Cisco Live! recap – Monday

I had a session booked at 8am. Breakfast started at 7 and with a 30 minute walk to the conference centre, I needed to get up at 6. So much for getting some rest while my kids weren’t waking me up!

BRKEWN-2000 “Design and Deployment of Wireless LANs for real time applications” with Jerome Henry! 

This is where I would finally meet the illustrious Rowell Dionicio of Packet 6 and the Clear to Send podcast; and my Canadian brother from another country, Meru Mitch! (that’s right, I know THE Meru Mitch!). Check out Mitch’s recap of CLUS 2016 as well.

Here are a couple of things that stuck with me from Jerome‘s session:

  • People use only one real time application at a time. You have a FaceTime chat, then hang up and go onto something else. It’s pretty impractical to FaceTime and have a VoIP call at the same time. It’s safe to assume that one real time app will be the only bandwidth need while in use.
  • How to do the math. Some good examples of how to actually calculate the bandwidth need in a cell.
  • What is my client device’s max EIRP. Some more great examples. This info isn’t often published by the manufacturers. An iPhone 6s for example, has a worst max EIRP in the 5 GHz band of 10.3 dBm.
  • Here’s a big one: 802.11 devices decide which transmission rate to use based on the signal strength of transmissions received from the AP

    • Think about this one. This goes towards the concept of matching transmit power.

These four points are covered in the first 30 pages out of 191; so I highly recommend you grab the PDF and have a read through. Lots of excellent concepts explained by Jerome.
IMG_6448Next was off to the opening keynote with the honorary hosers, Hub Holster Robb and Meru Mitch. Lasers, dancers, and Your Time is Now – the theme for CLUS.

28,000 attendees, and don’t forget about Cisco DNA!

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With a little time after the keynote before the next session, we couldn’t resist heading to the World of Solutions (WoS).

We caught up with Matt, and I had a specific stop in mind.  We quickly located the giant sign in the distance pointing the direction to the Cisco certification lounge, and made our way over. I admit I couldn’t resist leaving my compadres at the general entrance when I saw the dedicated CCIE entrance! Being my first CLUS, I couldn’t resist trying out the perks.

Note for next year: the CCIE entrance is like the side door. We ended up at the exact same place, ha! Oh well, I got my fancy CCIE ribbon for my badge, but my fingers were crossed for something else… YES. They were in the back of the lounge!

I got my first CLUS tramp stamp. Now I was really on my way to being a CLUS veteran! Thanks to Robb,  Mitch and Steve for putting up with me and generally encouraging the nerdery. Moving on.

We picked up our CLUS 2016 T-shirts and got our picture taken with Elvis:

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@Robb_404, Elvis, @mattouellette, yours truly, and #MeruMitch

We hung around WoS a little longer and started accumulating various vendor swag. Little did I know just how much swag we would end up with. Soon it was off to another session.

BRKRST-2515 “QoS Design and Deployment for Wireless LANs” with Robert Barton

Having recently completed the CWNP CWAP course, much of this was very familiar to me so thankfully it wasn’t hard to follow. QoS is always a complex topic.

Here are a couple of things that stuck with me from Robert’s session:

  • Do not use the Wired QoS Protocol field. This caught my attention because it was a departure from Cisco’s earlier best practices which I was familiar with. Admittedly, it had been a few years since I had really reviewed this topic (see my post When a 6 means 5 – Cisco WLAN QoS), so this stood out for me.
  • A lot of work on QoS has been done in WLC code recently. Time for me to start reading.
  • Introducing Fastlane. The fruits of the Apple/Cisco partnership are ripening. Big benefits to roaming and QoS for Apple devices, often with no admin intervention or config required.
  • EasyQoS. This should be a BIG deal. See @Cantechit’s post here for an excellent overview.

This session was a real brain session, so I enjoyed the change of pace in the next session:

BRKEWN-2019 – “7 Ways to fail as a Wireless Expert” with Steven Heinsius (contender for best Twitter profile pic, btw).

This was a fun session, and there were many great takeaways. Fun = engaging, and it did a great job of reinforcing some concepts we all know well, in a way that might help us explain it to our clients and users.

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You really can’t argue with that.
  • CnHuXXHUsAAaAFP.jpg-largeChannels 1,6 and 11 folks.
  • Get moving to 5 GHz.
  • Don’t use max power.
  • Cisco says use RRM. But Cisco also tells us to tune RRM. Max power should be limited to 17 dBm and min to 5 dBm.
  • Everyone loves Bad-Fi.com.
  • Go take a look at Wigle.netYou can learn a lot from this site. No more TKIP/WPA1 or WEP. Even WPA2-Passphrase is not appropriate for the enterprise.
  • No, 802.11ac is not going to give you better that 1 Gbps throughput. See Andrew von Nagy’s webinar here.
  • Look for the “Best Practices” slides in Steven’s Presentation. Good rules of thumb to keep handy.

This was a great way to end day #1. Next was back to WoS for more swag! There were so many vendors to see, and even better, the food and beer was everywhere we looked. We paused at a table at one point and were joined by a very friendly and unassuming woman looking for a spot to put down her plate.  At luck would have it, we met Cisco’s social media manager Laura Babbili!
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How cool is that. Laura is part of the top brass of Cisco’s social media team, including @CiscoLive. We picked her brain about the inner workings of the Cisco Live twitter team, but I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence that we had several twitter pictures on the big screen at the closing keynote…

 

On our way out of WoS Robb, Meru Mitch, Steve, and I took our commemorative photo with the Cisco Live! sign:

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But the day doesn’t end there! (See why I am breaking these posts up by day??)

Robb and I met back up with Rowell at a lounge in the Cosmo hotel, where I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Adzima and Richard Macintosh, two Wi-Fi wranglers who are also well known in the community. I admit I was pumped when Richard saw my twitter handle and pointed out that he had read some of my posts. It was cool to know that, even if I am embarrassing myself online, I am getting a little bit of attention in the community I am hoping to be a part of.

I’m aiming to recap the rest of the week soon! Stay tuned.

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