Friday, 28 February 2014

Wireless controllers and scuppered plans

As part of the wireless everywhere rollout project, we have been investigating what access points to put in to last us the next few years. As most of our AP's have had EOS and EOL notices, we started looking at the 3600 and 3700 models. These have different ways of providing 802.11ac (3600 uses a module) and have 4x4 MIMO, along with newer versions of ClientLink than our 1142's, 1262's and 3502's have.

This meant upgrading our controller software to 7.5 or 7.6 (from 7.3), which was something we wanted to do anyway as we have been having problems with Prime Infrastructure and would like to take advantage of some good new features in the later versions.

With 7.6 being released very recently, and numerous bugs reported, we deemed this too risky and was about to upgrade to 7.5. We had quotes in for the access points and PoE+ switches, totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds...

Then this morning I saw this:

All versions apart from 7.6, 7.4 and 7.0MR5 pre-release have been pulled due to a bug.

So at this stage we have two options (as 7.3 will not be supported), we upgrade to 7.6 and hope all the problems associated with are worked out soon and an update released, or we go to 7.4 and have to cancel our order for AP's and find some that work on 7.4 but won't be end-of-life soon, while at the same providing a world-class network. We could still use the 3600's on 7.4 if we upgrade to Prime Infrastructure 2.0 but this does not support any of the features we wanted to use or any future features beyond 7.5.

I'll post what decision we come to and how we came about it. For now I suggest anyone using Cisco Controllers try to be on a safe code version.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Another fibre damaged

Just over a week after we lost a fibre, through damage, coincidentally when gas workers were working in the ducts (they claim it wasn't them), we had a problem with another one.

I came in to work to find one of our buildings off the network. After the usual checks I ventured out to investigate with laptop, socket testers and cable testers. The switch seemed to be up but no link back to the nearest hub. As we do not have diverse routes into this building it was one fibre that was the problem. I went to the other end and tested it, all working at that end.

Then I noticed the hole in the road...

Apparently, the night before, an electricity cable had gone 'pop' and melted through all the ducts... and our fibre cable.

Here is what is left of our fibre:

...and here is the electricity cable:

I'm glad I wasn't walking down the street at the time.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Mozilla to introduce ads to Firefox browser

Mozilla have announced that they have decided to allow paid adverts to appear on its new tab page of the Firefox web browser.

In their blog post discussing the 'Directory Tiles Program', Mozilla explain that they plan to populate the new tab page of new users with various content from Mozilla, sponsors and locally popular web sites.

Below is the quote from Mozilla:

"Their tiles – those nine rectangles that populate over time with the most frequent and recent websites they visit – are empty.  The new tab page isn’t delivering any value for them.

Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users.   Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission.  The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy".

Personally I don't have any problem with Mozilla trying to diversify how they make a profit, as long as the product stays trustworthy and secure.

If you have a strong opinion one way or another, let me know.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Obi-Wan Kenobi - The biggest s**t in Star Wars

I just started following @TerriblyDrawn on Twitter and I urge you to do so too. Check out this Ben and Luke cartoon:

Monday, 3 February 2014

Man lets internet name daughter

It does look like a Daily Mail headline, but this one is true. If you head over to you can vote for for the name of Stephen McLaughlin's daughter, who is due to be born early April.

I'm sure you can imagine what some of the suggestions. Rather amusingly OF-THE-SEA and WAITFOR-IT are pretty high in the middle name category. Here is the leader with the most votes as of this morning: