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  • CWSP Certified Wireless Security Professional Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-204
    CWSP Certified Wireless Security Professional Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-204
    by David D. Coleman, David A. Westcott, Bryan E. Harkins, Shawn M. Jackman

    Shawn Jackman (Jack) CWNE#54 is a personal friend and has been a mentor to me for many years.  I've had the pleasure and opportunity to work with Jack for 4 years. Jack is a great teacher who takes complex 802.11 standards and breaks them down so almost anyone can understand the concept at hand. I'm excited for you brother. Great job and job well done! Put another notch in the belt!

« Cisco 802.11ac Certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance | Main | Cisco client debug - 802.11 Association Status Code »

Aruba 802.11ac Announcement 


Since the very beginning WiFi clients have been a challenge and they still are today. There is no standard for WiFi client vendors to follow. Vendors implement their own roaming algorithm (triggers), interpret their own signal, SNR and noise levels. Vendors almost never publish these triggers. In the industry we call this “vendor client secret sauce”. I blogged about this very subject on Aruba AirHeads forum. 

Aruba introduced ClientMatch an innovative way of managing clients. Aruba’s believes their approach to client management is unique. So unique that Aruba has filed a patent, US20130036188. Aruba takes an active approach steering clients to access points. 

Chris Lyttle @ WiFi Kiwi did an exceptional job outlining Aruba’s ClientMatch. Pay close attention the blog responses.'s+Blog)

You can see more from Aruba about ClientMatch here 

My take on ClientMatch. Client steering isn’t at all new. Typically vendors will direct clients with reason code 17 or by managing clients by ignoring probe request on a specific radio to trick the client to go where the WiFi network thinks its best. These are more active approaches. Meaning a client must interact - do THIS and the WiFi network will do THAT. Aruba’s systems appears to be more proactive in nature. 

Aruba Access Point Model - AP-220

I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when I seen and heard that the new Aruba 802.11ac access point is VENT FREE. Finally, Aruba got the memo and environmental departments in healthcare systems around the world are rejoicing! You have no idea how many times the subject of  Aruba Access Points and open vents have come up in discussion in healthcare opportunities. Cleaning a vented access point presents challenges of course. 

The AP-220 packs a punch of sheer speed and throughput. It’s also the best looking access point in the Aruba access point stable. 

Another Interesting approach is the dual GIG NIC. Not sure how this will be accepted when its deployed. It’s not typical to pull 2 cables per access point. There will be obvious needs for extra wired side bandwidth options. Makes me wonder why they cant tap a 10 GIG port on the back of the ap ?

802.11ac Pros / Cons (Voodoo)

The next generation wireless is not without its challenges. These challenges are industry wide and every vendor will have the burden of educating customers on proper design and deployment. Expect to see design and deployment documents released or updated specific for 802.11ac best practices.  

Customers looking at 802.11ac need to have a firm understanding of the technology and how to properly deploy it. Customers who don't, 802.11ac could hinder their wireless network. 

80/160 Mhz channels 

The 802.11n standard introduced channel bonding for the first time. It allows us the ability to take (2) neighboring 20 MHz channels and by bonding them together to make a single 40 MHz channel.Thus allowing higher speed and throughput from improvements in the PHY, MAC and extra RF real estate.  802.11n also introduced a new level of troubleshooting. The frame structure is different and requires knowledge to interpret the traffic.  Analysis tools and hardware require updating to read 802.11n traffic. 

802.11ac will be no different. You will need to update your tool box, brush up on 802.11ac frame structure. Test, lab and practice.

The issue is 80/160 MHz bonding. Aruba hasn't addressed how to deploy this monster. For that matter, Cisco hasn't either. The 5 GHz medium is known for it’s 24 non overlapping channels. Some customers only deploy UNII1 and UNII3 to avoid DFS (802.11h). This could present challenges for these folks. 

Your deployment strategy of 802.11ac needs to be defined and deployed in areas to meet specific bandwidth, throughput, density, application or business needs. Proceed with caution and consult an expert before deploying 802.11ac. 

Wave1 / Wave 2 

Wave 1 will support SU-MIMO. (SU) stands for SINGLE USER. This simply means that wave 1 technology will support sending multiple streams of data from an access point with multiple antennas downstream to a client at a high rate of speed.

Wave 2 will support MU-MIMO. (MU) stands for MULTI USER. This simply means that wave 2 technology will support sending multiple streams of data from an access point with multiple antennas downstream to multiple clients at a high rate of speed to give a “full duplex” like experience.

Wave 1 hardware is not upgradeable to Wave 2. 

Client Support 

Like all previous 802.11 advancements client support seems to be spotty the first year or so till vendors iron out the bugs and settle in. 

Legacy Devices

Once 802.11ac is deployed, how will legacy devices react to the 802.11ac IE ? There could be a percentage of clients in your enterprise who may have issues. Know your network and bench mark your clients. Keep a close eye on your legacy clients.

802.11ac Frame Analysis

Get up to speed on capturing 802.11ac frames

Did you miss the announcement?

No worries. Tech Field Day covered the event live. Check out the link below 

Tech Field Day Delegates Blog Post 

Daniel Raaaaaaar! Cybulskie 


Jennifer huber - 


Chris Lyttle -'s+Blog)



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Reader Comments (2)

Just an FYI, part of the reason there's not a 10G port on the back of the 220 is because there's not 10G POE standard (yet). As it is, you can LACP/agg the two interfaces for 2G combined throughput (so long as the upstream switch supports it) and do POE+/at on one of them for power. They still support 802.3af but with limited wireless support on the AC featureset.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVixx

Vixx good feedback .. Thank you !

August 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterGeorge

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