Craig Schnarrs’ experience at the Wireless Lan Professionals Conference

By Craig Schnarrs, Blog Contributor
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I had the pleasure to attend the Wireless Lan Professionals conference 2014 last week. It was a very exciting event that featured presentations  on various  mobility related topics,  a few of my favorites were


Two sessions by Chuck Lukaszewski , the first one being Engineering ultra-high density wireless lans.

This was truly a great session, it was packed with all kinds of information about, lessons learned and what worked and what did not. Tips and tricks, that can only be discovered by doing and can't be read in any book. Chuck is a very good presenter and the content was very relevant to todays fast paced wireless environment.


The second session Chuck presented was the introduction of the world's first outdoor 802.1ac access point. This 802.11ac AP supports dual-band operation with 3x3 MIMO and 3 spatial streams. There are two models, the AP-275 with integrated omni-directional antennas and the AP-274 with six N-type female connectors for external antenna. For more details visit the product page.


Another one of the sessions I was at was "Hostile environments, wireless lan design for warehouse environments by Charlie Clemmer". This Was  a very good session  that discussed, the tips , tricks and design strategies of working in a warehouse environment. And the gotchas that can only be found by experience, you could tell Charlie knew what he was talking about and was a seasoned veteran in this difficult space. I got to have lunch with Charlie and picked his brain for some important tidbits of information.  I had interacted with him on twitter before, but meeting him in real life was a real pleasure and I'm glad to have him as a contact and a friend.


One of the sessions, I missed was Best practices for securing WLANs, by Chris Lyttle, I will look forward to catching this one on video, here is the description for the session,

The security landscape has changed in recent years do to the increase in mobile devices being used in the workplace. It has become more critical the ever to architect a secure WLAN as a critical part of today's mobile workforce.  This session will look first from a high level at the components needed and then drill down into how those components combine to provide a best practices secure wlan design, we will cover PKI, Radius authentication and why it's important, NAC , WIPS, encryption and much more

I have enjoyed watching Chris present, during his time as a Wireless field day delegate, he always provides just the right insight to get you thinking.


The conference closed out with a session by Peter Thornycroft, he has a very unique sense of humor about him that is nice to hear. He was talking about IPv6 on wireless , and how we shouldn't use DHCPv6. To be honest, this session was a bit over my head. But Peter was still very interesting to listen to. I am definitely going to have to listen to this one again, maybe then it will sink in. Slides here.


There is always so much good content, at these sessions, and I can never remember all of it. At this conference all of the sessions were being recorded and will be available  for viewing at a later time. That is so cool, because I know I will want to watch the sessions again and pick up on some of the things I missed the first time


As part of the conference, all attendees were given a goodie bag full of things that a wireless lan professional could use such as an Aruba 802.11AC instant AP-225, this is going to get some serious time in the test lab, a spectrum analyzer, a site survey program, a packet analyzer, and several other software programs.  The spirit of community was in the air, wireless professionals from all over the globe, gathered together to share and mentor their peers. A good time was had by all.

One of the best parts was meeting all the people and putting faces to the folks you may have interacted with on twitter.  Everyone was freely sharing information, there were topics for everyone, from the latest BYOD trends, to mobility talks that explained that wireless is more than wifi, and what is needed was a mobility engineer. A person that knows the complete picture and is able to design a solution to fit the business needs.


I am looking forward to going to this conference on an annual basis. If you couldn't make it this year, it will be back next year.  Be ready for some learning, fun , and fellowship with your mobility engineer peers.