Introducing Cisco HDX (High Density Experience): Enhanced
Cisco HDX Manages Performance on Crowded Wi-Fi Networks Wi-Fi traffic is everywhere.
More users-employees, customers, and guests alike - are connecting to the network. Most of these users carry multiple Wi-Fi devices and many devices support only wireless connectivity. All this leads to lots of very dense Wi-Fi traffic in the air.
And with the introduction of 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, networks are only going to get more crowded. That’s why Cisco has enhanced its High Density Experience (HDX) suite of solutions, which automatically manages the airwaves and improves Wi-Fi performance.
Now, available on Cisco’s Indoor Access Points the Cisco Aironet 3800 and 2800 Series and the Cisco’s Outdoor Access Points the Cisco Aironet 1570 and 1560 Series Outdoor Access Point,
HDX is regularly updated with new features that alleviate high-density network strain and improve user experiences as 802.11ac and other trends load the airwaves with more traffic.
Managing Your Airwaves
• Alleviate network strain when large volumes of client devices contend for access point connectivity
• Improve Wi-Fi throughput and spectrum efficiency
• Prevent unnecessary Wi-Fi disconnections
• Enable access points to quickly change channels to mitigate interference or narrow bandwidth instead of abandoning the entire channel
• Allocate air time to specific user groups
Simplifying and Automating RF Tasks Below are some of the more recent HDX feature enhancements:
• Enhanced Optimized Roaming: If performance degrades as Wi-Fi users move, this feature intelligently steers clients to an access point with a stronger signal - without interrupting the connection.
• CleanAir for 160-MHz Channels: Proactive protection against RF interference with spectrum scanning, source identification, and remediation that now works across 160-MHz channel widths.
• ClientLink: Cisco’s patented beamforming technology that improves performance of 802.11ac clients as well as 802.11a/g/n legacy clients.
• Dynamic Bandwidth Selection (with FlexDFS): Continually analyzes and selects the best channel width for use in current conditions. If radar is detected on part, but not all, of the frequency, the access point can narrow the serving channel from 160 to 80 to 40 or 20 MHz, rather than moving entirely to a new frequency, enhancing spectrum efficiency.
• Event-Driven Radio Resource Management (ED-RRM): Rapidly changes channels to avoid interference, doing in seconds what previously could take minutes. IT can also set thresholds to determine when traffic automatically moves to a clear or less busy channel.
• HDX Air Time Fairness (ATF): Simplifies Wi-Fi traffic management by enabling network administrators to allocate specific percentages of airtime to heterogeneous groups of clients or customers.
More about the Cisco HDX Solution
HDX is a broad and comprehensive suite of solutions delivered in the Cisco Aironet 2700 and 3700 Series access points, consisting of both hardware and custom application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and software elements to provide optimal performance in high-density WLAN environments.
Cisco developed HDX to address the increasing proliferation of both wireless networks and wireless devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs) carried by individual users - creating increased traffic. HDX directly addresses the expectations of both network administrators and mobile device users that WLANs will continue
to “just work” despite increasingly demanding scenarios.
In brief, when designing HDX, Cisco carefully considered the ramifications of increases in:
● Access point density (public and residential)
● Co-channel and adjacent channel interference
● Inter-access point contention
● Intra-access point contention (due to more clients and increased upstream)
● Client density
● Variation in client types
Therefore, HDX is essential for WLANs operating in environments that are characterized by any of the following:
● Many clients connected to a single access point
● Many colocated access points deployed as a single WLAN with partial to full channel (frequency) overlap
● Many independent yet neighboring WLANs needing to coexist in the same spectrum
● Increased loading due to more upstream and downstream video traffic: more FaceTime and Skype traffic (bidirectional interactive apps, unified communications), more mobile app downloads, more uploading of personal content (photos, cloud/sync functions, etc.)
HDX Features Provided in the Cisco Aironet 2700 and 3700 Series
The primary features of HDX are:
● Cisco CleanAir 80 MHz
● Cisco ClientLink 3.0
● Optimized Roaming enhanced with BSS Transition Management
● Turbo performance
● Enhancement: Dynamic Bandwidth Selection (with Flexible Dynamic Frequency Selection (FlexDFS))
● Enhancement: Wi-Fi triggered Event-Driven Radio Resource Management (ED-RRM)
● Enhancement: Air Time Fairness
● RF noise reduction (available in future versions)
Each of these features is detailed in the sections that follow.
Cisco is the only equipment vendor to have the complete suite of features that make up HDX. Furthermore, it is the only equipment vendor to have a purpose-built access point with hardware acceleration that supports HDX and that is designed specifically for the high-performance challenges of 802.11ac.
To learn more about the Cisco HDX solution, visit
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