#MFD5 Day 1-Quick Recap

Well, for a vacation day, that was a really productive Wednesday I think. Certainly not relaxing by the pool or beach sipping on umbrella drinks, for sure.

So what did I do on the first day of my first vacation of 2020? Spent it with a bunch of WiFi folks, both the delegates selected by Gestalt IT and of course, Wednesday’s presenting companies (for those keeping score at home, that would be Mist and Celona).

So, I figured I might as well jot down some quick thoughts as I am listening to/editing the latest @SpatialStreams podcast episode (if you have yet to download/tune in/subscribe…please do!)

Full disclosure, I’ve had some exposure to Mist, having talked to some of their staff and listened to some of their Wireless Wednesday presentations, among other things. But today was a bit deeper and a more intimate setting than those, for the most part.

So, my thoughts on Mist?

-AI is the future, along with machine learning and automation. Every vendor seems to be going that way, with varying degrees of success. My uneducated view here, I think Mist has a leg up on this versus the others because they weren’t necessarily encumbered by legacy code. When Mist came to be a few years ago, they had the benefit of starting fresh, knowing the lessons learned from other vendor implementations.

-Dashboards are going away. At least, that’s what they said on the presentation. This remains to be seen, but if that’s the direction we are heading, it will be interesting to see. So many of us (and, just as important, our leadership) are tied to or used to our dashboards. Not saying we can’t move to something new/better, just that it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

-Marvis is never wrong, or so said Sudheer. Bold words, though perhaps it’s a bit of semantics? I think the point was, if the information it is working off of indicates that x + y is equal to 5, and Mavis says it’s 5, but the answer is actually 4, is it Marvis’ fault? The responses will only be as good as the data + how Marvis (or any virtual assistant) is configured/programmed to interpret it. At least, that was my take on it…but we shall see. Ultimately, if there’s something Marvis is lacking or can’t answer today, that may not be true next week. Mist seems to be committed to frequently updating things, which is good to see.

-Looking forward to getting hands on. As I said, I’ve seen the demos and I’ve had the conversations. Now I have a Mist AP in my hands (thanks!), and we are also testing them for work too. So just like that, I have a couple to test and play with, and that will be key. I need to actually get hands on and experience it to be able to form some opinions, and that will start happening soon enough. Who knows…maybe I swap out my home gear for Mist?

All in all, it was an exciting and packed three hours with Mist. We got a bit of a break and then shifted to Celona, which for those who don’t know, are all about CBRS.

Celona’s presentation was not as long, though there will be more information coming from them in the coming months-so keep an eye out. For now, I was happy to get time with them, because CBRS is an intriguing new area for companies to leverage.

The tech is coming along. Considering the company first showed things off at MFD last year, they are growing and it’s nice to see. The spectrum auctions are coming up, so it should be just a matter of time (perhaps early 2021?) for things to become much more relevant. For now, the newer clients (any iPhone 11, the SE version 2, the newest iPad Pro, Samsung and Google’s latest and more, for example) are already CBRS ready, so now we just need the spectrum to be carved up and get things deployed.

Use cases will be forthcoming, but I could imagine this being possibly a way for companies to negate the need for something like a DAS, perhaps.

Best way for me to put it…I came in excited to hear about and learn more from Celona, and after they presented, I am eager to get even more from them. Perhaps down the road, we will be able to get some time on  Celona-based CBRS gear, though I know some do have test labs already and have had good things to say about it.

It may not be for every company, but there will be use cases where CBRS can help a lot. Will it replace or kill WiFi? No. But it can help fill gaps and better support certain use cases, which is less about WiFi and more about client/customer satisfaction.

So yes, day one was busy, and there’s surely plenty I left out. Day two gives us some time with NetAlly, Nyansa (under the VeloCloud/VMWare banner) and Fortinet. Looking forward to all of these companies and another great day of community interaction and discussion.

Be sure to follow along, and if you do, ask questions by tweeting to any of the delegates or posting questions using the #mfd5 hashtag. One of the delegates will surely get it asked/answered!


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