Does your Wave2 AP need NBase-T?

Cisco recently launched the 2800 and 3800 series 802.11ac wave-2 access points. The 3800 Datasheet quotes a theoretical maximum throughput of 5.2Gbps when operating in Dual 5GHz radio mode (2 x 2.6Gbps). If you ran two cables to your AP you could use the second ethernet port to create a 2 x 1Gbps LAG. However there is still some debate about whether 2Gbps of throughput is sufficient for a single-radio Wave2 AP.

Some companies may not be willing to invest the time and expense to swap out their copper for fiber or run yet more copper to their APs. The NBase-T standard 802.3bz provides an alternative approach, promising speeds of 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps over Cat5e cabling over 100 Meter runs.

Continue reading

Cut-through, corruption and CRC-stomping

Corrupted frames are the devils spawn.  A few noisy links causing frame corruption can quickly degrade network performance, and troubleshooting them is getting harder.  These integrity errors generally occur when signal noise causes a binary ‘1’ to be mistaken for a binary ‘0’ or vice-versa.  This post takes a look at integrity errors and the impacts of corrupted frames in a cut-through switched network.  Throughout this post I’ll use the term ‘CRC errors’ term to refer to frame integrity errors which were detected by CRC comparison.

Continue reading

Tester not included

A few years ago, I had the chance to attend an IXIA training course in our Dublin office. I had seen the time-suck of network test gear before.  So I said,  “I’m not spending a week trying to learn a test-set.  It’ll be cool, but what’s the point. I won’t get the time to apply those skills, then I’ll forget, and it will be a wasted week.”  I declined the training.

Continue reading

Get more juice from your network lab

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/clemmac/ – some rights reserved

We have a network lab?

Spirent presented their new lab-management software, called iTest Lab Optimizer, at network field day 4 recently.  Their product name isn’t catchy, but it is very descriptive and addresses a market need.  The simple fact is that most lab networks don’t get optimised to their full potential for some of the following reasons:

  1. Nobody knows what is in the lab (or that one exists) – Inventory Management
  2. The availability of the lab devices is unknown  – Availability and scheduling
  3. The patching status of the devices is uncertain – Fixed undocumented patching.
  4. Setting up your device-under-test is hard and takes time,  so you try to prevent other users from mangling your config. – DUT config management

Attending Networking Field Day 4

I’ve have been invited to a join an event called “Networking Field Day 4” in San Jose from the 10th through 12th of October.

During the Network Field Day, network equipment vendors get to come and present their newest and most awesome products to the delegates.  We get to question, discuss and debate with the vendors and then blog about our take on the solutions, positive or negative.

You can learn more about the event by following this link: http://techfieldday.com/event/nfd4/

Continue reading