Following on my previous blog on holistic data visibility in winning NBA championships and improving business operations and revenue models, I was reminded of this article from the New York Times: Some Schools Embrace Demands for Education Data.
The piece details all that a Wisconsin school district seeks to measure in the name of improvement, from school bus routes to classroom cleanliness and of course, student progress. Schools are taking a page from the business world in embracing metrics and analyzing every bit of data that comes their way – even kindergarteners use brightly colored dots on charts to show how many letters or short words they can recognize. In other parts of the country, schools are using data to determine the cause and effect of long-held policies. Administrators noticed a dip in marching band and orchestra enrollment in the Arlington Independent School District near Dallas, and waived instrument rental fees to determine whether or not this was a barrier to entry. It was – enrollment shot up after the fees were suspended.
Time will tell whether or not the American education experience improves as a result of these measures intended to more accurately and quickly identify where students are struggling early on. Along the way, educators will have to iterate on their findings, and administrators will need to upgrade their networks to handle the increasing amounts of private data being stored on students.
It is this latter point that school districts should pay close attention to. Parents are increasingly wary of the amount of data being collected on their children – not only academic performance but health, fitness and sleeping habits, in addition to disciplinary matters, according to Khaliah Barnes, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s student privacy project. Enlisting the help of tools such as Clever, a “single login education-tech app” that recently raised $30 million, can help insofar as a school’s network incorporates a layered approach to security such that there’s no single point of failure that opens the floodgates to intruders.
Just like the teachers and students in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, we enjoy logging and analyzing data to continuously improve our work. The more we hear from operators in the field, the better. If you are a network administrator for a school or your network handles connectivity for the schools in your community, we’d love to hear about your challenges in the comments below or on our forum.
The common thread in National Security and Critical Infrastructure communications applications is that missions vary dramatically based on changing objectives:
Disaster recovery and first responder situations may start small and localized before expanding rapidly in unexpected directions.
Border Security and Video Surveillance deployments are impacted by terrain, desired topology and changing capacity requirements.
Tactical deployments by definition are never the same twice.
Department of Defense and Civilian/Law Enforcement federal agencies need platforms that can be adaptable both within a given mission, but also easily and rapidly re-deployed in the next mission where the requirements can be very different.
Today, Cambium Networks announced the PTP 700. This new high performance point-to-point platform provides unprecedented deployment flexibility and long-term sustainability. Leveraging the heritage of the PTP 600 with field proven security, ruggedization, and performance, the PTP 700 delivers up to 450 Mbps and covers both 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum as well as compliance with 4 GHz NTIA/NATO Band IV standards. With a unique connectorized+integrated design, configuration and installation are easy - a single radio can be rapidly reconfigured in the field between the integrated antenna and an external passive reflector dish as link budget demands change. In addition, the PTP 700 software roadmap includes the enhancements to support high-capacity multipoint configurations to supplement the point-to-point scenarios.
This is a game changer for high speed field communications. Missions using the PTP 700 can be adapted in-the-field and on-the-fly. When one mission is completed the same set of radios can be flexibly re-deployed in different spectrum, different antenna configurations, and in different topologies (point to point or high-capacity multipoint). In addition to the logistical benefits, this leads to a dramatic reduction in total cost of ownership as procurement organizations are buying one model, agencies are stocking one model, and end users are trained on just one model.
Industrial communication network operators understand that speed is a vital consideration when looking at communications infrastructure. Their networks have transitioned from kilobits to megabits with the wide deployment of video surveillance systems and movement to real time supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks. While speed is king for residential and enterprise access markets there are other attributes that must be considered and in many cases are far more important than a singular focus on data rate.
The durability of the equipment is of upmost importance. It doesn’t matter what the data rate is if the equipment is down. This gear is being deployed environments orders of magnitude more demanding than 653 Elm Street. The locations are remote and costly to service; the atmosphere can be caustic and at best the equipment is exposed to environmental extremes. The shock and vibration of heavy equipment in mining and rail industries will cause havoc with electronic equipment if not designed and manufactured with those conditions in mind. Today’s Industrial Communication Network Operators are expecting IP66 or 67 enclosures (International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529); and if the conditions dictate it ATEX/HAZLOC certification for explosive environments. These are not requirements mentioned by consumers as they shop for broadband access!
Information Assurance is top of mind and continues to grow in importance. Not so long ago encrypting data and control traffic transiting the network was routinely considered unnecessary. Today, use of 256 bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is not unusual; and use of 128 bit AES is table stakes for information assurance. Network Operators now expect full RADIUS support for authentication, advanced password complexity routines, tamper evidence, SYSLOG capabilities for audit control, security splash pages, Role Based Security, independent third-party code reviews and denial of service white hat hacking evaluation. In short order we have transitioned from a very basic level of security to a multi-tiered comprehensive approach looking a variety of attributes; and with that a transition from “encryption” to “Information Assurance”.
Interference tolerance is an additional requirement. Emitters are everywhere these days, and fixed wireless broadband networks are frequently co-located with competing networks and must effectively manage RF interference. The use of network solutions that synchronize at a tower, across a geographic area, or even amongst a federation of competing networks certainly enhances network capacity, spectral efficiency, and directly enables the networks to scale. Most recently, advanced technologies like Dynamic Interference Filtering are being deployed to further enhance performance in high-noise environments.
Taking these aspects and others into consideration led Cambium Networks to develop the recently announced 450i platform specifically for industrial communication network operators. Enveloped in a cozy IP 66/67 housing; incorporating a comprehensive information assurance framework; leveraging Cambium’s industry leading GPS synchronization and groundbreaking dynamic interference filtering; not to mention ATEX/HAZLOC certified models for those exceptional circumstances; the wide-band (4.9 – 5.925 GHz) PTP and PMP platform is sure to please the network operators supporting critical infrastructure networks around the world in the most demanding environments. Almost forgot, the 450i is also one of the most spectrally efficient radios in the industry and will deliver the data rates required. I am looking forward to seeing the photographs and stories of 450i serving the industries that drive the global economy!
Based on customer input to minimize installation time, the new PMP 450d takes less than 3 minutes to go from unboxing to aligning the completed assembly, and provides the performance and synchronization your customers need. With 25 dBi of total gain across both 5.4 and 5.8 GHz, the PMP 450d provides the highest gain integrated solution so that you can reduce installation time and rapidly grow your network.
An additional benefit is the dramatic reduction in wind loading, which is important for many WISPs who contend with harsh weather like Royell Communications in Virden, IL. Ben Royer, Operations Manager of Royell says, “We always need the most gain we can get, but due to wind loading concerns, were unable to install offset reflector dishes with PMP 450 SMs. We’ve now had a chance to install the PMP 450d, and it's AWESOME! We’ve had one up for a while and it’s doing great. We have good signal strength at greater distances, in both nLOS and NLOS conditions. The customer had a -71 dBm RSL using the PMP 320 at the exact same location, and when we installed the 450d we saw a consistent 10 dB signal improvement!”
See what the PMP 450d can do for you. Modules are available for ordering through your reseller now, and you can expect shipments to begin in August. Don’t forget to share your PMP 450d photos and stories on our Community Forum.
I don’t follow sports in general, but I diligently watched the NBA championship this year. It was amazing to see the Golden State Warriors end their 40-year NBA championship drought and log the third winningest season in NBA history – only trailing the Chicago Bulls during their heyday with Michael Jordan.
What interests me most about the Warriors is not their style of play or any particular player. I’m fascinated by the real hero behind the Warriors’ standout season – data.
It’s perhaps a lesser known fact that the Warriors are a data-obsessed organization. It’s this unique, 360-degree attention to a player’s fitness, sleep patterns and even mood that made them not only the best team in the league, but the healthiest as well. On game days, head coach Steve Kerr receives a readiness rating from every player, a handy “all-in-one metric” that allows him to make last-minute changes to the starting lineup.
Beyond this, the Warriors staff has an obsessive attention to detail when analyzing data the analogue way – watching game tapes. On the strength of video coordinator Nick U’Ren’s 3:00 am text recommendation to Coach Kerr to start Andre Iguodala instead of Andrew Bogut, the Warriors went from 1-2 in the championship series to win it all in six.
The Warriors won in part because they knew what data to track and for how long before making changes. Do you know how much data it would take your company to realize an operational change that drives newfound efficiency and productivity – enough to win in your category or key markets?
Cambium Networks is helping organizations realize the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by setting up networks that can pull data from anywhere, enabling Big Data analytics that can lead to lasting change in operations and profitability. In future blog posts, we’ll detail how various industries spanning water, electricity, transportation, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining have captured data, and highlight what each company’s analytics yielded in order to fundamentally shift their operations and way of thinking.
As more than 50 percent of companies are in the discovery phase of implementing IIoT/IoT networking solutions, we hope that these blogs will prove valuable to IT decision makers and propel them to implement pilot programs. If this accurately describes you and your company, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with this blog series and our latest installations and innovations.
We’re releasing PMP 450 System Release 13.4 this week and with it comes some long awaited features. First and foremost is the inclusion of Frame Utilization statistics to help you determine when your sector may be reaching capacity. Efficient use of the frame will help you achieve the goal of providing a great experience to your customers. There are numerous other features to help monitor the system and identify performance before they become issues, such as the Extrapolated Link Test. Now you can test the link without taking it down entirely, and get an idea of the link performance without interrupting service.
In addition, we’ve added additional support for the Zero Touch Configuration feature that was first released in R13.3. Now, a configuration file can be applied to an SM via DHCP Option 66 or via RADIUS VSA. So, however you’ve got your network configured, we’ve got you covered. RADIUS support is also further enhanced through new support for Change of Authorization, which can update RADIUS settings network-wide on a time basis, giving you further control over provisioning and shaping the behavior of your network. Microsoft Server RADIUS is also now officially supported to allow even more options.
All the features mentioned so far apply to the PMP 450 platform, but we haven’t forgot about the other PMP products our customers are still using, and R13.4 will also be released for PMP 100 and PMP 430. This brings powerful features such as secure management interfaces (SNMPv3 and HTTPS), Sector Spectrum Analyzer and Zero Touch Configuration to the trusted PMP 100 platform that has been serving providers for years.
We’re very excited to release this software to further enhance the usability, manageability and performance of the ultimate Point to Multipoint products out there.