But My 802.11n Is Only 2 Years Old
Many organizations have recently finished expensive 802.11n deployments, just to see the explosion of wireless devices and 802.11ac render these designs obsolete. It would be painful and expensive to completely redesign these wireless networks all over again, but we also have to satisfy user requirements and anticipate future needs. If you’ve already built an 802.11n network, how do you support the ever-increasing number of wireless devices on your networks? If you’re considering a change, should you adopt 802.11ac Wave 1, hold out for Wave 2, or continue deploying 802.11n? How do you design your WLAN as it pertains to your standards choice? What effect will it have on wired network requirements? How do these decisions affect capital and operating expenses? This session will share lessons learned from the speaker's personal deployment at a competitive private university, including how to approach migrating to 802.11ac, how to redesign networks to support -65dB in the 5Ghz band, and how to creatively minimize costs as the number of APs on campus doubles over the next three years.
Speaker: Matt Williams, Assistant Director of Networking, Bucknell University
|BYOD: Getting It Right
BYOD is IT’s Kobayashi Maru: a seemingly no-win situation. Users and executives want unlimited choice on devices and access, while IT has to protect corporate data and find some way to support a grab-bag of hardware and operating systems. Can IT really balance these competing demands, or are we being set up to fail? In fact, you can do BYOD right, but it requires some groundwork. In this session we’ll cover the motivation behind BYOD, because it’s important in understanding why it becomes such a divisive issue in organizations. In addition, we’ll describe the steps required to make BYOD work. While tools play a role, what really matters is architecture, policy, data classification, and figuring out your organization’s requirements. We’ll also share sample use cases to show how BYOD can work in the real world.
Speaker: Michele Chubirka, Senior Security Architect, Packet Pushers
|Optimal WLAN Design for Retail, Healthcare and the Enterprise
There is no cookie-cutter design and implementation of 802.11 wireless networks--at least, there shouldn’t be. What works for one environment may not work for another because of end user expectations, the different applications and devices to be supported, and the physical characteristics of the building(s). Designers shouldn’t cut corners by overpopulating the location with access points and then hoping the RF management system will solve interference and performance issues. This session will help attendees understand specific requirements of various vertical markets including retail, healthcare, manufacturing/warehousing and corporate office space. It will share design tips optimized for these environments. It will also review the pros and cons of the latest improvements (802.11ac) and discuss Wi-Fi software design and analysis tools that can help ensure a successful installation and ongoing reliability.
Speaker: Ron Walczak, Principal Consultant, Walczak Technology Consultants
|The Social Wi-Fi Goldmine: Should You Be Digging?
Wi-Fi is everywhere, from coffee shops to stadiums, grocery stores to universities. Once considered a cost of doing business, companies may have an option to profit via Social Wi-Fi—providing customers with free connectivity in exchange for access to their social network profiles. With that data and powerful analytics behind the scenes, venues can track, engage, and even monetize visitors to tailor better experiences, attract more customers, and justify expanding technology budgets. Marketing departments get information about consumers that they previously only dreamed of, and are asking IT for new ways to use it. In this interactive session we’ll discuss Social Wi-Fi and whether organizations should use it, explore different vendor options, and review the kinds of information that can be captured and analyzed. We’ll also look at IT’s responsibilities to safeguard customer information, and how to balance data collection with potential customer concerns about privacy and tracking.
Speaker: Ryan Adzima, Technical Marketing Engineer, AirTight Networks
|The Wireless Engineer’s Essential Toolkit
WLAN designers, engineers and administrators have a variety of tools from open source to paid, general to specialized. Tools are available as traditional software, in the cloud, and even some that run on smartphones and tablets. It’s nice to have choices, but which ones can you rely on? This session will provide an overview of must-have survey, spectrum, troubleshooting and management tools at a variety of price points and for a variety of jobs. We’ll cover a range from simple packet sniffers to site survey and spectrum analysis tools to premium management suites. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of popular products and share some personal favorites that may not be in your toolbox (but should be).
Speaker: George M Stefanick Jr., Wireless Network Architect, The Methodist Hospital System
|The Yin and Yang of Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi
The “as a service” paradigm has upended a variety of IT disciplines, and WLANs are no exception. Cloud-managed Wi-Fi, which has been around for several years, is the natural evolution of WLAN technology. Advantages abound for Cloud Wi-Fi, but as with any networking technology, it also has limitations and may not be for everyone. Is Cloud Wi-Fi for you? We’ll help answer that question by looking at real-world Cloud Wi-Fi deployments and discussing why they were chosen over legacy approaches. We’ll also review the trade-offs of the Cloud Wi-Fi model. In addition, the session will examine how innovation in feature sets is fast becoming more important than speedy access points, and what to expect in the near future as Cloud Wi-Fi gains prominence in the WLAN industry.
Speaker: Lee Badman, Wireless and Network Engineer, Syracuse University, Contributor, Network Computing
|Using 802.11ac to Build Next-Generation Wireless LANs
802.11ac applies a variety of techniques to increase speed, and these new protocol features require network administrators and architects to use different techniques to build next-generation networks. When building a network based on 802.11ac, architects must be aware of the differences from previous-generation networks based on 802.11n and 802.11a/b/g. As part of the continuing rollout of 802.11ac, network deployments must adapt to the changing nature of the protocol, and administrators need to consider how the additional features for speed and efficiency affect the underlying architecture of the network.
Speaker: Matthew Gast, Director of Product Management, Aerohive Networks
|Wi-Fi for the Mobile-Enabled Business
The wireless LAN you have in place today has likely served you well, but your line of business partners may be asking for even more. Updating your wireless environment isn’t just about replacing access points anymore. Business and security drivers change over time, and if you don’t adapt your wireless network to them, you could be missing out on business advantages. New WLAN services are cropping up around BYOD, location tracking, social login, and business analytics, while the technical underpinnings continue to evolve with new radio technologies such as 802.11ac, unified policy management across wired and wireless, increasing capacity demands, and IPv6 on the horizon. We'll discuss why wireless networks evolve, and how to steward that evolution for operational success.
Speaker: Christian Renaud, Senior Analyst, Networking, 451 Research
|Wireless Bridging: Pros and Cons for Extending Your LAN
Wireless bridging lets you extend your LAN from one location to another without the need to lay new cable or lease lines from a local provider. It’s a compelling alternative to provide network access for organizations with multiple sites, including schools, hospitals and companies that are expanding to nearby buildings. This session will explore the techniques and technologies available today to link multiple sites over the air. We’ll examine free space optics vs. radio frequencies, licensed vs. unlicensed frequencies, point-to-point vs. point-to-multipoint, and proprietary vs. standards-based approaches. We’ll also prepare you to make good decisions on both cost and throughput.
Speaker: Keith Parsons, Managing Director, Institute for Network Professionals