Archive for the ‘802.11’ Tag

Speaking *Today* at PHX ISSA Meeting

For those of you in the Phoenix area, you can hear me speak about “Replacing Desktop Ethernet with WiFi” this afternoon at the Phoenix ISSA meeting.  My company, Xirrus, had some messaging around this with their “Ditch the Switch” campaign at last year’s INTEROP.  Come see how 802.11n, 802.11e, and other improvements in the IEEE specs are making wireless as fast, safe, and reliable as Ethernet to the desktop.


The ISSA meeting is held at ITT Technical Institute from Noon until 5PM:

5005 S. Wendler Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85282


(NW Corner, I-10 & Baseline, Across from Fry’s Electronics)

  • Exit Interstate 10 at Baseline Road in Tempe, and turn West.
  • Go 1 block, and Turn North (Right) on Wendler,(the 1st light and 1st street past the underpass).
  • ITT Technical Institute is on the right beyond Denny’s.

I will post information about my upcoming speaking engagements in a more timely manner.  Stay tuned!


What to Include in Pre-Implementation Planning (1st in a Series of 3)

I am starting a large district wide implementation of our Xirrus arrays.  This particular deployment is 150+ arrays.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Xirrus, we aggregate from 4-24 radios (we call them integrated access points) in every device along with a non-blocking Layer 2 switch, WLAN controller, integrated threat sensor and spectrum analyzer.  Our integrated access points utilize directional antennas, which allow us to cover more area using 75% less devices than our competitors.

This is helpful to understand the scope of the project.  While we have 150+ arrays, the competing bids were for approximately 600 access points.   It is certainly not the largest WLAN rollout I have worked on, but larger than most.  My question today is “How do you plan/prepare for large deployments of new technology?”

My personal philosophy goes back to an adage that my father taught me, which was “Measure twice.  Cut once.” There are certain processes that I have used over the years.  These include both a pre-implementation call and a pre-implementation checklist.

The pre-implementation call seems more useful when I have not been involved in the sales effort and the project is being passed to me as an engineer for integration into the customer’s network.  Normally, the sales team, project manager, and implementation team get on the phone to restate the technical and business requirements of the project to ensure everyone is on the same page.  In my opinion, one of the frequently overlooked areas on this type of phone call is a definition of the project’s success criteria.

The pre-implementation checklist has been more useful to me in situations where I have been a part of the sales cycle and know the account history and requirements. What I am looking for then are the technical details – the IP addressing scheme, the naming convention, the authentication methods, the encryption schemes, etc.

I have used several different forms and versions of pre-implementation checklists.  What format do you prefer – Excel Spreadsheets or Word documents?  Ones with a higher number of detailed questions or ones with a few number of high level questions?  What area(s) do you think are often missed during the planning stage of a new project?


OK, if you are wondering where I came up with “WiFi Jedi”, here is the short of it – I wanted to come up with something catchy and easy to remember regarding my specialty, wireless networking and security.

I was originally thinking of “The L2 Guru” as much of 802.11 wireless operates at the MAC Layer, but then I thought that Mike Meyers might want to do a sequel to “The Love Guru”.

I live in a house that seems to be semi-obsessed with Star Wars.  We have two cats who are litter mates – one of each sex.   Naturally, we named them “Luke Skywalker” and “Princess Leia”.   Therefore, I just thought “WiFi Jedi” fit the bill.

I chose to start my blog on WordPress because it was free, widely used, and even had a free iPhone app so that I can update my blog while on the go!  I also believe I can tie my blog posts into my LinkedIn page (

More details about me can be seen at:

More details about Xirrus can be seen at: