My Deployment Experience with Ubiquiti Networks

I was the fortunate winner of the vBrownBag year-end contest and won Ubiquiti Networks gear. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, but wow, was I surprised!

I’ve been wanting to pick up Ubiquiti gear for some time now – I was running an older Meraki deployment from my Cisco days, which has served me well. However, the MR18 was definitely showing its age from a channel utilization perspective.

I *finally* got a chance to sit down yesterday and start deploying out a simple design for now while also learning about Ubiquiti Networks gear.

I also jumped into this without reading much documentation and quite frankly, understanding of how the Ubiquiti model works. I wanted to see how easy it was to deploy based on my past network experience.

From a top-level topology perspective, I decided to lay out the deployment as such, pretty straight-forward.

Deployment Steps

  1. I first created an account on Ubnt.com, fairly straightforward and showed a demo controller. 
  2. I was a little confused on which step I should take next – do I need to set up the USG first or the Cloud Key? Well, I kind of did both, which was fine.
  3. I plugged in the USG and allowed the default DHCP settings while just setting up a hardwired connection from my laptop. 
  4. From here, I was able to start a setup wizard on the USG. Very straightforward while setting some initial defaults.
  5. I did initially set it up with a local Controller (not the Cloud Key) but was able to move over the USG pretty seamlessly.  
  6. From there, I started adding in the AP and the Switch. Adoption was easy, just a click of the button.
  7. I upgraded to the latest code and voila, complete with my initial basic setup!

Experience and Testing so far

  1. The deployment was very easy in my opinion and the usability is even easier, maybe even too easy? You can tell Ubiquiti spent a lot of time on the visuals of the UniFi dashboard along with what typical administrators would be configuring.
  2. I think the hardest part was the ramifications of the SSID channel and key change – had to reprogram quite a bit of devices!
  3. I’ve had wireless congestion issues in the past on 11B/G spectrum, so it was great to see some of their insights/stats on congestion. Again, changing the radio channel was very easy. 

Now, for my very scientific (sarcasm) test – before and after wireless speeds.

From my office where all of my gear is, I did a before and after throughput test on my iPhone.

While it’s not an apples to apples comparison as it relates to the gear (I realize the Ubiquiti gear is much newer), I’ve improved my downstream throughput by 2x which is outstanding.

I’m very satisfied with the quality of the Ubiquiti Networks gear and I can tell how it’s caught on in the industry. I plan on adding another 8 port switch and also another AP down the road. I’ll be also carving up VLANs and different networks based on use case. I’m interested to see what else can be done from the USG, looks like I can even configure terminal access.

Thanks!

-Daniel

We are now desensitized by technology.

This is a little bit of a rant, but it’s very evident as of late and wanted to share my opinion regarding this matter.

I have fully realized we are now desensitized by technology.

This became very evident at the Apple Event on September 12th. While yes, I am an Apple fan, but I’ve heard quite a bit of criticism on Apple’s launch event.

One thing amazed me was the release of the Series 3 watch – Apple has introduced LTE inside of the new Apple Watch. This is definitely a natural evolution of a product, but amazing that this fits now in a computing device that’s about 28.7 grams and has the height of 38.6mm.

What grabbed me was the live demo of Jeff Williams calling one of his associates (Deidre) while she was paddle boarding in the middle of some body of water.

Now this was without any phone attached and it sounded crystal clear.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We now have the capability of calling someone from a device that’s as small as a car fob and people were expecting more from this event.

Jeff even went “rogue” for a minute and spoke about how some people take technology for granted.

At VMworld this year, Pat Gelsinger spoke about our “frame of reference” continues to change based on technology. Is this a nice way of saying we are taking this type of technology for granted? That we expect dramatic change at every product release? Do we have overstated expectations?

Cloud Computing and this field has changed how we think of Data Centers today and will continue to dramatically change the landscape we know over the next several years – I can’t imagine what it’ll look like in 10 years.

However, I think sometimes we need to take a step back, sit down, and appreciate how far we’ve come in the past several years. There are some incredible companies that have changed our “frame of reference” and how we engage with others on a daily basis.

But where’s those dang flying cars?? 😉

-Daniel