Wishlist : Broadcast AP Hostname SSID and automated SSID names

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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1. Broadcast AP hostname in a single click / maintenance mode type operation.

- an option to broadcast the host name of the AP via an Open or protected SSID
- this could help site surveys and ad hoc quick scans while walking around to determine the reach , scatter and interference on the ground.
- the best way would be to implement on per VHM or Policy level - single click.
- Sort a 'maintenance mode' operation.
- Achieving this out within current workflow would mean one network policy *per AP :-0

2. SSID rotation automated off a list, rss feed etc.
- This may not serve any logical purpose but if you look at wireless as a public signage option, this could be vast potential use.
- eg. 'next-train' , 'today-' etc.
- users need not actually connect to the ssid to get quick info.
- this would be extremely helpful for quick info.

Apologies in advance if it comes out that that this may already be implemented and I am just not aware of it.
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Anjanesh Babu

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Posted 5 years ago

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Crowdie, Champ

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When you are doing a site survey you are actually recording the BSSID of the survey SSID. This can be used to identify the access point.

For example:

Your access point is broadcasting the SSID "Survey" on both its 2.4 and 5 GHz radios.

The 2.4 GHz radio MAC address is 00:01:02:03:04:00
The 5.0 GHz radio MAC address is 10:11:12:13:14:00

When a SSID is assigned to a radio the radio's MAC address is incremented and this is called the BSSID.

For our example we will assume that beacons for the SSID "Survey" are being transmitted using the BSSIDs:

2.4 GHz - 00:01:02:03:04:10
5.0 GHz - 10:11:12:13:14:10

So your site survey software will not report the radio MAC addresses but the BSSIDs.

If you added another SSID, say "Voice", the BSSIDs for the new SSID in our example could be:

2.4 GHz - 00:01:02:03:04:20
5.0 GHz - 10:11:12:13:14:20

Different wireless vendors use different incrementations to the radio MAC address to create the BSSID but it is pretty easy to work out with site survey software.
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Anjanesh Babu

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This is good if you are doing a full fledged site survey.

My suggestion was for more quick checks that anything else.

If all I wanted was answers 'which AP covers this space ?' or 'Holy cow ! that was unexpected coverage ' I would rather whip out my phone and check the reach than boot up my laptop.
Of course these are more for taking guesstimates than any proper spectrum planning or the real deal surveys .
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Crowdie, Champ

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The AirMagnet AirMapper application for Android (http://www.flukenetworks.com/enterpri...) may be of some interest to you.

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Anjanesh Babu

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thanks for the response but without turning this thread into a review of survey tools , this was explored and considered as the 'Rolls Royce' of all solutions. at $199 , the app is nearly expensive as my Google Nexus S phone.

For simple checks current I use the Wifi Analyser (google play short link http://goo.gl/LxvbA )which is more than enough.

Since all our AP hostnames are derived from their locations (vlan-site-location) broadcasting AP hostnames would provide a far better response from quick scans than survey tools .

This is not obviously a replacement for proper site surveys but definitely something to augment the results.
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Brian Ambler

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Hi Anjanesh,
It sounds like what you want to accomplish in point one is already available in our Access Console feature. The Access Console is a Network Policy level feature that, when configured, will broadcast an SSID in the following format: "< Hostname of AP >_ac". Its intended purpose is as a maintenance SSID that can be configured to be displayed when the APs lose their backhaul connection so you can gain CLI access without a console cable. However, since the access console can be configured in an auto/on/off mode, you could set it to on to broadcast an SSID for your survey needs. There are a few more clicks involved than your proposal of a "one click on/off", but since point one is so similar to the Access Console, I doubt we would implement a new feature so similar to one we already have, but that is a decision for PLM.

To configure the Access Console, navigate to "Configuration > [Network Policy] > Additional Settings > Service Settings > Access Console > New"

Give the new Access Console object a name, set the Mode to "Enable", then Save

Make sure that the new Access Console object is selected, then save the changes to Additional Settings and push the changes out to your devices

Now that your devices are broadcasting their access consoles, you will notice that your devices are broadcasting an SSID that matches their Hostname.

Once you are done with your survey, just go back into your network policy, set the Access Console mode to "Disable" and push the changes out to your devices.

Hope this helps
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Anjanesh Babu

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Hi Brian,
Thank you for the update - with screenshots *and* during the weekend.
That workflow and this ready functionality is fabulous and actually quite cool !!!

I am not fussy about 'one click' to deploy but this is more than enough for the purpose of my ad hoc testing.

and would like to thank you for showing that the desired situation was possible within existing feature set.

Thank you once again and enjoy the rest of the weekend.