Monday, October 14, 2013

Three Wireless USB Adapters in Every Hub, and Omnipeek On Every Laptop #WFD5

Tim McCreery President and CEO of WildPackets presented the company history to the Wireless Field Day 5 delegates. Wildpackets was founded in 1990, and now their customer base spans 60+ countries and over 7,000 customers.

Jay Botelho Director of Product Management spoke next, and gave us the WildPackets technical history.
  • First to support data capture and analysis of 802.11ac traffic
  • The most comprehensive voice over wifi analysis
  • Only application to support remote data capture from commercial enterprise access points
  • Best application for distributed networks with remote 24x7 real-time analysis
Since the last time WildPackets presented at WFD4, they've since brought to market full 802.11ac support and data captures from locally-attached or remote access points.

The demonstration of the 802.11ac capture was interesting in that copies of OmniPeek and 802.11ac adapters were gifted to the delegates in order for them to generate 802.11ac traffic in the presentation room. OmniPeek only has drivers for the Ralink chipset wireless adapters at this time, but they should have a two stream adapter supported by the end of this year.

Per Jay Botelho, trusting RSSI reporting from access points is iffy since vendors apply RSSI values differently. WildPackets does some analysis work on the capture that is RSSI, and they have to do some work to convert that to dBi or a percentage value.

OmniPeek has new columns added to it to simplify analysis of an 802.11ac capture:
  • MCS value
  • Spatial streams
  • Bandwidth used
  • Data rate
Using multiple adapters to capture data is key in analyzing client roaming in any wireless network. When Jay listed the channels his test network was configured for (2, 6 and 10) I was concerned, since these are not non-overlapping channels. I do not know if this was just for testing purposes that these channels were used, but it isn't an optimal configuration.

  • Top pane = flows categorized by application
  • bottom pane = problems detected
WildPackets is currently running a special discount on their Mobile WLAN Analyzer bundle. The bundle includes OmniPeek Professional and 3 OmniWiFi USB WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n) adapters. The $900 discount is only good through 10/31/2013.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post! many higher end laptops are 90 watt.but they pull less when they are not on the AC. that's why there is a big speed deference when it works on battery power Dell laptop batteries