Today I am sitting in on the first Asia Pacific #WiFiDesignDay - kindly brought to Sydney, Australia by @ekahau. Here is a brief play by play as it runs...
Mark Krischer from Cisco kicked off the day of guest presentations explaining the fundamentals of RF. The key take away was revealed nice and early. “You have two levers” which are increasing signal and reducing noise. This is a great lesson for newcomers to the WiFi space but equally important as a reminder to old-hats. To the new comer it creates new questions about how you might go about achieving positive outcomes with these levers. For old hats it should keep their minds wizzing around the concepts and realities of what these levers truly encompass.
Matt Fowler (Mist) Discussed A.I. I’m not a fan of using the term A.I. to-date because it simply is a misnomer in the context it’s used. To be fair he also spoke a lot of Machine Learning which is actually the technology being implemented today (and called often wrongly labelled A.I.). It was great to see where Machine Learning can, Will and does improve our Wi-Fi networks and the workflows of those managing Wi-Fi networks.
Jim Steinbacher from WatchGuard talked us through the present day threats and reality of hacking WiFi. The climax of Jim’s presentation was when he admitted he had been running a Karma attack using a discreetly placed Wi-Fi Pineapple. Jim was able to demonstrate how the attendees clients were sharing too much as he listed off the SSIDs many thought were private at their homes. It was cool to see the disbelief across the room. A lot of the attendees were initially stumped as to how this was happening.
Having Keith Parsons (WLAN Professionals) in town was a treat. These days Keith comes to Australia a lot more than he used to to run various training courses (ESCE and CWNA). Keith started by encouraging those in the room who weren’t on Twitter or blogging to start both today. It was the classic hands up to solemnly swear they’ll get on it.
Then Keith got to the meat... He explained that WiFi is working, even when the experience is bad.
Keith showed the group that a system can be brittle if you don’t follow design rules. His analogy was brilliant, utilising LEGO and a simple set of requirements. What a great introduction. Keith is a master of story telling - and this is why you should do whatever it takes to go and sit in on one of Keith’s training courses. Even (if not especially) if you think you know it all about Wi-Fi.
More to come after lunch...
Aaron Scott (Aruba) has been spending a lot of time designing and overseeing the installation of a sports stadium in Sydney. He shared today some of his experiences on this project. After overcoming some extreme voice attenuation caused by a massive flame-red beard Aaron kicked off by outlining the great variation in requirements across the different areas and user scenarios in a stadium (from Media personnel to spectators lining up for food). Not everyone will have the pleasure of designing Wi-Fi for a stadium but a lot of the theory that goes in to planning this type of environment can be very useful across other designs. Aaron explained a method to calculating the total system throughput which can aid the backhaul planning requirements wired and Internet connectivity.
From multi-stage stadium deployments (over years) to half covered, half non covered stadiums - Aaron has met many challenges which had to be overcome. Cost considerations and engineering experiences were great insights throughout the presentation.
The day’s formalities were finalised with an expert panel prepared to answer the toughest attendees questions. Matt Fowler, Aaron Scott, Stephen Cooper, Keith Parsons and Jussi Kiviniemi sat up front and shared knowledge and opinion about:
There is an Easter Egg on the iOS version of the Ookla Speedtest app. Hold down the Go button for a long period of time until your phone starts vibrating.
Then there was Beer! Thanks for following along.
Written by Matt Sutherland
We build and optimise networks. Continuous learning is our secret to being good. Along the learning journey we will share things here...