working…

The problem isn’t so much that the network exists, but that it exists and most users, and even most IT pros, don’t understand it. Now we take that complex system that people already have a difficult time understanding and replace the simple Cat5 cable with… Magic? Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. For many people, wireless is a magical black box. Actually, it’s usually an opaque white box, but that’s beside the point. Things happen in it, but they can’t be seen and they are not easily understood. The explanations for how it works, or more likely why it doesn’t work, generally involve lots of vague hand waving motions and end with either blaming the client or the network, depending on which side you are on.

Now when something breaks and there’s nothing obviously wrong with the device people trust, it’s logical (from their perspective) to blame the thing they don’t understand. It’s known that it needs to be working for them to do what they want, so that must be what’s broken.

You can read the rest of my thoughts on this on the Aruba Airheads Community.

FIN

How hard can it be not to install wires?

There’s a joke, “How hard can it be not to install wires?” (See this Dilbert comic) However, it’s a good question, so let’s think through this a bit.

Let’s say you are deploying a new wireless network. Maybe you had it thrown at you already purchased and delivered. You just get to implement it. What fun! Maybe it’s “just” an upgrade, so can’t you just swap things out?

Things you need to consider: What model are the APs? Do you have enough for coverage? More importantly, what about capacity?

To read the reast of this article, check it out over on the Aruba Airheads Community.

FIN