The ability to roam seamlessly within a campus environment is fundamental to today’s collaborative spaces. Wireless users expect to be able to use applications on-the-go, including latency-sensitive apps like voice and video.
Voice over WLAN remains a particularly demanding application, but today it is joined by an ever-increasing array of tablet and smartphone apps, driven further by the BYOD trend. Roaming capability is no longer a luxury. Cisco Meraki APs support seamless roaming, operating in gateway mode or as part of a wireless mesh. By incorporating advanced roaming functionality, clients can move seamlessly within the network, and even continue to roam in the event connectivity to the cloud is interrupted.
Fast roaming for voice and high-speed mobility
Fast roaming is essential for latency-sensitive apps, but one challenge can be the requirement for the user to re-enter login credentials if WPA2/802.11i security is deployed, because the client must complete a fresh association to every new AP. This process takes enough time to be a potential threat to the stability of real-time data flows. Cisco Meraki APs employ PMK (pairwise master key) caching and opportunistic key caching (OKC), enabling the reuse of security credentials among APs sharing a common SSID, and thereby avoiding the need for a full authentication via each new AP. Since APs communicate securely, they share PMK IDs, eliminating the need for additional components that perform key caching.
As an organization grows, so too does the need to implement network segments to maintain performance for all clients. Cisco Meraki APs support Layer 3 roaming, leveraging the power of the Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliance to act as a mobility concentrator. Clients can roam freely between subnets, without interrupting even the most demanding of applications. Using the Cisco Meraki dashboard, setup is straightforward, and unlike complex alternatives on the market, enabling Layer 3 roaming for large wireless environments is quickly done in a few simple steps.