Motorola Wireless - WING5 and services at the edge
Like most of the other #WFD4 delegates I too had not come across @MotoWireless that much, apart from the odd retail opportunity that we might of been bidding on as well. We had heard in advance that they were excited to be presenting at #WFD4 and this certainly showed with the excitement that was evident when we arrived.
Presenters for the day was (and not in this order) Cherie Martin - Sr Manager Field Enablement and Support, Vik Evans - Technical Marketing Engineer, Peter Miller - Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer, Kevin Marshall - Peter Miller - Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer and Sriram Venkiteswaran @wesriram (Whos card I didn't manage to get).
Cherie kicked the meeting off with an in-depth introduction of @MotoWireless, where they had come from and where they see themselves today. She covered the basics of WLAN and how the industry had evolved from autonomous APs to controller based today (no mention of cloud in there). Cherie impressed me with her knowledge and how she presented her material infront of what would of been a daunting audience.
Next Cherie starting talking about - services at the edge - Security, Performance, Survivability and Management. These are all of the features of WING5 operating system. A lot on the day was made about WING5 and how every device is running the same software, making management of all of the devices simplistic. @MotoWireless are very much pushing intelligence at the edge of the network and from the explanation of MINT (This equivalent of LAWAPP/CAPWAP) they are achieving this. What i specifically liked was how the MINT protocol was not like CAPWAP in the sense that it is Point-to-Point, but that a MINT tunnel could be directed through ANY devices that runs WING5. So if the shorted path is not through the controller and through another path then this can be configured.
Next item on the menu was product set and placement into the size of network. Three main controllers RFS 4000, 6000, 7000 from 36 up to 1024 Access Points. The 9000 was the larger of their controllers and supported over 10,000 Access Points. More information and a nice product comparison can be found on their website - http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Wireless+LAN/Wireless+Switches
I would of liked an introduction to their access point portfolio as well to see if they also had large range of options; indoor (Carpeted areas) indoor ( Harsh environments) 1,2,3, radios, outdoor mesh APs but i guess time did not allow for this. More information can be found here on their website - http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Wireless+LAN/Access+Points+and+Ports
Next on the presenting floor was Vik Evens with Motorolas Zero Touch provisioning on discussion. I liked the way that they had a live demo of this in the room for us all to see. At first i must admit i didn't quiet get it but it soon became apparent that it was like an advanced on boarding process for your access points. Allowing you to granularly set predefined parameters such as switch host name, VALN and then provisioning the access point with the right configuration which could be for any of your global locations. This I can see assisting large organisations with roll-outs and migrations to new hardware.
There was one feature that seems to capture very ones attention in the room, this was Motorolas remote debug option. I could see those jet lagged eyes in the room light up as soon as packet capture was mentioned. Again the guys set up a demo for us all to see how this works in principle with their radios. What stood out the most was the ability to use this across multiple access points at the same time and for all of the packets to be correlated in sequence to import into you favourite packet capture program (Wireshark or Omnipeek). For advanced trouble shooting engineers, this i think is essential and having the ability to do this remotely will save both time and cost for any organisation.
Unfortunately time crept up on us and the presentation had come to a close. This was a shame as it felt that @MotoWireless had only just started and needed way more time to talk about their portfolio. As this was one of the manufacturers that everyone clearly had the least knowledge about i would love to see them present at #WFD5 and go over more of their USPs. Stuff i would of loved to talk to the them about which are hot topics in the WLAN market at present are: BYOD and on boarding, 802.11ac, virtual WLCs, The Could, Location Services, and Analytics.
I know that @MotoWireless have some fantastic solutions behind their base WLAN portfolio like their Connected Shopper and Self Service Solution. This is similar to Ciscos Retail Analytics where they recently acquired ThinkSmart Technologies and are not bringing in-depth analytics to retail and other markets. More info on their Connected Shopper and Self Service - http://www.motorolasolutions.com/promo/retail/connected-shopper-self-service.html
Conclusion. Overall i was was impressed by motorola. I have only had a little experience of their solution where i upgrade an WING3 network to a WING5 dual controller solution and i have to admit that i was impressed by their kit. If your a Cisco engineer i can say that you will have to problems in migration your skill set over to WING5 software as a lot of the CLI interface in similar to Ciscos. Id be interested to see where their solutions sits for pricing and how it compares against other WLN vendors, both in large environment and small brach networks.
Motorola have a great solution which has clearly been developed over time, this can be seen but the granularity of feature set. I just hope that they a can start to market to other vertical market such as education and hospitality and gain more market share.
My feedback to the great guys from today would be to present at #WFD5 what differentiates @MotoWireless from it competitors and what its USPs are. There was no mention of roadmap items like cloud, 802.11ac, 802.11u, new access points. Us delegates love to hear about up and coming product lines and features.
Motorola WLAN Portfolio - http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Wireless+LAN
Motorola CLI Reference Guide - https://docs.symbol.com/manuals/15222901b.pdf
Connected Shopper and Self Service - http://www.motorolasolutions.com/promo/retail/connected-shopper-self-service.html
Other Delegates Posts:
Blake Krone - http://blakekrone.com/?p=21957