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Aerohive Wireless Review

I’m finally at a point where I can share my experience with the aerohive AP121 dual radio access point I acquired. When I first received the access point I placed it in my office which is in the northeast corner of my 1600 square foot ranch home. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test the AP with all of my mobile devices because I wasn’t able to receive a strong enough signal on the other site of the house. I was only picking up at best a receive signal strenght of -78 to -80. This wasn’t good. The connection on my nexus 4, apple first gen IPad, and galaxy S3 would lag and drop connection constantly. I was using a dd-wrt extender AP in my living room which is in the center of my house prior to the aerohive AP. This type of signal penetration is to be expected when you’re working with mobile devices and with an AP that can only pump out a max of 20dbm.

I wanted to get the aerohive AP into the center of the house, so I picked up a pair of netgear powerline 200’s. This worked perfectly. I really wanted to dig into the aerohive cloud based dashboard, “hiveManager” with some client stats and placing the AP in the center of the house allowed all my devices to stay connected without a hitch.

I couldn’t help it. The first place I went to was the spectrum analysis utility.


This is a real-time spectrum analysis using the 2.4 Ghz radio. You get a nice waterfall view as well. The time it takes to refresh is instantaneous and this is going through their online cloud management system over a Comcast connection. I was able to test the speed by firing my dd-wrt repeater up in AP mode on channel 6. I instantly started to see the interference on channel 6. You also can see an FFT duty cycle graph as well, but I left that out on the screen shot.

Here’s another article on the Aerohive Hivemanager maps tool

Some great IT web resources…update

I figured that I would share with you a few sites that I typically check out through the week. One great site has a live video feed of their event going on, tech filed day. Check it out

Here are some other great sites: – search through the presentation archives to find some great presentation slides and videos.

Meraki Wireless MR12 AP

Here are some pics of the Cisco Meraki MR12.

meraki-2.4Ghz-AP MR12AP

Quick rundown on the MR12 single radio AP spec’s:

1 – 802.11 b/g/n 2×2 mimo radio

1 – 10/100/1000 Ethernet POE plus another 10/100 Ethernet

Internal 3dBi omni-directional antennas

Built in spectrum analyzer to assist with wireless channel planning


Wireless Review

We are currently working on increasing AP density at work in order to keep up with the increasing amount of wireless client devices. It’s always nice to revisit what other product vendors have available, so I was able to get my hands on a few test AP’s.

Aerohive networks AP meraki AP

I will be unboxing and testing these at home. They are lower end AP’s, but this will give me an opportunity at looking into the config user interface, performing some wireless site surveys, and playing with wireless channel planning tools. Stay tuned!

Metageek at Interop


Metageek makes great wireless analyzer tools. The picture above is showing “Chanalyzer Pro”. The software works with Metageek’s Wi-spy usb wireless adapter line. The unique part about this software  is the ability to show all devices that may be operating in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. That means you will be able to identify noise coming from microwave ovens to 2.4Ghz cordless phones. Another cool feature is being able to see if the 2.4Ghz spectrum is overloaded. For instance if you have a high density AP deployment, you will be able to detect if your over saturating the 2.4Ghz spectrum. If so, you may want to consider lowering your AP’s power output. They also sell an adapter that can view the 5Ghz spectrum as well.


Interop wifi – so so


Wireless is a bust, at least in the conference room I’m in. The 2.4Ghz spectrum is saturated with hotel AP’s, mifi’s, and Interop wifi sponsor Xirrus AP’s.

I then turned my nexus 4 to strictly use 5Ghz (knowing that there is much more

channel space available in 5Ghz band), however Xirrus doesn’t have good 5Ghz coverage in the conference room I’m in. I was able to connect my macbook pro to a 5Ghz channel. Signal shows a -72db.

The more the 2.4Ghz band is saturated, 5Ghz will become even more important. As we move up the spectrum, our coverage range falls. Building out your wireless network coverage in 5Ghz is extremely important. If you know your 5Ghz coverage is great, then you already know your 2.4Ghz coverage will be more than adequate.

A great tool to use on OSx in the command line is:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport -I

Running the command without any switches will show you all the available options.

Interop here I come!

I am on my way to Interop which is being held in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know about Interop, it’s defined as ” an independently organized conference and exhibition designed to empower information technology professionals to make smart business decisions.” -Interop

Vendors from all over the board will be there. This will be my first time attending and I will be posting updates on the event, so stay tuned!

My first day will include 2 workshops:

“Advanced wireshark” and “A structured approach to Network Troubleshooting”

Brocade, Enterasys, Juniper Brainstorm Lab Gen up

Brain storming is something that you should do quite often. Find a whiteboard and start drawing. Even a piece of paper will do. Get others involved in your brainstorm. Developing new services or improving upon existing services will greatly benefit from this. We can’t be content with the “if its not broken, then don’t fix it” mentality.

With that said, here’s a diagram that came from a brainstorm/whiteboard session. This came out of my lab gen to replace our aging Juniper m7i with some Brocade icx 6610’s. There’s an old school Enterasys DFE in there as well that simulated our building distribution router.





Brocade ICX 6610 – enabling ssh and a few other things…

After an exhaustive search of a WAN switch, we finally made our minds up to go with the brocade ICX series. We are primarily an enterasys extreme networks shop, but we are on a budget, like most other public education institutions. In my experience, I have seen many shops stick to what they know, cough, cough cisco, but is that always going to be the best price/solution? The brocade command line is very similar to cisco, so for you peep’s out there looking for an alternative to cisco, take a look at the brocade ICX lineup.

Now on to the good stuff. I’ve listed a few pointers to get ssh properly setup on an ICX 6610. You can also view more icx 6610 commands in my brocade ICX 6610 part 2 article.

//This command enables ssh on the icx 6610
(config)#crypto key generate dsa
//We can then setup a local account to use for ssh, but we first want to mask passwords
(config)#enable user password-masking
(config)#username yourusername password
//The next command enables the brocade to use the local user for ssh login
(config)#aaa authentication login default local
//We can then further secure by which IP’s are allowed to ssh
(config)#ip ssh client yourclientip
//Here is how we disable ssh.
(config)#crypto key zeroize dsa



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