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Category Archives: Wireless Network

Changing the Rules: WP Wireless at Cisco Live

The needs of the enterprise have changed. The exponential growth of mobile access and its introduction into the workplace has accelerated the need for network reliability and uptime. As wireless technology rapidly evolves, network engineers are in a race to keep up—both with system interoperability concerns, as well as throughput, reliability, and security issues.

With its increased speeds and capacity, there is no doubt that 802.11ac is set to become the de facto WLAN standard for years to come. This is exciting news for the WLAN industry. But make no mistake; 802.11ac is a game-changer – driving changes in design, implementation, management, and WLAN analysis.
Increased speed and capacity means there is much more data traversing Wi-Fi networks. For WLAN analysis, this means that far more packets need to be analyzed. At the same time, the introduction of more configuration options means that client devices and APs don’t always have the same capabilities. With 802.11ac even the most capable USB WLAN adapters struggle to meet the speeds of new APs and thus struggle with WLAN analysis.

Using APs for packet capture does not require a separate overlay network for monitoring, significantly reducing the overall capital expenditure for WLAN monitoring and analysis. When done correctly, it provides the most cost-effective and flexible remote WLAN analysis system. Using this type of network analysis solution (WildPackets’ OmniPeek is a good example) will allow you to cost effectively address the challenges of monitoring traffic on 802.11ac, while protecting your network investments.

WildPackets and Cisco work together to enable WLAN analysis and troubleshooting directly from the Cisco infrastructure, providing a highly distributed and cost effective analysis solution. Come see this in action at CISCO Live, May 18-22 in San Francisco. We’ll be at booth #728.

BYOD and Mission Critical Apps – Let Wireless Forensics Ease Your Pain

The people have spoken, and it seems that BYOD is here to stay. A recent Forrester Research study reports that 60% of workers use their personal mobile devices at work, with some organizations reporting that personal, user-owned devices exceed 75%.

This creates a nightmare for IT teams, who have little to no access to end-user devices. Real-time troubleshooting becomes incredibly difficult, and problems are often reported well after they occur (taking real-time analysis out of the equation altogether). Even more, the integrity of mission-critical applications like corporate data transactions are at risk, leaving organizations to question whether transactions  were actually completed?

Forced to embrace BYOD, and subsequently lose control over corporate apps, how can organizations make sure their networks remain safe?

Wireless forensics solutions give wireless network engineers and security teams a complete recording of WLAN activity over hours or even days. Engineers can use wireless forensics to analyze traffic and instantly determine the root cause of an event, entirely removing guessing and problem reproduction from the equation. Effective wireless forensics provide these four key capabilities:

  • Data Capture: Capture all wireless traffic, on every channel in use, at the source
  • Network Recording: Store all WLAN packets, 24/7, for forensic analysis
  • Search and Inspection:  Enable administrators to comb through archived traffic for anomalies and signs of poor connectivity
  • Reporting: Through data capture and analysis, results of investigations are logged and network vulnerabilities are reviewed and analyzed post-mortem.

Perhaps most importantly, wireless forensics solutions capture data 24/7 and automatically analyze all data collected, which means all the data you need for analysis is available at a moment’s notice. Whether the problem with your mission-critical app is across the room or across the world, wireless forensics gives you immediate access to the most detailed analytics available to get to the root cause of an issue.

How Wildpackets Tackles VoFi Challenges

As the business world evolves so do the technologies that govern the ways we communicate. It was not that long ago that communications relied solely on landlines that were completely separate from the other communication and computing infrastructures. Over the past several years, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services have made major market inroads by offering the complete integration of all communication tools onto a single infrastructure. As many enterprises have turned to VoIP for their wired communications solutions, voice over WiFi (VoFi) is now emerging as a viable alternative, further increasing the cost effectiveness of VoIP.

The benefits of VoFi are tremendous, as it offers a technology that more closely mirrors the evolving business world. Work is simply more mobile today and as such requires better on-the-go communications. Not only does VoFi provide this service, but it can be used in a way that utilizes existing wireless networks, thereby negating the need for a service provider when Wi-Fi networks are available. A few challenges that come along with this technology remain, however, and proper wireless network analysis can help mitigate these challenges.

Too much activity on a single wireless access point (AP) is one of the biggest risks. When the wireless network becomes oversubscribed, VoFi communications can drop, whereas wired VoIP will just decrease in quality. Fortunately, WildPacket’s OmniPeek, offer services that help to evaluate and troubleshoot call quality. This product can be used to optimize your entire system and give you a secure feeling about your communications. Additionally, you can use OmniPeek to monitor VoFi services that feed out to remote offices, verifying call quality and ensuring the system is running at optimal levels.

So as VoFi becomes a more mainstream technology moving forward, consider turning to a best-in-class WildPackets solution to meet any and all issues that may arise. After all, network monitoring is what we do, and nobody does it better.

Want to learn more? Join our web seminar on VoFi Wednesday, March 19, at 8:30am PDT.

Have some VoFi challenges of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.