CCNP Wireless

July 2015 Study Plan

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It is day one of the month, hence the best time to plan my study hours. Here is the study plan for July. You can watch my progress as the days go by.

The Red days indicates days when I did not study at all. Let’s face it, we are all human and we have a tendency of being lazy 🙂. Yellow is for days when I did actually study but did not meet the planned number of hours. Finally,Green symbolizes the days when I actually studied the planned number of hours. Dark green (which is no where right now), will indicate the days when I did more than was expected of me.


Half way through 2015

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We are half way through the year but It feels like the year has just begun. The plans remain unaccomplished, the dreams get bigger by the day but reality is a sad little story :). When I think that am a tad wiser, I get slapped back and realize that am actually stupidier than I thought I was initially. But then again, there is still hope. We are only half way through the year. Giving up is definitely not an option. Head held high. Eyes on the price. It’s time for my mid-year revolution.

Capturing WLAN Packets using WireShark

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If you are studying for CCNP Wireless or CWNP Certification, an essential part of the study process is actually getting to lab it all out so as to understand the concepts. I noticed that my Wireshark output lacked the 802.11 management or control packets while trying to capture Open System Authentication process. This blog will explain how to set up Wireshark for WLAN Capturing so that you do not miss the vital packet exchanges.
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June 2015 Study Plan

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This study plan was inspired by Rasika. Check out his blog. Very informative.

The Red days indicates days when I did not study at all. Let’s face it, we are all human and we have a tendency of being lazy :). Yellow is for days when I did actually study but did not meet the planned number of hours. Finally, Green symbolizes the days when I actually studied the planned number of hours. Dark green (which is no where right now), will indicate the days when I did more than was expected of me. Will that day ever come :(?? Sigh Read the rest of this entry »

CWNP’s CWSP-205 Official Study Guide Book Review | Part 1

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When I think of the CWNP Program, I think of actual Wireless knowledge that Vendor oriented programs have failed to deliver. I have always used CWNP books to complement information that was missing during my past CCNP Wireless exams (2 more to go). It was therefore only logical that I would turn to their CWSP book to help me prepare for the next exam – 642-737 IAUWS.

Luckily, the new CWSP-205 study guide had just been published so I figured I would order it. Got the book yesterday and I have to say, am a tad disappointed. I have not read the book. I simply skimmed through it to see what is included and to be honest, I cannot help but compare it with the previous CWSP book published by Sybex. Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless 642-747 IUWMS Summary Notes 3 : Location Tracking Techniques – Lateration (ToA and TDoA)

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Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques

The tracking position is determined based on distance. The distance can be measured in three different ways:

  • Using Time of Arrival (ToA)
  • Using Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA)
  • Using Received Signal Strength

In ToA and TDoA, localization is based on propagation time, whereas for RSS systems, propagation is based on signal strength.

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CCNP Wireless 642-747 IUWMS Summary Notes 1 : Introduction to Location-Based Services

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Advantages of Location-based services.

Location-based services helps us to:

  1. Effectively locate assets and personnel.
  2. Improve productivity by locating effectively.
  3. Reduce unauthorized removal of assets and, thus, helps reduce losses.
  4. Improve customer satisfaction
  5. Improve WLAN planning and tuning
  6. Coordinate device location with Security policy enforcement
  7. Determine rogue device location
  8. Monitor health and status of key assets.


  1. Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide by Cisco Press.

Passed CCNP CUWSS Wireless Exam ~~~> Moving on to CCNP IUWMS Wireless.

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Happy New Year and thank you for sticking with me thus far !

In this post, I will share my CUWSS experience.

I finished studying for my CUWSS Exam in the beginning of December and booked my again for around December the 15th. My first attempt to give the exam was unsuccessful :(. To be honest, I was rather lazy during my preparation and was not as dedicated as was supposed to be. I did not go the extra mile to look for information and that might have contributed to my failure. I thought that going through the Study guide for the previous version of the exam (since I could not access the newer one), the Quick Reference Guide from v2.0, the IP Expert Videos for v1.0 and my extensive WiFi experience was enough to ace that exam, but No! I Failed. Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 24 : Installation Report

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Post Deployment

A detailed hardware requirement list should have:

Wireless equipment needed

Supporting infrastructure upgrades

  • RF Validation for the installed wireless network
    • Co channel interference and appropriate channel separation
    • Power levels are consistent with site survey
    • If designing for AP failover or designing to RRM
    • RF Coverage (band by band)
  • Roaming audit
    • Airmagnet can be used in active and also using IPERF
  • Wireless Infrastructure
    • If designing especially globally, verify channel allocation is consistent
    • For 5 GHz band, make sure that the clients support all those UNI bands.Verify that RRM is consistent with what was achieved during survey
  • Application testing
    • Validate all layers 1 through 7

Installation Report / Deliverables

This report describes the deployment methodology and the tests that were performed to validate the installation.

The report should include the following:

  • Spectrum analysis
  • RF coverage analysis
  • Hardware placement and configuration
  • Application analysis – Includes results from application throughput testing

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 23 : Assessing WLAN Readiness

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WLAN Readiness

WCS can be used to assess Wireless coverage readiness for both Location Services and VoWLAN. This however does not replace an onsite post-deployment site survey. The tools used are:

  • Inspect VoWLAN Readiness
  • Inspect location Readiness

Both tools are launched from the map that you are viewing on WCS.  Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 22 : Assessing RF Coverage

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RF Audit

The main objective is to verify RF Coverage. The goal is to validate or audit the current WLAN deployment in order to enhance its security and performance. Unlike pre installation site surveys, post installation surveys focus more on the entire site environment.

Verify RF footprint of all installed APs. Use Ekahau Survey or AirMagnet Survey PRO.

First use Passive Survey mode

  • Conduct a separate passive survey per media type, IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n.
  • Verify that all APs are working with the expected level of coverage.
  • Verify co-channel interference and separation. Check for co-channel interference by standing near an access point on one channel and watch for other access points that are on the same channel. Check to see if the signal level on other access points heard on the same channel is at least 19 dBm weaker than the access point that you are next to.
  • Check to ensure you have adequate signal levels as surveyed.
  • Compare the coverage and data rates of the postinstallation survey with the survey that was performed prior to the installation.
  • Make any required adjustments that were not accounted for in the preinstallation portion in order to make the network meet user and throughput requirements.
  • Survey by SSID to ensure that roaming is taking place.
  • For 802.11n active surveys, use Iperf to verify up and down link speeds.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 21 : Infrastructure requirements Part 2

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802.11n APs with 100% duty cycle:

  • the 2,4 band when oversubscribed with clients communicating at 144 Mbps may consume up to 70 – 75 Mbps on wired side.
  • the 5 GHz band when oversubscribed and using 40 MHz channels with clients communicating at 300 Mbps may consume up to 160 – 170 Mbps on wired side.
  • Both bands on the Ethernet Side will consume (75 + 170) = 245 Mbps per AP

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 20 : Choosing Antennas

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Antenna – “an intentional radiator of electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic field – a sine wave that has an electric component and a magnetic field component.

Indoor antennas are always vertically polarized but this is not critical. Polarization plays a role in Outdoor links where a polarization mismatch can reduce the received signal by 20 dBm. Polarization may be an advantage or may be an issue. Advantageous when an outdoor link performance is experiencing interference, shifting the antenna by 90 degrees by rotating or changing polarization type may be enough to mitigate the interference issue. Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 19 : Infrastructure Requirements Part 1

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AP Power 

Options for powering the AP

  • AP model-specific Power module (DC Power)
  • Power Injector – combine 48-VDC power with the data signal, sending both to the access point or bridge.
    • The AIR-PWRINJ3 power injector for Cisco Aironet 1130AG, 1140AG, and 1240AG Series Access Points works with the power supply provided with the access point.
    • The Cisco Aironet Power Injector Media Converter (AIR-PWRINJ-FIB) converts fiber media to Category 5 media and combines the resulting data signal with power for delivery to the access point or bridge.
    • The AIR-PWRINJ-1000AF provides 802.13af inline PoE. It accepts 100–240 VAC and outputs 48 VDC.
    • The AIR-PWRINJ1500 power injector converts AC power into DC power and sends it along with the Ethernet signal to the access point. It is designed to be used with the Cisco Aironet 1500 Series Outdoor Ethernet Cable (AIR-ETH1500-150) to power the Cisco Aironet 1500 Series Lightweight Outdoor Mesh Access Point.
  • PoE from the switch
    • Cisco Pre-Standard PoE mode
    • IEEE 802.3af standardizedPoE
      • 15.4 W of power per port for class 3
    • Cisco Enhanced Power for 56-VDC power or 802.3at protocol
      • Up to 30W per port
      • The difference is that the optimized maximum transmitter power drops from 20 dBm (100 mW) to 14 dBm (25 mW)


What happens when you connect an AP to less power than it is intended ( to 802.3at instead of 802.3af)? The AP will function but:

  • AP drops to using a single stream for both bands and through a single transmitter
  • Throughput is reduced to 72 Mbps over a 20-MHz channel for 2.4 band and 150 Mbps over a 40-MHz channel

Most APs can function with 12.95 W but if we use a long cable, then the power drawn can reach up to 15W 802.3af for Class 3 device.

No AP should be more than 100m away from the wiring closet. 802.11n APs should connect to GE ports

If your access point is connected to Ethernet inline power, do not connect the local power module to the access point. Using two power sources on the access point might cause the access point to shut down to protect internal components and might cause the switch to shut down the port to which the access point is connected.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 18 : Hardware for the RF Network

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Designing the RF network

Define the APs and WLC requirements

AP Density

This depends on:

  • Application requirements
    • Data Networks (web browsing)
      • 15 to 25 users per AP
        • 802.11b users reduce a 802.11g AP throughput dramatically. The 802.11b client still has a maximum data rate of 11 Mb/s per second and a maximum throughput of 7.1 Mb/s.
      • Data requires 15 to 20 % overlap
      • For an application such as bar code reading, the number of users can increase considerably and this may require using IEEE 802.11g to increase data rates.
    • Location based services
      • To avoid co channel interference due to dense deployment, the APs at the edge should be set to monitor mode (only used for location purposes)
      • inter-access point separation of between 40 to 70 feet.
    • Legacy clients may impact the network and should be taken into account
      • Take into consideration protection mechanisms
      • Supported channels
      • Supported encr yptions
  • Number of users
  • Data Rate Supported
    • By increasing the access point count and lowering the power, you can improve throughput for users.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 17 : Ekahau Site Survey

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Ekahau Site Survey Tool 

This tool is used to determine each AP coverage area. It records the signal level, retries, lost packets etc. Ekahau Site Survey comes in a standard version and a Pro version.

  • Standard
  • Pro
    • adds the predictive survey which allows us to add obstacles to the map so as to predict how many APs will be needed
    • adds the simulated AP features that enables us to add a virtual AP so as to check how coverage would be
    • This results in a hybrid between onsite survey and planning mode

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 16 : Layer 2 Active Site Survey using AirMagnet Survey Pro

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AirMagnet Survey

Layer 2 site survey can be performed with AirMagnet Survey PRO to determine the access point placement and coverage. AirMagnet Survey PRO has the capability of doing pre-site surveys (before the install) and post-site surveys (after the install), also known as an audit, to ensure adequate coverage.

In the configuration menu:

  • Select the SSID
  • Set the Tx power to match that of the AP
  • Select Channel Width

Survey Modes:

  • Active Survey – (Default)  the wireless network card actively associates itself with the selected access point or SSID, sending and receiving RF packets to and from the access point or SSID. If a specific AP is not selected, then the PC will connect to the AP that has the strongest signal.
  • Active with Iperf for greenfield survey – Airmagnet syncs with an Iperf server to test throughput on the uplink and downlink.
    •  Watch for the following:
      • Uplink data rate
      • Downlink data rate
      • Signal strength
      • Noise
      • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)
      • Percentage of packets lost
      • Percentage of packets retried
    • Turn power down to at least half of what the 802.11n client supports
    • Configure the access point and client for 40-MHz wide channels to improve throughput up to 300 Mb/s. Channel bonding must be enabled on the client and
      the access point for 40-MHz high throughput.

iperf -p <port> -s <server>

  • Passive – simply listens to the RF data moving through the site, detecting and recording all RF signals and noises in the environment.

When performing a site survey with AirMagnet Survey PRO, at least one active survey of each access point should be completed (two are recommended). When all active access point site surveys are completed, a passive site survey of the floor should be completed.

Pre- Installation Site Survey Procedure:

  • Conduct one passive survey of the floor or facility with the SSID set to Any.
  • After you have completed coverage of the floor or facility, merge the survey data.
    • Merge the survey data by access point
    • Then merge the merged access point data files
    • Finally, merge the merged access point data file with the passive survey data file.
  • review the data for proper placement of additional access points to fill in any null areas.
    • Check the AP Noise level
    • AP SNR level
    • AP Speed
    • AP Retry Rate
    • Packet loss rate

Active Survey Procedure

  • Choose the AP to associate to
  • Specify the location of the AP to begin
  • walk around the area
  • save survey data

Passive Survey Procedure

  • Choose passive survey and leave SSID as any
  • walk around the area
  • save survey data

Generate a Report

AirMagnet can generate 10 different reports:

  1. Overall Coverage Report by Channel: Contains data about the overall RF signal
    coverage on the selected channel
  2. Overall Coverage Report by SSID: Contains data about the overall RF signal coverage of the selected SSID
  3. Overall Coverage Report by AP: Contains data about the overall RF signal coverage of the selected access point
  4. Per Channel Report: Contains signal data of the selected channel
  5. Per SSID Report: Contains signal data of the selected SSID
  6. Per AP Report: Contains signal data of the selected access point
  7. Channel Interference Report: Contains data about the channel interference
  8. AP Interference Report: Contains data about the interference between the access points
  9. AirWISE Report: Shows data relating to the AirWISE screen
  10. Spectrum Analyzer Report: Shows reports on Spectrum Analyzer data

Survey Modes using 802.11n APs.

When surveying for 802.11n, an Iperf server is used with AirMagnet Survey PRO to measure uplink and downlink data rates.

  • Greenfield mode: This means no legacy 802.11 devices. All devices are 802.11n-capable.
  • Mixed mode: Mixed mode supports both legacy devices 802.11a/b/g as well as 802.11n. This mode uses both a high-throughput preamble and a legacy preamble.
  • Legacy mode: Support for 802.11a/b/g clients, no 802.11n clients.


  1. CCNP Wireless  (642-732 CUWSS) Quick Reference Guide by Jerome Henry
  2. IPexpert’s CCNP CUWSS Wireless Voice on Demand (642-731)
  3. CUWSS Studnet Guide v1.0

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 15 : Attenuation and Data Rates

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RF Reflectors and Absorbers in the building

Signal Attenuation


  • Each 3-dB attenuation reduces the signal strength by half
  • Moving objects may also affect the signal
  • Break rooms and test labs may produce 2.4-GHz iinterference and create multipath distortion and RF shadows.
  • Elevator shafts block and reflect RF signals.
  • Supply rooms with inventory absorb RF signals.
  • Interior offices with hard walls absorb RF signals.
  • Cubicles absorb and block signals.
  • Conference rooms have high-utilization requirements

Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 14 : Layer 1 Active Site Survey – Cisco Spectrum Expert

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Cisco Spectrum Expert: Active Site Surveys (Layer 1 Sweep)

Recommended tool of choice – Cisco Spectrum Expert

With Cisco Spectrum Expert, you can detect, classify, locate, and mitigate sources of wireless interference to optimize network performance for mobility applications.

Cisco Spectrum Expert is a combination of both hardware and software. Cisco Spectrum Expert is delivered as hardware in a PC card (CardBus) form factor and is a software install. Read the rest of this entry »

CCNP Wireless CUWSS 642-732 Summary Notes 13 : Defining Site Survey Documentation

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Define the Deliverables

A site survey preassessment form to help determine the length and type of survey, what equipment will be needed, and what questions the engineer will need to ask during the walk through the facility.

  • Pre-Assesment Form that summarizes customer requirements
    • Customer contact information
    • WLAN Objectives
    • Building to be covered
    • Physical Information and Building Size
      • Number Floors and layout
      • Each floor that will have Wifi
      • Location of closet
    • Diagram of existing infrastructure
    • Scope of the Survey
    • Client Devices

Read the rest of this entry »