Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Discovering HPE Discover

Early in 2017, I received a direct message on Twitter followed by an email inviting me to HPE Discover. Honestly, it's not a show that I had ever considered going to, but this year I wanted to give it a chance. I have been doing more with Aruba, selling complete solutions with HPE, and have a lot of respect for their teams and products. If there was ever a great time to attend, this was definitely it.



It always exciting to be a first-timer at events. The all-out production isn't lost on people that have never seen it, and every turn reveals something new and exciting.

What is HPE Discover?

Discover is a conference that celebrates all things HPE. From keynotes by the CEO, technical deep dives with Product Managers, and access to the people behind the products, Discover shows you the very best that the product families can produce when working in harmony with each other and anyone in their circle of supporting vendors. Discover is HPEs wonderland of solutions.




Their show floor is a beautiful, well laid out testimony to what they can provide with their family of technology solutions and has everything from product demos to solution demos, in an area they call the Transformation Zone. Every product they make is on the floor.  Every expert and product line manager is available. They are all eager to show you what you can do with their technology, and they step you through their platforms with genuine enthusiasm.  This is that great moment where the people that make the magic get to put it directly in the hands of the people that use it.

A great example of this is a well spoken, extremely intelligent, patient, and driven team member named simply, Y. Y took us on a tour of something that had absolutely nothing to do with wireless, but she did it in a way that was filled with pride, knowledge, and the type of affection that can only come from someone who has dedicated a significant portion of their time to passionately building something they believe in. Regardless of what it had to do with me and my purpose at Discover, the conversation I had with her had everything to do with the reason I was at Discover: to Discover what HPE could do for me, not from a brochure or sales pitch, but from someone who knew how to apply something they believe in, to anyone that cared to spend time with them. Y, you were incredible. Thank you for the laughs and thank you for loving what you do enough that it made the impression it did. HPE is lucky to have you.

Discovering Discover is truly what made it a great experience.

What About All the Products?

The products were all tremendous, as should be expected. The launch of the 8400 series Core switch, as another example, was something really neat to be around. The room buzzed with excitement about the new piece of hardware on the turntable in the Aruba section of the show. Demos were given by people like Ed and Karthik who again, weren't there to sell you, but to show off what they had worked on with an unmatched level of spirit. Why it worked, how it worked, why it did what it did and the thought process behind things as simple as the fan mechanisms to the intricacies of the database structure were applied to real world scenarios.




Again, the power of Discover was that the right product people were there, accessible, eager to talk, and ready to help.

From someone who is used to walking past tradeshow booths of people trying to pitch their latest product, quick-sell you on why they're awesome, or make their widget work in your world, it's refreshing to see the people behind the curtain being given the opportunity to come out and represent what they are passionate about. It makes a huge difference.

With the understanding that the formalities have been dropped and the acknowledgment that I was a guest in "their house", it made for candid, fun and meaningful conversations. There was nothing to prove about why their product was better than someone else, why the HPE solution made the most sense, or why it was imperative that we stop by the booth to "learn more". We were all there on their turf, fully immersed, and ready to soak it up. In other words, since we had moved passed any of the pitches long before opening the door, it was easier for everyone to keep it real.




When it comes to keeping it real, you can't get more real than Jon Garside. From the Baccarat table to the boardroom, you need to get this guy in front of everyone you work with if they don't think security is important. With the understanding that we were all there to learn, his session on security was insightful and eye-opening without being so scary that it drove everyone away. Just to clarify, we didn't actually play Baccarrat but I though it added a nice touch of character to throw it in there.

Real-world security examples were laid out in thoughtful and ultra-realistic ways that provoked thought, conversation, and hopefully, calls to action. From using vending machines and printers to compromise corporate networks to identifying anomalous behavior with machine learning, the conversation was confident yet candid and very well put together.

Talks like this are always appreciated, at least by me, because they are not filled with vendor buzzwords and dialect, they're filled with things that make you think and that drive you to be better at your job.

How About the HPE & Aruba Acquisition? 

Obviously, the Aruba acquisition is finally starting to settle in with the move of all of HPE Switching being branded Aruba switching. Now, somewhere between second and third place globally, Aruba and the HPE team have coalesced to do amazing things with wireless technology, that's a given. Adding their powerful switching line to the mix and throwing the HPE resources at it, if handled the right way, is sure to make an impact on the industry. They are off to a great start with the 8400 and the 2900 series switches.



Culturally, there are still some small traces of Aruba "ride til ya die" in the crowd. I can't necessarily say who or where, but I can tell you that it's still pretty easy to recognize the Aruba folks in the HPE crowd.

Honestly, and I wasn't sure I was going to mention this, but I want to be honest about my experience, my first impression of HPE Discover was "Look at all the suits!"

This show is dripping with old school "business". In my head, as I was walking in the first day, I couldn't help but think of the words of Bad Religion's "Inner Logic"

Automatons with business suits clinging black boxes,
Sequestering the blueprints of daily life
Contented, free of care, they rejoice in morning ritual
As they file like drone ant colonies to their office in the sky

I mean, this place was straight up suitville. I didn't smell an ounce of Tom Ford or see a set of sneakers at this show. This is definitely an after shave only scented event straight out of a traditional business setting.

Normally I would have felt totally underdressed rocking my typical jeans and a button up with some bright blue kicks, but my name tag did say "blogger" not "analyst" and besides I was humming Bad Religion, so yeah .. to be the man you gotta beat the man. I was surrounded by the man. But that's what made being there so punk.


This is of absolute stark contrast to the Aruba Atmosphere show that took place an earlier in the year in Nashville. Engineers stormed the floor, filled the sessions, and had no problem talking shop in the hallways of the Gaylord.

Here, amongst the crowds and lunch tables, it was mainly filled with mouthfuls of jargon that is the typical dialect of a corporate CxO.

Dare to be Different?

Maybe that's what opened the teams up to me and created my experience. Maybe because I was so willing to let the nerds geek out about their products and not focus on the business case, bottom line and P's and Q's they were willing to keep it real. A funny thing happens when you tap into passion, it equalizes the conversation and gets down to the why instead of the how that drives decisions.

What I will tell you is that if you're a techie nerd at heart, this might be a great opportunity for you. Get there before it becomes so laid back that your presence doesn't make a difference. In a sea of gray suits, rock your favorite band T-shirt, grab a pair of kicks from Midnight Run on the strip, and give the product teams a breath of fresh air that doesn't smell like starched wool.

All kidding aside, the show is absolutely worth your time. I am truly appreciative that I was invited by HPE to attend and I will gladly welcome the opportunity to attend again, regardless of what I'm wearing.


All of it couldn't be possible without the teams at HPE and Aruba, namely Pegah and Becca that took care of us. Instead of stumbling around trying to figure out where to go, Pegah had sessions, tracks, and showcases that may interest us identified and optionally available for us to attend. It was awesome. We got the best of the show and the rest of the show. Thanks for your hard work ladies.



Friday, June 2, 2017

What's Wrong With Your Wi-Fi? I want to hear about it..

Every network is a special little snowflake. And every admin is a magical, mystical and all knowing unicorn amiright?

If that's the case, what does that make the end-users?



I'll tell you one thing end-users can be: unhappy.

When what they want to work doesn't work, that's when they get downright angry. The transformation from happy end-users to Wi-Fi monsters is quick and vicious: the teeth come out, the growls get deeper, their chests puff out ... it can get scary!

How do you keep Dr. Jekyll Wi-Fi users from going to Mr. Hyde?

Well that's the question. But read it again with some emphasis on YOU.

How do YOU keep Dr. Jekyll from turning into Mr. Hyde?

We all have our problems with our networks and we all have our toolsets and practices for finding the best solutions.

I want to hear about it.

I will be working on a new production for Cape Networks where we interview people to find out what their problems are, specific to industry, and what the solutions are.

What makes YOU great at what you do? I want to understand that and share it!

Starting at HPE Discover 2017 and Cisco Live 2017, I will have a studio in a box with me to hear your stories. I'm asking for 30 minutes of your time. I will have 4 questions for you, and through some banter, we'll get it down to 4 answers, record it, edit it, and publish it!

After we get the stories online, we'll collectively solve the world's wifi problems! By getting to learn how we all work in our own industries, hopefully we can find ways to help each other solve problems and be the best at what we can do!


Interested in sharing your story?

To prime the pump on the stories, you can sign-up to be interviewed. Let me know what show you'll be attending next so we can grab your story!




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tech Field Day From Both Sides of the Table



A few years ago I got the opportunity to fly out to Silicon Valley and give a presentation to a group of people at Wireless Field Day on behalf of a vendor, AirTight (now Mojo) Networks. It was a great opportunity to get in front of a group of people that lean-in a bit more than others in the wireless industry.

A conversation after that event led me to start this blog and eventually led to me having a spot on the opposite side of the table: as a Tech Field Day delegate for Mobility Field Day and Network Field Day.


For the upcoming Mobility Field Day 2 event, I'm back on the vendor side of the table having just recently announced that I am now at Cape Networks.

If you don't know what Tech Field Day is, I'll try to make it simple:

Gestalt IT does a fantastic job of identifying influencers and people who take certain segments of the tech industry more seriously than others. Storage, Networking, Mobility, and more. These folks tend to ask great questions that others are interested in hearing the answers to, and they also usually blog or tweet the second they get an answer so they can share it with the world.


When you get people like this together and park 'em in front of a vendor for an hour or more, not only do they dig deep to get tough questions answered, but they feed off of each other to ask things that others might not realize. All of this ends up resulting in a fascinating live stream and recorded content that helps users understand the products, and vendors understand the users.

For Tech Field Day Vendors


From the Vendor side of the table, you get to air out your product in front of a group of people that are intelligent enough to understand what it does and how it works. The group will ooh and ahh with you over your product, but will also challenge what you are presenting to them; not to bully you, but to cut through the bullshit and get to how you can help them, the companies they work for, and the people who are watching or who will be watching in the future.

For Tech Field Day Delegates


From the Delegate side of the table, you get to see the latest and greatest in technology. You get insightful and exclusive opportunities to see the product and meet the people behind it, a chauffeured trip around Silicon Valley with Ramon, and the chance to network with peers and people you normally wouldn't meet.

The networking side of TFD is incredible and occasionally ends up pushing delegates to the other side of the table.

Such is the case for me, and why I disqualified myself from being a Mobility Field Day delegate. This is a good thing.


My Thoughts on Vendors at the Tech Field Day Table

There is a pretty strict and unspoken "no vendor" rule with TFD, and that's a good thing. My take on it is that it sets a level of comfort for the delegates where they can be free and objective about what they say, how they say it, when they say it. In the end, and in my opinion, the objectiveness is what sets the TFD series of events apart.

"Influencer" programs with vendors, bloggers, and social media takeovers are great, but they serve an agenda. With TFD, you get raw opinions not based on products, but based on technology and solutions. That's not to say that there aren't people that are huge vendor-specific customers in the groups, but they do their absolute best to keep their eye on the overall picture, and they do a great job at it.


Having vendors at the table would throw that balance off, even slightly, which is enough to cause it to spin out of control. Having been on both sides of the table, I have to absolutely compliment the entire TFD team for how they handle vendors and delegates to ensure that the balance remains.

It's not an easy job when there is a combination of alpha-nerds in the room. There are vendors who basically practice gavage with their kool-aid while delegates who lose interest try to put vendors on-tilt with snarky questions (not saying I'm innocent there either!). But what's not seen on cameras are Tom, Stephen, Megan, and Kat who are always there to herd the nerds. Without them, the heart of Tech Field Day, the whole thing would go nuts.

So, yeah, I'm  bummed I'm not a Delegate for MFD2

But it's all good. I'm not supposed to be a delegate this time. But, I'll be there, back to my spot on the other side of the table. Ready to answer questions, share some passion, and show my appreciation for this thing that Gestalt IT has put together.

A note on Gestalt IT

Image result for gestalt it logo

Stephen likes to remind us what the term Gestalt means, so I'll throw this out there.
Gestalt is defined as "the idea that natural systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts." I think that has absolutely everything to do with the event as a whole. Not just how the delegates chosen to participate are the hive-mind of a specific tech segment, but how the vendors play their part as well.

It's a great recipe that produces great results, no matter what side of the table you're on.



Friday, May 19, 2017

Cylance Steals The Show With the UNDRWRLD Live Demo at InteropITX


I know it doesn't have anything to do with wireless, but I wanted to take a moment to give some love to a great vendor demo. From time to time you come across vendors who can really nail a point and drive it home without being cheesy or too salesy.

Sean Blanton was a perfect example of this. His “Wall of Sheep” demo at AirTight (now Mojo) Networks has been duplicated by a number of partners, including me. Showing off how technology works not by explaining a dashboard, but by engaging the audience and walking them through what the problem is and clearly defining how their solution can be the fix. Doing it with personality, some flair, a few laughs, and a little bit of uneasiness goes a long way.

A post shared by Wireless Nerd (@wirelessnerd) on

At InteropITX this year I was beckoned into a booth by a loud and excited individual named Richard from Cylance. Granted, I had NO idea who Cylance was. Other than the few years that their advertisements in SJC and airports around the US had replaced Barracuda for “airport sponsorship", I had never engaged with them. I don’t know why, I mean I knew the name, I just figured they were good at what they did .. but not for me. The advertising worked is what I’m saying, kind of. I thought it was Cyclance. Whatever. Haha. I should've checked em out is all I'm saying.

So Richard belts out a “GOOD MORNING” to me and I engage. I walk into the booth and say “Tell me what Cyclance does” he says “It’s actually Cylance, but hey at least that’s one way to start a conversation”. Done. Hooked. Great job.

Yada yada yada, he hands me a ticket for an event they’re doing that evening and introduces me to Matt. They explain that it’s a history of the criminal underworld and how it’s changing with time. The event is called UNDRWRLD. I’m intrigued and interested. He asks me to come on by, check it out and grab a drink. He lets me know I’ll learn about the product and get my questions answered .. and hey, free booze in Vegas right?

A post shared by Wireless Nerd (@wirelessnerd) on

I recruit two of my friends to go with me and we roll into the Ling Ling at Hakkasan, a darkened room, big enough for the event, but small enough to be cozy. They get started.

What transpired was freaking awesome.
It wasn’t the fact that they proved a point, handed out free stuff, and had a great time with us, it was that they communicated what their product did absolutely effectively, with real-world examples and in a way that left no doubt that they had the capability to solve the problems of everyone in the room. It was nerd-goosebump inducing. The fact that I’m 6 paragraphs into a blog post about a vendor demo should tell you how impressed I was. I cannot be appreciative enough of the Richard & Matt. Well done guys.

What was the demo?

It was sick. And they do it on tour. So if you see them coming into town, I would totally sign-up to see it.


Essentially they had an audience member, a random person, in this case a female attendee come up to the front. They walked her through building a malware package using freely available tools. It wasn’t some bullshit malware package that had no teeth. It was a payload that delivered ransomware that held the computer hostage for 65 bitcoin. If you didn’t pay the ransom it scaled to 180 bitcoins over 120 days.

They took it and ran it through an online tool (Metadefender) to check how many Anti-Virus programs would identify it as malware. Out of I think 40, there were 20% or so that it could slide by. Scarier than that, they were names that you and I know on a daily basis.

So, they solicited another random audience member and had him kick it up a notch. He ran it through a stub generator program, again another freely available tool, and stuck an MS Office icon onto it. This time when they ran it through the Metadefender: undetectable. By every one of the toolsets you would normally know.

They had just produced legitimate ransomware in front of us using random audience members, paid in cash and champagne, in less than 10 minutes.

Please note on this, they were not doing this as a training lesson on how to build ransomware. They didn't provide links or software so we could do this. They didn't promote it as a session to learn how to build ransomware, they did it to prove a point. 
A point that EVERYONE got: anyone can do this now. Anyone.


So what do you think they did next?

They deployed it on a machine not running their software.
The effect? They locked up one of their own boxes in front of us using ransomware created on a website on the darkweb,. A gutsy move by anyone.
Next, they deployed it on another machine protected by their tool, and obviously it didn’t even execute the file.

What happened next was even more awesome.

In the 2nd week of May 2017 a distributed ransomware attack took Fortune 100 companies and over 150 countries by storm. It was called WanaCry. It was the largest deployment of ransomware with the largest effect of any distributed ransom based malware to date.

They had 3 variants of it on hand. It was almost the digital equivalency of playing with a vial of HIV tainted blood.

What next? What do you think?


They fired off the WanaCry executables on a machine protected with their software.
All 3 variants failed to even execute.

And the gutsiest part? They did it on their algorithm from 2015, 2 years before WanaCry even existed. Just to prove a point.

A point well taken.

To learn more about Cylance, visit them online at https://www.cylance.com/



Please Note: this post was NOT sponsored, endorsed, provoked, or even asked-for by Cylance or the crew that made it happen. I just had to show some love to some guys who put their heart into making it awesome.

My Experience at InteropITX 2017 / Where was the Wi-Fi?

As one of the last, national, vendor agnostic conferences in networking, Interop has seen itself transform over the years. Crowd sizes have varied, content has shifted, vendors have come and gone, but it has persisted.


In 2017, we saw Interop get a new name - InteropITX. If I told you that I knew what the ITX was for without Googling it, I'd be lying.  About 4 minutes later:
In its 31st year, Interop added ITX to its name to reflect the next generation of the Interop brand which keeps apace the rapidly changing needs of a modern IT organization. Interop ITX is about technology excellence. Interop ITX is about IT experience. Interop ITX is about the X factor – what’s needed to thrive in this rapidly changing environment. 
A change in experience. Fittingly, and totally unknowingly planned from my perspective, this was the theme of my week in Las Vegas.

It was evident that change was in the air. A new venue: The MGM Grand Conference Center. A new exhibit hall: sized perfectly for the event. Tracks that were broken out into easy to follow sections:


Although there were 6 distinct tracks, it seemed like security was the thought on everyone's mind. From the keynotes to the demos, to the conversation at the podiums and beyond there was an underlying tone of making sure the "security first" mindset. It was one of the key takeaways .. in addition to those crazy Watchguard bears.

The "User Experience" was also a common theme with some of the sessions I attended, as well as my own. How you are connected matters less than what you are connected to and when you are connected to it. The topics around SDN and SD-WAN were focused on providing the best experience for the users on a network based on their needs. Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence dominated the "buzzword bingo" by talking about making your network smarter and more efficient using data from the network, sensors, and users to optimize data delivery in microseconds as opposed to taking humans thousands of years to do so.

Examples of the computer beating Kasparov at Chess or creatively taking down Lee Se-dol 4-1 at Go were side by side with how Google deployed that same technology to increase efficiencies by handing one of it's data centers over to AI.

Once again, one of my favorite booths was the NBASE-T Alliance.
Peter and the crew and brought together vendors like Spirent, Intel, Panduit, Meraki, Aquantia, MicroSemi, FlukeAukua, and the UNH Interoperability Testing Lab (IOL) to have a plugfest and show off their (gasp!) INTEROPERABILITY. This always makes me miss Interopnet. I pine for the days of a datacenter on the show floor.

It was great to see more vendors, some we didn't see last year, jumping into the multi-gig copper game. If you don't know, one of the key points of NBASE-T Alliance is to promote doing more with the investments you already have. Don't re-cable if you need multi-gig and don't go crazy with 10Gbps fiber if you only need 2.5-5Gbps. It's one of those common sense things that I love seeing product announcements for adopting the technology. Keep up the great work guys!

InteropITX Continues to Be An Important and Great Event

It's clear that the vision of InteropITX changing the "experience" was more than just a logo with 3 new letters at the end of it. This show did a great job, at the perfect moment, of signaling the changing experiences of our users via the networks we're connected to and the way we use, consume, and provide data to make our jobs and lives better. Kudos to the team at UBM for sticking with the times and showing that you can continue to roll with the industry by crafting an event that supports the future of data communications.

Also, special thanks to Madeleina and Susan for everything you guys do! Meghan, great job!

So, what was missing from this event?

Wireless.

Wireless Vendors in attendance: 2.5
Extreme,  2 guys from Meraki, and Watchguard.
Although I think Extreme counts as like 4 vendors at this point. 
Thank you for the support. It was great to see you there!!

Wireless sessions at the event: 4
A 3-hour workshop, Wi-Fi for High-density and Campus, Wi-Fi Gotchas to Avoid, and Artificial Intelligence for Wi-FI. There was another wireless session by a vendor, but that vendor didn't have a booth.

Here's my question:


Where was the wireless industry?

Why didn't they show up?
If there would've been more vendors who signed up, I probably could've wrangled more content. They probably would've had more room especially if a company was making a commitment. But there weren't wireless companies making a commitment. Hell, they gave away a slot to a vendor that didn't even have a booth!

Also, just sayin: Cisco should've been all over this. There must've been 300 APs in the venue!!



Got a Better Offer?

The speculation was heavy amongst attendees: Maybe Cisco really wanted to focus on Cisco Live coming up in a few weeks. Maybe Aruba has shifted to put emphasis on Atmosphere and Discover. Maybe Ruckus is still working out their stuff. Even at that, there are a few more players in the industry. Where was Mist? Aerohive? Xirrus / Riverbed? Huawei? Mojo Networks? Fortinet? Cambium? Ubiquiti? Even EnGenius didn't show this year!


I spoke last year about how important it was for wireless to have a stand-out presence at events like these. With stats like "70% of all data is delivered across wireless networks" you would think that at a show focused on connecting clients to networks would be attractive to people who make equipment in that space. I tried to prove my point at the Network Field Day 15 event this past Spring with my mic-drop burner of a question "How many of you have a cable plugged in right now?"

So I ask you dear reader, how many of you are reading this one a device that is attached to an Ethernet cable? How prevalent is wireless technology? And if your answer is anything like mine, why wouldn't the vendor community support an event with an emphasis on data delivery?

After wrapping my 3-hour session about Emerging Wireless Technologies and Services, and attending the other standing-room-only sessions for Wi-Fi a few things became absolutely clear:

1. There is an ENORMOUS demand for wireless information from a vendor-agnostic perspective. 
I had around 150 people in my session and about another hundred that were turned away because there was nowhere for them to sit. Over the course of the session, some would leave but get immediately replaced by someone waiting outside. The other sessions discussing wireless were the same.

A post shared by Wireless Nerd (@wirelessnerd) on


2. The people looking for the information are seriously, honestly, thirsty for the knowledge. 
And they are not you regular wireless people. I canvassed just my group and found 4 hands go up when asked "How many of you consider yourself good at wireless?" 4 out of 200.

3. Understanding basic principals of design, functionality, and troubleshooting are in great demand.
"If I just buy the most expensive stuff, it does all that for me, right?" was actually a question at one of the events.


4. Everyone is talking about security, but few are looking at the connection medium.
Wireless attacks are going to get more pervasive as IoT takes over. It's a given. Wi-Fi is wide-open when it comes to being a threat surface, but if the industry continues to focus on the user and the network, who's watching the air?

All 4 of those points are things that I would imagine an industry that provides access points, hardware, and software would say "Hey, I can point them in the right direction" but the wireless industry was a no call, no show.

In the same fashion that I would pen a letter to an employee that is having a rough time at their job, I want to write one to my beloved Wi-Fi industry:

Dear Wireless Industry,
Hey, help me out here guys. I love being a wireless nerd. I love the industry, the products, the services, and all the amazing advancements. You guys are killing it when it comes to getting great product to market, listening to feedback, and improving feature sets. 
However, by not representing what you do and helping the customers that need you the most except when it's on your terms, it's really getting tough to show the love. Without your support in places where people are turning up to find answers unaccompanied by sales pitches, customers will continue to have issues they don't understand because they need help and direction in addition to data sheets and part numbers.
Your shows, like Atmosphere and Cisco Live, are great and full of awesome information, but not everyone can justify attendance to a single-vendor event. 
Please help me, as a VAR/Integrator and a consultant, help you. Please get involved in events like InteropITX that are trying to give the industry a place that everyone can attend to see how their networks and management are supposed to work together. They're trying to figure it out from a big picture perspective that involves more than just the products from a single vendor. These guys really need our help, now more than ever. 
I hope you feel better soon and I look forward to seeing you when you're ready to get back to work. The customers are waiting for us too and the longer we wait to help them, the more trouble they're going to get themselves into. See you soon.




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Embracing an Opportunity to Provide Better Wi-Fi


I did something today that I didn't think I would do again, or at least for a pretty long time.
I accepted an offer to work for someone else.

As of today, I have accepted a role in Business Development for Cape Networks.


When I started my company, Frontera Consulting, 5 years ago, it was so that I didn't have to work for anyone else. The beauty is, I still don't have to.

I want to.

Lemme explain...

Having followed what's happening in the industry closely for so long, I realize (as I'm sure you do) that time and time again Wi-Fi and wireless networks get this terrible rap. No matter how many times its proven to not be the access points, the controller, or the config, everyone blames the wireless. Part of the problem is that there aren't many options in the way of providing a decent way to replicate user problems to see what's happening from the client's perspective.

When I started looking into this a few years back, a name popped up that was not only doing it but doing it, in my opinion, way better than anything I had seen: Cape Networks. That continues today.


So when the opportunity arose to help spread the word about what was going on, I jumped at it. Some of you have already received calls from me talking about this long before this post, and I even put together a write-up of it a few months back.


Why Did I Make the Jump?

Because I honestly believe that it can help everyone who uses it.
From friends who have mission critical networks, to companies providing Wi-Fi in hotels, to Managed Service Providers trying to make sure their customers are constantly online, this product can help.

Over the past 20 years, I have built-up a network of people that rely on the wireless industry to put food on the tables of their families. I think this product can help do that. Right now I am lucky enough to be in a position that I can help spread the word about this and help this company get to the people that can use it the most.

What About the VAR?

Frontera Consulting will continue to operate as one of the premiere VARs in South Texas with the team of experienced, trusted, and dedicated individuals.
As for my other project, the Wi-Fi Stand .. well, Wix is awesome, so it's gonna keep on keeping on.

What Can I do to Help?

Give me a chance to show you what this thing can do. That's all that I ask. If it fits, awesome. If it doesn't, tell me what it needs to do to meet your needs.

You can't be a super hero without a Cape! - drew@capenetworks.com 

Here's to the future!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

First look: Ubiquiti UniFi Access Point T-Rail Mount for Wi-Fi Stand & Drop Ceilings!

Working in the wireless industry, producing products for the industry, and having friends in the industry has its cool times. Like when product manufacturers reach out to you and ask if you can check out a new product. Whether it's a new AP or a simple mount, it's always awesome to open a box few have had access to. I recently got this opportunity with Ubiquiti Networks when they reached out to me to check out their new T-Rail mount and see if it would work with Wi-Fi Stand.



First off, thanks guys! 

Thanks for taking the time to check with industry before rolling out a product to make sure it can be as accessible to everyone as possible. From the first Power Station I received a number of years ago to this, Ubiquiti has always had a great group of people internally that promote making products people will use.



The AP we'll be using is the Ubiquiti UniFi AC HD. This is a dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 AP capable of 1733Mbps to the client.


It's larger that the Lite, LR and Pro models, so if it works on the Wi-Fi Stand, those products should too! I didn't have one of these devices so Ubiquiti provided one of these as well, which was totally cool of them.

The mount did not ship with the AP and I'm not sure if the plans are to ship it together or as a separate item. Either way, a few days later a box showed up with the mount kit in it.



It was pretty straight forward and simple. The type of installation you will be using has letters that correspond to the holes to use for the mount type. There were no instructions, but usually pre-release stuff like this is pretty basic. Not a big deal, and definitely not too hard to figure out.


We are using the "B - T-Bar Mount <ceiling>" option on this for drop ceilings and Wi-Fi Stand.


As always, the Ubiquiti packaging is on point. Kudos to always making each piece of equipment look like you paid way more for it than you did. Its one of the great psychological things that Ubiquiti continues to lead with.


The bracket that ships with the AP is made of plastic and ships with the AP. This is the one that requires you to makes some holes in the drop ceiling panel. I've always thought it was a clean design, but a little destructive. Glad to see this new mount but I will say I hope to see it in plastic soon. The metal on the mount is a little sharp and doesn't have the same "click" to it that the existing one does. Not a show stopper at all, just an opinion.


The mounting hardware the new kit shipped with has 4 screws and anchors, the T-Rail adapters, screws to hold them on, and some tools for the kit.


The T-Rail mounts have tiny, threaded, 6-sided screws on them to secure the adapter to the T-Rail as well as rubber stoppers to provide a non-slip fit. Both are cool little additions that probably don't add much cost but add a comfort level to mounting; your AP isn't going anywhere.

Installation

Installation is pretty straight-forward.


Mount the first T-Rail adapter onto the T-Rail and rotate it clockwise until they stop, sliding the rail in between the empty space on the adapters. The rubber stoppers should hold and secure the adapter.


Next, tighten the screws using the provided wrench to secure the adapter. Repeat this for the next one and place the second adapter on the rail a few inches away so that the screw holes for "B" line up.


Use the provided screws to secure the mount kit to the T-Rail adapters.


Align the wire entry area of the bracket to the AP and twist the AP onto the bracket plate. This is the part where there isn't a "click" like the plastic version to let you know it's secured.


That's it! You're mounted to a T-Rail with a Ubiquiti AP now!


Does it work with Wi-Fi Stand?

It sure does! Follow the same instructions as you would to a T-Rail on a ceiling.



Mount the T-Rail adapters.


Secure the mounting bracket plate.


Mount the AP to the bracket plate!

Now, using the Wi-Fi Stand, set up your temporary access!



Thanks to Ubiquiti for providing the early release of their new T-Rail mount for the UniFi AC HD Access Point, and event letting me "hang on" to the AP!

Shameless plug for Wi-Fi Stand Bracket and the new Wi-Fi Stand Rail!


We use the same component on both, so if it works on the bracket it works on the stand!
Please visit www.wifistand.com to purchase either or both!