Category

Wireless monitoring

End-User Monitoring from the Floor of Cisco Live 2017

By | End user monitoring, Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

NetBeez at Cisco LiveOur first time exhibiting at Cisco Live was a blast! The most rewarding part was talking to hundreds of network professionals and learning about their experiences and problems, and also how we can make their lives a little bit easier with NetBeez.

NetBeez is an end-user monitoring tool that uses WAN and WLAN sensors to capture network and application performance from multiple locations of your network.  While we were at CLUS, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to attendees how NetBeez works and what data it collects by deploying sensors on the tradeshow floor. Here’s what we discovered:

Setup

We deployed a wired and a wireless agent on the trade show floor. A pair of agents helps in quickly identifying  if the issue is the wireless or wired network causing user experience issues. The wired agent was connected to a drop in the  Cisco Investments Pavilion area, and the wireless one was deployed at our booth in the World of Solutions. Read More

How to monitor your enterprise network

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Raspberry Pi, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

Network monitoring agents
Enterprise networks
are evolving at a fast pace, and with them, so are network monitoring techniques. If you are monitoring your network with an SNMP collector, you have already realized that it’s not enough to detect and troubleshoot problems experienced  by the end-users. You can read more about how the network monitoring stack has evolved over time in a previous blog post I wrote here.

Nowadays, network engineers must be aware at any time, and from any network location, about end-to-end performance metrics. Information about  packet loss, network latency, and wireless signal strength is necessary to understand whether the network is delivering a good experience or causing  application slowness. This information can be easily achieved with network monitoring sensors.
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Wireless Network Monitoring From The Client Perspective

By | Distributed network monitoring, Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

 Recently our team received word that several clients in a classroom where disconnecting while doing online benchmark tests.  The clients will rename nameless but were of the “lower end” variety.  These clients were single band 802.11n devices which have had a bad track record of reliability, no matter what the wireless environment has been.  In this particular case there were roughly 20 of these devices deployed in a classroom each with its own 2nd grader.  We had been called to this classroom previously but found no issue with the network.  Our laptops had performed flawlessly while accessing the same websites and never had trouble with being disconnected from the network unlike our “lower end” counterparts.  Checking the controller showed no issues with channel utilization, retries, or a configuration issue.  Sometimes a simple “it’s not the network” isn’t good enough and this was one of those times.  We needed data, and we needed it from a client’s perspective.
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Wireless repeaters and bandwidth improvements

By | Wireless monitoring | No Comments

Like most of you, my home network is equipped with only one wireless router, which is located in the living room. As result, some areas of my house, like my bedroom and studio, are not covered very well by the wireless signal of this single router. Frustrated by the poor quality of my video streaming, I decided last week to purchase a wireless repeater to extend the wireless signal to where it was most needed.

I bought a dual mode wireless extender that can support 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. The setup was quite easy – it only took me a few minutes to configure the extension of my dual-mode wireless network with the WPS button. I decided to test the bandwidth speed improvements with Iperf using my NetBeez agents.
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Remote WiFi Packet Capturing with HORST on Raspberry Pi and Odroid

By | Network Monitoring, Troubleshooting, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

The Highly Optimized Radio Scanning Tool (HORST) is a lightweight IEEE802.11 WLAN analyzer. It was build for troubleshooting WLAN networks, and although it’s not as advanced as other tools (Kismet, Wireshark, tcpdump) it’s very easy to use, free, and can run very efficiently even on a Raspberry Pi.

For the installation and usage details, please see HORST on GitHub.

If you attended WLPC 2017, you have an Odroid that has HORST preinstalled and a USB WiFi Module. (Thanks to WLPC and Jerry Olla for the excellent Maker Session!) You are ready to run HORST! Just log in and type horst. In general, you should be able to install HORST on any Linux Single Board Computer (SBC). Read More

How to configure WiFi SSID hopping

By | Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

(Image credits https://unsplash.com/@wrrobinson)

SSID hopping enables a wireless monitoring sensor to sequentially test different wifi networks in a round robin fashion. This strategy is very useful when you don’t want to deploy a dedicated sensor for each network available at one location. With the proper configuration, the same sensor will continuously cycle through multiple SSIDs. It will connect to the first one, execute monitoring tests, move on to the next SSID, and then repeat this sequence over and over. The benefits of SSID hopping include detection of problems with AP association, radius authentication, and DHCP addresses availability. On top of that, you can run network and application monitoring tests as usual.
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WLPC TEN Talk: Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Raspberry Pi, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

On Thursday, February 23rd, I will present at the WirelessLAN Professional Conference on how to Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors. This is part of the WLPC TEN talk series, in which presenters have ten minutes for their talks. It takes less than ten minutes for me to set up and connect an Odroid or a Raspberry Pi to the NetBeez dashboard, and this post will help all you WLPC attendees follow along more easily. Read More

WirelessLAN Professionals Conference

By | Company, End user monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

The WirelessLAN Professional Conference is taking place from February 21st to 23rd in Phoenix, AZ. This event brings together WiFi professionals so that they can get to know each other, and, more importantly, to learn from each other. This is reflected by the format of the conference. There are no vendor booths and all speakers take time from their busy schedules to put together presentations on a wide variety of topics. Read More

Monitoring WiFi Association-Dissociation

By | Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments
WiFi Public

photo credits blakeandjasmine.com

Wireless networks are dynamic by nature. A few people between you and your access point (AP) may cause signal degradation, which you may or may not notice depending on what you are doing on your device. A more common issue I’ve encountered a lot at crowded places (coffee shops, big auditoriums, concert halls) is the complete inability to connect to the network, despite having had no issues connecting during previous visits. This causes even more frustration because I expect the WiFi to be working since it worked before. Read More

Sensor-based WiFi monitoring

By | Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

wireless-webinarIf you find yourself managing a WiFi enterprise network for the first time, you will quickly realize that you need the right expertise and instrumentation to do your job well and assure availability and performance to your users (and customers).

The problem is that WiFi networks are more prone to connectivity and performance issues than wired ones because the signal travels through the air and and not in a shielded cable. As a result, troubleshooting WiFi networks requires extra skills and expertise that not all (wired) network engineers possess.
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