RFID White Paper - Wikipedia
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design
Guide
May 20, 2008
Americas Headquarters
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134-1706
USA
http://www.cisco.com
Tel: 408 526-4000
800 553-NETS (6387)
Fax: 408 527-0883
Text Part Number: OL-11612-01
ALL DESIGNS, SPECIFICATIONS, STATEMENTS, INFORMATION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS (COLLECTIVELY,
"DESIGNS") IN THIS MANUAL ARE PRESENTED "AS IS," WITH ALL FAULTS. CISCO AND ITS SUPPLIERS DISCLAIM
ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT OR ARISING FROM A COURSE OF DEALING, USAGE, OR TRADE
PRACTICE. IN NO EVENT SHALL CISCO OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL,
CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOST PROFITS OR LOSS OR
DAMAGE TO DATA ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE DESIGNS, EVEN IF CISCO OR ITS SUPPLIERS
HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
THE DESIGNS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. USERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR
APPLICATION OF THE DESIGNS. THE DESIGNS DO NOT CONSTITUTE THE TECHNICAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL
ADVICE OF CISCO, ITS SUPPLIERS OR PARTNERS. USERS SHOULD CONSULT THEIR OWN TECHNICAL ADVISORS
BEFORE IMPLEMENTING THE DESIGNS. RESULTS MAY VARY DEPENDING ON FACTORS NOT TESTED BY CISCO.
CCVP, the Cisco Logo, and the Cisco Square Bridge logo are trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc.; Changing the Way We Work, Live,
Play, and Learn is a service mark of Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Access Registrar, Aironet, BPX, Catalyst, CCDA, CCDP, CCIE, CCIP,
CCNA, CCNP, CCSP, Cisco, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert logo, Cisco IOS, Cisco Press, Cisco Systems, Cisco Systems
Capital, the Cisco Systems logo, Cisco Unity, Enterprise/Solver, EtherChannel, EtherFast, EtherSwitch, Fast Step, Follow Me
Browsing, FormShare, GigaDrive, GigaStack, HomeLink, Internet Quotient, IOS, iPhone, IP/TV, iQ Expertise, the iQ logo, iQ Net
Readiness Scorecard, iQuick Study, LightStream, Linksys, MeetingPlace, MGX, Networking Academy, Network Registrar, Packet,
PIX, ProConnect, RateMUX, ScriptShare, SlideCast, SMARTnet, StackWise, The Fastest Way to Increase Your Internet Quotient, and
TransPath are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries.
All other trademarks mentioned in this document or Website are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner
does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. (0612R)
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide© 2008 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
C O N T E N T S
CHAPTER
1
Overview
1-1
Introduction
CHAPTER
2
1-1
About the Guide 1-2
Target Audience 1-2
Objective 1-2
Additional Reference Documents
1-3
Hardware and Software Components
1-4
Location Tracking Approaches
Cell of Origin
2-1
2-2
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques 2-3
Time of Arrival 2-3
Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA) 2-5
Received Signal Strength (RSS) 2-7
Angle-Based (Angulation) Techniques
Angle of Arrival (AoA) 2-9
2-9
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
Calibration Phase 2-11
Operational Phase 2-12
CHAPTER
3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
RF Fingerprinting
2-11
3-1
3-1
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
3-4
Role of the Location Appliance 3-7
Location Tracking without a Location Appliance
Accuracy and Precision
3-9
3-11
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices 3-13
Client Probing 3-13
Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurements
WLAN Clients 3-18
802.11 Active RFID Tags 3-23
Rogue Access Points 3-29
3-14
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
1
Contents
Rogue Clients 3-32
Workgroup Bridges 3-35
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP) 3-36
Asset Tag Telemetry Using LOCP 3-38
Asset Tag Notifications Using LOCP 3-41
CHAPTER
4
Installation and Configuration
4-1
Installing and Configuring the Location Appliance
Configuring Cisco WCS for Location Tracking
4-1
4-1
Configuring Location Appliance History Parameters
History Archive Period 4-2
History Database Pruning 4-3
Configuring Location Appliance Advanced Parameters
Absent Data Cleanup Interval 4-4
Memory Information 4-6
Advanced Commands 4-6
Configuring Location Appliance Location Parameters
Enable Calculation Time 4-7
Enable OW (Outer Wall) Location 4-8
RSSI Discard Times 4-8
RSSI Cutoff 4-8
4-2
4-4
4-7
Configuring Location Appliance Notification Parameters 4-9
Queue Limit 4-9
Retry Count 4-9
Refresh Time 4-10
Notifications Dropped 4-10
Configuring Location Appliance LOCP Parameters 4-10
Location Appliance Dual Ethernet Operation 4-10
Changing Location Appliance Default Passwords 4-11
Changing the “root” User Linux System Password 4-11
Changing the “admin” Location Server Application Password
Location Appliance Time Synchronization
Quiescing the Location Appliance
CHAPTER
5
4-14
4-15
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds
Access Point Placement
5-5
Access Point Separation
5-12
4-12
5-1
5-2
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2
OL-11612-01
Contents
Determining Location Readiness
5-18
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Avoiding Location Display Jitter
5-20
5-31
Multiple Location Appliance Designs 5-32
Single Management Domain with Multiple Location Domains 5-36
Multiple Management Domains with Multiple Location Domains 5-40
Antenna Considerations 5-44
Third-Party Antennas 5-44
Antenna Orientation and Access Point Placement
5-46
Calibration 5-48
Calibration Validity 5-56
Tips for Successful Calibrations 5-57
Data Collection 5-57
Calibrating Under Representative Conditions 5-58
Recommended Calibration Clients and Techniques 5-59
Calibration of Non-Uniform Environments 5-63
Inspecting Location Quality
5-64
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy
CHAPTER
6
RFID Tag Considerations
5-68
6-1
RFID Tag Technology 6-1
Passive RFID Tags 6-2
Semi-Passive RFID Tags 6-5
Active RFID Tags 6-6
Beaconing Active RFID Tags 6-7
802.11 Active RFID Tags 6-7
Multimode RFID Tags 6-8
Chokepoint Triggers 6-9
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN 6-15
Compatible RFID Tags 6-15
Using 802.11b Tags in an 802.11g Environment
Enabling Asset Tag Tracking 6-17
Enable Asset Tag RF Data Timeout 6-17
Enable Asset Tag Polling 6-18
Enable Asset Tag Display 6-20
Configuring Asset Tags 6-20
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
Deploying Tag Telemetry 6-27
6-16
6-27
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3
Contents
Deploying Tag High-Priority Notifications 6-30
Configuring Tags for Telemetry and Notifications
6-31
Chokepoint Considerations 6-31
Configuring Chokepoint Triggers 6-31
Defining Chokepoint Triggers to the Cisco UWN 6-33
Chokepoint Trigger Traffic Considerations 6-34
CHAPTER
Caveats
7
7-1
CSCse14724—Degraded Location Accuracy with Monitor Mode APs
7-1
CSCsh88795—CCX S36 Beacon Measurement Request Dual-Band Support
7-1
CSCsi95122—WCS Does Not Dispatch Northbound Emails for Location Notifications
APPENDIX
A
Determining Approximate Roots using Maxima
APPENDIX
B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
7-2
A-1
B-1
B-1
Asset Tags Not Detected
B-6
Verifying Asset Tag Telemetry and Events
B-8
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
1
Overview
Introduction
802.11 wireless has truly blossomed in the past decade, moving from a technology that was once thought
of as primarily a productivity enhancement for vertical industries to one now pervasive throughout
society. The wide-spread acceptance of Wi-Fi networks has fueled this dramatic adoption, from
deployments in offices and distribution centers to homes and ever-multiplying wireless metropolitan
areas. Maturing rapidly and reaching critical mass, this widespread adoption has driven down the cost
of wireless infrastructure dramatically and has resulted in the availability of higher quality equipment at
lower cost.
The rapid increase in the adoption rate of Wi-Fi coupled with the availability of high quality
infrastructure at reasonable cost are key factors behind the flurry of activity regarding Wi-Fi
location-based services. Not to be confused with solutions requiring a dedicated, independent
infrastructure of location receivers and RFID tag readers, research and development in Wi-Fi location
prediction techniques has facilitated the emergence of indoor RF location tracking systems based
fundamentally on IEEE 802.11 infrastructure. In combination with the frenetic race to implement RFID
systems in the consumer and distribution supply chains, these have all combined to form a “perfect
storm” of sorts, transforming what was once a general market passing interest in location-based services
into one that well positions 802.11-based location-based services as a potential must-have application
for Wi-Fi wireless.
It is not difficult to understand why this is so. With integrated location tracking, enterprise wireless
LANs become much more valuable as a corporate business asset. This is especially true in today’s
fast-paced and highly competitive marketplace, where an otherwise well-positioned enterprise may
falter against its peers not because of a lack of necessary assets, but rather due to its inability to quickly
locate and re-deploy those assets to address today’s rapidly changing business climate. Enterprise
network administrators, security personnel, users, asset owners and others have expressed great interest
in location-based services to allow them to better address key issues in their environments, such as the
following:
•
The need to quickly and efficiently locate valuable assets and key personnel.
•
Improving productivity via effective asset and personnel allocation.
•
Reducing loss because of the unauthorized removal of assets from company premises.
•
Improving customer satisfaction by rapid location of critical service-impacting assets.
•
Improving WLAN planning and tuning capabilities.
•
Coordinating Wi-Fi device location with security policy enforcement.
•
Determining the location of rogue devices.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
1-1
Chapter 1
Overview
About the Guide
•
Monitoring the health and status of key assets in their environment and receiving prompt
notification of changes.
•
Receiving prompt notification when unauthorized addition or removal of assets occurs.
This guide discusses the location-aware Cisco Unified Wireless Network (UWN). It is focused on indoor
location-based services design considerations and select deployment topics. References to applicable
existing documentation are made throughout the document, and a wealth of material is provided
addressing topics such as:
•
The fundamentals of positioning technologies including lateration, angulation, and pattern
recognition approaches.
•
How Cisco RF Fingerprinting operates and how it compares to other approaches.
•
The architecture of the location-aware Cisco UWN.
•
Design best practices, including voice, data, and location-based service coexistence.
•
Tips on proper installation and configuration.
About the Guide
Target Audience
This guide is intended for individuals interested in designing and deploying indoor Cisco wireless LAN
(WLAN) solutions that include the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, the Cisco Wireless Control
System (WCS), and other components of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network (UWN).
Objective
This guide is intended to accomplish the following objectives:
•
Provide the reader unfamiliar with location-based services with a basic foundation in technical
aspects of location tracking and positioning systems. Chapter 2, “Location Tracking Approaches,”
provides substantial background information on positioning system techniques such as cell of
origin, time of arrival, time difference of arrival, angle of arrival, and pattern recognition.
•
Describe and define RF Fingerprinting, the technology at the heart of the location-aware Cisco
UWN. Chapter 3, “Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture,” discusses the similarities and
differences between RF Fingerprinting and other approaches described in Chapter 2, “Location
Tracking Approaches,” and how RF Fingerprinting addresses the deployment of cost-effective
indoor Wi-Fi location tracking solutions. This knowledge is useful when comparing the
location-aware Cisco Unified Wireless Network to other approaches for indoor location tracking.
•
Review the procedures required to install and configure a location-aware Cisco UWN consisting of
LWAPP-enabled access points, third-party chokepoint triggers, WLAN controllers, WCS, and the
location appliance.
•
Provide information that aids in proper installation and understanding of some of the more advanced
parameters used (see Chapter 4, “Installation and Configuration”).
•
Describe best practices that should be followed in designing and deploying location-aware wireless
LANs. Chapter 5, “Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations,” focuses on a
variety of topics from access point placement and separation, multiple location appliance designs
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
1-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 1
Overview
About the Guide
and antenna considerations to calibration, and challenging location environments. All the
information contained in this section is aimed at assisting designers in optimizing location-aware
designs for improved location fidelity.
•
Provide the reader having limited exposure to RFID tag technology with a basic understanding of
how these various types of tags relate to the location-aware Cisco UWN. Chapter 6, “RFID Tag
Considerations,” provides details regarding RFID asset tags and how these products function. This
section also places considerable emphasis on the proper configuration of Cisco WLAN controllers,
the WCS, and the location appliance when using RFID tags.
Additional Reference Documents
It is assumed the reader is familiar with the following documents:
•
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Support Documentation for Release 3.0
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/tsd_products_support_series_home.html
•
Cisco Wireless Control System Support Documentation for Release 4.1
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/tsd_products_support_series_home.html
•
Cisco 4400 Series WLAN Controller Support Documentation for Release 4.1
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/tsd_products_support_series_home.html
•
Cisco 2100 Series WLAN Controller Support Documentation for Release 4.1
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7206/tsd_products_support_model_home.html
•
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Integrated Wireless LAN Controllers Support Documentation
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6915/tsd_products_support_model_home.html
•
Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module Support Documentation
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6730/tsd_products_support_model_home.html
•
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Wireless Services Module (WiSM) Support Documentation
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6526/tsd_products_support_model_home.html
Note
Despite the difference in nomenclature, software Release 3.0 of the Cisco Location Appliance is
generally included in any reference made to software Release 4.1 of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network
(UWN) within this document.
Additional design considerations surrounding the use of the InnerWireless (formerly PanGo) Vision
Locator location client in an integrated Cisco – InnerWireless solution can be found in the following
document:
•
Design Considerations for Cisco – PanGo Asset Tracking
http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/solution/pangoex.pdf
The following guide is recommended as a design reference when considering the deployment of voice
over WLAN (VoWLAN) handsets and supporting infrastructure in conjunction with location based
services:
•
Voice over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Mobility/vowlan/41dg/vowlan41dg-book.html
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
1-3
Chapter 1
Overview
Hardware and Software Components
Hardware and Software Components
Table 1-1 lists the hardware and software used in the writing of this guide.
Note
Other supported hardware or software can be found by referring to the information located at the
following URL: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/index.html.
Table 1-1
Tested Hardware and Software
Location Appliance
AIR-LOC2700-L-K91
Location Appliance 2700 Series; software release 3.0.42.0.
Wireless Control System (WCS)
WCS-STANDARD-K9-4.1.91.0 Wireless Control System Release 4.1.91.0 for Windows 2003
.exe
Server2
WLAN Controllers
AIR-WLC4402-12-K9
4400 Series WLAN Controller; Release 4.1.185.0
AIR-WLC2106-K9
2106 Series WLAN Controller, Release 4.1.185.0
Access Points
AIR-LAP1242AG-A-K9
802.11ag LWAPP AP North American; version 12.3(11)JX
External Antennas
AIR-ANT4941
2.4 GHz, 2.2 dBi Dipole
AIR-ANT5135D-R
5 GHz 3.5 dBi Dipole
1. The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance 2710 (AIR-LOC2710-L-K9) model is
the successor to the 2700 (AIR-LOC2700-L-K9) model. There is no functional
difference between the 2700 and 2710 models, both models support the same
features and functionality.
2. Requires appropriate licensing for Location-Based Services support and total
number of access points supported.
Table 1-2
AeroScout Ltd.
Additional Hardware and Software Components
System Manager
Version 3.2.20.1
Network Exciter Manager (ANEM) version 1.2
EX-3100 Exciter Manager
1.0.20
Exciter EX-2000
DSP 216, SB 50008, HW v2
Exciter EX-3100
310.01
Exciter EX-3200
DSP 30007, SB 60007, HW v2
ADP-030 power supply
NA
ADP-040 power supply
NA
Tag Manager
3.0.4
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
1-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 1
Overview
Hardware and Software Components
Table 1-2
Additional Hardware and Software Components
Tag Activator BWH1000-02-TA
DSP 22059, FPGA 5201, SB 175, CPLD 5107
BWH-3000CT T2 RFID Tag
4.33
EDK-200 T2 Telemetry Tag
4.33
ExciterConfig.exe
1.3.1
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
1-5
Chapter 1
Overview
Hardware and Software Components
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
1-6
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
2
Location Tracking Approaches
Location tracking and positioning systems can be classified by the measurement techniques they
employ to determine mobile device location (localization). These approaches differ in terms of the
specific technique used to sense and measure the position of the mobile device in the target
environment under observation. Typically, Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) can be grouped into
four basic categories of systems that determine position on the basis of the following:
•
Cell of origin (nearest cell)
•
Distance (lateration)
•
Angle (angulation)
•
Location patterning (pattern recognition)
An RTLS designer can choose to implement one or more of these techniques. This may be clearly seen
in some approaches that attempt to optimize performance in two or more environments with very
different propagation characteristics. The popularity of this approach is such that it is often not unusual
to hear arguments supporting the case for a fifth category that encompasses RTLS offerings that sense
and measure position using a combination of at least two of these methods.
Keep in mind that regardless of the underlying positioning technology, the “real-time” nature of an
RTLS is only as real-time as its most current timestamps, signal strength readings, or angle-of-incidence
measurements. The timing of probe responses, tag transmissions, and location server polling intervals
can introduce discrepancies between the actual and reported device position observed during each
reporting interval.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-1
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Cell of Origin
Cell of Origin
One of the simplest mechanisms of estimating approximate location in any system based on RF “cells”
is the concept of cell-of-origin (or “associated access point” in Wi-Fi 802.11 systems), as shown in
Figure 2-1.
Cell of Origin
190534
Figure 2-1
In its simplest form, this technique makes no explicit attempt to resolve the position of the mobile device
beyond indicating the cell with which the mobile device is (or has been) registered. When applied to
802.11 systems, this technique tracks the cell to which a mobile device associates. The primary
advantage of this technique is ease of implementation. Cell of origin does not require the implementation
of complicated algorithms and thus positioning performance is very fast. Almost all cell-based WLANs
and other cellular-based RF systems can be easily and cost-effectively adapted to provide cell of origin
positioning capability. However, the overwhelming drawback of pure cell of origin positioning
approaches continues to be coarse granularity. For various reasons, mobile devices can be associated to
cells that are not in close physical proximity, despite the fact that other nearby cells would be better
candidates. This coarse granularity can be especially frustrating when attempting to resolve the actual
location of a mobile device in a multi-story structure where there is considerable floor-to-floor cell
overlap.
To better determine which areas of the cell possess the highest probability of containing the mobile
device, some additional method of resolving location within the cell is usually required. This can either
be a manual method (such as a human searching the entire cell for the device) or a computer-assisted
method. When receiving cells provide received signal strength indication (RSSI) for mobile devices, the
use of the highest signal strength technique can improve location granularity over the cell of origin. In
this approach, the localization of the mobile device is performed based on the cell that detects the mobile
device with the highest signal strength. This is shown in Figure 2-2, where the blue rectangular client
device icon is placed nearest the cell that has detected it with the highest signal strength.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
Figure 2-2
Highest Signal Strength Technique
Using this technique, the probability of selecting the true “nearest cell” is increased over that seen with
pure cell of origin. Depending on the accuracy requirements of the underlying business application,
performance may be more than sufficient for casual location of mobile clients using the highest signal
strength technique. For instance, users intending to use location-based services only when necessary to
help them find misplaced client devices in non-mission critical situations may be very comfortable with
the combination of price and performance afforded by solutions using the highest signal strength
approach. However, users requiring more precise location would find the inability of the highest signal
strength technique to isolate the location of a mobile device with finer granularity than that of an entire
coverage cell to be a serious limitation. These users are better served by those approaches using the
techniques of lateration, angulation, and location patterning that provide finer resolution and improved
accuracy. These techniques are discussed in subsequent sections.
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
Time of Arrival
Time of Arrival (ToA) systems are based on the precise measurement of the arrival time of a signal
transmitted from a mobile device to several receiving sensors. Because signals travel with a known
velocity (approximately the speed of light (c) or ~300 meters per microsecond), the distance between
the mobile device and each receiving sensor can be determined from the elapsed propagation time of the
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-3
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
signal traveling between them. The ToA technique requires very precise knowledge of the transmission
start time(s), and must ensure that all receiving sensors as well as the mobile device are accurately
synchronized with a precise time source.
From knowledge of both propagation speed and measured time, it is possible to calculate the distance
(D) between the mobile device and the receiving station:
D = c (t)
where:
•
D= distance (meters)
•
c = propagation speed of ~ 300 meters / microsecond
•
t = time in microseconds
With distance used as a radius, a circular representation of the area around the receiving sensor can be
constructed for which the location of the mobile device is highly probable. ToA information from two
sensors resolves a mobile device position to two equally probable points. ToA tri-lateration makes use
of three sensors to allow the mobile device location to be resolved with improved accuracy.
Figure 2-3 illustrates the concept of ToA tri-lateration. The amount of time required for a message
transmitted from station X to arrive at receiving sensors A, B, and C is precisely measured as tA, tB, and
tC. Given a known propagation velocity (stated as c), the mobile device distance from each of these three
receiving sensors can then be calculated as DA, DB, and DC, respectively. Each calculated distance value
is used to construct a circular plot around the respective receiving sensor. From the individual
perspective of each receiver, station X is believed to reside somewhere along this plot. The intersection
of the three circular plots resolves the location of station X as illustrated in Figure 2-3. In some cases,
there may be more than one possible solution for the location of mobile device station X, even when
using three remote sensors to perform tri-lateration. In these cases, four or more receiving sensors are
employed to perform ToA multi-lateration.
Figure 2-3
Time of Arrival (ToA)
B
A
B
A
X
C
190536
C
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
ToA techniques are capable of resolving location in two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional
planes. 3D resolution can be performed by constructing spherical instead of circular models.
A drawback of the ToA approach is the requirement for precise time synchronization of all stations,
especially the mobile device (which can be a daunting challenge for some 802.11 client device
implementations). Given the high propagation speeds, very small discrepancies in time synchronization
can result in very large errors in location accuracy. For example, a time measurement error as small as
100 nanoseconds can result in a localization error of 30 meters. ToA-based positioning solutions are
typically challenged in environments where a large amount of multipath, interference, or noise may
exist.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a example of a well-known ToA system where precision timing
is provided by atomic clocks.
Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA)
Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA) techniques use relative time measurements at each receiving sensor
in place of absolute time measurements. Because of this, TDoA does not require the use of a
synchronized time source at the point of transmission (i.e. the mobile device) in order to resolve
timestamps and determine location. With TDoA, a transmission with an unknown starting time is
received at various receiving sensors, with only the receivers requiring time synchronization.
TDoA implementations are rooted upon a mathematical concept known as hyperbolic lateration. In this
approach, at least three time-synchronized receiving sensors are required. In Figure 2-4, assume that
when station X transmits a message, this message arrives at receiving sensor A with time TA and at
receiving station B with time TB. The time difference of arrival for this message is calculated between
the locations of sensors B and A as the positive constant k, such that:
TDoAB-A = | TB – TA | = k
The value of TDoAB-A can be used to construct a hyperbola with foci at the locations of both receiving
sensors A and B. This hyperbola represents the locus of all the points in the x-y plane, the difference of
whose distances from the two foci is equal to k(c) meters. Mathematically, this represents all possible
locations of mobile device X such that:
| DXB – DXA | = k(c)
The probable location of mobile station X can then be represented by a point along this hyperbola. To
further resolve the location of station X, a third receiving sensor at location C is used to calculate the
message time difference of arrival between sensors C and A, or:
TDoAC-A = | TC – TA | = k1
Knowledge of constant k1 allows for the construction of a second hyperbola representing the locus of all
the points in the x-y plane, the difference of whose distances from the two foci (that is, the two receiving
sensors A and C) is equal to k1(c) meters. Mathematically, this can be seen as representing all possible
locations of mobile device X such that:
| DXC – DXA | = k1(c)
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-5
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
Figure 2-4 illustrates how the intersection of the two hyperbolas TDoAC-A and TDoAB-A is used to
resolve the position of station X.
Figure 2-4
Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA)
TDOAC_A
TDOAB_A
X
B
C
190537
A
A fourth receiving sensor and third hyperbola may be added as an enhancement to perform TDoA
hyperbolic multi-lateration. This may be required to solve for cases where there may be more than one
solution when using TDoA hyperbolic tri-lateration.
Modern TDoA system designers have derived methods of coping with local clock oscillator drift that are
intended to avoid the strict requirement for precision time synchronization of TDoA receivers. For
example, time adjustments can be calculated periodically with regard to a reference clock source. These
clock adjustments can then be used to correct for offsets from the reference clock elsewhere in the
system. In the case of TDoA receivers that are capable of transmitting packets (for example, a TDoA
receiver that may be integrated into an 802.11 WLAN access point), another innovative approach may
involve the periodic exchange of “timing” packets between receivers. In this approach, time offsets
between each receiver and a “reference receiver” can be quantized, with the resulting time adjustment
applied accordingly within the system.
Airport ranging systems are a well-known example of TDoA systems in use today. In the world of
cellular telephony, TDoA is also referred to as Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD), and in
this specific application offers an outdoor accuracy in that application of about 60 meters in rural areas
and 200 meters in RF-heavy urban areas.
ToA and TDoA have several similarities. Both have proven to be highly suitable for large-scale outdoor
positioning systems. In addition, good results have been obtained from ToA and TDoA systems in
semi-outdoor environments such as amphitheaters and stadiums, as well as contained outdoor
environments such as car rental and new car lots or ports of entry. Indoors, TDoA systems exhibit their
best performance in buildings that are large and relatively open, with low levels of overall obstruction
and high ceilings that afford large areas of clearance between building contents and the interior ceiling.
It is precisely in these open, spacious environments that TDoA and ToA-based systems operate at their
peak efficiency and performance.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-6
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
Received Signal Strength (RSS)
Thus far we have discussed two lateration techniques (ToA and TDoA) that use elapsed time to measure
distance. Lateration can also be performed by using received signal strength (RSS) in place of time. With
this approach, RSS is measured by either the mobile device or the receiving sensor. Knowledge of the
transmitter output power, cable losses, and antenna gains as well as the appropriate path loss model
allows you to solve for the distance between the two stations.
The following is an example of a common path loss model used for indoor propagation:
PL = PL1Meter + 10log(d n ) + s
In this model:
•
PL represents the total path loss experienced between the receiver and sender in dB. This will
typically be a value greater than or equal to zero.
•
PL1Meter represents the reference path loss in dB for the desired frequency when the
receiver-to-transmitter distance is 1 meter. This must be specified as a value greater than or equal
to zero.
•
d represents the distance between the transmitter and receiver in meters.
•
n represents the path loss exponent for the environment.
•
s represents the standard deviation associated with the degree of shadow fading present in the
environment, in dB. This must be specified as a value greater than or equal to zero.
Path loss (PL) is the difference between the level of the transmitted signal, measured at face of the
transmitting antenna, and the level at of the received signal, measured at the face of the receiving
antenna. Path loss does not take antenna gains or cable losses into consideration. Path loss represents
the level of signal attenuation present in the environment due to the effects of free space propagation,
reflection, diffraction, and scattering.
The path loss exponent (n) indicates the rate at which the path loss increases with distance. The value
of path loss exponent depends on frequency and environment, and is highly dependent on the degree of
obstruction (or “clutter”) present in the environment. Common path loss exponents range from a value
of 2 for open free space to values greater than 2 in environments where obstructions are present. A
typical path loss exponent for an indoor office environment may be 3.5, a dense commercial or industrial
environment 3.7 to 4.0 and a dense home environment might be as high as 4.5.
The standard deviation of shadow fading (s) represents a measure of signal strength variability,
(sometimes referred to as “noise”) from sources that are not accounted for in the aforementioned path
loss equation. This include factors such as attenuation due to the number of obstructions present,
orientation differences between location receiver antennas and the antennas of client devices, reflections
due to multipath, and so on. Diversity antenna implementations reduce perceived signal variation due to
shadow fading, and for this reason diversity antennas are almost universally recommended. In many
indoor installations using diversity antennas, the standard deviation of shadow fading is often seen
between 3 and 7 dB.
The generally accepted method to calculate receiver signal strength given known quantities for transmit
power, path loss, antenna gain, and cable losses is as follows:
RXPWR = TXPWR – Loss TX + GainTX – PL + Gain RX – LossRX
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-7
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Distance-Based (Lateration) Techniques
We can directly substitute our equation for path loss into the equation above. This enables us to solve
for distance d as follows:
d
TX PWR − RX PWR − LossTX +GainTX − PL1meter + s +GainRX − LossRX
10n
= 10
where the meaning of the terms in the equation above are:
•
RxPWR represents the detected receive signal strength in dB.
•
TxPWR represents the transmitter output power in dB.
•
LossTX represents the sum of all transmit-side cable and connector losses in dB.
•
GainTX represents the transmit-side antenna gain in dBi.
•
LossRX represents the sum of all receive-side cable and connector losses in dB.
•
GainRX represents the receive-side antenna gain in dBi.
Note that all of these are to be specified as positive values.
Solving for distance between the receiver and mobile device allows a circular area to be plotted around
the location of the receiver, using the distance d as the radius. The location of the mobile device is
believed to be somewhere on this circular plot. As in other techniques, input from other receivers in other
cells (in this case, signal strength information or RSSI) can be used to perform RSS tri-lateration or RSS
multi-lateration to further refine location accuracy.
The signal strength information used to determine position can be obtained from one of two sources:
•
The network infrastructure reporting the received signal strength at which it receives mobile device
transmissions (“network-side”)
•
The mobile device reporting the signal strength at which it receives transmissions from the network
(“client-side”)
In 802.11 WLANs, the granularity with which RSSI is reported typically varies from radio vendor to
radio vendor. In fact, 802.11 client devices produced by different silicon manufacturers may report
received signal strength using inconsistent metrics. This can result in degraded and inconsistent location
tracking performance. Location tracking solutions that utilize “network-side” RSSI measurements avoid
this potential pitfall when supporting mobile devices from various manufacturers, since all measurement
of RSSI is performed at the network infrastructure, not at the mobile device. This is a straightforward
approach and is approach most often implemented by vendors of RSS lateration solutions, since a much
higher degree of control is typically exercised over consistency in network infrastructure versus end user
client mobile devices.
Location tracking solutions that rely on “client-side” RSSI measurements must take extra steps to avoid
location inaccuracies that may be due to inconsistent mobile device hardware. Since it is not realistic to
assume that every mobile device will be provided by the same hardware vendor, a method of
“equalizing” any variations in relation to some assumed “reference model” is necessary. For example,
assume that a particular positioning system expects to see reported RSSI in a range from -127dBm to
+127dBm in 254 increments of 1 dBm each. Mathematical compensation will be required if only some
mobile devices in the system can support this expectation (for example, other devices in the system may
only be able to report RSSI in a range from -111dBm to +111 dBm in 74 increments of 3dBm each).
Typically, the responsibility for providing such equalization lies with the provider of the location
solution. It is common to see such adjustments made through proprietary client software that installed
on each mobile device in order to ensure all mobile devices can be located with approximate equal
consistency.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-8
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Angle-Based (Angulation) Techniques
To date, implementations using RSS lateration have enjoyed a cost advantage by not requiring
specialized hardware at the mobile device or network infrastructure locations. This makes signal
strength-based lateration techniques very attractive from a cost-performance standpoint to designers of
802.11-based WLAN systems wishing to offer integrated lateration-based positioning solutions.
However, a known drawback to “pure” RSS lateration is that propagation anomalies brought about by
anisotropic conditions in the environment may degrade accuracy significantly. This is due in part
because in reality, propagation in any cell is far from a purely circular pattern based on an ideal path loss
model. “Textbook” theoretical RSS lateration models in their purest form do not provide for the
measurement or consideration of variations seen within actual sites, typically assuming only well-known
values for path loss and shadow fading.
Pure RSS-based lateration techniques that do not take additional steps to account for attenuation and
multipath in the environment rarely produce acceptable results except in very controlled situations. This
includes those controlled situations where there is always established clear line-of-sight between the
mobile device and the receiving sensors, with little attenuation to be concerned other than free-space
path loss and minor impact from multipath.
Angle-Based (Angulation) Techniques
Angle of Arrival (AoA)
The Angle of Arrival (AoA) technique, sometimes referred to as Direction of Arrival (DoA), locates the
mobile station by determining the angle of incidence at which signals arrive at the receiving sensor.
Geometric relationships can then be used to estimate location from the intersection of two lines of
bearing (LoBs) formed by a radial line to each receiving sensor, as illustrated in Figure 2-5. In a
two-dimensional plane, at least two receiving sensors are required for location estimation with improved
accuracy coming from at least three or more receiving sensors (triangulation).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-9
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Angle-Based (Angulation) Techniques
Figure 2-5
Angle of Arrival (AoA)
0A
X
A
190538
0B
B
In its purest form (that is, where clear line-of-sight is evident between the mobile device X and receiving
sensors A and B), mechanically-agile directional antennas deployed at the receiving sensors are adjusted
to the point of highest signal strength. The positioning of the directional antennas can be directly used
to determine the LoBs and measure the angles of incidence θ A and θ B.
In practical commercial and military implementations of AoA, multiple element antenna arrays are used
to sample the receiving signal, thereby eliminating the need for more complex and
maintenance-intensive mechanical antenna systems. Electronic switching can be performed between
arrays or portions of each array, and mathematical computations handled by a background computing
system used to extract the angles of incidence. This technique actually involves calculating TDoA
between elements of the array by measuring the difference in received phase at each element. In a
properly constructed array, there is a small but discernible per element arrival time and a difference in
phase. Sometimes referred to as “reverse beam-forming”, this technique involves directly measuring the
arrival time of the signal at each element, computing the TDoA between array elements, and converting
this information to an AoA measurement. This is made possible because of the fact that in
beam-forming, the signal from each element is time-delayed (phase shifted) to “steer” the gain of the
antenna array.
A well-known implementation of AoA is the VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) system used for
aircraft navigation from 108.1 to 117.95 MHz. VOR beacons around the United States and elsewhere
transmit multiple VHF “radials” with each radial emanating at a different angle of incidence. The VOR
receiver in an aircraft can determine the radial on which the aircraft is situated as it is approaching the
VOR beacon and thus its angle of incidence with respect to the beacon. Using a minimum of two VOR
beacons, the aircraft navigator is able to use onboard AoA ranging equipment to conduct angulation (or
tri-angulation if using three VOR beacons) and accurately determine the position of the aircraft.
AoA techniques have also been applied in the cellular industry in early efforts to provide location
tracking services for mobile phone users. This was primarily intended to comply with regulations
requiring cell systems to report the location of a user placing an emergency (911) call. Multiple tower
sites calculate the AoA of the signal of the cellular user, and use this information to perform
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-10
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
tri-angulation. That information is relayed to switching processors that calculate the user location and
convert the AoA data to latitude and longitude coordinates, which in turn is provided to emergency
responder dispatch systems.
A common drawback that AoA shares with some of the other techniques mentioned is its susceptibility
to multipath interference. As stated earlier, AoA works well in situations with direct line of sight, but
suffers from decreased accuracy and precision when confronted with signal reflections from surrounding
objects. Unfortunately, in dense urban areas, AoA becomes barely usable because line of sight to two or
more base stations is seldom present.
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
Location patterning refers to a technique that is based on the sampling and recording of radio signal
behavior patterns in specific environments. Technically speaking, a location patterning solution does not
require specialized hardware in either the mobile device or the receiving sensor (although at least one
well-known location patterning-based RTLS requires proprietary RFID tags and software on each client
device to enable “client-side” reporting of RSSI to its location positioning server). Location patterning
may be implemented totally in software, which can reduce complexity and cost significantly compared
to angulation or purely time-based lateration systems.
Location patterning techniques fundamentally assume the following:
•
That each potential device location ideally possesses a distinctly unique RF “signature”. The closer
to reality this assumption is, the better the performance of the location patterning solution.
•
That each floor or subsection possesses unique signal propagation characteristics. Despite all efforts
at identical equipment placement, no two floors, buildings, or campuses are truly identical from the
perspective of a pattern recognition RTLS solution.
Although most commercially location patterning solutions typically base such signatures on received
signal strength (RSSI), pattern recognition can be extended to include ToA, AoA or TDoA-based RF
signatures as well. Deployment of patterning-based positioning systems can typically be divided into
two phases:
•
Calibration phase
•
Operation phase
During the operational phase, solutions based on location patterning rely on the ability to “match” the
reported RF signature of a tracked device against the database of RF signatures amassed during the
calibration phase. Because the database of recorded RF signatures is meant to be compiled during a
representative period in the operation of the site, variations such as attenuation from walls and other
objects can be directly accounted for during the calibration phase.
Calibration Phase
During the calibration phase, data is accumulated by performing a walk-around of the target
environment with a mobile device and allowing multiple receiving sensors (access points in the case of
802.11 WLANs) to sample the signal strength of the mobile device (this refers to a “network-side”
implementation of location patterning).
A graphical representation of the area to be calibrated is typically overlaid with a set of grid points or
notations to guide the operator in determining precisely where sample data should be acquired. At each
sample location, the array (or location vector) of RSS values associated with the calibration device is
recorded into a database known as a radio map or training set. The size of the vector for this sample
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-11
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
location is determined by the number of receiving stations that can detect the mobile device. Figure 2-6
provides a simplified illustration of this approach, showing two sample points and how their respective
location vectors might be formed from detected client RSSI.
Figure 2-6
Location Patterning Calibration
9
AP1
8
Loc 7,6(-49,-43,-58,-57)
7
6
AP2
5
4
3
Loc 3,2(-61,-55,-46,-46)
AP4
2
1
190539
AP2
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Because of fading and other phenomena, the observed signal strength of a mobile device at a particular
location is not static but is seen to vary over time. As a result, calibration phase software typically
records many samples of signal strength for a mobile device during the actual sampling process.
Depending on technique, the actual vector array element recorded may account for this variation via one
or more creative approaches. A popular, simple-to-implement method is to represent the array element
associated with any specific receiver as the mean signal strength of all measurements of that mobile
device made by that receiver sensor for the reported sample coordinates. The location vector therefore
becomes a vector array of mean signal strength elements as shown in the following equation, where x
and y represent the reported coordinates of the sample and r represents the reported RSSI:
(x, y ) = (rAP1,rAP2 ,rAP3 ,rAP4 )
Operational Phase
In the operational phase, a group of receiving sensors provide signal strength measurements pertaining
to a tracked mobile device (network-side reporting implementation) and forwards that information to a
location tracking server. The location server uses a complex positioning algorithm and the radio map
database to estimate the location of the mobile device. The server then reports the location estimate to
the location client application requesting the positioning information.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-12
OL-11612-01
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
Location patterning positioning algorithms can be classified into three basic groups:
•
Deterministic algorithms attempt to find minimum statistical signal distance between a detected
RSSI location vector and the location vectors of the various calibration sample points. This may or
may not be equal to the minimum physical distance between the actual device physical location and
the recorded location of the calibration sample. The sample point with the minimum statistical
signal distance between itself and the detected location vector is generally regarded as the best raw
location estimate contained in the calibration database. Examples of deterministic algorithms are
those based on the computation of Euclidean, Manhattan, or Mahalanobis distances.
•
Probabilistic algorithms use probability inferences to determine the likelihood of a particular
location given that a particular location vector array has already been detected. The calibration
database itself is considered as an a priori conditional probability distribution by the algorithm to
determine the likelihood of a particular location occurrence. Examples of such approaches include
those using Bayesian probability inferences.
•
Other techniques go outside the boundaries of deterministic and probabilistic approaches. One such
approach involves the assumption that location patterning is far too complex to be analyzed
mathematically and requires the application of non-linear discriminant functions for classification
(neural networks). Another technique, known as support vector modeling or SVM, is based on risk
minimization and combines statistics, machine learning, and the principles of neural networks.
To gain insight into how such location patterning algorithms operate, we can examine a simple example
that demonstrates the use of a deterministic algorithm, which in this case will be the Euclidean distance.
As stated earlier, deterministic algorithms compute the minimum statistical signal distance, which may
or may not be equal to the minimum physical distance between the actual device physical location and
the recorded location of the calibration sample.
For example, assume two access points X and Y and a mobile device Z. Access point X reports mobile
device Z with an RSS sample of x1. Almost simultaneously, access point Y reports mobile device Z with
an RSS sample of y1. These two RSS reports can be represented as location vector of (x1,y1). Assume
that during the calibration phase, a large population of location vectors of the format F(x2,y2) were
populated into the location server calibration database, where F represents the actual physical
coordinates of the recorded location.
The location server can calculate the Euclidean distance d between the currently reported location vector
(x1,y1) and each location vector in the calibration radio map as follows:
d = (x 2 − x 1 ) 2 + (y 2 − y1 ) 2
The physical coordinates F associated with the database location vector possessing the minimum
Euclidean distance from the reported location vector of the mobile device is generally regarded as being
the correct estimate of the position of the mobile device.
In a similar fashion to RSS lateration solutions, real-time location systems using location patterning
typically allow vendors to make good use of existing wireless infrastructure. This can often be an
advantage over AoA, ToA, and TDoA approaches, depending on the particular implementation.
Location patterning solutions are capable of providing very good performance in indoor environments,
with a minimum of three reporting receivers required to be in range of mobile devices at all times.
Increased accuracy and performance (often well in excess of 5 meters accuracy) is possible when six to
ten receivers are in range of the mobile device.
Location patterning applications perform well when there are sufficient array entries per location vector
to allow individual locations to be readily distinguishable by the positioning application. However, this
requirement can also contribute to some less-than-desirable deployment characteristics. With location
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
2-13
Chapter 2
Location Tracking Approaches
Location Patterning (Pattern Recognition) Techniques
patterning, achieving high performance levels typically requires not only higher numbers of receivers
(or access points for 802.11) but also much tighter spacing. In large areas where it is possible for clients
to move about almost anywhere, calibration times can be quite long. For this reason, some commercial
implementations of location patterning allow the user to segment the target location environment into
areas where client movement is likely and those where client movement is possible but significantly less
likely, as well as areas where client location is impossible (such as within the thick walls of a tunnel, for
example, or suspended within the open air space of an indoor building atrium). The amount of calibration
as well as computational resources allocated to these two classes of areas is adjusted by the positioning
application according to the relative probability of a client being located there.
The radio maps or calibration databases used by pattern recognition positioning engines tend to be very
specific to the areas used in their creation, with little opportunity for re-use. The likelihood is very low
that any two areas, no matter how identical they may seem in construction and layout, will yield identical
calibration data sets. Because of this, it is not possible to use the same calibration data set for multiple
floors of a high-rise office building when using a location patterning solution. This is because despite
their similarity, the probability that the location vectors collected at the same positions on each floor
being identical is significantly low.
All other variables being equal, location patterning accuracy is typically at its zenith immediately after
a calibration. At that time, the information is current and indicative of conditions within the
environment. As time progresses and changes occur that affect RF propagation, accuracy can be
expected to degrade in accordance with the level of environmental change. For example, in an active
logistics shipping and receiving area such as a large scale cross-docking facility, accuracy degradation
of 20 percent can reasonably be expected in a thirty day period. Because calibration data maps degrade
over time, if a high degree of consistent accuracy is necessary, location patterning solutions require
periodic re-verification and possible re-calibration. For example, it is not unreasonable to expect to
re-verify calibration data accuracy quarterly and to plan for a complete re-calibration semi-annually.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
2-14
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
This chapter describes the Cisco Location-Based Services (LBS) architecture and has the following main
sections:
•
RF Fingerprinting, page 3-1
•
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture, page 3-4
•
Role of the Location Appliance, page 3-7
•
Accuracy and Precision, page 3-11
•
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices, page 3-13
•
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP), page 3-36
RF Fingerprinting
Cisco RF Fingerprinting refers to a new and innovative approach that significantly improves the
accuracy and precision of traditional signal strength lateration techniques. Cisco RF Fingerprinting
offers the simplicity of an RSSI-based lateration approach with the customized calibration capabilities
and indoor performance previously available only in location patterning solutions. RF Fingerprinting
significantly enhances RSS lateration by using RF propagation models developed from radio
propagation data gathered directly from the target environment or environments very similar to it. RF
Fingerprinting offers the ability to calibrate an RF model to a particular environment in a fashion similar
to (but more expeditious than) that described for location patterning.
In addition to the use of prepackaged propagation models, RF Fingerprinting offers the ability to develop
customized models that are based on on-site data collection. This process allows for the overall
attenuation characteristics of the actual environment to be taken into consideration during the derivation
of both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz path loss models. For each calibration grid location, the physical location
coordinates of the calibration client (provided by the calibration operator) are recorded along with the
client RSSI from three or more LWAPP-enabled access points.
The data accumulated during the calibration phase is statistically processed and groomed, then used to
build an RF propagation model used to predict tracked device RSSI around each access point, where the
path loss exponent, shadow fading standard deviation, and PL 1meter values are calculated from the sample
calibration data so as to better reflect specific propagation anomalies present in the environment. This
process consists of several computational cycles where the previously-mentioned parameters are
calculated for each band. The minimum mean square error (MMSE) estimation technique is used to
obtain the initial values for the parameters, as shown in Figure 3-1, where the path loss exponent is
represented by the slope of the applicable MMSE line of best fit (that is, either default or corrected fit).
However, note that in the RF Fingerprinting approach, the selection of a location path loss model does
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-1
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
RF Fingerprinting
not end with MMSE. Rather, MMSE is used only as the starting point for the selection of finalized
parameters for each band, with the ultimate goal being the optimization of the final path loss model as
it pertains to location accuracy. RF Fingerprinting does not rely on good location performance being a
by-product of a RF propagation model that simply provides good coverage mapping.
Figure 3-1
MMSE Estimation
To locate a mobile client during the operational phase of RF Fingerprinting, RSS multi-lateration is
performed using either a pre-packaged RF model or a customized model created during the calibration
phase. This process yields the coordinates of the data point with the highest potential of correctly
representing the tracked device's current location. Additional information gleaned from statistical
analysis of the distribution of calibration data is then used to further improve location accuracy and
precision.
Cisco RF Fingerprinting offers several key advantages over traditional approaches:
•
Uses existing LWAPP-enabled Cisco Unified Networking Components—Unlike some other
solutions, the location-aware Cisco UWN with RF Fingerprinting provides a Wi-Fi-based RTLS
alongside of voice and data services using a combined infrastructure. The Cisco Location Appliance
supports location and statistics history and serves as a centralized positioning engine for the
simultaneous tracking of up to 2500 devices per appliance. Optional chokepoint triggers can be
added to the solution to provide presence and proximity detection if desired, allowing for very
granular detection of asset tags, within a range of 25 feet to less than one foot depending on the
hardware selected.
•
No proprietary client hardware or software required—The location aware Cisco UWN with RF
Fingerprinting uses a network-side location model. Because of this, Cisco RF Fingerprinting can
provide location tracking for a wide variety of industry-standard Wi-Fi clients (and not just those
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
RF Fingerprinting
with popular Windows-based operating systems) without the need to load proprietary
client-tracking software or location-enabled wireless drivers in each client. This includes popular
VoIP handsets such as the Cisco 7920 and 7921G, devices for which such proprietary add-on
location tracking client software is not available.
•
Supports popular Wi-Fi active RFID asset tags-—Because the location-aware Cisco UWN
implements RF Fingerprinting as a network-side model, there is no dependency on proprietary
software being resident in RFID asset tags in order to allow for localization. This enables the
location-aware Cisco UWN to interoperate with active RFID asset tags from popular vendors
including AeroScout, PanGo Networks, WhereNet, G2 Microsystems and others. Asset tags that
support the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification can take advantage of
advanced features introduced with software Release 4.1, such as the ability to pass tag telemetry and
chokepoint information to the Cisco UWN. Cisco makes this specification available to Cisco
Technology Development Partners (CTDP) and encourages the development of interoperable active
RFID tag hardware in compliance with the specification.
•
Better accuracy and precision—Cisco RF Fingerprinting yields significantly better performance
than solutions employing pure triangulation or RSS lateration techniques. These techniques
typically do not account for effects of attenuation in the environment, making them highly
susceptible to reductions in performance. The advantages of Cisco RF Fingerprinting technology
start where these traditional approaches leave off. Cisco RF Fingerprinting begins with a
significantly better understanding of RF propagation as it relates specifically to the environment in
question. With the exception of the calibration phase in location patterning, none of the traditional
lateration or angulation approaches discussed thus far take environmental considerations directly
into account in this manner. RF Fingerprinting then goes a step further, by applying statistical
analysis techniques to the set of collected calibration data. This allows the Cisco Location Appliance
to further refine predicted location possibilities for mobile clients, culling out illogical or
improbable possibilities and refining accuracy. The net result of these efforts is not only better
accuracy but significantly improved precision over traditional solutions.
•
Reduced calibration effort—The Cisco RF Fingerprinting technology offers the key advantages of
an indoor location patterning solution but with significantly less effort required for system
calibration. Although both solutions support on-site calibration, the Cisco RF Fingerprinting
approach offers less frequent re-calibration and can operate with a larger inter-access point spacing
than location patterning solutions. Cisco RF Fingerprinting can also share RF models among similar
types of environments and includes pre-packaged calibration models that can facilitate rapid
deployment in typical indoor office environments.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-3
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
The overall architecture of the location-aware Cisco Unified Wireless Network is shown in Figure 3-2.
Figure 3-2
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
Third Party
Location Applications
WCS Client
Browser
HTTPS
SOAP/XML
WCS
Server
SOAP/XML
SNMP TRAP
W
WLAN
Location
Appliance
N
S
E
SNMP
Notifcations
EMAIL
SYSLOG
SOAP/XML
SNMP TRAP
LOCP
Wireless LAN
Controllers
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
AccessPoint
AccessPoint
AccessPoint
Wi-Fi Handsets, Clients, Rogues, Wi-Fi Tags and Chokepoints
223301
LWAPP
Access points forward information to WLAN controllers regarding the detected signal strength of any
WLAN clients, asset tags, rogue access points, or rogue clients. In normal operation, access points focus
their collection activities for this information on their primary channel of operation, going off-channel
and scanning the other channels in their regulatory channel set periodically. The collected signal strength
information is forwarded to the WLAN controller to which the access point is currently registered, which
aggregates the information. The location appliance uses SNMP to poll each controller for the latest
signal strength information for each tracked category of device. In the case of a location tracking system
deployed without a location appliance, WCS obtains this information from the appropriate controller(s)
directly.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
A step-by-step flow diagram of this process is provided in Figure 3-3, where the flow of signal strength
and tag payload information is shown for active RFID asset tags that communicate via the use of layer
two multicasts.
Information Flow for Asset Tag RSSI Data
Location
Appliance
Tag Payload
Info
Tag RSSI Info
SNMP Traps
SOAP/XML
Location
Database
Wireless
Control
System
223302
Calculated Locations
LOCP Notifications
Multicast Tag
Packet
WLAN
Controller
LOCP Polling
LWAPP
Access Point
SNMP Polling
Figure 3-3
Figure 3-3 summarizes the following events:
Step 1
At each tag transmission interval, the asset tag transmits a multicast frame on each of its configured
channels.
Step 2
At least three access points detect the asset tag’s transmission. It is forwarded to the WLAN controller
(WLC) to which the detecting access points are registered.
Step 3
The WLC stores the information payload associated with the asset tag in an internal tag information table
indexed by the asset tag MAC address. This information payload can contain information such as battery
status and tag or asset telemetry.
Step 4
For tags detected in the network by access points registered to this WLC, the WLC places the following
asset tag information in an internal RSSI table:
Step 5
a.
Tag MAC address
b.
AP MAC address
c.
AP interface
d.
RSSI measurement
The location appliance periodically polls the WLC for the contents of the tag RSSI table using SNMP.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-5
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Location-Aware Cisco UWN Architecture
Step 6
Commencing with software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, the WLC is polled for the contents of the
tag information table using the Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP).
Step 7
The location appliance calculates the location of the asset tag using the RSSI information and stores the
location information in its database.
Step 8
The location appliance dispatches any northbound notifications (such as SNMP traps, emails, syslog or
SOAP/XML messages based on the updated asset tag location.
Step 9
Location end users make use of WCS (or a third party location client) to request location information
based on floor maps or search criteria. A request for location information is made from the location to
the location appliance via a SOAP/XML online query.
Beginning with software Release 4.1 of the location-aware Cisco UWN, LOCP provides for the
transmission of asynchronous high-priority messages from the WLAN controller to the location
appliance. Included in this category are high-priority tag events such as tag call button alerts, chokepoint
proximity and vendor-specific tag payloads.
WCS and the location appliance exchange information (such as calibration maps and network designs)
during a process known as synchronization. During this process, the partner possessing the more recent
information will update the other partner. Synchronization occurs either on-demand or as a scheduled
task, the timing of which is determined by the Administration > Scheduled Tasks main menu option
under the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) main menu bar.
Location information is displayed to the end user using a location client application in conjunction with
the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. Typically, this role is fulfilled by the Cisco WCS, which, as will
be further explained in subsequent sections of this document. As a location client, Cisco WCS is capable
of displaying a wide multitude of information regarding the current and past location of clients, asset
tags, rogue access points, and rogue clients.
Note
For important information regarding compatibility between versions of WCS and the Cisco Wireless
Location Appliance, refer to Release Notes for Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Release 3.0 at the
following URL:http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_release_notes_list.html.
Location client functionality is not limited to WCS. Third-party applications written in accordance with
the Cisco Location Appliance Application Programming Interface (API) can also serve as a location
client to the Wireless Location Appliance (as shown in Figure 3-2). The same information contained in
the location appliance that is made available to WCS (including vendor-specific information that may
have been received from asset tags) is also made available to third-party same location clients via the
location appliance API.
Third-party location clients can synchronize their network designs with the location appliance in a
similar fashion to WCS. In this case, the location appliance updates location clients with the latest
information regarding network designs and map images. As with WCS, synchronization occurs either
on-demand or on a scheduled basis, the timing of which is typically determined by configuration
parameters contained within the location client.
The Cisco Location Appliance is also capable of issuing northbound notifications to external systems
via email (SMTP), syslog, SNMP traps, or the SOAP/XML protocol. The issuance of these northbound
notifications is dependent on the occurrence of one or more of a variety of events, and is discussed in
further detail within subsequent sections of this document.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-6
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Role of the Location Appliance
Role of the Location Appliance
The location-aware Cisco UWN can be broken down into four basic component groups, as shown in
Figure 3-4.
Figure 3-4
Components of the Location-Aware Cisco UWN
Location Client
SOAP/XML
WCS
Server
Control Client
Location Client
SOAP/XML
SNMP TRAP
W
WLAN
Location
Appliance
N
S
E
Location Server
SNMP
LOCP
Wireless LAN
Controllers
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
WLAN System
AccessPoint
AccessPoint
223303
AccessPoint
•
Location Client—The primary role of the location client is to serve as the user interface to the
location and asset information contained on the location server. One or more location clients may
receive information on a request basis (“pull” mode) or they may assume a listening role awaiting
regular transmissions of information from the location server based on pre-defined criteria (“push”
mode).
•
WCS—WCS serves as the default location client to the location appliance, providing location
display capabilities that can satisfy most IT-centric and network monitoring requirements. The
inherent flexibility afforded by the location appliance API allows for third-party location clients to
reside in the UWN in a complementary fashion to WCS. These third-party products may provide a
very business-focused UI that concentrates on the management of assets and de-emphasizes the
details of RFID, localization and network management.
•
Control Client—The control client is capable of administering the location server as well as reading
or writing all location and configuration data on the location server. In the location-aware Cisco
UWN, the role of control client is performed by the Cisco WCS. The control client’s primary
function is to populate the server with information about the physical environment (network designs,
floors maps, calibration models, access point locations, etc.) and the network elements that should
be monitored. The control client may also have management capabilities over one or more of the
location servers deployed in the network.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-7
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Role of the Location Appliance
•
Location Server—The location server provides general location services for a network or part of a
network (its location domain), and is primarily responsible for running the algorithms that predict
client location. The location server may also provide for the storage of historical location
information. A location server can communicate with multiple location or control clients. In the
location-aware Cisco UWN, the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance fulfills the role of the location
server. The Cisco Location Appliance is also capable of issuing notifications to external systems via
email (SMTP), syslog, SNMP traps or the SOAP/XML protocol.
•
Wireless LAN System—The wireless LAN system is comprised of:
– Embedded software contained within WLAN controllers that functions as an aggregation point
for information regarding station/tag/rogue discovery, device tracking and statistics.
– The mobile devices (tags, mobile stations, rogue clients and rogue access points) that interact
with the wireless network and whose location the location-aware Cisco UWN will monitor.
– Optional infrastructure components, such as chokepoint triggers, that enhance the functionality
available from active RFID tags and allow for increased granularity in the localization of these
asset tags.
Although it is possible to access the location appliance directly via a console session, all end-user
interaction with the location appliance is typically via WCS or a third-party location client application.
The integration of a Cisco Location Appliance into a Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture
immediately enables location improvements over and above the baseline capabilities of the Cisco UWN
such as:
•
Scalability—Adding a Cisco Location Appliance greatly increases the scalability of the
location-aware Cisco UWN from on-demand tracking of a single device to a maximum capacity of
2500 devices (WLAN clients, RFID tags, rogue access points, and rogue clients). To handle
situations requiring tracking of more than 2500 devices in the enterprise1, additional location
appliances can be deployed. The design can then be partitioned by assigning specific controllers to
each appliance. Each appliance is responsible for tracking up to 2500 devices for the controllers and
access points within its location domain, and may be managed by a common WCS.
•
Chokepoint Location—The addition of a Cisco Location Appliance under software Release 4.1 or
subsequent releases allows for the use of optional chokepoint triggers from Cisco technology
partners such as AeroScout and WhereNet. These devices can assist in providing very granular asset
tag location within a range of less than one foot to over twenty feet.
•
Historical and Statistics Trending—The appliance records and maintains historical location and
statistics information, which is available for viewing via WCS.
•
Location Notifications—The Cisco Location Appliance can dispatch location-based event
notifications via email (SMTP), syslog, SNMP traps, and SOAP/XML directly to specified
destinations. These notifications can be triggered if the client or asset:
– Changes location.
– Strays beyond a set distance from pre-determined marker locations.
– Becomes missing or enters/leaves coverage areas.
– Experiences a change in battery level.
– Enters the “stimulation zone” of a chokepoint trigger.
– Experiences one or more priority conditions, such as:
•
Depression of a tag call button.
•
Detachment of a tag from its asset.
1. If tracked devices roam between location domains, the aggregate tracked device capacity may be reduced.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-8
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Role of the Location Appliance
•
•
Note
An attempt at internal tampering.
SOAP/XML Location Application Programming Interface (API)—The Location Appliance API
allows customers and partners to create customized location-based programs that interface with the
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. These programs can be developed to support a variety of unique
and innovative applications including real-time location-based data retrieval, telemetric device
management, workflow automation, enhanced WLAN security, and people or device tracking. The
API provides a mechanism for inserting, retrieving, updating, and removing data from the Cisco
Wireless Location Appliance configuration database using a SOAP/XML interface. Developers can
access the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance provisioning services and exchange data in XML
format. The location appliance API is available to the Cisco development community along with
tools to facilitate solution development. Integration support is available via the Cisco Developer
Services Program, a subscription-based service.
Complete details on the Cisco Developer Service Program may be found at the Cisco Developer
Support website, located at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/svcs/ps3034/ps5408/ps5418/serv_home.html.
Location Tracking without a Location Appliance
In order to access any RF Fingerprinting-based location tracking features in the Cisco UWN or even to
configure the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, the Cisco WCS must be appropriately licensed for
location usage. When a location-licensed version of WCS is used (verified using WCS main menu bar
option Help > About the Software, Figure 3-5), RF Fingerprinting techniques are used to determine
non-chokepoint-based location. When a location appliance is not used with a location-licensed version
of WCS, RF Fingerprinting techniques are still used to determine location of tracked devices, but only
on-demand and only for a single tracked device at a time.
Figure 3-5
WCS Licensed for Location
If a location-licensed WCS is used without a location appliance, the following capabilities will be
unavailable:
•
Ability to configure any Cisco Wireless Location Appliances
•
Historical accumulation and playback of location data.
•
Tag telemetry and high-priority notifications.
•
Chokepoint location.
•
The capability to interface to external third-party applications via the SOAP/XML API.
•
Simultaneous tracking of multiple devices on a floor map. Location tracking services will be
available only as an on-demand service and only for a single device at a time. Figure 3-6 illustrates
the use of on-demand localization for a single WLAN client. When using on-demand localization in
this manner, it should be noted that colors surrounding the device icon provide an idea of the degree
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-9
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Role of the Location Appliance
of location error associated with the icon placement. The darker colors surrounding the icon
represent those areas where confidence is high (the probability is higher that the device is physically
located where the icon is placed or within this area). The lighter colors represent those areas of lower
confidence (the probability is lower that the device is physically located within these areas).
Figure 3-6
On-Demand WLAN Client Localization using WCS with Location License
If WCS is licensed for only basic functionality as shown in Figure 3-7, RF Fingerprinting is not
employed to determine location. Instead, on-demand location for a single WLAN client or rogue device
is performed based on the access point that is detecting the mobile device with the highest signal strength
(a derivation of the nearest access point concept).
Figure 3-7
WCS Licensed for Only Basic Functions
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-10
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Accuracy and Precision
When using this approach, the tracked device's location is approximated by placing the device icon at
the location of the access point detecting it with the highest signal strength, as shown in Figure 3-8. No
location probability is displayed in this case.
Figure 3-8
Note
On-Demand Client Localization using WCS with Basic License
A WCS server that is not licensed for location usage cannot be used as a location or control client
to the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. Commencing with software Release 4.1 of the Cisco
UWN, on-demand location tracking of asset tags is not possible when using a WCS that is not
licensed for location use.
Accuracy and Precision
For most users, the performance metric having the most familiarity and significance is accuracy, which
typically refers to the quality of the information you are receiving. Location accuracy refers specifically
to the quantifiable error distance between the estimated and the actual location of a tracked device.
In most real-world applications, however, a statement of location accuracy has little value without the
ability of the solution to repeatedly and reliably perform at this level. Precision is a direct measure
reflecting on the reproducibility of the stated location accuracy. Any indication of location accuracy
should therefore include an indication of the confidence interval or percentage of successful location
detection as well, otherwise known as the location precision.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-11
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Accuracy and Precision
With deployment in accordance with the best practices outlined in this document, the location-aware
Cisco UWN is capable of meeting a baseline performance specification of at least 10 meters accuracy
with 90 percent precision. When combined with chokepoint location support, this level of performance
can be increased for asset tags possessing chokepoint location capabilities and compatible with the Cisco
Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification. Depending on the configured range of the specific
chokepoint trigger deployed, a location resolution radius of as little as one foot is possible.
This location appliance's baseline performance level can be achieved by following the best practices
along with the use of the design, calibration, and deployment tools described in this and other reference
documents. These tools would include predicative, pre-deployment tools such as the Location Planning
and Location Readiness utilities as well as post-deployment tools such as the Location Inspection tool.
In order to determine those areas where baseline performance improvements may be necessary, the
Location Inspection tool (shown in Figure 3-9), can be used to evaluate what the current,
post-calibration levels of accuracy and precision are in the environment. The Location Inspection tool
displays (in color coded format) the level of precision at any point from 0 to 5 percent to a maximum of
95 to 100 percent. After viewing the output, the system designer can work with the installation and
deployment teams to address any areas requiring remedial attention if necessary.
Figure 3-9
Post-Calibration Location Inspection
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-12
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Using these tools, the system architect as well as the installation team can not only plan towards the
achievement of stated performance goals, but can verify that these targets are indeed being met.
For those interested in a professional service offering that includes the tuning of location performance
and much more, Cisco offers a Wireless LAN Location Planning and Design Professional Service. This
service offering enlists the skills of trained WLAN engineers to deliver an integrated solution that
includes the services Cisco has identified as essential for successful deployment of a secure
location-based services solution.
Further information on Cisco Wireless LAN Location Planning and Design Professional Services may
be found located at the Cisco Wireless LAN Services website, which is located at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps8306/serv_home.html
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
This section discusses the mechanics behind the WLAN client probing mechanism and explains how
variations in client probing can affect location accuracy. In addition, Cisco Compatible Extensions
Location Measurements are explained in detail, along with a close examination of how location for each
of the different device categories are displayed by the location client present within WCS.
Client Probing
Fundamentally, the location of WLAN clients is determined based on the RSSI of probe requests
detected by access points and forwarded via their registered WLAN controllers to the location appliance.
Therefore, the probing behavior of the WLAN and rogue clients in your network can be expected to have
a significant impact on the ability of the location appliance to provide accurate location tracking.
Because consistent and regular probing of the network is so important to good WLAN client location
fidelity, it is important to understand the mechanics of the process. The process begins with clients
issuing probe requests in order to discover the existence of 802.11 networks in their immediate vicinity.
An unassociated client may be seen to generate probe requests quite regularly, while clients that are
currently associated to a network will typically be seen to issue probe requests less often. Associated
clients periodically check their environment for potential access points and networks that they can roam
to through a process called scanning. In active scanning, the client will issue probe requests to solicit
probe responses from any access points in its vicinity. From these responses the client forms a list of
potential access point roam candidates. Clients may, however, adopt a listen-only approach and simply
note the beacons and probe responses they receive from access points around them, without actually
soliciting these responses themselves (passive scanning). Clients that use passive scanning to determine
potential access point roam candidates do not issue probe requests, hence passive scanning in and of
itself does little to promote improved location fidelity. It is not unusual to see some clients use a
combination of both techniques.
Since the location-aware Cisco UWN uses client probe requests to determine client location, it logically
follows that the more consistent the client is in transmitting probe responses, the better the ability of the
system will be to provide accurate location tracking of that client. For example, location accuracy can
be degraded if a client:
•
Refrains from active scanning for long periods
•
Does not transmit probe requests across all channels in use
•
Does not transmit probe requests for all configured SSIDs
•
Transmits probe requests at power levels that deviate abnormally from that expected by the RTLS
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-13
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
IEEE 802.11 standards leave such areas open for interpretation, which does not lead to consistent
probing behavior across vendors. This can have both good and not so good connotations from the
standpoint of WLAN client location fidelity in the Cisco UWN. While some clients perform active scans
and issue probe quite regularly, others may be seen to probe quite minimally.
Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurements
The impact of variations in client probing may be greatly reduced by standardizing on clients that are
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices specification at version 2 or
greater. Compatible clients that support the S36 Radio Measurement Requests1 introduced in Cisco
Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices specification version 2 will perform active scanning and
probe all configured SSIDs upon command. Support of this capability enables clients to participate in
features such as Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement. When this feature is enabled,
registered lightweight access points broadcast Radio Measurement Request frames to their associated
clients (via each enabled SSID and radio interface) at a configurable interval from 60 (default) to 32,400
seconds (see Figure 3-10).
Each Radio Measurement Request contains a beacon request that elicits compatible clients to respond
by transmitting probe requests on the channels specified within the Radio Measurement Request. The
consistency inherent to this mechanism helps enhance location accuracy for clients so equipped. Note
that in software Release 4.1, DFS channels are not included in Radio Measurement Requests.
Using the WCS or controller GUI, Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement can be enabled
or disabled per radio interface type (such as 802.11bg or 802.11a) on each WLAN controller. It can also
be enabled or disabled globally across controllers using WCS templates. In some cases, more granular
control over the Cisco Compatible Extensions Location measurement parameter may be desired, such as
when performing testing in specific areas. To support such cases, the WLAN controller CLI allows the
Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement feature to be applied to only specific access points
if desired. For more information on configuring the Cisco Compatible Extensions Location
Measurement using the WLAN controller CLI, refer to the Cisco WLAN Controller Configuration Guide
at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d6
c5.html#wp1121089.
1. This is one of the features comprising referred to as the RF Scanning and Reporting category of Cisco
Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices. A complete list of Cisco Compatible Extensions features are
found at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr46/pr147/program_additional_information_new_release_features.html
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-14
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-10
Enabling CCX Location Measurement Using WCS Controller Template
If the Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement parameter is enabled, Radio Measurement
Requests will be broadcast to all associated WLAN clients, regardless of their capability to support
Cisco Compatible Extensions. Clients that do not support S36 Radio Measurement Requests (such as
those supporting Cisco Compatible Extensions version 1 or those not compatible with the Cisco
Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices specification at all) will ignore any Radio Measurement
Requests that are received.
Note
When using clients equipped with the Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection or the
Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection adapter, it is important to note that the default
“Personal Security” settings of the Intel ProSet Configuration Utility do not include compatibility with
the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification. When using this default “personal” level of wireless
security (which is not intended for enterprise use), clients equipped with the Intel 3945ABG or
2915ABG client adapters will not support S36 broadcast radio measurement requests and are not
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification for WLAN devices. In order to enable
compatibility with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification and the support of S36 radio
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-15
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
measurement requests, the Intel ProSet client supplicant must be used to reconfigure the client for
“Enterprise Security” and enable Cisco Compatible Extensions. Figure 5-42 on page 5-60 and
Figure 5-43 on page 5-61 illustrate how this is performed.
An example of a Radio Measurement Request can be seen in Figure 3-11. This request is seen to emanate
from an access point with a 802.11b/g interface MAC address of 00:14:1B:59:42:72.
Figure 3-11
Broadcast Radio Measurement Request
Figure 3-11 provides several key pieces of information that supports our understanding of the effect of
Radio Measurement Requests on WLAN clients. We see in Figure 3-11 that the frame broadcast to the
associated clients actually contains multiple Radio Measurement Request Elements, the first of which is
highlighted within the red rectangle beginning at hex offset 0x0034. Looking closer into the Radio
Measure Request Element we see the following1:
•
The element ID of 0x2600 appears at hex offset 0x0034, identifying that what follows is a
Measurement Request Element (shown in yellow).
•
The measurement token of 0x01 appears at offset 0x0038. This is a non-zero hex value that is unique
amongst the Measurement Request Elements in a particular Measurement Request frame.
1. Fields in the radio information elements follow the 802.11 convention of sending the least significant byte
first.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-16
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
•
At HEX offset 0x003B, we see the first of several Radio Measurement Request Element detail fields
(the first three bytes of each shown highlighted within blue rectangles). Upon closer examination,
we can see that each detail field contains:
– The Measurement Type Definition of 0x03, indicating that this is a Beacon Request. This
measurement type requests that the receiving client station perform active or passive scanning
(see the Scan Mode Definition field below), and forward the results of those scans upstream to
the UWN when it has completed. When performing an active scan, the client device transmits
probe request frames that solicit probe responses from receiving access points. In contrast, a
passive mode scan requests that 802.11 client devices simply listen for beacon or probe response
frames but does not require active solicitation.
– The Channel Number that the Beacon Request should apply to. This is the second octet of the
measurement request detail field and can seen at hex offset 0x003C with a value of 0x01.
– The Scan Mode Definition of 0x01, the third octet of the management request detail field. This
can be seen at hex offset 0x003D. A Scan Mode Definition of 0x01 indicates that an active scan
should be performed. From a strict location fidelity perspective, a passive scan would do little
to enhance client location fidelity (since no probe requests are generated). Therefore, when
CCX Location Measurement is enabled on the controller, the Scan Mode Definition will always
be set to request that active scanning be performed.
Taking all three Radio Measurement Detail fields into consideration, we see that this Radio
Measurement Request Element contains a Beacon Request for an active scan to be performed on Channel
one.
Note that there are eleven Measurement Request Element fields contained in the Radio Measurement
Request. Figure 3-11 highlights only two of them, the first contained within a red rectangle and the
second within a green rectangle. This is understandable given that this Radio Measurement Request is
being issued on a 802.11b/g radio interface that is operating in the North American regulatory domain
with eleven available channels. In the subsequent measurement requests (indicated by the green
rectangle), the Channel Number field (seen at hex offset 0x44) is sequentially incremented by 1 from
that of the initial measurement request. This continues in the Measurement Request Element fields that
follow until the value of 0xB (11) is reached.
802.11bg clients compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices specification
version 2 or greater and supporting S36 Radio Measurement Requests receive the frame shown in
Figure 3-11 and will perform an active scan of the specified channels as part of the radio measurement
process. When the probe requests are received by access points in the vicinity of such clients, they
forward (via their registered controller) signal strength measurements to the location appliance that is
used to localize the client. In addition, clients also collect the RSSI information of all probe responses
received during the measurement duration, and forward this to the Cisco UWN in a Radio Measurement
Report frame.
As per the Cisco Compatible Extensions for WLAN Devices specification version 2, WLAN clients
supporting S36 Radio Measurement Requests should:
•
Perform radio measurements on the channel over which the Measurement Request was received
without significantly degrading performance.
•
Perform measurements on non-serving channels while temporarily buffering outgoing traffic.
•
Respond to each Radio Measurement Request frame accepted with a Radio Measurement Report
frame.
•
Disregard any measurement requests that would significantly degrade performance of the client
device.
•
Support active scanning.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-17
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
WLAN Clients
Wireless LAN clients and properly configured work-group bridges are displayed on the WCS location
floor maps using a blue rectangle icon, as shown in Figure 3-12. To display WLAN clients on the WCS
location floor map, ensure that the Clients checkbox option is enabled from the Layers dropdown
selector at the top of the floor map display, and click Load in the left-hand column. To avoid excessive
clutter, WCS will display the first 250 WLAN clients on the floor map. To view the location of WLAN
clients beyond the first 250, client filtering must be used.
Figure 3-12
WCS WLAN Client Location Map
Note that the graphical location information shown can be filtered by WCS based on the age of the
information. Thus in Figure 3-12, WCS displays device location information that has aged up to 15
minutes. This value can be set to 2 or 5 minutes if you would like to view location information received
more recently, or ½, 1, 3, 6, 12, or 24 hours for information that is older.
By clicking on the blue chevron that is displayed to the right of the Clients checkbox option, client
filtering options can be specified and additional information retrieved, such as:
•
The total number of WLAN clients detected on this floor.
•
Small icons (shown in Figure 3-12) or standard size icons can be selected. When using small icons,
descriptive text is not displayed on the floor map for the client except when a mouse-over is
performed. When using standard size icons, an on-screen tag is displayed that is configurable for IP
address, user name, MAC address, asset name, asset group, or asset category.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-18
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
•
Either all WLAN clients can be displayed, or filtering can be performed to select which clients to
display on the floor map. This can be based on IP address, user name, MAC address, asset name,
asset group, asset category, or controller. Additional filtering can be specified for SSID and RF
protocol (802.11a or 802.11b/g). As mentioned previously, only up to 250 WLAN clients will be
shown at on the floor maps at any one time. If there are greater than 250 WLAN clients detected,
the total number found will be indicated in the left hand column status area during each
communication cycle between WCS and the location appliance. It is recommended that filtering be
used to reduce the total number of WLAN clients selected for display if you receive this warning.
In software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, WLAN controllers provide support for the maximum number
of WLAN clients listed in Table 3-1.
Table 3-1
Maximum WLC Client Capacity
Controller Model
WLAN Clients Supported
2006
256
2106
256
4402
2,500
4404
5,000
WiSM
10,000
NM-WLC6
256
NME-WLC8/12
350
3750G
2,500
Complete information on any displayed WLAN client can be obtained simply by left-clicking on the
appropriate blue rectangular icon on the floor map, as shown in Figure 3-13. Note that name, group, and
category information can be assigned to the client under the “location” submenu, which can then be used
to identify the asset on the floor map display.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-19
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-13
WLAN Client Detailed Information
Note that Figure 3-13 also includes a hyperlinked listing of location notifications as well as a miniature
location map showing the client location. By enlarging the map and enabling the Location Debug
parameter, WCS displays the last detected RSSI levels of each access point detecting the WLAN client,
as shown in Figure 3-14.
Note
The setting of the Location Debug Enable checkbox does not survive a restart of the locserverd
application or a reboot of the location appliance.
This RSSI information is collected in a similar fashion to that shown by the show client detail <mac
address> command, and provides an alternative to the CLI command for determining the detected RSSI
of WLAN clients (see Figure 3-14).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-20
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-14
WLAN Client Detected RSSI with Location Debug Enabled
Wireless client device location history may be displayed by selecting Location History from the
dropdown menu at the top right-hand corner of the screen (illustrated in the location screen view of
Figure 3-14) and clicking Go. Past location history stored within the location appliance is displayed for
the wireless client via the screen shown in Figure 3-15.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-21
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-15
WLAN Client Location History
In many cases, it is desirable to sequentially display the location history of a client device in order to
better visualize and trace the movement of the client throughout the environment over time. This can be
very useful, for example, in security and monitoring applications. Cisco WCS and the location appliance
make it possible to view each location history record in this fashion, played back with a configurable
time delay. The granularity of the “movement” shown depends on the interval with which client history
records are recorded in the database.
To see location history played back in this fashion, simply click on the Play button shown in
Figure 3-15.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-22
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
802.11 Active RFID Tags
The location-aware Cisco UWN readily detects 802.11 Wi-Fi active RFID tags that are compliant with
the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification (such as those from AeroScout,
WhereNet, G2 Microsystems and InnerWireless (PanGo), amongst others) and displays them on WCS
floor maps using a yellow tag icon, as shown in Figure 3-16. These asset tags typically do not associate
to the WLAN infrastructure and are not typically located on the basis of probe requests). Instead, these
asset tags transmit messages to the location-aware UWN on a periodic basis using layer two multicasts.
If an asset tag has an optional mode that allows for full WLAN association, those tags will be represented
on WCS location floor maps as blue rectangles (WLAN clients) during the time they are operating in
this mode.
To display the location of asset tags on the WCS location floor map, ensure that the Clients checkbox
option is enabled from the Layers drop down selector at the top of the floor map display, and click Load
in the left-hand column. To avoid excessive clutter, WCS will display the first 250 asset tags on the floor
map. To view the location of asset tags beyond the first 250, asset tag filtering must be used. It is assumed
that all other components of the location-aware Cisco UWN have been properly configured to collect
asset tag information.
Figure 3-16
RFID Tag Location Map
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-23
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
The graphical location information shown can be filtered by WCS based on the age of the information.
In Figure 3-16 WCS displays location appliance information that has aged up to 15 minutes. This value
can be set to 2 or 5 minutes if it is desired to view only very recent location information, or ½, 1, 3, 6,
12, or 24 hours to include information that is older.
By clicking on the blue chevron that is displayed to the right of the 802.11 Tags checkbox option, tag
filtering options and additional information can be displayed, such as:
•
The total number of asset tags detected on this floor can be displayed.
•
Small icons (shown in Figure 3-16) or standard size icons can be selected. When using small icons,
text is not displayed on the floor map for the asset tag except when a mouse-over is performed. When
using standard size icons, an on-screen tag is displayed, which is configurable for MAC address,
asset name, asset group, or asset category.
•
Either all asset tags can be displayed or filtering can be performed to select which asset tags to
display on the floor map. This can be based on MAC address, asset name, asset group, asset
category, or controller. As mentioned previously, only up to 250 asset tags will be shown on the
floor maps at any one time. If there are greater than 250 asset tags detected, the total number found
will be indicated in the left hand column status area during each communication cycle between WCS
and the location appliance. It is recommended that filtering be used to reduce the total number of
asset tags selected for display if you receive this warning.
In software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, WLAN controllers provide support for the maximum number
of asset tags listed in Table 3-2.
Table 3-2
Maximum WLC Asset Tag Capacity
Controller Model
Asset Tags Supported
2006
500
2106
500
4402
1250
4404
2500
WiSM
5000
NM-WLC6
500
NME-WLC8/12
500
3750G
1250
Complete information on any displayed asset tag can be obtained by clicking on the yellow tag icon
associated with the tag. WCS responds with the information shown in Figure 3-17. Beginning with
software Release 4.1 of the location-aware Cisco UWN, tag telemetry, chokepoint and tag status
information are also displayed on the Tag Details screen shown in Figure 3-17, along with enhanced
battery reporting information.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-24
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-17
RFID Tag Detailed Information
In some cases the location appliance may place two or more asset tags at the same predicted location,
such that any attempt to graphically represent them as individual icons would result in almost complete
overlap. A tag summary icon (a yellow tag with black horizontal lines) is used to resolve such situations,
as shown in Figure 3-18.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-25
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-18
Tag Summary Icon and Summary Descriptor
Performing a mouse-over of the tag summary icon brings up a tag summary descriptor shown, which
summarizes pertinent tag characteristics. Clicking on “Next” scrolls through the descriptor information
for each tag MAC address at this location, and clicking on “Details” at any time brings up the Tag Details
panel shown in Figure 3-17.
The tag summary icon becomes especially useful when chokepoint location (introduced with software
Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN) is used. When chokepoints have been defined to the system and properly
defined on floor maps, the icon of any asset tag that known to be within range of the chokepoint trigger
will be placed at the center of the chokepoint icon (shown in Figure 3-19 at the “Breakroom”
chokepoint). However, if more than one asset tag is in proximity of the same chokepoint, the tag icons
will overlap and usability will suffer. In this situation, the tag summary icon shown in Figure 3-18 once
again is used to restore clarity. An example of the tag summary icon being used in this can be seen in
Figure 3-19, at the chokepoint labeled “Lower Level Entrance”.
Figure 3-19
Tag Summary Icon and Chokepoint Location
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-26
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Note that Figure 3-20 also includes a hyperlinked listing of location notifications as well as a miniature
location map of the asset tag’s location. By enabling the Location Debug parameter and enlarging the
map, WCS displays the last detected RSSI levels of each access point detecting the asset tag. This RSSI
information is collected in a similar fashion to that shown by the show rfid detail <mac address>
command, and provides an alternative to the CLI command for determining the detected RSSI of asset
tags. As can be seen in Figure 3-20, additional information regarding the radio type and age of the last
detected signal strength reading is available by performing a mouse-over of any access point.
Figure 3-20
Asset Tag Detected RSSI with Location Debug Enabled
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-27
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Asset tag location history may be displayed by selecting Location History from the dropdown menu at
the top right-hand corner of the screen shown in Figure 3-20 and then clicking on Go. Past location
history stored within the location appliance will be displayed for the asset tag, along with last values
recorded for location statistics, tag telemetry, battery and “emergency” status, as shown in Figure 3-21.
Figure 3-21
Asset Tag Location History
In many cases, it is desirable to sequentially display the location history of an asset tag so as to better
visualize and trace the movement of the asset tag (and the attached asset) throughout the environment
over time. This can be very useful, for example, in establishing a trail of motion in security and
monitoring applications. Cisco WCS and the location appliance make it possible to do this by playing
back each location history record with a configurable time delay. The granularity of the “movement”
shown depends on the interval with which client history records are recorded in the database.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-28
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
To see location history played back in this fashion, simply click the Play button shown in Figure 3-21
and past location history should start being displayed both in tabular form and graphically. Large
amounts of location history data may be more readily viewed by reducing the “Change Selection Every”
interval shown in Figure 3-21 from 2 seconds to 1 second.
Rogue Access Points
Rogue access points are access points that are detected by the wireless LAN infrastructure and
determined not to be members of the same RF group or WLAN system. In addition, any devices that are
participating as members of ad-hoc networks are also detected as rogue access points (but with a rogue
type of AD_HOC, unless location appliance rogue access point polling has been configured to exclude
ad-hoc rogues.
Rogue access points are indicated on WCS location floor maps using an icon representing a
skull-and-crossbones within a black circle, as shown in Figure 3-22. They may be totally wireless,
connected to the same wired infrastructure as the detecting WLAN, or connected to an entirely different
wired infrastructure. To display rogue access points on the WCS location floor map, ensure that the
Rogue APs checkbox option is enabled from the Layers dropdown selector at the top of the floor map
display, and click Load in the left-hand column. To avoid excessive clutter, WCS will display the first
250 rogue access points on the floor map. To view the location of rogue access points beyond the first
250, rogue access point filtering must be used.
Figure 3-22
Rogue Access Point Location Map
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-29
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
It is possible to filter the location information displayed by the WCS based on the age of the information.
In Figure 3-22 WCS displays location appliance information that has aged up to 15 minutes.
Alternatively, this value could be set to 2 or 5 minutes for more recent location information or ½, 1, 3,
6, 12, or 24 hours for older information.
By clicking on the blue chevron that is displayed to the right of the Rogue APs checkbox, rogue access
point filtering options can be specified and additional information can be displayed, such as:
•
The total number of rogue access points detected on this floor.
•
Small icons (shown above) or standard size icons can be selected. When using small icons, text is
not displayed on the floor map for the rogue access point except when a mouse-over is performed.
When using standard size icons, an on-screen tag displaying the MAC address of the rogue access
point appears.
•
Either all rogue access points can be displayed, or filtering can be performed to select which rogue
access points to display on the floor map. This is based primarily on MAC address but can be
augmented by filtering on the state of the rogue detection (Alert, Known, Acknowledged, Contained,
Threat, or Known Contained) as well as whether or not the rogue access point was seen to be
connected to the same wired network as the detecting wireless system. As mentioned previously,
only up to 250 rogue access points will be shown at any one time on floor maps. If there are greater
than 250 rogue access points detected, the total number found will be indicated in the left hand
column status area during each communication cycle between WCS and the location appliance. It
is recommended that filtering be used to reduce the total number of rogue access points selected for
display if you receive this warning.
In software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, WLAN controllers provide support for the maximum number
of rogue access points shown in Table 3-3.
Table 3-3
Maximum WLC Rogue Access Point Capacity
Controller Model
Rogue APs Supported
2006
125
2106
125
4402
625
4404
625
WiSM
1250
NM-WLC6
125
NME-WLC8/12
125
3750G
625
Complete information on any displayed rogue access point can be obtained simply by left-clicking the
cursor on the circular skull-and-crossbones icon representing the desired rogue access point on the floor
map. Doing this yields a screen containing detailed information as shown in Figure 3-23. Note however,
there is no RSSI information displayed for rogue access points when the location map is enlarged. Using
the dropdown menu located in the upper right-hand corner, location history and playback information
for the rogue access point in question can be accessed, similar in format and function to that described
previously for WLAN clients and 802.11 active RFID tags.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-30
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-23
Rogue Access Point Detailed Information
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-31
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Rogue Clients
Rogue clients are clients associated to rogue access points. Rogue clients are displayed on the WCS
location floor maps using a black rectangle icon with a skull-and-crossbones, as shown in Figure 3-24.
To display rogue clients on the WCS location floor map, ensure that the Rogue Clients checkbox option
is enabled from the Layers dropdown selector at the top of the floor map display, and click Load in the
left-hand column. To avoid excessive clutter, WCS will display the first 250 rogue clients on the floor
map. To view the location of rogue clients beyond the first 250, rogue client filtering must be used.
Figure 3-24
Rogue Client Location Map
It is possible to filter the location information displayed by WCS based on the age of the information.
In Figure 3-24 WCS displays location appliance information that has aged up to 15 minutes.
Alternatively this value could be set to 2 or 5 minutes for more recent location information or ½, 1, 3,
6, 12 or 24 hours for older information.
By clicking on the blue chevron that is displayed to the right of the Rogue Clients checkbox, rogue
client filtering options can be specified and additional information can be displayed, such as:
•
The total number of rogue clients detected on this floor.
•
Small icons (shown above) or standard sized icons can be selected. When using small icons, no text
is displayed on the floor map for the rogue client except when a mouse-over is performed. When
using standard size icons, an on-screen tag displays the rogue client’s MAC address.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-32
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
•
Either all rogue clients can be displayed or filtering can be performed to select which rogue clients
to display on the floor map. Filtering can be based on the MAC address of rogue access point to
which it is believed the rogue client is associated or it can be based on the state of the rogue client
(alert, contained or threat). As mentioned previously, only up to 250 rogue clients will be shown at
any one time on floor maps. If there are greater than 250 rogue clients detected, the total number
found will be indicated in the left hand column status area during each communication cycle
between WCS and the location appliance. It is recommended that filtering be used to reduce the total
number of rogue clients selected for display if you receive this warning.
In software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, WLAN controllers provide support for the maximum number
of rogue clients shown in Figure 3-24.
Table 3-4
Maximum WLC Rogue Client Capacity
Controller Model
Rogue Clients
2006
100
2106
100
4402
500
4404
500
WiSM
1000
NM-WLC6
100
NME-WLC8/12
100
3750G
500
Complete information on any displayed rogue client can be obtained simply by left-clicking the cursor
on the rectangular black skull-and-crossbones icon representing the desired rogue client on the floor
map. This yields the screen shown in Figure 3-25. However, RSSI information is not displayed for rogue
access points when the location map is enlarged.
Using the dropdown menu located in the upper right-hand corner, you can access location history and
playback information for the rogue client that is similar in format and function to that described
previously for WLAN clients, active RFID tags and rogue access points.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-33
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Figure 3-25
Rogue Client Detailed Information
It is important to understand how localization of rogue access points and clients differs from that of
WLAN clients and asset tags. Recall from prior discussion that WLAN clients transmit probe requests
periodically across multiple channels. Because infrastructure access points are spending the vast
majority of their time on their assigned channels, these probe requests tend to be detected quickly and
relayed to the controllers to which the access points are registered. Asset tags do not transmit probe
requests but rather multicast tag messages on the channels for which the tags have been configured.
These multicasts are quickly detected by infrastructure access points operating on these channels in the
vicinity of the asset tags.
Rogue devices may not be operating on the same channels to which your infrastructure access points
have been assigned. Because of this, these rogue devices may be detected during periodic off-channel
scans conducted by infrastructure access points. For an LWAPP access point operating in local mode,
this off-channel scans typically occur for about 500 milliseconds out of every 180 seconds of operation
(or about 50 milliseconds per non-primary channel per 180 second interval).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-34
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Tracking Clients, Assets and Rogue Devices
Workgroup Bridges
Some Cisco autonomous access points can connect to the Cisco UWN in a special mode of operation
known as workgroup bridge (WGB) mode. Access points configured as workgroup bridges can provide
wireless connectivity to the Cisco UWN for groups of wired clients, making the wired clients essentially
appear as wireless clients to the UWN. Cisco AP1121, AP1130, AP1231, AP1240, and AP1310 access
points containing Cisco IOS Release 12.4(3g)JA or greater (on 32-MB access points) or Cisco IOS
Release 12.3(8)JEB or greater (on 16-MB access points) can be configured for workgroup bridge mode.
Note
For further information about the configuration of workgroup bridges and their role in the Cisco UWN,
refer to The Workgroup Bridge in a Lightweight Environment located at the following URL:
http://cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/access_point/12.4_3g_JA/configuration/guide/s43hot.html#wp1
059452.
The default roaming behavior for workgroup bridges is to delay active scanning for potential access
point roam candidates until the WGB has lost its association. While such behavior may be perfectly
acceptable when workgroup bridges are used in stationary applications, it can cause concern in mobile
WGB applications (such as a mobile cart-based array of Ethernet-only medical equipment) because of
the following:
•
Delaying the search for potential access point roam candidates until association is lost can introduce
unnecessary application delays, which may negatively the performance of mobile timing-sensitive
applications and cause application lockups or time-outs.
•
Depending on the environment, mobile workgroup bridges may move about for considerable
distances while associated to the same access point. In this case, the default WGB behavior will
result in an absence of probe requests, causing the location appliance to rely on stale probe request
RSSI information and potentially leading to poor WGB location fidelity until the WGB is faced with
a roaming event.
Access points configured in WGB mode do not respond to broadcast Radio Measurement Requests that
are sent as a result of the Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement parameter being enabled.
Therefore, Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement cannot be used as a mechanism with
which to trigger consistent periodic probing in work group bridges.
The Cisco IOS CLI mobile station command can be used on the workgroup bridge to provide a
significant degree of improvement in workgroup bridge location fidelity. When you enable this setting
in the workgroup bridge, it causes it to perform an active scan when it detects low access point RSSI,
excessive radio interference, or a high percentage of frame loss. The workgroup bridge will use the
information it learns from the active scan to determine whether any access points offering better service
are available to it, and will roam to a new access point before it loses its current association.
The basic format of the command is:
mobile station period <seconds> threshold <|dBm|>
where the value for period denotes how often the workgroup bridge checks the RSSI of its currently
associated access point, and the value for threshold specifies the absolute value of the minimum
acceptable access point RSSI in dBm. The default values are 20 seconds and 70 dBm respectively.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-35
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
Note
Complete details regarding the configuration of the Cisco IOS mobile station command can be found in
Cisco IOS 12.4(3g)JA for Access Points and Bridges, “mobile station” command reference page located
at the following URL:
http://cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/access_point/12.4_3g_JA/command/reference/cr43main.html#w
p2593116
The values for period and threshold should be adjusted for your specific environment in order to balance
the need for consistent and regular probe requests against the possibility of excessive roaming.
Decreasing the threshold value to a very low value, causing an active scan to always occur at each period
interval, for example, will typically improve the location fidelity of work group bridges that seldom roam
significantly. The trade-off with doing this however, is that such settings may also increase the frequency
with which the workgroup bridge roams. However, this trade-off is generally viewed as equitable since
in properly deployed environments with good coverage and access point placement, the increase in WGB
roaming should be negligible whereas the improvement in mobile workgroup bridge location fidelity in
cases where there is seldom roaming between access points can be very significant
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
Cisco Unified Wireless Network (CUWN) software Release 4.1 introduces the Cisco Location Control
Protocol (LOCP), an architectural enhancement that improves communication efficiency and supports
new capabilities between the location appliances and one or more WLAN controllers. LOCP is a
bi-directional protocol that can be run over a connection-oriented or connectionless transport. LOCP
provides for an ongoing exchange of control messages that allows either endpoint to determine if its
partner is still active.
Figure 3-26 illustrates the basic LOCP packet flow between the location appliance and each WLAN
controller.
Figure 3-26
Location Appliance WLAN Controller LOCP Session
WLAN Controller
Location Appliance
W
N
S
E
TLS Initialization
Control Message
Exchange
Echo Request
Echo Response
Data Messages
Echo Request
Echo Response
Encrypted LOCP Session
223322
Control Message
Exchange
In Release 4.1 the location appliance is pre-configured by the user with regard to the IP addresses of the
controllers it is to communicate with. Once the connection between the controller and the location
appliance is initialized, an encrypted TLS session is established between the two endpoints over which
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-36
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
all further LOCP traffic will travel. Each endpoint periodically verifies that its partner is active and ready
to accept requests by participating in Echo Request/Response control message exchange, as shown in
Figure 3-26.
If a location appliance detects that a WLC is no longer responding, it will temporarily disable any other
requests to that WLC until the WLC becomes active again. The connection between the location
appliance and the WLC can be maintained for multiple exchanges (the typical case) or can be initiated
and disconnected for each data request.
The basic parameters controlling the LOCP session between the location appliance and the WLAN
controllers defined to it are specified using the Location Servers > LOCP Parameters panel, as shown in
Figure 3-27.
Figure 3-27
Setting LOCP Session Parameters
The meaning of the LOCP session parameters shown in Figure 3-27 are as follows:
•
Echo Interval—The minimum time interval, in seconds, between echo requests sent from the
location appliance to the WLAN controller. Valid values are 1 to 120 seconds, with the default value
being 15 seconds.
•
Neighbor Dead Interval—The minimum time interval, in seconds, that the location appliance will
wait before marking a WLAN controller not responding to its Echo Requests as “dead”. This value
should not be less than twice the Echo Interval. Recommended values are 2 to 240 seconds, with
the default value being 30 seconds.
•
Response Timeout—The maximum time interval, in seconds, within which the WLAN controller
must respond to requests sent by the location appliance. Valid values are 1 to 99,999 seconds, with
the default value being 1 second.
•
Retransmit Interval—The minimum time interval, in seconds, the location appliance waits before
retransmitting a LOCP request when it does not get a response back from the WLAN controller.
Valid values are 1 to 99,999 seconds, with the default value being 3 seconds.
•
Maximum Retransmits—The maximum number of retransmissions that will be attempted by the
location appliance when a response is not received for a LOCP Request. Valid values are 1 to 99,999
attempts, with the default value being 5 attempts.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-37
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
Note that the first two parameters are applicable only to Echo Request and Echo Reply control messages
while the remaining parameters pertain to all data messages (such as Information and Measurement
Requests and Responses).
Cisco Unified Wireless Network software Release 4.1 introduces the initial phase of LOCP. In this
release, LOCP is used to augment traditional SNMP polling by transporting Cisco Compatible Tag
Extensions for Wi-Fi tags telemetry and notification traffic from WLAN controllers to the location
appliance. This traffic includes:
•
Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi tag telemetry, such as:
– Motion, temperature, pressure, humidity, distance, quantity and status.
– Battery state and predicted remaining life.
•
High priority Cisco Compatible Extensions tag traffic, such as:
– Call button, tag detached and tamper alert events.
– Entry into the range of a chokepoint trigger.
– Vendor-specific tag information used by third party location clients.
Note
Commencing with software Release 4.2, the Location Control Protocol (LOCP) receives additional
enhancements and evolves into the Network Mobility Services Protocol (NMSP).
Asset Tag Telemetry Using LOCP
Beginning with Cisco UWN software Release 4.1, Wi-Fi RFID tags compliant with the Cisco
Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification may optionally pass tag telemetry information to
the location-aware Cisco UWN as part of their tag message payload. This telemetry information is
received by access points and collected by WLAN controllers. The location appliance periodically polls
the WLAN controllers for tag telemetry using LOCP Information Requests. The controller will respond
with the telemetry information it has received for each tag MAC address since the last LOCP polling
cycle via a LOCP Information Response frame. These frames (as well as the polling exchange process)
are illustrated in Figure 3-28. Keep in mind that all frames shown between the location appliance and
the WLAN controller travel are encrypted.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-38
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
Figure 3-28
LOCP Information Request Polling
Location Appliance
W
N
S
WLAN Controller
CCX WiFi Tag
AP
LWAPP
E
MAC 000CCC5D4DAB
Echo Request
Echo Response
Telemetry temp=38°C
t = 60
SNMP GetBulk
SNMP Poll
t = 90
SNMP Response
Info Request
Info Response temp=38°C
LOCP Poll
t = 90
Echo Request
Echo Response
Echo Request
Echo Response
Telemetry temp=40°C
t = 120
SNMP GetBulk
SNMP Poll
t = 180
SNMP Response
Echo Request
Echo Response
SNMP GetBulk
SNMP Poll
t = 270
SNMP Response
223324
Info Request
Info Response temp=40°C
LOCP Poll
t = 270
As you may have noticed in Figure 3-27, the LOCP polling interval is not directly configured in the
location appliance configuration. Rather, it is derived from the asset tag SNMP polling interval
occurring between the location appliance and WLAN controllers. In order to determine when a LOCP
poll should be sent, the location appliance evaluates the following conditions during each controller
polling cycle:
•
Whether the controller software release supports LOCP. LOCP polls will not be sent to controllers
that are not LOCP-capable.
•
If the time interval since the last LOCP poll is 180 seconds, then LOCP polling will be performed
during this asset tag SNMP polling cycle. LOCP Information Requests will be sent to all
LOCP-capable controllers currently defined to the location appliance.
•
If the interval since the last LOCP poll < 180 seconds, then LOCP polling will not be performed
during this asset tag SNMP polling cycle.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-39
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
The LOCP polling interval used by a location appliance to collect asset tag telemetry information in
software Release 4.1 can be calculated from the asset tag SNMP polling interval using the following
formula1:
 180 
Poll NMSP = 
 ∗ PollTAG
 PollTAG 
PollLOCP represents the LOCP polling interval and PollTAG specifies the poll interval at which the location
appliance polls the controller for asset tag location information via SNMP. Both of these values are
specified in seconds. The value for PollTAG is configured in WCS using Location Servers > Polling
Parameters. For example, using an asset tag SNMP polling interval (PollTAG) of 120 seconds, the LOCP
polling interval (PollLOCP) used by the location appliance is calculated to be 240 seconds.
Figure 3-28 helps to provide clarity to understanding the relationship between LOCP and SNMP polls
and their impact on the receipt of tag telemetry. We see that temperature telemetry is transmitted from
a Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags compatible tag with MAC address 00:0C:CC:5D:4D:AB
at time t=60 seconds. This transmission is received by one or more access points. These access points
pass the telemetry information (temperature of 38ºC in our example) to their respective registered
WLAN controllers. Since Figure 3-28 shows that the SNMP poll occurring at time t=90 seconds is the
very first poll (which also implies that no previous LOCP polls have occurred), the controller will
receives a LOCP poll at time t=90 seconds as well. This is indicated in the figure by the receipt of the
Information Request frame. The controller responds to the poll by passing any accumulated tag telemetry
information to the location appliance in a LOCP Information Response frame.
If tags are configured to send multiple frame copies (or bursts) per channel, the controller eliminates any
duplicate tag telemetry and passes the distilled telemetry values to the location appliance. The location
appliance then updates its databases with this telemetry information and makes it available to location
clients via the SOAP/XML API.
Subsequent inbound telemetry is handled in an analogous fashion. For example, in Figure 3-28 at time
t=120 seconds we see an inbound temperature telemetry update indicating that the temperature has
increased to 40 ºC. The aforementioned cycle of events would reoccur, culminating in the telemetry
update being transmitted to the location appliance at time t=270 seconds. It is important to understand
why the tag telemetry is passed to the location appliance at time t=270 seconds and not at time t=180
seconds, which is where we observe an SNMP poll occurring. As explained earlier, LOCP polling only
occurs if the time delta since the last LOCP poll is 180 seconds or more. At time t=180 seconds, the time
delta since the previous LOCP poll is only 90 seconds, thus no LOCP poll occurs at that time.
While Figure 3-28 illustrates the simple case of a single tag passing only a single telemetry value, it
should be noted that LOCP is designed to efficiently transport telemetry values from multiple tags just
as easily. Each Information Response frame allows multiple tag MAC addresses to be specified by the
controller, with each MAC address being associated with one or more telemetry values. For example,
instead of passing only temperature telemetry, the tag shown in Figure 3-28 could include temperature,
pressure, humidity and so on. All of this information would be included in the Information Response
transmitted at the next LOCP poll. Inbound telemetry traffic from multiple tags would be aggregated by
the controller in a similar fashion, with each LOCP endpoint capable of performing LOCP frame
fragmentation and reassembly if necessary.
With the exception of battery state information which can be “pushed” via asynchronous northbound
notifications from the location appliance, tag telemetry is made available to location clients only via the
SOAP/XML API.
1. The ceiling function “   ” represents the application of the ceiling function to the positive integer x. This
rounds up x upwards, returning the smallest integer that is greater than or equal to x.
x
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-40
OL-11612-01
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
For information regarding tag telemetry deployment considerations, refer to Tag Telemetry and
Notification Considerations, page 6-27.
Asset Tag Notifications Using LOCP
Beginning with Cisco UWN software Release 4.1, Wi-Fi active RFID tags compliant with the Cisco
Compatible Extensions Wi-Fi tag specification can pass optional high priority, chokepoint and
vendor-specific notification events to the location-aware Cisco UWN. Indication of high-priority tag
events are received by one or more access points via tag multicast messages frames that contain
additional payload information indicating the nature of the event. This information is typically
dispatched by asset tags at the time the tag detects that the event has occurred. Once received by the
WLAN controller, these time-critical events are handled outside the polled LOCP polling process and
passed immediately to the location appliance using a LOCP Notification frame, as shown in Figure 3-29.
Figure 3-29
LOCP Notifications
Location Appliance
W
N
S
WLAN Controller
AP
CCX WiFi Tag
LWAPP
E
MAC 000CCC5D4DAB
Echo Request
Northbound
EMAIL
SNMP Asynchronous
SYSLOG Notification
t = 70
XML
SNMP Poll
t = 90
LOCP Poll
t = 90
Echo Response
Measurement Notification (Chokepoint 1)
Telemetry temp=38°C
t = 60
Chokepoint 1
t = 70
Chokepoint 2
t = 100
Call Button Depressed
t = 110
SNMP GetBulk
SNMP Response
Info Request
Info Response temp=38°C
Measurement Notification (Chokepoint 2)
Information Notification (Vendor-Specific)
Echo Request
Echo Response
Information Notification (Panic Alert)
223325
EMAIL
Northbound
SNMP Asynchronous
SYSLOG Notification
XML
t = 110
Figure 3-29 shows the two basic types of LOCP notifications supported in Cisco UWN software Release
4.1, the Measurement Notification and the Information Notification:
•
Measurement Notifications—In Release 4.1, measurement notifications are used to convey
information regarding the identity of any chokepoint proximity devices into whose range a tag may
have entered. Tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification
include chokepoint identification in the tag content field (such as the chokepoint MAC address).
This information is passed to the location appliance along with the tag MAC address in real time,
and can be used by location clients (such as WCS) to indicate that a tag is now within range (or out
of range) of a particular chokepoint.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
3-41
Chapter 3
Cisco Location-Based Services Architecture
Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP)
•
Information Notifications—In Release 4.1, information notifications are used to convey
vendor-specific data and tag high-priority events, such as:
– When a tag user depresses a tag call button
– When a tag detects that it has been removed from its carrier or attached asset
– When a tag detects tampering.
– When any other high-priority tag events occur.
While each tag vendor is responsible for determining the precise set of capabilities they choose to
include in their product offering, the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification
provides for high-priority information to be uniformly included in the tag content field. This
information is passed to the location appliance along with the tag MAC address, and can be used by
location clients (such as WCS) to indicate that a high-priority tag event has taken place.
The Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification allows each tag vendor to pass
vendor-specific information (such as proprietary tag messages or additional vendor-specific
chokepoint information) from their tags into the Cisco UWN in real time. Vendor-specific
information will be made available unaltered to location clients via the SOAP/XML API interface
of the Cisco location appliance. Vendor-specific information that is sent within a high-priority event
can also be “pushed” to location clients from the location appliance via an asynchronous northbound
notification from the location appliance to location clients using SMTP, UDP-Syslog, SNMP traps
or SOAP transports. Location clients must be capable of receiving and processing these
notifications on the aforementioned ports in order to provide real-time notification of such events to
end users.
Figure 3-29 clearly indicates that unlike tag telemetry, there is no dependency on any polling mechanism
between the location appliance and the WLAN controller. LOCP notifications will be generated from
the WLAN controller to the location appliance as tags communicate those events. High-priority tag
events, vendor specific data and chokepoint in-range information are not aggregated by WLAN
controllers in Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN. Each incoming tag multicast message bearing such
information, received by a WLAN controller from each registered access point, results in the generation
of an information notification or a measurement notification frame from the WLAN controller to the
location appliance.
No dependency exists between the transmission of tag telemetry and the transmission of chokepoint,
high-priority or vendor specific information. For example, a tag may be relaying telemetry information
about an asset as it traverses through the range of chokepoints in an environment. As seen in Figure 3-29,
the tag telemetry is retained by the WLAN controller until the next LOCP polling interval, whereas
indication of chokepoints that are in-range is sent immediately by the WLAN controller to the location
appliance in the form of a measurement notification.
In addition to providing updated information to clients via the SOAP/XMP API (for example, when a
location client issues a XML GetTagInfo or GetTagLocation request), the location appliance can also
dispatch external asynchronous northbound notifications upon receipt of LOCP measurement or
information notifications (refer once again to Figure 3-29). These external northbound notifications are
sent for the following conditions using SNMP, SMTP, SOAP or UDP-Syslog transports:
•
Call Button, Tag Tampering, or Tag Detached
•
Chokepoint in-range
•
Other Priority Events (user defined)
For information regarding deployment considerations surrounding tag notifications, refer to Tag
Telemetry and Notification Considerations, page 6-27.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
3-42
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
4
Installation and Configuration
Installing and Configuring the Location Appliance
Detailed procedures for installing and configuring the Cisco Location Appliance can be found in the
following documents:
•
Release Notes for Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Release 3.0—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Installation Guide—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_installation_and_configuration_guide_bo
ok09186a00804fa761.html
•
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Configuration Guide—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_lis
t.html
Configuring Cisco WCS for Location Tracking
It is assumed that the reader has installed either a Windows or Linux-based version of WCS that is
appropriately licensed for location use with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. Detailed procedures
for configuring the Wireless Control System for location use with the Cisco Wireless Location
Appliance can be found in the following documents:
•
Cisco Wireless Control System Release Notes, Release 4.1—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, Release 4.1—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_lis
t.html
•
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Deployment Guide—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_technical_reference09186a008059ce31.html
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-1
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance History Parameters
Configuring Location Appliance History Parameters
The configuration of Location Server > Administration > History Parameters is discussed in the
document entitled Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Configuration Guide: Editing History Parameters
at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
2f.html#wp1046373.
Further clarification regarding some of these parameters is provided in the subsections that follow.
A common misconception about the history capabilities of the location appliance is that it somehow
stores a historical record of all locations the client has ever encountered. As is discussed in the following
two sections, the location application stores history information based on the values of the archive period
and archive interval parameters. If a history record for a device is recorded at time T0 and the archive
period is 30, the next history record for that device is written at T0+30. The device may have undergone
several changes in location between T0 and T0+30; however, only the location states at time T0 and T0+30
are recorded in the history database.
History Archive Period
The history archive period (shown as “Archive For”) specifies the number of days that the location
appliance retains location history records for each enabled history collection category. The default
archive period is 30 days. Changes to the default history archive period should be done with careful
consideration after consultation with your Cisco field technical representative or the Cisco Technical
Assistance Center, because longer history periods typically increase the amount of space consumed by
the location history database. Because newer history data within the archive period does not overwrite
older data, the combination of a large number of devices, an injudicious selection of history categories,
and an excessive history archive period can increase the risk of exhausting available free space.
To illustrate this point, we can compare the amount of disk storage that is consumed when selecting one
combination of history category, archival period, and archival interval versus another. To do this, let us
assume an environment consisting of 1100 WLAN clients, 300 asset tags, 20 rogue access points, and
30 rogue clients. Figure 4-1 illustrates the effect on consumed disk storage of the following:
•
Increasing the default archive period to 365 days for all device categories
•
Reducing the default history archive interval for clients (“mobile devices”) and asset tags to 60
minutes.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance History Parameters
Figure 4-1
Impact of History Interval and Archive Period on Database Size
Although the estimates shown in Figure 4-1 are only an approximation (they do not account for per
record display string sizes and database overhead, for example), you can see that database size increases
from about 30 MB to over 2.25 GB because of these changes in location history alone. The database
backup mechanism on the location appliance requires that there be at least as much free space available
as is used in order to support reliable extraction and compression, thereby bringing the total estimated
space requirement to over 5 GB.
History Database Pruning
Database pruning is especially important in situations when there is a high risk of a situation occurring
where available hard disk space becomes critically low. If low available disk space situations re-occur,
more aggressive data pruning intervals may be warranted such that pruning occurs more frequently and
well in advance of a low disk space situation. These aggressive data pruning intervals may need to be
combined with a shorter history archive interval if the adjusted pruning intervals alone are not sufficient
in addressing the low free disk space situation.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-3
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Advanced Parameters
Configuring Location Appliance Advanced Parameters
The configuration of Location Server > Administration > Advanced Parameters is discussed in the
document entitled Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Configuration Guide: Editing Advanced
Parameters at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
2f.html#wp1050981.
Further clarification regarding a subset of the Advanced Parameters is provided in the following
subsections.
Absent Data Cleanup Interval
The “Absent Data Cleanup Interval” or ADCI (range 1 to 99,999 minutes) specifies the amount of time
that an entry is kept for a tracked entity (WLAN client, tag, rogue access point, or rogue client) in the
active location database. The ADCI specifies the amount of time that must expire before the tracked
device entry is removed from the active location database if no recent updates have been received for
that device.
For example, if the RSSI information for an asset tag was last recorded by the location appliance two
days ago and the cleanup interval is set to the default value of 1440 minutes (24 hours or 1 day), the
station will be removed from the active location database after the expiration of the 24 hour absent data
cleanup interval. Note that once the device is removed from the active location database, it will not be
possible to “scroll back” and review the last known location of the device using the “load location server
data as old as” dropdown menu control.
The limit of 2500 total tracked devices in the location appliance applies strictly to those devices that are
in the active location database. Once the total number of devices (clients, tags and rogues) in the active
database reaches 2500, additional devices cannot be tracked by this location appliance until some of the
currently tracked devices contained in the active location database expire and are pruned from the
database.
In some cases, the default value for the Absent Data Cleanup Interval may be found to excessively delay
the clean-up of devices that have been recently removed from the tracked environment. A good case in
point might be a location appliance with 1500 tracked asset tags and client stations, where an operator
has enabled rogue location tracking in an environment with a high concentration of rogue devices. If the
system were to discover 1000 rogue devices, for example, these would be added to the active location
database and would bring the total number of tracked devices for this location appliance to its maximum
capacity of 2500. If location tracking of tagged assets and WLAN clients are considered to be a higher
priority than the tracking of rogue devices, a potential problem could exist. If new tags or clients are
added to the environment, there may not be any available capacity to track them until some of the
currently tracked devices (existing WLAN clients, asset tags or rogue devices) expire and are pruned
from the active location database.
Note
Version 4.2 of the location-aware Cisco UWN introduces a enhancement that allows for individual limits
to be placed on what portion of the location appliance’s aggregate tracked device capacity is allocated
to each tracked device category (i.e. WLAN clients, asset tags, or rogue devices).
It is important to note that in this situation, disabling the tracking of rogue devices in the location
appliance entirely will not immediately remove the 1,000 tracked but unwanted rogue devices from the
active location database. Rather, the Absent Data Cleanup Interval will by default maintain each
currently tracked rogue device in the active location database for a period of 1440 minutes past the time
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Advanced Parameters
of its last RSSI update. Plainly put, in the case of our example using the default value for the ADCI,
disabling rogue location tracking today will not prune those tracked device entries from the active
location database until approximately the same time tomorrow.
To work around this and remove the unwanted devices from the active location database more
expeditiously, we can temporarily set the Absent Data Cleanup Interval to a much lower value for a brief
duration in order to accelerate the pruning of any unwanted tracked devices from the active location
database. For example, our hypothetical operator might choose to temporarily set the Absent Data
Cleanup Interval to sixty minutes after disabling location appliance polling for rogue devices. Sixty
minutes after this setting has been applied, the location appliance will remove all devices from the active
location database for which updated information has not been received from WLAN controllers within
the last hour, including the undesired rogue devices. Once this has occurred, the “Number of Tracked
Elements” field shown on the Location Servers > Advanced Parameters menu page should decrease,
reflecting the number of devices removed from the active location database.
The Absent Data Cleanup Interval is a single parameter that applies to all device categories. Thus, a
potential drawback of temporarily lowering the ADCI in this way is that the removal of tracked devices
from the active location database occurs in a non-selective fashion. That is to say, all devices for which
information updates have not been received by the location appliance meeting the ADCI time criteria
will be removed. In our example, this means that not only would our unwanted rogues be removed, but
so would any clients or asset tags for whom we have not received any updates in the last sixty minutes
as well. Such behavior could prove surprising to location client users that have come to depend on a 24
hour window of prior location information in order to locate “lost” assets for which current location
information is not available.
In lab testing, it was found that the use of the location history database can partially mitigate this in cases
where tracked devices have been removed from the active location database but are later re-detected by
the UWN. In such cases, any prior collected location history records will once again be available, unless
their history archive period has expired and the history records themselves have been pruned. History
records for devices that have been deleted from the active location database, but have not been
re-detected by access points, will not be accessible via location clients.
In some cases, it may be desirable to alter the default value for Absent Data Cleanup Interval on a more
permanent basis. One example of such a case might be an facility that employs location tracking but has
a large number of transient Wi-Fi devices, such as client laptops, PDAs and so on, residing onsite only
a few hours before moving on, and then not returning for several days. Another example might be a
logistics cross-docking facility that may only contain 2000 tagged asset containers during any four hour
period, but through whose doors a volume of 10,000 or more tagged asset containers may pass within a
24 hour period.
In either of these cases, the quantity of track-able Wi-Fi client devices or asset tags actually on site at
any one time may be significantly less than the maximum tracked device capacity of the location
appliance. However, the number of transient devices that may pass through the facility over a 24 hour
period will easily exceed 2500. Should this occur while using the default value for Absent Data Cleanup
Interval, there may be a risk of the location appliance's tracking capacity becoming exhausted, as devices
that may have left the facility several hours ago will not be removed from the active location database
until the 24 hour ADCI has expired. Setting the value for Absent Data Cleanup Interval to a lower value
(say, for example, four hours or 240 minutes) would expedite the cleanup of these migrated devices and
release tracked device capacity on the location appliance for use by recent device arrivals.
Reducing the value of the Absent Data Cleanup Interval is not without its tradeoffs, however. For further
discussion of the Absent Data Cleanup Interval, the potential tradeoffs involved in changing it and how
this may factor into your overall design approach, it is recommended that the reader consult the examples
given in Multiple Location Appliance Designs, page 5-32.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-5
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Advanced Parameters
Memory Information
•
DB Disk Memory—A misnomer, this parameter does not refer to “memory” on the location
appliance. Rather, it displays the amount of disk space that has been consumed by the location
appliance database. This information is useful when determining whether a database
de-fragmentation should be performed (see Advanced Commands, page 4-6).
•
Run Java GC—This command runs a general memory clean-up immediately. Normally, memory
cleanup is initiated by the system automatically and thus does not require manual initiation.
Therefore, Java General Cleanup need only be run when directed by the Cisco Technical Assistance
Center (TAC) or Cisco Engineering.
Advanced Commands
The Defragment Database advanced command defragments the location database and reclaims allocated
but unused disk space. A database defragmentation can be beneficial if free disk space on the location
appliance is running low because of large database size, or if the response time of the location appliance
appears noticeably slower when data is requested by location clients.
To determine how much free space is currently available on the location appliance, it is necessary to log
into the location appliance via either the CLI serial console or an SSH session. When logged in, use the
Linux command df -H to display disk free space, as follows:
[[email protected]_Loc root]# df -H
Filesystem
/dev/sda2
/dev/sda1
none
Size
77G
104M
526M
Used Avail Use% Mounted on
3.2G
70G
5% /
16M
83M 16% /boot
0 526M
0% /dev/shm
[[email protected]_Loc root]#
Note
The df –H command is used above because it is a commonplace practice for most computer disk
manufacturers to assume 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. The –H option displays output as powers of 1000
rather than 1024. Use df –h if your preference is for the contrary.
The df display output shown here is for a location appliance containing a hard disk drive with an
unformatted capacity of 80 GB. Notice that there are two main file systems defined: /dev/sda1, which is
the Linux boot file system; and /dev/sda2, which contains the root directory as well as the location
application and all databases. You can clearly see from the display above that only 5 percent of all
available space on /dev/sda2 is currently being used. That being the case, there is an abundance of free
space available and defragmentation is unlikely to be required at this time.
You can use the information in the df output along with the knowledge of the size of the location
database (from DB Disk Memory described in Memory Information, page 4-6) to approximate the
maximum recommended size to which the location appliance database should be allowed to grow. At
first glance, this may appear intuitive; that is, max recommended database size = total available disk
space – (OS size + location application size). However, you should also account for the creation of a flat
file that is used during the database backup process. Using the formula below, you can calculate the
maximum recommended size of the location database including this additional free space plus a small
additional amount to account for system overhead (such as the downloading of an location appliance
upgrade image):
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-6
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Location Parameters
MaxDatabaseSize =
TotalSpace − OSApplSpace
2 .3
Where:
•
Note
MaxDatabaseSize is the maximum recommended size of the database in bytes
MaxDatabaseSize assumes the user has performed a cleanup of any residual location appliance
upgrade images. Multiple residual upgrade images may consume additional free space
exceeding these allotments.
•
TotalSpace is the total amount of available space on /dev/sda2 in GB.
•
OSApplSpace is the amount of space occupied by the Linux OS and the location appliance
application on /dev/sda2. This can be calculated for the example shown above as:
(the amount of used disk space in Gigabytes) – (the current size of the location appliance database
in Gigabytes).
The current size of the location appliance database can be found at WCS > Location Server > Advanced
Parameters > DB Disk Memory. In the case of the system used for this example, DB Disk Memory =
24,608,768 bytes or .0246 GB. Thus, OSApplSpace = (3.2 - .0246 GB) or 3.175 GB.
Substituting the values for TotalSpace and OSApplSpace into the equation, you can calculate the
maximum recommended size to which the location appliance database should be allowed to grow as (77
GB - 3.175 GB) / 2.3 = 73.825 / 2.3 = 32.0 GB. Therefore, to ensure proper operation of the database
backup mechanism in a location appliance with an 80 GB unformatted capacity hard disk drive, the
maximum recommended size of the location database (as indicated by DB Disk Memory) should not be
allowed to exceed 32 GB.
Configuring Location Appliance Location Parameters
The configuration of Location Server > Administration > Location Parameters is discussed in Cisco
Wireless Location Appliance Configuration Guide: Editing Location Parameters at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
2f.html#wp1050973.
Further clarification regarding select parameters is provided in subsequent sections.
Enable Calculation Time
The enable calculation time location parameter refers to an advanced debugging option that enables
logging of the amount of time that internal localization calculations consume. It is disabled by default
and should be enabled only on the recommendation of the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or
Cisco Engineering, because it adds overhead to the location calculations.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-7
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Location Parameters
Enable OW (Outer Wall) Location
Although the WCS Map Editor allows interior walls to be placed within floor maps, the location
appliance only takes into consideration up to 50 “heavy” walls when evaluating path loss models and
conducting positioning calculations. Heavy walls are those defined in the Map Editor with attenuation
values of 13 dB. When the “Wall Usage Calibration” parameter in WCS (Monitor > Maps > Properties
>Wall Usage Calibration) is set to “Auto”, the location appliance will dynamically determine whether
to use the attenuation introduced by heavy walls during the calculations performed as part of the
calibration process. The system administrator can, however, opt to include heavy wall attenuation in
all cases by setting this parameter to “Use Walls”, or disable the use of heavy walls entirely by setting
it to “Do Not Use Walls”.
Enable OW Location is a parameter that was used with software releases prior to release 4.0 of the Cisco
UWN (i.e., prior to Release 2.1 of the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance). Enable OW Location is still
displayed on the Location Server > Administration > Location Parameters menu in Release 4.1 of WCS
for backward compatibility with these earlier releases. However, with software Release 4.1, there is no
benefit to be gained by changing this parameter from its default setting.
RSSI Discard Times
•
Relative RSSI Discard Time—This parameter denotes the relative boundary of RSSI sample times
used in location calculations. It specifies the time between the most recent RSSI sample and the
oldest usable RSSI sample. The default relative RSSI discard time is 3 minutes. During normal
operation of the location appliance, this parameter should be left at the default value and should not
be changed except on the advice and recommendation of the Cisco Technical Assistance Center
(TAC) or Cisco Engineering.
•
Absolute RSSI Discard Time—This parameter denotes the absolute boundary of RSSI sample times
used in location calculations. The default is 60 minutes, which means that RSSI samples older than
60 minutes are not used in location calculations, regardless of relative RSSI discard time. During
normal operation of the location appliance, this parameter should be left at the default value and
should not be changed except on advice of the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or Cisco
Engineering.
RSSI Cutoff
In addition to enforcing the aforementioned relative and absolute time constraints against received RSSI
reports, the location appliance also applies a parameter known as the RSSI cutoff. Subject to the time
constraints described in RSSI Discard Times, the location appliance retains the four highest signal
strength reports plus any signal strength reports that meet or exceed the value specified for RSSI cutoff.
The default value for RSSI cutoff is -75 dBm.
The application of the RSSI cutoff threshold is illustrated in the following examples:
•
Four RSSI reports of -68dBm, -70dBm, -72dBm, and -80dBm—All four reports are retained
because they are the four highest reports.
•
Five RSSI reports of -66dBm, -68dBm, -70dBm, -72dBm, and -74dBm—All five reports are
retained because they all meet or exceed the default RSSI cutoff threshold.
•
Five RSSI reports of -66dBm, -68dBm, -70dBm, -72dBm, and -80dBm—The first four reports are
retained, the fifth report of -80dBm is discarded because it does not meet the default RSSI cutoff
threshold of -75 dBm and there already exists four other signal reports that meet or exceed the
threshold.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-8
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Notification Parameters
Configuring Location Appliance Notification Parameters
The configuration of Location Server > Administration > Notification Parameters is discussed in Cisco
Wireless Location Appliance Configuration Guide: Configuring Notification Parameters at the
following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
44.html#wp1053921.
Further clarification regarding select parameters is provided in the following sections.
Queue Limit
The Queue Limit parameter specifies the size of the output notification queue of the location appliance.
This value normally defaults to 500. The location appliance drops any outbound notifications above this
limit if the output notification queue size is exceeded. Therefore, if you notice that some outbound
notifications are being dropped (via the Notifications Dropped field), you may want to increase the
queue limit size.
Retry Count
For each matching condition, the Retry Count specifies the number of northbound notification “firings”
that will be allowed for the same device (over and above the initial firing) before the wait period
specified by the Refresh Time parameter begins. Thus, the total number of “firings” of northbound
notifications allowed between Refresh Time periods will be equal to one plus the value specified for
Retry Count. The default value for Retry Count is one.
Keep in mind that:
•
More than one physical northbound notification message can be sent per “firing” (for example
SMTP, Syslog, SNMP, or SOAP).
•
Retry Count and Refresh Time apply independently to each matching device MAC address.
•
Retry Count and Refresh Time apply independently to event definitions. However, event definitions
that apply the same trigger conditions to the same device MAC addresses will share a Retry
Count/Refresh Time parameter set.
As an example, assume that the location appliance has been configured to transmit SNMP, email and
syslog northbound notifications when a high-priority condition arises for a specific asset tag. For the
purpose of this example, let us assume the high priority event is the depression of a call button on an
asset tag, such as the AeroScout T2 or T3. Also assume that the notification Refresh Time is set to sixty
minutes and the notification Retry Count is set to one (the default values). Under these conditions, the
location appliance will generate SNMP, email and syslog northbound notifications for each high-priority
event occurring for this tag, up to a maximum of two northbound notifications. After the value of one
plus the Retry Count has been reached, the location appliance will skip firing any further northbound
notifications for this condition and device for the time period specified by the Refresh Time. Once the
Refresh Time has expired, this cycle will repeat unless the event has been cleared.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-9
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Configuring Location Appliance Notification Parameters
Refresh Time
Refresh Time specifies the length of the wait period between transmission of northbound notification
sets for a specific event condition and device, as described above in Retry Count, page 4-9. After the
expiration of the Refresh Time, the event condition is eligible for re-evaluation and, if still present, may
once again result in the generation of northbound notifications.
Refresh Time and Retry Count are used cooperatively to help limit the number of northbound
notifications that are repeatedly generated for uncleared events. Retry Count limits the number of
northbound notifications that are sent by the location appliance, while Refresh Time imposes a “waiting
period” during which time no further northbound notifications will be sent for this event condition and
device.
Refresh Time is specified in minutes, with the default being 60 minutes.
Notifications Dropped
This is a read-only counter field indicating the total number of notifications that have been dropped from
the notification queue since the location appliance was started. Note that stopping and restarting the
location appliance software application (locserverd) will reset this counter. The Notifications Dropped
counter should be used in conjunction with the Queue Limit parameter to reduce the number of total
dropped notifications.
Configuring Location Appliance LOCP Parameters
The configuration of Location Server > Administration > LOCP Parameters is discussed in Cisco
Wireless Location Appliance Configuration Guide: Configuring LOCP Parameters at the following
URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
2f.html#wp1050918.
Location Appliance Dual Ethernet Operation
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is equipped with two 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
ports that can be used to “dual-home” the location appliance to two different IP networks. This makes it
a simple affair, for example, to configure a location appliance for service on network “A” while
affording it the capability to be managed out-of-band on network “B” if the need arises. Complete
step-by-step guidelines to accomplish this are available in Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
Installation Guide: Configuring the Location Appliance at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_installation_and_configuration_guide_chapter
09186a00804fab8e.html#wp1040488.
Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the dual onboard Ethernet controllers on the location
appliance are not intended for redundant or simultaneous connection to the same IP network.
Configurations aimed at establishing parallel, load balancing, or redundant Ethernet connections to the
same IP network are not recommended at this time.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-10
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Changing Location Appliance Default Passwords
Changing Location Appliance Default Passwords
Changing the “root” User Linux System Password
The location appliance ships with a default root userid and password. It is recommended that the
password for the root userid be changed during initial configuration of the location appliance to ensure
optimum network security. This can be done during the execution of the initial setup script as described
in “Installation and Configuration” section of the Cisco 2700 Series Location Appliance Installation and
Configuration Guide, located at
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/location/2700/quick/guide/li31main.html#wp1049597.
When logged in, the Linux command passwd can be used to change the root system password as follows:
AeS_Loc login: root
Password:
Last login: Thu Oct 22 09:53:21 on ttyS0
[[email protected]_Loc root]# passwd
Changing password for user root.
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
[[email protected]_Loc root]#
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-11
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Changing Location Appliance Default Passwords
Changing the “admin” Location Server Application Password
The location server application on the location appliance ships with an administrator user account and
group predefined. The userid is admin and the password is admin. After WCS has successfully contacted
the location server application using the factory default administrator credentials, the default password
on the admin account can be changed to a less well-known value via the WCS menu Location > Accounts
> Users menu.
Step 1
Begin by clicking on the admin userid, as shown in Figure 4-2.
Figure 4-2
Step 2
Default Location Appliance User ID
Clicking on the Admin box brings up the menu shown in Figure 4-3, which allows the password to be
changed for the admin userid.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-12
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Changing Location Appliance Default Passwords
Figure 4-3
Step 3
Modifying the Admin Password
Finally, change the value for the password used by WCS to access the location server application to the
new value that was specified in Figure 4-3. This can be performed via Location Server > Administration
> General Properties, as shown in Figure 4-4.
Note that any third-party location clients that have been configured to also use the admin userid to access
the location server application via the SOAP/XML API needs to be changed accordingly. You may
prefer to define a totally separate userid for each third-party location client that accesses the location
appliance, instead of allowing them to use the admin account.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-13
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Location Appliance Time Synchronization
Figure 4-4
Specifying Location Server Application Login Credentials
Location Appliance Time Synchronization
In order to assure reliable and consistent operation across the network, it is recommended that the
WLAN controllers, location appliances and WCS systems within the Cisco UWN maintain synchronized
internal clocks. As a general network recommendation, establishing synchronized internal clocks
facilitates troubleshooting by making it much easier to correlate log messages between components.
Whether viewing independent log files from various components or a combined syslog, having log
entries use consistent time stamp references in their message text only serves to make such messages
more logical and easier to understand.
This usefulness of consistent timestamps becomes especially clear when multiple location appliances are
configured to send asynchronous northbound notifications to a common destination, such as email
messages for example. Location appliances configured with the incorrect system time may issue
notification messages (as shown in Figure 4-5 bearing incorrect or inconsistent times that may appear
confusing to operators at network operations centers (NOCs) or other control points.
Figure 4-5
Email Notification Message Bearing Time Stamp of Location Appliance
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-14
OL-11612-01
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Quiescing the Location Appliance
Network Time Protocol (NTP) is the recommended method with which to establish a common clock
source and maintain ongoing internal clock synchronization. The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
contains a utility daemon known as ntpd that can act as an NTP client to an NTP server located within
the enterprise network. A network NTP server provides a common time source reference to all devices,
typically using the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) standard (formerly referred to as Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT).
Note
In software releases up to and including Release 4.1, proper time synchronization is recommended.
However, with Release 4.2 and beyond, proper time synchronization is mandatory for proper
authentication between the location appliance and WLAN controllers.
Complete guidance on configuring and activating the ntpd daemon on the location appliance can be
found in the following document under the “NTP Configuration and Synchronization for Unified
Wireless Network Devices – Set Up NTP on the Location Appliance” section which can be found at the
following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/products_configuration_example09186a0080811274.sht
ml#setup-la.
NTP setup information can also be found in the Cisco 2700 Series Location Appliance Installation and
Configuration Guide found at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/location/2700/quick/guide/li31main.html#wp1057105.
Additional background information and general best practices with regard to NTP in your network may
be found in the Network Time Protocol: Best Practices document which can be found at the following
URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk869/tk769/technologies_white_paper09186a0080117070.shtml.
Quiescing the Location Appliance
Although the location appliance is designed to be installed and operated in a continuous fashion, there
may be times when it is necessary to power-down the appliance in preparation for extraordinary events
such as a physical equipment move or the orderly shutdown of a data center. Simply removing power to
the location appliance without undergoing an orderly shutdown may result in any files open at the time
becoming corrupted. Although the location appliance’s operating system uses an ext3 journaling file
system that minimizes the possibility of file system corruption, it is generally regarded as a best practice
to follow the procedure outlined below to initiate an orderly shutdown of all appliance software
facilities.
To power-down the location appliance, perform the following steps via either the appliance CLI console
or a remote SSH device session.
Note
For information on how to connect a CLI console to the location appliance, see “Connecting and Using
the CLI Console” section in the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Installation Guide at the following
URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_installation_and_configuration_guide_book09
186a00804fa761.html.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
4-15
Chapter 4
Installation and Configuration
Quiescing the Location Appliance
Step 1
Manually stop the location server software by issuing the follow command and observing the indicated:
# /etc/init.d/locserverd stop
Shutting down locserverd: Request server shutdown now...
Waiting for server...2 secs
Waiting for server...4 secs
.
.
.
.
Waiting for server...60 secs
Server shutdown complete.
#
Step 2
Before removing power to the location appliance, issue the following command to properly unmount all
file systems, stop all services, and initiate an orderly shutdown of the Linux operating system:
# shutdown -h now
Issuing this command from the CLI console device in the following output:
Shutting down console mouse services: [ OK
Stopping sshd:[ OK ]
Stopping xinetd: [ OK ]
Stopping crond: [ OK ]
Saving random seed: [ OK ]
Killing mdmonitor: [ OK ]
Shutting down kernel logger: [ OK ]
Shutting down system logger: [ OK ]
Shutting down interface eth0: [ OK ]
Shutting down loopback interface: [ OK ]
Shutting down audit subsystem[ OK ]
Starting killall: [ OK ]
Sending all processes the TERM signal...
Sending all processes the KILL signal...
Syncing hardware clock to system time
Turning off swap:
Turning off quotas:
Unmounting file systems:
Halting system...
md: stopping all md devices.
flushing ide devices:
Power down.
]
Note that issuing the shutdown command from a remote SSH client in your SSH session becoming
disconnected. The location appliance still initiates the shutdown procedure, but your SSH session
becomes disconnected before the command completes. Therefore, you are not able to view all the
command output as you would on a CLI console device. To avoid this lack of visibility, Cisco
recommends that a terminal or PC attached to the location appliance console terminal be used to perform
this task rather than an SSH session if possible.
Step 3
The final step is to remove power to the location appliance by using the front panel ON/OFF switch to
turn the location appliance off. This should be done after the “power down” message is seen on the CLI
console (shown in bold above). Note that if using a remote SSH session, you will not see the “power
down” message because your session will be disconnected shortly after issuing the shutdown command.
In this case, you should wait approximately two minutes for the shutdown command to complete before
removing power to the location appliance using the front panel power switch.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
4-16
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design
Considerations
In the past decade, the design of enterprise-ready wireless LANs has evolved from being centered around
the model of maximum coverage with minimum AP count to a model where coverage uniformity and
proper cell-to-cell overlap are the predominant concerns. This has been driven by increasing interest in
deploying new wireless applications such as wireless voice with its intolerance jitter and high roaming
delays. In a similar fashion, deploying location-based applications using a Wi-Fi wireless LAN requires
augmenting our traditional approaches, both in the design of “greenfield” location-aware installations as
well as the augmentation or retrofit of existing designs.
This chapter describes best practices that should be followed in designing and deploying location-aware
wireless LANs and includes the following main sections:
•
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds, page 5-2
•
Access Point Placement, page 5-5
•
Access Point Separation, page 5-12
•
Determining Location Readiness, page 5-18
•
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence, page 5-20
•
Avoiding Location Display Jitter, page 5-31
•
Multiple Location Appliance Designs, page 5-32
•
Antenna Considerations, page 5-44
•
Calibration, page 5-48
•
Inspecting Location Quality, page 5-64
•
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy, page 5-68
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-1
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds
For mobile devices to be tracked properly, a minimum of three access points (with four or more preferred
for better accuracy and precision) should be detecting and reporting the received signal strength (RSSI)
of any client station, asset tag, or rogue device being tracked. It is preferred that this detected signal
strength level be -75dBm or better.
Note
As of WLAN controller software Release 4.1.185.0, each tracked entity (WLAN client, RFID tag, rogue
access point, or rogue client) is detected by up to sixteen registered access points at any time on each
WLAN controller. This helps to improve the tracking of devices in motion across many access point
coverage cells by assuring that the latest device RSSI is properly reflected.
When performing a site survey of an area where clients or tags are tracked, the RSSI of representative
devices should be verified to ensure compliance with the minimum number of recommended access
points and the recommended detected signal strength. This should be performed via one of two
techniques:
•
Viewing detected RSSI for the client or asset tag using the show client detail <mac address > or
show rfid detail <mac address> controller CLI command, as shown in Figure 5-1.
•
Viewing detected RSSI for the client or asset tag using the location floor map GUI, as described in
Figure 5-2 and Figure 5-3.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds
Figure 5-1
Checking Client RSSI at the WLAN Controller
In either case, these techniques should be used with representative test clients or asset tags in the area
where localization is desired. When performing this check, it is important to ensure that all access points
and antennas are installed and representative of the final configuration. The maximum transmit power
level supported as well as the probing behavior of the test client should be as close as possible to that of
the production clients you wish to track. Figure 5-1 indicates that the output of the CLI command
displaying the signal strength of the client as detected by all of the access points detecting the client,
registered to the same controller. In situations where the detecting access point registrations are
distributed among two or more controllers, more than one CLI session is required. From the information
provided within the red rectangular area in Figure 5-1, it can clearly be seen whether or not the client in
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-3
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Minimum Signal Level Thresholds
question is being detected by three or more access points at the recommended signal strength level or
better. In a similar fashion to that shown for WLAN clients in Figure 5-1, the CLI command show rfid
detail < mac address> can be used to display detected RSSI information for an asset tag.
This same information can be obtained graphically via the location map GUI by clicking on either a
WLAN client icon (blue rectangle) or asset tag icon (yellow tag), enabling the location debug checkbox
and then enlarging the miniature location map as shown in Figure 5-2 and Figure 5-3.
Figure 5-2
Enabling Location Debug
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
Figure 5-3
Displaying Detected RSSI via the GUI
Access Point Placement
Proper placement of access points is one of several best practices that should be adhered to in order to
unleash the full performance potential of the location-aware Cisco Unified Wireless Network. In many
existing office wireless LANs, access points are distributed mainly throughout interior spaces, providing
service to the surrounding work areas. These access point locations have been selected traditionally on
the basis of coverage, WLAN bandwidth, channel reuse, cell-to-cell overlap, security, aesthetics, and
deployment feasibility. In a location-aware WLAN design, the requirements of underlying data and
voice applications should be combined with the requirements for good location fidelity. Depending on
the particular site, the requirements of the location-aware Cisco UWN are flexible enough such that the
addition of location tracking to voice installations already designed in accordance with Cisco best
practices, for example, may not require extensive reworking. Rather, infrastructure already deployed in
accordance with accepted voice best practices can often be augmented such that location tracking best
practice requirements are met as well, (such as perimeter and corner access point placement, for
example) depending on the characteristics of the areas involved.
In a location-ready design, it is important to ensure that access points are not solely clustered in the
interior and toward the center of floors. Rather, perimeter access points should complement access points
located within floor interior areas. In addition, access points should be placed in each of the four corners
of the floor, and at any other corners that are encountered along the floor perimeter. These perimeter
access points play a vital role in ensuring good location fidelity within the areas they encircle, and in
some cases may participate in the provisioning of general voice or data coverage as well.
If using chokepoint location, verify that all areas planned for chokepoint trigger installation are clearly
within the range of your access points. In addition to ensuring that messages transmitted by asset tags
located within chokepoint areas are properly received by the system, proper planning can help assure
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-5
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
that asset tags can be tracked using RF Fingerprinting as they approach and exit chokepoints. The ability
to track asset tags using RF Fingerprinting complements the system's ability to locate tagged assets
within chokepoint areas using highly granular chokepoint location techniques.
The access points that form the perimeter and corners of the floor can be thought of as outlining the
convex hull or set of possible device locations where the best potential for high accuracy and precision
exists. By definition, the convex hull of a set S of points, denoted hull(S), can be regarded as the smallest
polygon P for which each point of S is located either on the boundary or within the interior of P.
Figure 5-4 illustrates the concept of a convex hull. In Figure 5-4, assume the set of access point locations
is denoted by the black dots, which we refer to as set S. The convex hull of set S, or Hull(S), is
figuratively represented as an elastic band (shown by the blue line) that is stretched and allowed to snap
over the outermost members of the set (which in this case represents perimeter and corner access points).
The interior area encompassed by this band (depicted in green) can be considered as possessing high
potential for good location accuracy. As tracked devices stray into the area outside the convex hull
(outside the green area in Figure 5-4), accuracy can begin to deteriorate. Although it may vary given the
number of access points deployed and their inter-access point spacing, generally speaking, the rate of
this accuracy degradation has been seen to be almost linear as the tracked device moves further and
further outside the convex hull. For example, a device that experiences less than or equal to 10m/90%
accuracy within the convex hull may deteriorate to 18m/90% by the time the device moves to a point 20
feet outside it.
The Convex Hull of a Set of Points
223327
Figure 5-4
In order to assure proper convex hull establishment around the set of location data points possessing high
potential for good accuracy, access points should be placed in each corner of the floor, as well as along
the floor perimeter between corners. Inter-access point separation along the perimeter should be in
accordance with the general access point separation guidelines (described in a subsequent section). The
designer may reduce this spacing if necessary, in order for these access points to participate in the
provisioning of voice or data service to the floor.
Figure 5-5 provides an illustration where these concepts are applied to a floor with a type of floor plan
found in many enterprises (that of rooms or offices contained by and surrounding an interior corridor).
In this case, the area in which we desire to locate tracked assets is the entire floor. In Figure 5-5, note
that the access points located towards the center of the floor are complemented by those that have been
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-6
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
placed along the perimeter. As is the case in most proper location-aware designs, the set of location data
points possessing the highest potential for good location accuracy is contained within the convex hull,
which in Figure 5-5 is represented by the blue rectangle and encompasses the entire floor.
Figure 5-5
Proper Access Point Perimeter Placement
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
224157
CORRIDOR
In some cases, customer preferences or deployment restrictions may factor into the access point
placement decision, and the placement of access points at the floor perimeter may be restricted in one
way or another. While this still may result in acceptable placement from the perspective of providing
basic RF coverage, because there may be significant areas where asset tracking is required outside the
access point perimeter (and thus outside the convex hull), such placement may lead to reduced location
fidelity in those areas.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-7
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
Figure 5-6 illustrates an example of a less-than-desirable situation where the placement of access points
has been restricted to hallway corridors and administrative/storage facilities located within the areas
encircled by the corridors. For aesthetic reasons, facilities management has decided that access points
will not be placed within any of the executive offices or conference rooms located between the hallway
corridors and the physical perimeter. Because of these restrictions, our convex hull now lies at the
outside edge of the corridor (indicated by the blue rectangle) and not at the true physical perimeter of
the floor.
Figure 5-6
Artificially Constrained Access Point Perimeter
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
224158
CORRIDOR
Given what we know about the distribution of location errors when operating outside the convex hull, it
is logical to expect that location accuracy will not be as good in the offices and rooms located there.
These areas of potentially lower accuracy are highlighted in red in Figure 5-6.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-8
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
With our recommendation of establishing the convex hull at the true floor physical perimeter
notwithstanding, in practice the difference in location error rate between points located within the
convex hull and outside it may be tolerable in some situations. These might include situations where such
areas extend beyond the office perimeter for only a short distance (for example, small 10x10 foot rooms
lining the walls of a corridor). For example, looking at the areas highlighted in red in Figure 5-6, the
potential increase in location error would be less in the smaller offices located at the right side of the
floor plan than in any other affected area. Depending on magnitude, the effect of operation outside the
convex hull will likely be the least. In contrast, the areas at the bottom of the floor plan, with larger
offices and multiple wall partitions, would be potentially effected to a significantly higher degree.
In cases where access point placement in perimeter offices and conference rooms is restricted due to
aesthetic concerns, a potential compromise may be possible using a very low profile antenna (such as
the Cisco AIR-ANT5959 or Cisco AIR-5145V-R) along with access point mounting in a plenum-rated
enclosure (where permitted by local codes). This would offer the ability to mount access points at the
proper perimeter and corner locations (thereby avoiding the quandary described in Figure 5-6), but with
minimal visible footprint to the casual observer.
As mentioned earlier, the floor plans shown in Figure 5-5 and Figure 5-6 are commonplace, but by no
means exclusive. For example, some modern building designs may possess hallway corridors that are
located directly alongside the actual floor and building perimeter, typically allowing a panoramic view
of campus environs as visitors move about between offices and conference rooms. In this case, all offices
and conference facilities are located within the area between the corridors and the center of the floor.
Figure 5-7 provides an illustration of such a floor plan. Note that with this floor layout, placement along
the outer edge of the hallway corridor places the access points along the actual physical perimeter, by
default.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-9
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
Figure 5-7
Perimeter Corridor Floor Plan
CORRIDOR
224159
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
CORRIDOR
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-10
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Placement
Figure 5-8 provides simple illustrations summarizing the access point placement concepts discussed in
this section so far. Note that designs that make use of only clustered or straight-line access point
placement should be augmented or redesigned in favor of those that combine center access-point
placement with perimeter and corner placement.
Figure 5-8
Basic Example of Location-Aware Access Point Deployment
Not Recommended
223328
Recommended
If possible, mount antennas such that they have an unencumbered 360º view of all areas around them,
without being blocked at close range by large objects. For example, if possible, avoid placing access
point antennas directly against large objects such as steel columns, as illustrated in Figure 5-9. One
option is to mount the access point along with its antennas to a ceiling location (provided that this allows
an acceptable mounting height). Another option is to use short, low loss cable extension to allow
separation between antennas and such obstructions.
Figure 5-9
Access Point Mounted Directly to Steel Column
Additional discussion of proper access point placement can be found in Cisco Wireless Location
Appliance: Deployment Guide at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_technical_reference09186a008059ce31.html.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-11
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
Access Point Separation
The distance between deployed access points can impact location performance, as well as the
performance of co-resident voice and data applications. From a location perspective, while location
tracking inter-access point spacing requirements tend to be relatively flexible and supportive of the
coverage needs of underlying applications, very small or very large inter-access point separation
distances are usually best avoided.
An excessive inter-access point distance1 can detract from good location accuracy by not providing
sufficient signal strength differentiation at extended distance. Insufficient inter-access point distance can
expose the system to short range antenna pattern anomalies, which may also be non-conducive to good
location accuracy. From the perspective of co-resident voice and data applications, the inter-access point
distance is one of the key factors determining whether required minimum signal level thresholds, data
rate thresholds, signal to noise ratios (SNR), and required coverage overlap will be met. From a location
accuracy perspective, the range of acceptable inter-access point distance tends to be rather broad, and
can provide excellent location accuracy while accommodating the needs of most co-resident voice and
data applications.
The techniques incorporated in the location-aware Cisco UWN to localize tracked devices operate most
effectively when RSSI and distance are seen to possess a clearly monotonic relationship. To better
understand what is meant by this, we examine a simulated plot of a tracked device’s detected RSSI as
the distance between it and a detecting access point is increased (see Figure 5-10). While the relationship
between RSSI and distance varies depending on different combinations of antenna, antenna height and
environmental characteristics, the graph shown in Figure 5-10 for an access point mounted at
approximately twelve feet elevation can be used to better understand the concepts discussed here.
Figure 5-10
An Example of the Relationship Between RSSI and Distance
1. As discussed in a later section of this design guide, excessive antenna heights can also contribute to diminished
accuracy.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-12
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
In Figure 5-10, we see that beginning at some point a fairly near the access point, and ranging to another
point c further in distance, the two variables exhibit a strict monotonically decreasing relationship (as
distance between the tracked device and the access point increases, the RSSI at which the access point
detects the device is shown to decrease). Between point a and another point b, the amount of change in
RSSI (dBm) that occurs per-unit change in distance (feet) is highly consistent, approximately -5 dBm
per 20-foot change in distance. This results in the slope of the graph between points a and b being fairly
steep. As the distance continues to increase beyond point b, the slope of our graph begins to diminish
and the level of RSSI differentiation decreases, providing increasingly less differentiation in received
signal strength per-unit change in distance. Note that the slope of the graph between points b and c is not
nearly as steep as it is between points a and b. As distance begins to significantly exceed point b in this
example, the slope of the graph will diminish even further. This greatly reduced slope and steepness
results in a decreased level of differentiation in signal level with increasing distance. When this occurs
at extended distances, it becomes more difficult to accurately predict changes in distance based on
detected changes in RSSI (lateration).
The risk of this lack of RSSI differentiation having a significant impact on location accuracy can be
reduced if steps are taken to avoid areas of the RSSI versus distance curve where this phenomena is
known to exist most prominently. In general, for access points deployed indoors at antenna heights of 20
feet or less, this can be achieved if the range of any point on the floor to at least three detecting access
points on that floor (one in each of at least three of the four quadrants surrounding it) is maintained
within approximately 70 feet in an indoor environment. This is a general recommendation that is
intended to assist designers in avoiding situations where excessive inter-access point distance may be a
contributing factor to location inaccuracy. As shown in Figure 5-10, diminished RSSI differentiation
with increasing distance is a gradually increasing phenomenon, therefore, a degree of flexibility is
implied in this recommendation.
In practice, in addition to being conducive to good location accuracy, this recommendation applies well
to deployments where location tracking is deployed in conjunction with other WLAN applications (such
as voice and high speed data) in accordance with current recommended best practices. This is especially
true for environments where the expected path loss exponent is 3.5 (walled office environment) or
higher, as the required inter-access point spacing tends to generally fall within this range. In addition to
the potential effects of a lack of RSSI differentiation at distance extremes, inter-access point distances
significantly greater than 70 to 80 feet can make it more challenging to satisfy the best practice signal
strength and overlap requirements of VoWLAN devices such as the Cisco 7921G and the Vocera
Communication Badge in environments with high path loss.
At ranges closer than point a in our example, propagation anomalies that are due to the elevation pattern
of the chosen antenna, the antenna's installation height, and the current physical location of the tracked
device can potentially combine to degrade monotonicity. As a result, RSSI cannot be depended on as a
reliable predictor of distance in this part of the curve, since it may be possible that more than one equally
likely value for distance exists at a particular detected RSSI level. Figure 5-11 illustrates this case,
depicting how a tracked device's RSSI reading of -40dBm can be associated with three different
distances (5, 7, and 12 feet) from the access point antenna when operating in this close-range
non-monotonic region of the RSSI versus distance graph. This behavior is typically the result of a
variation in an overhead antenna's propagation pattern as a device approaches it begins to venture into
the area almost directly beneath it. Obviously, these effects vary depending on the propagation pattern
of the specific antennas used and their installation height above the area where tracked devices is located.
However, the lesson to be learned from this is that although increased access point density can often be
conducive to better location accuracy, the effect is not without its limits.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-13
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
Example of Close-Range Non-Monotonicity
RSSI
Figure 5-11
5 feet
9 feet
Distance
12 feet
223330
-40 dBm
Clearly, such RSSI ambiguity can be confusing, especially when attempting to use RSSI to accurately
laterate distance. Such ambiguous behavior is generally not conducive to good location fidelity. In tests
conducted with access points at an installed height of 10 feet in with 2.2dBi omni-directional antennas
in an environment with a path loss exponent of 3.4, this behavior could sporadically be observed out to
a distance of almost 14 feet. In the specific case of this example, it would be best to maintain the
inter-access point spacing above 28 feet (in other words, twice the distance at which such behavior would
be expected) in order to reduce the potential of this phenomena occurring.
In some application designs, it may be desirable to deploy multiple access points on non-overlapping
channels in order to potentially increase the amount of RF bandwidth available to users1 (“collocated
non-overlapping access points”). This approach is often seen in classrooms and conference halls where
there may be a large number of mobile users. If location tracking of WLAN clients and other devices is
desirable in situations where some rooms may possess several collocated access points, it is suggested
that the co-located access points not be deployed within very close proximity (i.e. a few feet) of each
other. Rather, every attempt should be made to obtain as much separation as possible between these
co-located access points, so as to avoid any of the close-range effects that can be detrimental to good
location fidelity. One way to accomplish this for co-located access points in a lecture hall, for example,
would be to place the access points on different walls and perhaps the ceiling as well, with appropriate
inter-access point spacing.
In general then, most indoor location tracking deployments with access point antennas installed at
heights of between ten and twenty feet can be well served with an inter-access point spacing of between
40 and 70 feet, especially when combined with the signal threshold and access point placement
recommendations suggested in the preceding sections of this document. In some cases however,
inter-access point spacing below 40 feet may be necessary to satisfy the requirements of some
applications for high signal strength thresholds, especially in environments where high path loss is
present. An example of this might be a voice application deployed in such an environment (for example,
a path loss exponent of 4.0 where a high degree of environmental clutter is present). Best practices for
Cisco 7921G VoWLAN deployments would suggest a minimum signal level of -67dBm, 20% inter-cell
overlap and signal to noise ratio of 25 dB for 802.11g in this type of situation. Applying these
requirements mathematically, we calculate an estimated cell size of 24 feet and an inter-access point
spacing of 33 feet. In this case, in order to deploy our voice application in accordance with recommended
1. Note that any realized increase in bandwidth from co-located access points is subject to limitations due to
co-channel interference from other access points on those same channels.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-14
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
best practices, the inter-access point spacing should be reduced below the general guideline of 40 feet.
Note that good location accuracy is achievable at inter-access point ranges below 40 feet, provided that
the access point spacing is not decreased so much that the negative effects of close range
non-monotonicity come into play. Generally, this should not be an issue if the inter-access point
distances are above 25 to 28 feet when using low gain, omni-directional antennas mounted at an
installation height of approximately 10 feet in an indoor environment.
Figure 5-12 illustrates an example of access point placement and inter-access point spacing, offering a
foundation for a location-aware design. The environment in Figure 5-12 consists of drywall offices and
cubicle office spaces with a total space of approximately 275 feet by 159 feet. Taking into consideration
the location tracking requirement for illustrative purposes only, our inter-access point linear-spacing
recommendations of 40 to 70 feet suggests approximately 22 location-aware access points as an initial
estimate. Incorporating the placement strategies made in preceding sections, interior, perimeter, and
corner access points are placed to facilitate multi-lateration and establish a clearly delineated convex hull
around the floor.
Note
Figure 5-12
In an actual installation involving WLAN applications deployed in conjunction with location tracking,
interior access point design should be conducted prior to instituting design modifications in support of
location tracking modifications to ensure that best practice recommendations for signal strength, overlap
and signal to noise ratio requirements of data and voice applications are met.
An Example of Location Aware Access Point Placement
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-15
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
WCS includes a planning tool that allows designers to model “what-if” design scenarios. The WCS
Planning Tool is accessible via the Monitor > Maps > floormapname > Planning Mode dropdown menu
selection. This is a predictive modeling tool that is used on a per-floor basis to provide initial guidance
on access point placement, as well as an interactive representation of predicted access point signal
strength and data rate information. It can be safely used without impacting any actual deployment of
access points that may already be in service. The WCS Map Editor is accessible from the top line
hyperlink bar of the planning tool, and can be used to add wall attenuation information to floor maps.
Wall information added via the Map Editor does not affect access point placement or location designs,
however, it will be used by the planning tool when displaying predicted RF coverage maps for planned
access points.
The planning tool operates purely on a hypothetical basis without the need to connect or deploy any
access points or controllers. Since it is WCS feature, a WCS server must be installed somewhere in
network before the planning tool can be used. If there are any existing access points that have been
deployed and defined to WCS already, the planning tool allows for the configuration of those access
points to be copied into the planning virtual environment, allowing you to safely model with a virtual
copy of your production environment.
Before using the planning tool for RF coverage planning, ensure that an appropriate path loss model has
been assigned to the floor upon which you wish to conduct your planning. WCS will use the coverage
reference path losses and path loss exponents when it plots the predicted coverage heatmaps from each
access point in the planning tool. Seasoned WLAN veteran designers have the option of using the
planning tool in a manual mode to place access points on floor maps as they see fit and adjust several
criteria in order to see their effect (such as transmit power, antenna type, and so on). Alternatively, the
WCS planning tool also allows automated access point placement based on the type of deployment
model desired. Those users and designers desiring that the system make an initial design suggestion can
use the planning tool in an automated mode, thereby specifying the type of design they wish and allowing
the planning tool to examine their requirements and make qualified suggestions. For designers wishing
to combine voice and data designs meeting Cisco VoWLAN best practices with location tracking, it is
recommended that the planning tool be first used to model voice and data designs separately from
location tracking requirements. Once a satisfactory voice and data design has been created, any
modifications necessary to provide for good location fidelity can then be manually incorporated.
The planning tool assumes a transmit power of +18dBm for 802.11bg and +15dBm for 802.11a, along
with an antenna azimuth position of 180º, elevation height of ten feet and elevation angle of 0º. Transmit
power, access point type, antenna type, and azimuth position can be changed individually for each access
point. In addition, planning tool users can specify a several additional criteria to further fine tune data
and voice designs.
Note
For complete information about planning tool options (such as data/coverage, voice, location, demand
and override) consult the chapter Using Planning Mode to Calculate Access Point Requirements found
in the document entitled Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, Release 4.1 at the
following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/wcs/4.1/configuration/guide/wcsmaps.html#wp1104248.
Selecting the location planning option results in the planning mode access points being placed along the
perimeter and in the corners of a floor, in addition to the interior of the floor as necessary. At least four
access points are assumed to be present in every location design, and access points are placed using a
spacing of up to 70 feet. Note that when using the location planning option, the resulting design may
meet best practice recommendations for voice and data, although the signal strength and overlap
requirements of co-resident applications are not explicitly taken into account. Therefore, in designs
where location tracking is intended to co-reside with voice and high speed data, it is recommended that
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-16
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Access Point Separation
these application designs be addressed first, according to Cisco-recommended best practices. Once a
design satisfying application needs has been completed, the design can then be modified or augmented
as necessary to meet location tracking requirements.
Prior to software Release 4.1, the automated placement capabilities of the planning tool were limited to
floors and buildings whose shapes were simple polygons, such as squares and rectangles. A new
capability added in this release allows the planning tool to accommodate irregularly shaped floor areas.
To accomplish this, an irregular coverage perimeter is drawn using the WCS Map Editor and when saved,
becomes available for use in the planning tool. When designing new floor layouts using the planning
tool, the user is allowed to choose between using the traditional closed polygon or the newly created
irregular shape. Further information on this newly introduced capability can be found in the chapter
Using the Map Editor to Draw Polygon Areas in the document entitled Cisco Wireless Control System
Configuration Guide, Release 4.1 at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/wcs/4.1/configuration/guide/wcsmaps.html#wp1104253.
With this enhancement, the planning tool becomes more useful to designers when working with common
buildings having irregular shapes, such as a building with an open courtyard as shown in Figure 5-13.
In Figure 5-13, we see a location design performed using the automatic planning tool mode. Note the red
outlined perimeter of the building, which was added to the floor image using the Map Editor and is now
eligible for use within the planning tool.
Figure 5-13
Using WCS Planning Tool with an Irregularly Shaped Floor Plan
More complex designs containing totally enclosed interior voids (for example, a building with a fully
enclosed interior atrium as shown in Figure 5-14, with the perimeter of the building shown by a red
outline) may not lend themselves well to automatic access point placement. The planning tool does not
currently allow the exclusion of zones into which access point placement should not occur. Note in
Figure 5-14 the placement of access points 2, 4, 9 and 24 in the atrium area (indicated by the blue
outline). The placement of these access points in this area is incorrect, since the floor map is for the
building's third floor. This should be corrected by manual intervention and moving the access points into
correct locations or eliminating them entirely if not necessary.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-17
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Determining Location Readiness
Figure 5-14
Example of Floor Plan with Fully Enclosed Interior Atrium
Determining Location Readiness
The Inspect Location Readiness feature (Monitor > Maps > floormapname > Inspect Location
Readiness) allows the network designer to perform a quick predictive check of the location performance
for a floor before time is invested in pulling cable, deploying equipment, and performing calibrations.
Inspect Location Readiness takes into consideration the placement of each access point along with the
inter-access point spacing indicated on floor maps to predict whether estimated location tracking
accuracy will be within 10 meters in 90 percent of all cases. The output of the location readiness
inspection is a “go / no-go” graphical representation of the areas that are predicted to be likely candidates
for producing this level of accuracy, as well as those that are not.
•
Note that unlike the planning tool described earlier, the location readiness tool assumes that access
points and controllers are known to WCS and have been defined on the WCS floor maps using
Monitor > Maps > Position APs. While it is not necessary to actually install access points and
antennas on walls and ceilings in order to conduct a location readiness assessment, you must add
any applicable controllers to WCS along with their registered access points, and place the icons
representing the access points on the appropriate floor maps. In order to do this initially, all such
controllers and access points must be physically present, powered on and online to the network.
These access points and controllers need not be deployed and installed, they can be on a floor,
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-18
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Determining Location Readiness
tabletop or other temporary location, as long as the access points and controllers are capable of
communicating with WCS. The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance need not be present in order to
conduct a location readiness assessment.
•
Once the access points that you wish to place on floor maps have been added to the WCS database,
subsequent location readiness assessments can be conducted using these same access points, even if
they are not reachable from WCS at that time. Because the location readiness inspection is based
on access point placement and the inter-access point distances shown on the floor maps, accurate
map placement of access points is very highly recommended. The location readiness tool is used to
only assess the preparedness of the design to perform RF Fingerprinting-based location tracking. It
does not validate any aspect of the design to perform chokepoint location, especially with regard to
the definition or positioning of chokepoint triggers. After access point placement has been
performed, select the floor map that you wish to verify the location readiness of and then choose
Inspect Location Readiness from the upper right-hand dropdown command menu.
A point is defined as being “location-ready” if the following are all determined to be true:
•
At least four access points are deployed on the floor
•
At least one access point is found to be resident in each quadrant surrounding the point-in-question
•
At least one access point residing in each of at least three of the surrounding quadrants is located
within 70 feet of the point-in-question.
Figure 5-15 illustrates our three location readiness rules, where the green and yellow circles represent
access point locations and the point-in-question is represented by a red dot.
Figure 5-15
Definition of a "Location-Ready" Point
70
ft.
70ft.
ft.
223334
70
Figure 5-16 shows an example of a floor deployment where not all areas have passed three-point location
readiness assessment described earlier for 10m/90% accuracy. Although there are green areas toward the
center of the figure, notice that red areas abound as you get beyond the perimeter access points
representing the convex hull.By establishing a solid understanding of the requirements that define
location readiness, the information contained in Figure 5-15 can be used to help determine how access
points may be required to be relocated (or additional access points introduced) to improve performance.
For example, if 10m/90% or better location accuracy is required within the red areas, additional access
points could be introduced to establish a more clearly delineated floor perimeter, including the
placement of access points in the corners of the floor and re-checking inter-access point distances. By
implementing these types of modifications, the ability of the Cisco UWN to resolve the location of
tracked devices in these highlighted areas is likely to be significantly enhanced.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-19
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Figure 5-16
Example of Location Readiness Tool Usage
Once again, keep in mind that location readiness inspection is a distance-based predictive tool. As is the
case with most predictive tools, it can be expected that some degree of variance will occur between
predicted and actual results. Cisco recommends that the location readiness tool be used in conjunction
with other best-practice techniques outlined in this document, including the location quality inspection.
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
The location-aware Cisco Unified Wireless Network is a multi-purpose wireless platform that allows
enterprises to bring consistency and efficiency to their business processes, providing increased overall
effectiveness. A key advantage of the location-aware Cisco UWN is the integration and the cost
advantage that stems from its ability to perform high quality location tracking of clients, asset tags and
rogue devices with only reasonable additional investment required beyond that necessary to support
other enterprise wireless applications, such as VoWLAN and high speed data.
Note
This section describes the pertinent characteristics of voice and data designs only as they relate to
co-existence with the location tracking capabilities of the Cisco UWN. For a more comprehensive
examination of Cisco Unified Wireless Network VoWLAN solution design and Cisco recommended best
practices, refer to the Voice Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide which can be found at the following
URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Mobility/vowlan/41dg/vowlan41dg-book.html.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-20
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Note
For a more comprehensive examination of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network data solution design and
best practices, refer to Enterprise Mobility 4.1 Design Guide at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/go/srnd.
When architecting VoWLAN and high speed data designs and determining subsequent access point
placement, the primary concerns of the designer should include:
•
Minimum desired cell signal level threshold—For example, when designing VoWLAN solutions
that involve the Cisco 7921G VoWLAN handset, current VoWLAN best practices suggest a
minimum planned signal level threshold of -67dBm. Other voice devices may have differing
requirements (such as the Vocera Communications badge, which requires a signal level threshold of
-65dBm). Requirements for data devices will depend on the transmission rate that they are required
to operate at. Lower speed devices (such as handheld bar code or RFID computers that operate at
data rates up to 11 Mbps) typically do not have very demanding minimum signal requirements, often
times in the range of -73 to -76 dBm. Data devices used to pass streaming multimedia and other
bandwidth-intensive applications will typically require higher data transmission rates and
consequently, higher minimum signal levels.
•
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) —This is the ratio of the signal strength at the receiver to the noise
floor, and is measured in dB. Since both components of the ratio are specified in dBm, the SNR can
be calculated by simply subtracting the noise value from the signal strength value. The minimum
required SNR for a receiver to operate properly varies depending on construction of the receiver, as
well as the bit rate or modulation it is expected to operate at. A typical example is shown below:
Transmission Rate (Mbps)
1
2
5.5
11
6
9
12
18
24
36
48
54
Signal to Noise Ratio (dB)
4
6
8
10
4
5
7
9
12
16
20
21
Ensuring the existence of sufficient SNR is very important when designing for robust and reliable
wireless application support. This is especially so in wireless voice applications, where it is necessary
to ensure that a high percentage of packets are successfully decoded in each cell and jitter is kept to a
minimum. For example, with a Cisco 7921G VoWLAN handset the recommended SNR to ensure a good
user VoWLAN experience is 25 dB. Keep in mind that if the signal to noise ratio is insufficient due to a
high noise floor, proper operation of the wireless device may be difficult to achieve in spite of high
overall received signal levels. SNR and minimum received signal levels should be considered together
in order to assure that a new deployment has met design standards and is ready for production pilot
testing.
•
Data rate—Data bit rates are enabled or disabled via the wireless infrastructure, with minimum
signal level thresholds and the signal to noise ratio determining which of the enabled bit rates will
actually be usable. For example, with the Cisco 7921G, the combination of a -67dBm minimum
signal level and a 25dB signal to noise ratio generally makes the use of 24 Mbps or greater data rates
possible.
•
Cell-to-cell overlap—In a very simple sense, we can think of each of our access points as residing
at the center of an RF “cell” with a spherical boundary of RF coverage around them. Our primary
interest is in the coverage boundary associated with our desired minimal signal threshold. In order
to provide consistent coverage and availability across our floor, each of our cells should join with
each adjacent cell at a coverage boundary that is greater than our desired minimal signal threshold.
How much greater? That is determined by the amount of cell-to-cell overlap we wish to implement
in our design, which in conjunction with the other parameters we have described, will dictate the
potential packet loss experienced by VoWLAN devices before a roam event occurs.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-21
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
The application of cell-to-cell overlap is intended to increase the probability that VoWLAN clients will
quickly detect and roam to an adjacent cell without enduring an excessive degree of rate shifting and
re-transmission as the device approaches the cell boundary. Excessive rate shifting and packet
re-transmission is especially counter-productive for VoWLAN devices, as such behavior typically results
in packet loss which usually translates into jitter. Since jitter is well established to be detrimental to a
high quality VoWLAN user experience, we strive to minimize jitter in our VoWLAN designs by ensuring
that devices have the opportunity to roam well before the quality of the user's voice call is in jeopardy.
We accomplish this by assuring that the recommended degree of cell-to-cell overlap exists in our
designs.
Figure 5-17 illustrates the concept of cell overlap for a Cisco 7921G VoWLAN handset using 802.11bg.
For the Cisco 7921G, the recommended best practices found in the Voice Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design
Guide suggest that the cell-to-cell overlap should be approximately 20 percent when using 802.11bg and
approximately 15 percent when using 802.11a.
Figure 5-17
20%
Overlap
-67 dBm
223335
-67 dBm
20% Inter-Cell overlap
Data applications, on the other hand, typically do not display the same level of sensitivity to packet loss
as do voice applications, hence they seldom require the same degree of cell-to-cell overlap. In most
cases, a minimum 10% cell-to-cell overlap is sufficient for reliable roaming with data applications, as
illustrated in Figure 5-18. High speed data applications and applications combining voice and data
capabilities in a single device (smartphones, for example) may require cell-to-cell overlap that resembles
a VoWLAN design much more than a data design.
Figure 5-18
10%
Overlap
-67 dBm
223336
-67 dBm
10% Inter-Cell Overlap
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-22
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Although they are possible and do exist, network designs for the location-aware Cisco UWN performed
with only location tracking as a use case represent a minority of all Cisco mobility customer
installations. Therefore, the designer striving towards completing an optimized location design is likely
to be attempting to satisfy the four primary concerns of VoWLAN and data WLAN designers
concurrently.
The chief location-tracking concerns of most designers wishing to track asset tags, clients or rogues will
center around:
•
Perimeter and corner access point placement—Perimeter and corner access point placement is very
important to good location accuracy. Refer to Figure 5-4 and the previous discussion surrounding
the concept of a “convex hull”. As described earlier, location accuracy tends to fall off the further
one strays outside the convex hull encompassing the set of potential device locations on the floor.
•
Staggered pattern—Access points should be located on the floor in a staggered fashion to both
facilitate an acceptable inter-access point spacing as well bolster the system's ability to perform
RSSI multi-lateration for tracked devices.
•
Antenna mounting height—In most indoor location applications, antenna mounting height above the
area where devices are to be tracked should be ideally between 10 and 15 feet, with 20 feet being a
recommended maximum.
•
Inter-access point spacing—Access points should be situated so as to minimize any potential risk of
degraded location accuracy rises due to:
– Non-monotonic RSSI versus distance behavior at close range
– Degradation in the ability of the system to resolve distance based on changes in RSSI.
Generally, this results in access points being deployed with an inter-access point distance of between 40
and 70 feet. However, the coverage requirements of demanding applications (such as voice and high
speed data) may require more dense deployments under certain circumstances.
The question that comes to mind then is, can the requirements described earlier for voice and data
applications be met in combination with the requirements of location tracking? The answer is yes, with
the precise mechanics of how it is done dependent upon the specific requirements of the voice and data
applications themselves, the access point and antenna configuration being considered, and the physical
characteristics of the environment into which the infrastructure will be deployed. In order to explore this
further, we examine the details behind how an access point layout, primarily intended for high speed data
and 7921G voice applications, can be further optimized to include location tracking.
As an example, let us examine a voice access point layout for the 275 x 159 foot facility first presented
in Figure 5-11. This represents a drywall office and indoor commercial office environment with a path
loss exponent of 3.5 (see Figure 5-19). These access point locations were selected based on desired
signal strength and overlap calculations that were performed by the original designer. In architecting this
design, the designer's intention was to provide a solution that closely followed Cisco VoWLAN design
best practices described in Voice Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide, which is available at the
following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Mobility/vowlan/41dg/vowlan41dg-book.html
We opted for a dual band infrastructure, with an 802.11a 5 GHz WLAN that is used by 7921G VoWLAN
handsets and high-speed WLAN client devices. 802.11bg 2.4 GHz operation is also supported, but due
to the substantially reduced overall capacity on 802.11bg brought about by the existence of only three
non-interfering channels, its use is restricted to legacy data and voice devices, as well as active RFID
asset tags that are in compliance with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification.
Legacy data devices would include devices that are unable to migrate to 802.11a for reasons such as the
client hardware device being no longer offered for sale, battery life concerns, and so on. Candidate
legacy devices might include PDAs, bar code scanners, and other devices with embedded wireless
onboard that is not easily upgradeable. In the case of our example, we assume that there are still some
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-23
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
users of 802.11b voice devices present in the environment (for example, legacy Cisco 7920 VoWLAN
IP phones, or similar legacy 802.11b-only devices from third parties) that have not yet been addressed
with 802.11a replacements.
Figure 5-19
Layout for 5GHz Voice and High Speed Data, 2.4GHz Legacy
In Figure 5-19, we assume the use of 35 ceiling mounted AP1240AG access points, each of which is
equipped with a pair of 2.2dBi AIR-ANT4941 antennas for 802.11bg and a pair of 3.5 dBi
AIR-ANT5951 antennas for 802.11a. The access points and the antennas are mounted at a height of 10
feet. The design is intended to provide a minimum of -67 dBm signal level and a data rate of at least 24
Mbps on 802.11a for VoWLAN and high speed data clients, and a minimum of -67 dBm signal level and
data rate of at least 11 Mbps on 802.11bg for legacy data and voice clients. 802.11a VoWLAN devices
are assumed to be Cisco 7921G VoWLAN IP phones with integrated antenna. Legacy voice and data
client devices are assumed to possess nominal antenna gain of 0 dBi. Inter-access point spacing is
approximately 42.7 feet and was selected to allow for a uniform distribution of access points within the
floor interior, and also ensure that the access point power levels required to produce our desired
cell-to-cell overlap would fall within the capabilities of our client devices.
Note the following:
•
With the exception of access points 1, 5, 32 and 34, access points are not located directly at the floor
perimeter. This is not optimal for the support of good location accuracy in all areas of the floor.
•
The lack of perimeter access points in the right hand corners of Figure 5-19. Because of this, there
are areas in the vicinity of access points 31, 32, 34 and 35 where the location requirement for each
point to lie within 70 feet of three different access points in at least three different quadrants (with
an access point present in the fourth quadrant at any range) will not be satisfied.
•
Transmit power for each access point has been configured to +5dBm for 802.11bg and +11 dBm for
802.11a. This results in a -67 dBm cell radius of approximately 28.72 feet with a cell-to-cell
overlap of 15% for 802.11a VoWLAN and high speed data clients. For 802.11bg legacy clients, it
results in a -67 dBm cell radius of approximately 31 feet with a 20% cell-to-cell overlap.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-24
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Note
The transmit power configured for access points should be within the range of the transmit power levels
supported by clients to help avoid potential “one-way audio” telephony calls. When using Cisco’s Radio
Resource Manager to manage access point power levels, it is further recommended that designers target
achieving the required coverage radii and overlap at transmit-power levels that are less than the
maximum supported transmit power level of the client device. This is recommended in order to allow
the Radio Resource Manager some degree of power allocation “headroom” that can be used to address
potential coverage hole situations while still using transmit power levels that are achievable by the client
devices.
In order to facilitate optimal location tracking with this design, a few changes, additions and adjustments
will be necessary. Examining the current voice and data design and its associated parameters, the current
access point spacing, antenna installation height, and placement pattern appear to be acceptable for
location usage. However, the lack of access points located at the actual floor perimeters and in the
corners of the floor are a concern that should be addressed. This can be seen from the dashed line in
Figure 5-19 which illustrates the convex hull established by the current perimeter of access points. Note
that areas at each corner and along each upper and lower perimeter lie outside of this boundary. Although
these areas may not prove to be a hindrance to some users, for the purposes of this example, our goal is
to assure optimal location accuracy in all areas of the floor. This includes the conference rooms in the
corners of the floor and in all perimeter areas. Therefore, establishing a proper floor perimeter will be
our first order of business.
The first step is to implement top and bottom access point perimeters as close to the building perimeter
as feasible, while attempting to maintain the uniform density of access points shown in Figure 5-19 to
the highest degree possible. Maintaining a high degree of access point uniformity is especially beneficial
to those users that depend on the Cisco Radio Resource Management (RRM) to maintain transmit power
control and perform coverage hole remediation. RRM functions most effectively when the distribution
of access points on a floor is as uniform as possible.
At this point, we must decide on one of the following options:
1.
Expand the equilateral formations comprising our existing access point constellation to
accommodate rearranging the top and bottom rows of access points to form the upper and lower
portions of the floor perimeter. With this option and our example environment, a minimal number
of additional access points would be required, as their primary use is to fill-in any missing areas on
the left and right side perimeters. Since it requires expanding the separation between access points,
this option is considered more aggressive when compared to option 2 below. Caution must be
exercised to avoid modifying the design beyond the limits imposed on access point transmit power
(see below).
2.
Contract the equilateral formations comprising our existing access point constellation to
accommodate shifting upward the current top row of access points and subsequently introducing a
sixth row of access points at the bottom to form a new lower perimeter. This option requires a greater
number of additional access points when compared to option 1 above. However, since we are
reducing the inter-access point distances, this option typically does not possess the risk of increasing
access point transmit power levels beyond that of the original design, and is considered the more
conservative option of the two.
When considering the first option, it is necessary to examine the current inter-access point spacing and
transmit power levels, and estimate the increase that will be required to the inter-access point separation
in order to place the existing outer rows of access points at the actual floor perimeters. If current access
point transmit power levels are already at high levels relative to the power capabilities of our client
devices, and the estimated increase to inter-access point separation appears to be large, then expanding
the constellation of existing access points to accommodate perimeter placement may not be the best
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-25
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
option. This is mainly because it may require the use of higher than desirable access point transmit power
levels. In such cases, it is recommended to pursue the second option, which contracts the equilateral
formations and results in shorter inter-access point separation, typically with the same or reduced access
point transmit power levels.
Recall from our discussion that our transmit power levels are configured at +5dBm for 802.11bg and +11
dBm for 802.11a. In order to determine the new inter-access point separation that would be in effect if
we were to uniformly expand the current formations (seen as equilateral triangles in Figure 5-19), we
need to perform some basic geometrical calculations. We determine the new inter-access point
separation required by assuming that the current top and bottom rows of access points are relocated such
that they are positioned at the actual top and bottom floor perimeter. For the 275 x 159 floor in
Figure 5-19, this is performed by dividing the top-to-bottom width of the floor (159 feet) by the number
of desired rows of equilateral triangular formations (4), thereby yielding a projected formation height of
39.75 feet.
From the premise that in an equilateral triangle each angle is equal to 60° (s hown in Figure 5-20), we
calculate the length of any side s from the height h of our equilateral triangle formations as follows:
h = s(sin 60°)
Figure 5-20
Equilateral Access Point Formation
60°
h
s
s
223338
60°
60°
s
h
39.75
sin 60° or .866 = 45.9 feet. Thus, we would need to expand our current
Solving for s, we calculate
inter-access point spacing from 42.7 feet to 45.9 feet in order to move both the top and bottom rows of
outermost access points to the actual building perimeter. As this represents a relatively minor increase
in inter-access point spacing, it should be easily accommodated by a correspondingly minor increase in
transmit power, if any at all. In our next step, we determine the new cell size that would be required to
support the recommended levels of overlap, given our newly calculated inter-access point spacing.
s=
Using this new value for inter-access point spacing, we first calculate the -67dBm cell signal boundary
with a 15% cell-to-cell overlap for 802.11a. We then calculate the -67dBm cell signal boundary with a
20% cell-to-cell overlap for our legacy data and voice devices that will be using 802.11bg. With the
assumption that the radii of any two adjacent access point cells are equal (that is R1=R2=R), we can use
the equation for the area of a circle-circle intersection as the basis for this calculation. To determine the
cell radius given that the inter-access point separation and the percentage of overlap are known, we
proceed as follows:
Oπ R 2 = 2 R 2 arccos (
d
1
) − d 4R2 − d 2
2R 2
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-26
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
where:
•
•
O = the desired overlap percentage divided by 100
arccos(
•
d
)
2 R is expressed in radians
•
d = the inter-access point distance in feet
•
R = the cell radius in feet
We substitute either 15 (for 802.11a) or 10 (for 802.11bg) as the percentage of overlap O, and 45.9 feet
for the inter-access point distance d. Solving for R as an approximate root of the function shown above,
we determine that the cell radii should be equal to 30.88 feet for a 15% cell-to-cell overlap using 802.11a
and 33.4 feet for a 20% cell-to-cell overlap using 802.11bg1.
At this point, we have the information necessary to calculate the access point transmission power settings
that will be necessary to achieve our desired cell signal boundaries. This can be performed using a form
of the equation presented earlier to calculate receive signal strength (TXPOWER) from knowledge of our
reference path loss, path loss exponent, transmit power and various miscellaneous receive and transmit
gains and losses. This was discussed in Received Signal Strength (RSS), page 2-7. As it is the transmit
power (TXPOWER) of our access points that we wish to calculate and not the receive signal strength, we
shall use a modified form of the equation as follows:
TX POWER = RX POWER + LossTX − GainTX + PL1METER + 10log D n + s − GainRX + LossRX
For the purposes of this example, we have assumed:
•
That transmission losses due to cables, connectors, etc (LossTX and LossRX) are equal to 0 dB.
•
0 dB shadow fading standard deviation.
•
Receive antenna gain for our legacy 2.4 GHz data client devices of 0 dBi.
Substituting the appropriate values along with our expectation of a -67 dBm minimum receive signal
strength (RXPOWER) for both 802.11a 802.11bg, as well as the appropriate antenna gains, our cell radius
in meters (30.88 feet = 9.41 meters, 33.4 feet = 10.18 meters), an estimated path loss exponent n of 3.5
and our reference path losses, we obtain the following results:
802.11bg:
TXPOWER = -67 dBm + 0 - 2.2 dBi + 40 dB + 10log(10.183.5) - 0 + 0
= -29.2 + (10 * 3.527)
TXPOWER = +6.07 dBm, or approximately +8 dBm
802.11a:
TXPOWER = -67 dBm + 0 - 3.5 dBi + 46 dB + 10log(9.413.5) - (-3.0) + 0
= -24.5 + (10 * 3.408) + 3
TXPOWER = +12.58 dBm, or approximately +14 dBm
1. A computer algebra system (CAS) capable of both symbolic and numeric calculations, such as Maple,
Mathematica or Maxima was found to be helpful in solving such calculations. See Appendix B of this
document for information regarding how to use Maxima to calculate R as an approximate root of the
aforementioned equation over the closed interval (d/2, d).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-27
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Note that these power levels have been rounded upward to the next available transmit power increment
available on the AP1240AG access point. Since this is +1.93 dBm higher than the required transmit
power to achieve our recommended 20% overlap goal at a cell signal boundary of -67 dBm, we can
expect that the overlap will exceed the 20% target. This is acceptable, as the 20% overlap is a minimum
target. Similarly, for 802.11a the access point transmit power level of +14 dBm is +1.42 dBm higher than
what is required to achieve the recommended 15% overlap, once again resulting in more overlap between
cells than expected.
In this particular case, the option to expand our inter-access point separation is an acceptable alternative. Due
to the increase in the inter-access point separation (from 42.7 feet to 45.9 feet), a +3 dBm increase is required
to both our 802.11a and 802.11bg access point transmit power settings in order to remain in strict compliance
with our calculated requirements. Despite the increase in access point transmit power level, additional
transmit power is left in reserve on both bands to address potential coverage holes or other anomalies that
could occur due to changes in the environment. If this had not been the case, we would have proceeded with
our second option which entails contracting our inter-access point spacing and introducing a sixth row of
access points. The main differences in our calculations would be to divide the size of floor by five (instead of
four) rows of equilateral triangular formations. This would have resulted in a smaller formation height, a
smaller inter-access point separation, and therefore, smaller cell-to-cell radii and lower transmit powers.
Note
The signal level measurements and the calculations described in this section, while based on generally
accepted RF theory, are intended for planning purposes only. It is reasonable to expect some level of
signal level variation from these theoretical calculations in different environments.
Rather than statically administering access point transmission power levels, the Cisco Radio Resource
Manager (RRM) can be used instead. RRM can be used to dynamically control access point transmit
power based on real-time WLAN conditions. Under normal circumstances, transmit power is maintained
across all access points to maintain capacity and reduce interference. If a failed access point is detected,
transmit power can be automatically increased on surrounding access points to fill the gap created by the
loss in coverage. Should a coverage hole occur, RRM can use any remaining transmit power reserve on
surrounding access points to raise the adjacent coverage levels and address the coverage hole until it can
be investigated and resolved.
In either case, it is recommended that a verification of access point transmit power settings be performed
periodically. If you opt to manually administer access point transmit power settings, you should examine
the overall performance of your system to ensure that your original design assumptions are still valid
and that there have not been significant changes in your environment that might warrant reconsideration
of those assumptions. When using RRM, it will monitor your system for changes that might warrant an
increase or decrease in access point transmit power settings for you. After your system has been
installed, various adjustments can be made to RRM to bring its selection of access point transmit power
levels and other parameters within your expectations for the environment at hand.
Keep in mind that immediately after installation and for a period of time after, it is reasonable to see a
fair degree of RRM activity, as the system settles in and final parameter selections are made. At the
conclusion of this “settling in” period, the system designer should ensure that the choices made by RRM
are inline with the overall expectations of the design. Once the system has settled there should be little
to no change in RRM managed parameters over time, as barring any significant environmental or
equipment changes, the selections made for access point transmit power levels should remain fairly
static. Any indication of constant fluctuation in assigned access point transmit power levels or channels
should be regarded by the system administrator as potential indication of other anomalies that may be
developing within the environment. The root causes behind such frequent fluctuations should be
investigated and addressed promptly.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-28
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
Note
A comprehensive discussion of the mechanics of RRM is beyond the scope of this document. For
information of this nature, it is highly recommended that readers refer to Radio Resource Management
under Unified Wireless Networks document, which can be found at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk722/tk809/technologies_tech_note09186a008072c759.shtml. In
addition, it is recommended that all users considering using RRM in VoWLAN designs refer to the Voice
Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide, which can be found at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Mobility/vowlan/41dg/vowlan41dg-book.html
Figure 5-21 illustrates the updated access point layout, using the information from the calculations
above along with perimeter access point placement which is discussed next.
Figure 5-21
Layout for 5GHz Voice and High Speed Data, 2.4GHz Legacy, with Location
In Figure 5-21 we can see the effects of the increase in inter-access point distance:
•
The top row (access points 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26 and 31) and bottom row (access points 5, 10, 15, 20,
25, 30, and 35) of access points are now located at the actual top and bottom floor perimeter.
•
On the right side of the floor perimeter, access points 31 and 35 have been moved into the right hand
corners of the floor. Access point 33 has been moved to the right side of the floor perimeter. As a
group, access points 31 through 35 now comprise the right side of the floor perimeter.
•
On the left side of the floor perimeter, access points 1 and 5 have been moved into the left hand
corners of the floor. In addition, two new access points (36 and 37, indicated by adjacent yellow
stars) have been added to the design to complete the formation of the left side of the floor perimeter.
The two new access points added in Figure 5-21 bring the total access point count for the integrated
voice, data and location design to 37 access points. The primary source of voice and data coverage in
this design still emanates from the access points participating in the equilateral formations seen across
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-29
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Location, Voice and Data Coexistence
the floor (i.e. this can be seen in Figure 5-21 as the set of access points depicted in red). Access points
32, 34, 36 and 37 are necessary to establish a location perimeter, but based on the assumptions and
calculations presented here, may not be required to participate in providing voice or data coverage in
either band. That being the case, these access points can be statically configured to operate at
significantly reduced transmit power (such as -1 dBm, for example), which also minimizes the
co-channel interference contribution of these access points as well.
Note
For information regarding co-channel interference concerns in VoWLAN designs, it is recommended
that readers refer to the Voice Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide, which can be found at the following
URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Mobility/vowlan/41dg/vowlan41dg-book.html.
When using Cisco RRM to manage power levels, access points that are placed into the design solely for
location purposes should not be included in either the Radio Resource Management transmit power
control or coverage hole remediation processes. Configuring a custom access point transmit power level
(using the “custom” TX power option on WCS or the controller GUI) will automatically exclude these
access points from transmit power and coverage hole remediation algorithms.
Based on our planning output and our calculations, our original voice and data design shown in
Figure 5-19 can be migrated to a location-ready design that is in compliance with the best practices
described in the Voice Over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide with only minor changes in both layout and
configuration. The result is a combined design that is well suited to support VoWLAN, high speed data
and location tracking on 5 GHz, as well as legacy data and voice support with location tracking on 2.4
GHz.
Additional activities that can be performed to improve designs and design implementation include:
•
Performing a walk-around of the site and verifying that areas on the floor plan where access point
mounting is desired can actually accommodate it. This is always a good idea, since floor plans and
blueprints do not always indicate the precise conditions present at each location where an access
point may be mounted. For example, you may find that certain locations that appear to be viable
candidates “on paper” actually are inaccessible (such as an electrical closet), inappropriate (such as
an outdoor balcony) or are otherwise not acceptable. In such cases, access points should be relocated
close to the original location such that the impact on the overall design is minimal. In Figure 5-21,
some common-sense obstacles have been avoided, and the affected access points have been moved
slightly.
•
Verifying RF propagation and coverage assumptions by temporarily installing a few access points
in various test areas of the floor, and measuring actual RF signal strength and cell-to-cell overlap
using a portable client device with appropriate “site survey” software tools. This is an excellent time
to measure the ambient noise levels of the potential access point cells as well, and determine whether
the projected signal to noise ratio will be sufficient. Note that Cisco's RRM feature also monitors
client SNR and increases access point power if a number of clients are noticed to fall below a
prescribed SNR threshold. For more information about RRM, refer to the Radio Resource
Management under Unified Wireless Networks at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk722/tk809/technologies_tech_note09186a008072c759.shtml
•
Validating whether there are any radar users present in your locale that may interfere with the use
of the additional 802.11a that are subject to DFS. If there are not, these channels can be made
available for use by enabling DFS on your WLAN controllers.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-30
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Avoiding Location Display Jitter
Note
In software Release 4.1 of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, Cisco Compatible Extensions Location
Measurements are not enabled for any 802.11a channels on which DFS operation has been mandated.
For DFS channels, RSSI from probe requests transmitted by WLAN clients as a part of their normal
operation will be used for location tracking purposes.
The techniques and principles described in this section illustrate how a design performed in accordance
with VoWLAN and data best practices can be upgraded to being “location-ready”. The key concepts
behind how inter-access point separation, cell radius and transmit power are inter-related, and how these
factors can be used to determine coverage overlap, can be applied to designs of various different sizes
and shapes, as well as environments with varying path loss characteristics and shadowing.
Avoiding Location Display Jitter
Location smoothing was introduced to enable the network administrator to compensate for cases of
location instability sometimes seen with clients that are not actually experiencing any change in
movement. This can be due to a variety of factors, including the following:
•
Variations in client transmit power resulting in changes in detected RSSI
•
Environmental changes, including semi-permanent obstructions that may have shifted position,
result in variations in attenuation and multi-path
•
Changes in client orientation
•
Shadow fading
Location smoothing allows for varying degrees of averaging to be applied to device location. Smoothing
factors are set in Location > Location Server > Administration > Location Parameters through the
Smooth Location Positions parameter, as shown in Figure 5-22.
Figure 5-22
Configuring Location Smoothing
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-31
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
The various smoothing factor options impact the displayed location position by assigning different
weights to the latest calculated position of the device versus its last known position. These weights are
assigned as shown in Table 5-1.
Table 5-1
Smoothing Factor Weight Assignments
Smooth Location Positions
Value
Weight Assigned to Previous
Position
Weight Assigned to New
Position
Off (no smoothing)
0%
100%
Less smoothing
25%
75%
Average smoothing
50%
50%
More smoothing (default)
75%
25%
Maximum smoothing
90%
10%
As the weight assigned to the previous position is increased in relation to the weight assigned to the new
position, the amount of displayed device movement is decreased. Note that the use of location smoothing
will not eliminate all observed movement in the location display for that device. Rather, the use of
location smoothing simply limits the rate at which such changes are communicated to the end user.
The use of location smoothing involves a small tradeoff between location viewing stability and the
reaction time of the location display to changes in position. For most environments, the use of the default
smoothing factor should provide an improved viewing experience. Higher smoothing factors are best
reserved for environments where there is very infrequent movement of WLAN clients and tagged assets.
Low smoothing factors (or no smoothing) may provide better results in situations where tagged assets
and clients are frequently moving, and in some cases experiencing constant or near-constant motion.
Users that are primarily concerned with minimizing displayed location latency (albeit at the risk of some
location jitter) should choose low values for location smoothing, or disable location smoothing
altogether.
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
As stated earlier, a single Cisco Wireless Location Appliance can track up to 2500 devices, which
includes WLAN clients, asset tags, rogue access points, and rogue clients. The location appliance allows
for specific tracked device categories to be enabled via Location > Location Server > Administration
> Polling Parameters. To make best use of the capacity of each location appliance, Cisco recommends
enabling only those polling categories (client stations, rogues, asset tags, or statistics) in which there is
genuine interest and that require simultaneous tracking/historical location. For example, if the primary
interest is in tracking asset tags only, do not enable the client and rogue polling categories because this
only adds to overall network traffic between the location appliance and WLAN controllers as well as
unnecessarily consuming a portion of the 2500 device tracking capacity. By disabling polling for device
categories for which there is little interest, the full capacity of the location appliance can be better used.
Note
Although not the focus of this document, Release 4.2 of the location-aware Cisco UWN introduces a
enhancement that allows for individual limits to be placed on what portion of the location appliance's
entire tracked device capacity is allocated to each tracked device category (i.e., WLAN clients, asset
tags, and rogue devices).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-32
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Note
•
Cisco WCS Release 4.1 can support between 500 and 3000 access points and between 125 and 750
WLAN controllers, depending on hardware configuration, as follows:
•
WCS high-end server—Supports up to 3000 access points and 750 WLAN controllers
•
WCS standard server—Supports up to 2000 access points and 500 WLAN controllers
•
WCS on Cisco Wireless LAN Solutions Engine (WLSE) hardware—Supports up to 1500 access
points and 100 WLAN controllers
•
WCS low-end server—Supports up to 500 access points and 125 WLAN controllers
For complete details, see the Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, System Requirements
at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a00808317
da.html#wp1061082
The maximum size of the WCS management domain (that is, the total number of devices managed by a
single WCS) is related to the choice of server platform. In very large networks, it may be necessary to
partition the network into multiple management domains, each with a separate WCS managing it.
Beginning with software Release 4.1, Cisco introduces the WCS Navigator, which is a management
aggregation platform for the enhanced scalability, manageability, and visibility of large-scale
implementations of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. WCS Navigator is a software-based solution
that enables overall management of multiple Cisco WCS management platforms, regardless of their
physical location. Cisco WCS Navigator runs on a separate server platform with an embedded database,
and supports up to 20 Cisco WCS management platforms and up to 20,000 access points. Additional
information regarding Cisco WCS Navigator can be found at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7305/index.html.
Although the maximum size of the each management domain is related to the capacity of the WCS
platform managing it, the maximum size of the location domain (that is, the number of devices tracked
by a single location appliance) is limited by the tracked device capacity of the location appliance. In a
large percentage of mid to large size deployments, the standard deployment model of a single WCS
management domain combined with a single location domain (Figure 5-23) can meet the device tracking
and management needs.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-33
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Figure 5-23
Single Management and Location Domains
Campus
WCS
2710
W
WiSM
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
190576
LWAPP
E
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
N
S
However, in the case of larger campuses, the total number of tracked devices may exceed the capacity of
a single location appliance, making it necessary to use multiple location appliances (and multiple
location domains) in the design. Some organizations may in fact choose to purposely divide the tracked
device load among two or more location appliances for internal reasons, such as to better accommodate
internal cost accounting within the organization, or to better accommodate growth. A good example of
this might be a campus medical center WLAN that is tracking a large amount of patient-related medical
assets in addition to the internal IT assets of the organization. It may wish to use separate location
appliances to partition the tracking of assets as well as to provide clear delineation of equipment and cost
separation between departments.
Note
Keep in mind that if there are more than 250 tracked devices detected in a particular device category,
WCS displays only the first 250 tracked devices. After displaying the initial 250 tracked devices, WCS
will prompt the user to initiate the use of device filtering in order to display the remainder.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-34
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
In software Release 4.1, WLAN controllers offer the device capacities shown in Table 5-2.
Table 5-2
WLAN Controller Device Capacities
Controller Model
WLAN Clients
Supported
Asset Tags
Supported
Rogue APs
Supported
Rogue Clients
2006
256
500
125
100
2106
256
500
125
100
4402
2,500
1250
625
500
4404
5,000
2500
625
500
WiSM
10,000
5000
1250
1000
NM-WLC6
256
500
125
100
NME-WLC8/12
350
500
125
100
3750G
2,500
1250
625
500
The subsections that follow examine how WCS, the location appliance and WCS Navigator can be
combined to satisfy the needs of more demanding designs that are typically beyond the capabilities of
single management/location domain combinations.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-35
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Single Management Domain with Multiple Location Domains
In this design approach, the network management needs of the enterprise WLAN are expected to be well
within the capacity of a single WCS management domain. However, there is a need to track a
combination of more than 2500 clients, rogues, and asset tags. This can be accomplished using multiple
location domains that are managed via a single management domain, as shown in Figure 5-24.
Figure 5-24
Single Management Domain with Multiple Location Domains
Regional Headquarters
Campus
WCS
2710-1
W
N
S
E
2710-2
W
LWAPP
WiSM
N
S
E
LWAPP
LWAPP
1
2
Regional Metro Locations
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
3
4
5
223340
LWAPP
Figure 5-24 illustrates a single campus WCS server providing WLAN management services for a large
regional headquarters campus location as well as three extended regional metropolitan campus locations.
In this case, all are located within a major metropolitan city.
Note
Although the locations in this example are geographically dispersed, the concepts discussed regarding
multiple location domains and controller assignments also applies to the case of a single contiguous
campus where the total number of tracked devices exceeds 2500.
In the example depicted in Figure 5-24, the regional headquarters location contains 140 access points
and each metro location contains 50 access points along with an unspecified number of chokepoint
triggers. The design calls for the use of a centralized Cisco Catalyst 6500 with Wireless Service Module
(WiSM). The WiSM contains two embedded controllers per service module, which are referred to as
WiSM-1 and WiSM-2. WiSM-1 is used to service access points at the regional headquarters location
while WiSM-2 services access points located at the metropolitan locations. Two Cisco 2710 Wireless
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-36
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Location Appliances provide the capacity to track up to a maximum of 5000 device MAC addresses.
Location appliance 2710-1 is assigned to track assets within the regional headquarters complex only, and
location appliance 2710-2 tracks assets across all three of the metropolitan locations. Note that location
appliance 2710-2 does not track devices in the regional headquarters complex.
We can use WCS to create a single network design (a set of outdoor, campus, building and floor maps
along with access point and chokepoint placements) that encompassing the entire extended campus
shown in Figure 5-24. We first add in buildings 1 and 2 and the floors that are included in each building
for the regional headquarters location. The 140 access points that are registered to controller WiSM-1,
along with any chokepoints that are in use at the regional headquarters, are assigned to this network
design. In addition, an event notification group is created for the regional headquarters location. WCS is
then used to add metro remote buildings 3, 4, and 5 and their respective floors. The 150 access points
that are registered to controller WiSM-2, along with any chokepoint triggers in the metro remote
locations, are assigned to this network design. A separate event notification group is created for the
metro remote locations.
The critical step in this process is not only to share the network design between both location appliances,
but to ensure that the WLAN controllers we wish included within the location domain of each location
appliance are correctly synchronized to (and only to) that location appliance. Thus, while our campus
network design is synchronized to both location appliance 2710-1 and 2710-2, only controller WiSM-1
is synchronized to location appliance 2710-1 and only controller WiSM-2 is synchronized to location
appliance 2710-2.
After these actions are performed, we will be able to manage the entire campus from the single WCS
management domain, while dividing the aggregate number of tracked devices between two separate
location domains. Once implemented, the entire enterprise is managed as a single management domain,
with all management polling and reporting emanating from a centralized WCS. Location appliance
2710-1 handles polling controller WiSM-1 for all information pertaining to tracked devices found within
its location domain, which is the regional headquarters. Location appliance 2710-2 handles the polling
of controller WiSM-2 with regard to all tracked devices found in its location domain, which are the
regional metro locations. Except for the fact that the two location domains operate across a common
network, are managed from a common management domain, and possesses a controller that co-resides
on the same physical WiSM module at the regional headquarters, the two location domains essentially
exist independent of one another.
An alternate approach would entail creating two separate location appliance network designs containing
only the portion of the campus network encompassed within each respective location domain. Each of
these individual network designs would then be synchronized to the appropriate location appliance,
along with the controller(s) that the location appliance will service. While this approach is indeed
functional, in general, the single network design approach is preferred from a convenience and ease of
maintenance perspective. On the other hand, when working with very large network designs, the dual
network design approach may be preferable. By splitting the environment into two distinct network
designs, it avoids loading the details about unnecessary access points, buildings, floors and the graphical
images representing them into location appliances that have no need for this information.
In any design containing two or more independent location domains, it is important to be aware of the
degree and frequency of inter-domain tracked device migration, if any. Some designs involving two or
more location domains are meant to operate as pure “closed loop” systems. This implies that tracked
devices are added and removed under very controlled circumstances, with the exception of any newly
discovered rogues. In a closed loop system, the number of non-rogue tracked devices in each location
domain can be expected to remain fairly constant. However, many actual deployments may employ
“open-loop” business processes, where some degree of uncontrolled device addition, removal or
migration can, and often will occur.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-37
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
This can be significant since tracked devices that migrate from one location domain to another may
appear in the active location database of each location appliance until such time that they are pruned. A
tracked device will be pruned from the active location database of a location appliance when all of the
following conditions are true1:
1.
The device is no longer being detected by any of the access points registered to any controller being
serviced by that location appliance (i.e., any controller that has been synchronized to that location
appliance).
2.
All controllers whose access points have detected the tracked device have ceased reporting RSSI for
the device to the location appliance (typically after the controller’s RFID timeout or client user
timeout has expired).
3.
the location appliance Absent Data Cleanup Interval (ADCI) has expired (default is 1440 minutes).
During the time that a tracked device is present in more than one location appliance, multiple entries for
the same device may appear in WCS client, tag or rogue display menus. An example of this is depicted
in Figure 5-25, which illustrates the results of an asset tag search across all location appliances in lab
testing. In this test, an asset tag with MAC address 00:0C:CC:5E:82:90 has migrated from the domain
of location appliance “Loc1” to the domain of location appliance “Loc2”. The access points of the two
buildings are registered to different controllers, and these controllers are individually contained within
two different location domains. For example, the controller servicing the hypothetical Havermeyer
Building is being polled by the “Loc1” location appliance while the controller servicing the hypothetical
Pupin Hall Building is being polled by the “Loc2” location appliance.
Figure 5-25
Duplicate Device Appearances Due to Device Migration
Note that in Figure 5-25, the asset tag MAC address 00:0C:CC:5E:82:90 appears twice, found in two
different location appliances and with locations listed for two different buildings. If we were to display
the map locations listed at the extreme right of Figure 5-25, we would see a tag icon displayed on both
the main floor of the Havermeyer Building as well as floor number one of Pupin Hall. In order to
differentiate between which of these two entries represents the latest and true location of asset tag
00:0C:CC:5E:82:90, we can use the information provided by the “Last Located At” time stamp and the
age of the RSSI readings used to locate the device. To obtain the RSSI age information, we click on each
appearance of device MAC address 00:0C:CC:5E:82:90, enable the location debug option on the tag
detail screen that appears, and view the age of the RSSI readings used to establish the device location
(shown in Figure 5-26).
1. The length of the location appliance’s polling cycle for the particular category of device may also play a role.
The precise degree of impact will be dependent on the point within the polling cycle the tracked device was
prior to migrating out of the location domain.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-38
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Figure 5-26
RSSI Age Comparison for Duplicate Tag Entries
After the location appliance’s absent data cleanup interval has expired, our lab test tag report appears as
shown in Figure 5-27. Note that our migrated asset tag with MAC address 00:0C:CC:5E:82:90 has been
pruned from the active location database of location appliance “Loc1”.
Figure 5-27
Tag Report After Device Pruning
Relating this to the example shown in Figure 5-24, devices moving between metro remote buildings 3,
4, and 5 would not be affected by this anomaly, since these buildings are all contained within the location
domain of appliance 2710-2. However, it would be of concern with devices migrating between any of
the metro remote buildings and regional headquarters buildings 1 and 2, since the regional headquarters
buildings are contained within a different location domain.
In cases where tracked devices may migrate between location domains at a more or less equal rate (that
is, the rate of devices leaving a location domain is approximately the same as that of those entering) and
the absent data cleanup interval is left at the system default, the situation illustrated above may persist
for approximately 1440 minutes (24 hours). If a significant degree of device migration is expected, it is
a good idea to tune the absent data cleanup interval to the anticipated level of migration expected at your
site. This will help make more efficient use of location appliance resources and help avoid the possibility
of exhausting tracked device capacity.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-39
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
For example, assume a situation where a particular site begins its workday with:
•
Its location appliance's tracked device capacity at 60% (1500 devices).
•
A bi-directional two device per-minute migration rate (clients and tags).
•
No other tracked device additions or removals (rogue tracking is disabled).
In this case, the remaining capacity on the location appliance (1000 tracked devices, also referred to as
“headroom”) would allow for 500 minutes of operation at this rate of device migration before the
potential for tracked device capacity exhaustion becomes a concern. To help avoid this situation, the
Absent Data Cleanup Interval should be set below 500 minutes (for example, 440 or 470 minutes) in
order to reclaim tracked device capacity prior to headroom depletion.
A common question that often arises is “why not just set the Absent Data Cleanup Interval to a very short
interval initially?” The answer revolves has to do with decreases in the Absent Data Cleanup Interval not
being entirely without tradeoffs:
•
While reducing the location appliance's Absent Data Cleanup Interval to an arbitrarily short value
may have the effect of freeing up device capacity quickly, it can also effect the ability to view prior
location and statistics for all categories of tracked devices (asset tags, clients and rogues) for which
updated RSSI information has not been received within the ADCI time period. If the ADCI has
been reduced and a device has been removed from the active location database, the ability to view
past location information via the “Load Location Data as Old As” dropdown menu in the left hand
margin of WCS floor maps display screens will now be limited to the reduced length of the Absent
Data Cleanup Interval. Normally, this function allows information to be extracted from the active
location database for up to a full 24 hour period, matching the default time period of the Absent Data
Cleanup Interval. If the Absent Data Cleanup Interval is reduced, the maximum scope of the “Load
Location Data As Old As” dropdown is reduced to the new value for the Absent Data Cleanup
Interval, despite values higher than this being displayed in the dropdown selector.
•
When devices are pruned from the active location databases, historical location information on that
location appliance will not be accessible for those device MAC addresses until such time that these
devices re-enter the location domain and are re-added to the active location database. This assumes
that the historical location information has not been pruned via an the independent location history
pruning process that occurs periodically.
Multiple Management Domains with Multiple Location Domains
In this section, we examine the case where both of the following are true:
•
The combined number of access points and controllers managed within the enterprise cannot be
contained within a single management domain
•
The number of tracked devices in the enterprise exceeds the capacity of a single location domain.
We revisit the enterprise depicted in Figure 5-24, except we now examine the organization's structure
from a perspective higher up in the organization's hierarchy. We see that the headquarters location and
the metropolitan remote office extended campus locations that we discussed in Figure 5-24 actually
comprise a regional entity, with the headquarters location in Figure 5-24 now representing a “regional”
headquarters location. Each regional headquarters reports to a national headquarters location, and there
are three other regional headquarters locations that are very similar to what we described in Figure 5-28.
In other words, we see that the “enterprise” we discussed in Figure 5-24 is really part of a much larger
entity In this section, this larger entity is discussed in detail using Figure 5-28, with much of our
discussion building on the information we covered in the previous section and Figure 5-24.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-40
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
Figure 5-28
Multiple Management Domains with Multiple Location Domains
National Headquarters
WCS
NAV
2710
W
N
S
E
HQ
WCS
LWAPP
WiSM
LWAPP
LWAPP
Regional Headquarters
Northern
Region
Regional Headquarters
2710
N
Campus
WCS
W
W
LWAPP
LWAPP
WiSM
LWAPP
LWAPP
S
E
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
W
WiSM
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
2710
N
Campus
WCS
W
2710
N
S
E
W
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
E
S
WiSM
2710
N
S
Western
Region
E
LWAPP
Regional
Remote Locations
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
223344
LWAPP
Southern
Region
E
LWAPP
E
S
Regional
Remote Locations
LWAPP
2710
N
S
Regional Headquarters
W
LWAPP
LWAPP
LWAPP
2710
N
Campus
WCS
LWAPP
WiSM
LWAPP
Regional Headquarters
LWAPP
W
LWAPP
LWAPP
E
S
Regional
Remote Locations
LWAPP
Eastern
Region
W
2710
N
Regional
Remote Locations
LWAPP
2710
N
Campus
WCS
E
S
Each of the four regions depicted inFigure 5-28 contains a total of 290 access points, with a WCS server
resident at each regional headquarters. As we discussed in the previous section, two location appliances
are deployed per region and physically reside within each regional headquarters location, managing the
two location domains present within each region. A national headquarters campus provides overall
management for the entire enterprise, and contains 200 access points and a total of 2,100 tracked devices
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-41
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
of its own, with WLAN controller services provided by a resident WiSM-equipped Catalyst 6500. The
national headquarters location contains a single management and a single location domain, primarily
dedicated to the WLAN and location tracking needs of the national headquarters staff itself.
This design contains a total of nine location domains and five management domains. To provide
top-down management of the entire Unified Wireless Network, WCS Navigator is deployed at the
national headquarters location, providing both management and location visibility internally as well as
to all four regional campuses. Each WCS server communicates with WCS Navigator via its northbound
API, allowing for the events, activities and resources of each regional management domain to be
monitored and managed via a centralized portal. Figure 5-28 contains a single management and a single
location domain, primarily dedicated to the WLAN and location tracking needs of the national
headquarters staff itself.
This design contains a total of nine location domains and five management domains. To provide
top-down management of the entire Unified Wireless Network, WCS Navigator is also deployed in the
national headquarters location, providing both management and location visibility to all four regional
campuses in addition to the national headquarters. WCS Navigator communicates with each of the five
WCS servers via the WCS server’s northbound API, allowing for the events, activities and resources of
each regional management domain to be monitored and managed via a centralized portal. Figure 5-29
illustrates the network summary screen of WCS Navigator, where we can see its ability to monitor the
status of multiple WCS servers as well as their location appliances. The alarm counts shown here
represent aggregate quantities across all the monitored management domains. Clicking on any link takes
the user to the appropriate detail screen using information retrieved from the WCS server that is
responsible for the particular domain being queried.
Figure 5-29
WCS Navigator Summary Screen
WCS Navigator allows for the location of individual clients, asset tags and rogues to be determined by
searching across the entire set of WCS servers. Tracked device searches can be conducted based on IP
address, user name, MAC address, or asset name, category or group. WCS displays the output of such
searches in a list format (shown in the top half of Figure 5-30). Clicking on any of the tag MAC
addresses, controller or map links transports the user to the appropriate detail screen using information
from the responsible WCS server (as shown in the lower half of Figure 5-30). Note that when this occurs,
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-42
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Multiple Location Appliance Designs
additional fields (highlighted in blue ovals) are inserted into the WCS menus to indicate that the user has
arrived at these WCS menus via the WCS Navigator and provide for an easy return path back to the main
menu.
Figure 5-30
Result of Tag Search Across Multiple WCS Servers
The cautions stated earlier with regard to the degree and frequency of device migration between location
domains also apply here. That is, attention should be paid to the level of tracked device migration that
may occur intra-regionally, inter-regionally or between any of the regions and the national headquarters.
In this case, when tracked devices migrate between location domains and are included in the active
location database of two or more location appliances, duplicate entries may not only be seen in local
WCS servers (as described earlier) but also in WCS Navigator. Figure 5-31 provides an illustrative
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-43
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Antenna Considerations
example of this, for two tracked asset tags 00:0C:CC:73:14:D9 and 00:0C:CC:73:2A:4D. As described
in the preceding section, judicious adjustment of the Absent Data Cleanup Interval can be used to reduce
the lifetime of duplicate entries and help mitigate this condition.
Figure 5-31
Duplicate Devices in WCS Navigator Due to Device Migration
Antenna Considerations
Third-Party Antennas
When engineering in-building WLAN solutions, varying facility sizes, construction materials, and
interior divisions can all pose concerns that need to be considered during design and deployment. Cisco
Systems is committed to providing not only the best WLAN infrastructure and client components in the
industry, but also providing complete WLAN solutions. To this end, Cisco Systems provides the widest
range of antennas, cabling and accessories available from any wireless LAN manufacturer. With a full
suite of directional and omni-directional antennas, low-loss cable, mounting hardware, and other
accessories, installers and designers of Cisco-supplied wireless solutions that meets the requirements of
some of the most challenging wireless LAN applications.
In the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, antennas available from Cisco Systems are pre-configured in
WCS and available for assignment to access points via the drop-down menus found at Monitor > Maps
> Position APs. Selecting a Cisco antenna from this list automatically defines the antenna's gain and
propagation patterns to WCS and the location appliance, which helps facilitate optimal localization of
tracked devices.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-44
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Antenna Considerations
In some specialized cases however, there may be reasons to consider the use of third-party antennas that
are not found on the WCS antenna list. These reasons may include:
•
Retrofit of a pre-existing installation—If a pre-existing autonomous network is being upgraded to
the LWAPP-based UWN solution, or if a pre-existing UWN installation is being upgraded, there
already a large install base of third party antennas already deployed. Depending on their physical
condition and their regulatory approval status for use with the latest 802.11 technologies, designers
may wish to consider re-deployment.
•
Specific Product Requirements—In some cases a specific physical or electrical requirement of the
design might dictate the use of a niche third party antenna not contained on the WCS-supported list.
For example, a fashion retailer may require the use of a “zero-footprint” antenna or an antenna
available in a specific shape or color to augment the decor of a “Fifth Avenue” flagship retail
location. Or an electronics manufacturing facility requires a directional antenna with a unique (and
very specific) coverage pattern or polarization to better cover a specific area of the plant floor, while
minimizing interference with sensitive equipment in a particular location.
WCS allows for antenna gain to be specified for antennas that are not on the dropdown list of standard
antennas. This can be performed using the “Other” antenna option (shown in Figure 5-32). Custom
azimuth and elevation propagation patterns for “Other” third-party antennas cannot be defined to either
WCS or the location appliance, (note the loss of the antenna orientation compass in Figure 5-32 when
using the “Other” antenna option). Because of this, access points that are defined as being equipped with
third party antennas will not be included in coverage heat maps and will not participate in client, tag, or
rogue on-demand location tracking.
Figure 5-32
Specifying “Other” Antennas on WCS Floor Maps
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-45
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Antenna Considerations
Since the exact propagation pattern of third-party antennas cannot be specified, a question often asked
is whether the propagation patterns for a pre-defined Cisco Systems supplied antenna can be substituted
when the antenna from Cisco Systems is regarded as being a “close match” for the third-party antenna.
The answer to this popular question depends on several factors. For optimal location fidelity, it is
recommended that one of the antennas listed within WCS be used whenever possible. However, if this
is impossible, the following suggestions should be considered before performing such substitutions:
Note
•
For third-party antennas providing a gain of +6dBi gain or less, the difference in gain between the
third-party antenna and the Cisco equivalent should not exceed 3 dBi.
•
For third-party antennas providing greater than +6dBi gain, the difference in gain between the
third-party antenna and the Cisco equivalent should not exceed 3 dBi. In addition, the gain of the
third-party antenna must not exceed the gain of the Cisco equivalent. The latter condition must be
enforced to avoid circumstances where excessive antenna gain may lead to regulatory compliance
issues (FCC regulatory domain, other regulatory domains may differ).
•
The third-party antenna should be of the same type as the Cisco equivalent. In other words,
omni-directionals should only be substituted for omni-directionals, yagis for yagis, etc.
Keep in mind that substitution of third-party antennas while configuring WCS for the nearest Cisco
equivalent may not be supported by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).
Antenna Orientation and Access Point Placement
When installing access points using either internal or external antennas, it is highly recommended that
both the placement of the access point as well as the orientation selected for the access point antennas
in WCS match the actual physical access point placement and antenna orientation. This helps to ensure
accuracy and precision in both location tracking as well as the display of predictive heat maps.
The typical Cisco Aironet access point is installed using antenna diversity. Antenna diversity helps
ensure optimal range and throughput in high multipath environments. With few exceptions, it is
recommended that antenna diversity always be enabled. The location-aware Cisco UWN is designed to
take RSSI information from both access point antennas into account when localizing tracked devices.
For good accuracy, ensure that antennas are physically present on all enabled access point antenna ports.
Failure to do so may cause inordinately low RSSI readings to be reported on enabled antenna ports that
do not have an attached antenna. The use of abnormally low RSSI from antenna ports without antennas
is not conducive to good location accuracy and should be avoided.
Figure 5-33 illustrates how the configuration of the antenna's azimuth orientation within WCS is mapped
to the actual physical orientation of the antenna. The blue triangle in the azimuth compass rose shown
at the right of the figure indicates how the actual antenna should be physically positioned during
deployment (notice that each of the antenna graphics contains a blue arrow as well). For omni-directional
antennas, use unique identifying factors that are associated with the antenna (such as the right angled
flexible antenna connector shown at the bottom of the 2.2dBi black whip antenna in Figure 5-33) to
assist in proper positioning. For directional antennas, use unique physical characteristics of the antenna
such as the exit location of the cable (for example, cable exiting up or cable exiting down) or other
unique marks and construction characteristics.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-46
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Antenna Considerations
Figure 5-33
Antenna Orientation
In software Release 4.1 of the location aware Cisco UWN, the ability to specify installed access point
and antenna characteristics has been enhanced. Whereas prior releases assumed all access point antennas
were uniformly installed at the same height on a floor, software Release 4.1 now provides the ability to
account for antenna installations at varying heights. In this software release, the ceiling height that was
configured when the floor was defined is used as the initial default for each access point. However, this
can now be easily overridden on a per-access point basis (as shown in Figure 5-34). This capability
allows the location appliance to incorporate varied access point antenna heights in its lateration
calculations, an approach that more realistically approximates installations, especially in non-carpeted
office type environments. Note that the individual height specified for an access point antennas cannot
exceed the height of the floor.
Figure 5-34
Note
Defining Individual Access Point Heights
The antenna propagation characteristics of the AP1131 access point are optimal along its azimuth plane
when ceiling mounted. For optimal location performance when using the AP1131, it is preferred that the
access point be ceiling mounted rather than wall mounted.
In some cases, it is desirable to separate access points from antennas using a short length (less than 10
feet) of low-loss antenna cable. Reasons for this might include avoidance of obstacles or simply the
desire to position access points and other active electronic infrastructure components within easy reach
of local employees using commonly available ladders and stepladders. This facilitates easy removal and
installation of these components should they require replacement. An example of this is shown in
Figure 5-35. In this case, a nationwide retailer has mandated that all electronic infrastructure
components be accessible to store employees using the ten foot step-ladders commonly available at each
store location. Here we see that the access point is mounted at 10 feet (for easy access) while the
antennas are mounted at 15 feet. In cases such as this, the value specified for “AP Height” in Figure 5-34
should reflect the height of the antennas and not the height of the access point.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-47
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-35
Example of Differing Antenna and Access Point Heights
Calibration
The Cisco WCS and the location appliance are shipped with default RF models that facilitate setup under
two of the most common indoor office environments. One of these models represents a typical corporate
office environment with both cubicles and drywall offices, and the other represents a similar environment
with drywall offices only1. These RF models provide an estimate of the path losses found in these typical
indoor commercial office environments, and can be very useful when the primary requirement at hand
is to provide a working location tracking system in the shortest amount of time possible.
Some indoor environments may possess more attenuation than is found in a typical office environment.
In properly designed indoor installations where increased attenuation may be a factor contributing to less
than optimal location accuracy, a site calibration may help restore lost performance. When an on-site
calibration is performed, the system is allowed to sample path losses from known points throughout the
environment, allowing it to formulate a custom RF model that provides a better understanding of the
propagation characteristics specific to that environment.
1. A third RF-calibration model is provided for designers wishing to attempt outdoor deployments using the
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. This white paper does not address outdoor location design guidelines at
this time.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-48
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
In many cases, using the information collected during calibration instead of a default model can
markedly reduce the degree of error between reported and observed client location. In environments
where many floors share almost identical attenuation characteristics (such as the floors of a library
containing similar arrangements of book shelves, for example), these strong similarities may allow for
the RF model created by a calibration performed on any one of the floors to be applied to all floors with
good results.
Calibration is actually a multi-step process that begins with the definition of a new calibration model via
Monitor > Maps > RF Calibration Models > Create New Model. A step-by-step description of the
calibration process can be found in the following two documents:
•
“Creating and Applying Calibration Models” in the Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration
Guide,
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a0080
83196d.html#wp1089489
•
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Deployment Guide at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_technical_reference09186a008059ce31.html.
During the data point collection process, the calibration client repeatedly transmits probe requests on all
channels. Depending on the particular calibration client being used, the client may be triggered to
transmit probe requests on-demand via a network request. Clients that are incapable of recognizing
these requests may be de-authenticated and disassociated in order to cause them to issue probe requests
to the wireless medium and subsequently re-associate / re-authenticate. Access points in the vicinity of
the client detect the RSSI of these probe requests and pass this information to their registered controllers.
Controllers furnish the RSSI information detected during the calibration process to the location
appliance and WCS for use in computing the path losses that will ultimately be associated with the new
calibration model.
The data point collection phase of the calibration process in WCS can be performed using one of two
methods. It can be performed from a single web-enabled mobile device associated to the WLAN, which
controls both the probing of the network as well as the actual data collection. Alternatively, the data
collection phase can be performed from two separate devices that are associated to the WLAN
infrastructure. In this case, interaction with the WCS GUI is controlled from a primary device that is
equipped with keyboard and mouse capabilities, while the actual generation of probe requests occurs on
a second device.
Due to an open caveat1 concerning the use of dual-band calibration clients and performing a location
calibration data collection on both bands simultaneously, it is recommended that calibration data
collection be performed for each band individually at this time. When using a dual-band client, use either
of the following alternatives:
1.
Perform the calibration data collection using a single laptop equipped with a Cisco Aironet
802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter (AIR-CB21AG) on each band individually. For example,
proceed to disable the 5 GHz band and complete the data collection using the 2.4 GHz band only.
Then, disable the 2.4 GHz band and enable the 5 GHz band, and proceed to repeat the data collection
using the 5 GHz band only.
2.
Perform the calibration using two people and two laptops. Each laptop should have a Cisco
AIR-CB21AG and be associated to the infrastructure using a different band. The two calibration
operators may operate independently; there is no need for them to visit each data point together. In
this way, a complete calibration data collection can be performed across both bands in half the
amount of time as option #1 above.
1. For further information, refer to CSCsh88795—CCX S36 Beacon Measurement Request Dual-Band Support,
page 7-1.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-49
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
When a client compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification version 2 or greater is
associated to the WLAN infrastructure and is specified as the calibration client in WCS, the client’s
MAC address will be inserted into the location calibration table of all controllers servicing the access
points contained on the floor being calibrated. This insertion initially occurs immediately after the MAC
address of the calibrating client and calibration campus, building and floor are specified via WCS
Maps> RF Calibration Models > Add Data Points. After each save of a collected data point, the client
MAC address will be removed from the controller’s location calibration table. The client MAC address
will then be briefly reinserted into controller location calibration tables upon each subsequent data point
save and immediately removed thereafter. This process repeats for each data point collected.
When the MAC addresses of clients that are compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions
specification version 2 or greater appear in the location calibration table of controllers, unicast Radio
Measurement Requests will be sent to these clients (see Figure 5-36). Similar to how broadcast Radio
Measurement Requests help improve the location accuracy of compatible clients during normal
operation, unicast Radio Measurement Requests sent at short regular intervals (4 seconds) should cause
compatible calibration clients to transmit probe requests very frequently. The use of Cisco Compatible
Extensions Radio Measurement Requests and Cisco Compatible Extensions version 2 or greater clients
allows this to occur without the need to force the client to continually disassociate and re-associate. This
allows more consistent and reliable probing of the network, and allows smoother operation of the
calibration client especially if it is being used as a workstation that is interacting with WCS via the
calibration data collection GUI.
Note
Unicast Radio Measurement Requests will not be sent to clients that are associated to WLANs where the
Aironet Information Element (“Aironet IE”) has not been enabled on the supporting controller. For best
calibration results with calibration clients supporting the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification
version 2 or greater, ensure that Aironet IE support is enabled.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-50
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-36
Unicast Radio Measurement Request
The fields in the unicast Radio Measurement Request shown in Figure 5-36 (highlighted with colored
rectangles) are very similar to that of the broadcast Radio Measurement Request discussed previously
in this document. However, Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement broadcasts Radio
Measurement Requests to all associated clients whereas during calibration data collection, Radio
Measurement Requests are unicast only to calibration client MAC addresses that are contained in WLAN
controller location calibration tables. For example, in Figure 5-36, we see that the MAC address we are
unicasting the Radio Measurement Requests to is 00:40:96:A1:9D:47.
Calibration clients that are compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification version 1 (or
not compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification at all) will not respond to unicast
radio measurement requests. Instead, these clients will be forced to re-associate and re-authenticate in
order to generate probe requests. If the Cisco Compatible Extensions Location Measurement parameter
(discussed in the section entitled “Tracking Assets and Devices in the Cisco UWN”) is enabled on a
controller for which a Cisco Compatible Extensions specification version 2 or greater client is being used
for calibration, the calibration client should respond to both the broadcast request used for Cisco
Compatible Extensions Location Measurement as well as the unicast Radio Measurement Requests used
for calibration.
Note
The Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter (AIR-CB21AG) is recommended by Cisco
Systems for location calibration data collection.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-51
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
In most cases, WCS will handle the maintenance of the controller location calibration tables, inserting
client MAC addresses as needed for calibration data collection and removing them when they are no
longer necessary. Proper maintenance of this table is important, since every client compliant with the
Cisco Compatible Extensions specification version 2 that is present in the table (up to a maximum of
five) will receive unicast radio measurement requests whenever they are associated to any access point
registered to that controller. This occurs regardless of whether the client is actively collecting calibration
data points or being used simply as an associated mobile workstation during non-calibration periods.
Because of this, residual client MAC addresses in controller location calibration tables can result in
unnecessary load and traffic:
•
Each WLAN controller containing these entries should perform the following every four seconds:
– Issue radio measurement requests to each client in the table.
– Process incoming probe requests from each client in the table.
– Process incoming radio measurement responses from each client in the table.
•
Each WLAN client present in the location calibration tables must perform the following every four
seconds:
– Issue one or more probe requests per channel in the regulatory channel set.
– Process one or more incoming probe responses.
– Generate a radio measurement response report containing the results of all probe responses
received.
During normal calibration procedures, WCS will manage the addition and deletion of entries from the
location calibration tables. However, there are some situations where residual stray entries may be
observed. A common cause is improper termination of calibration data collection by the user, two
examples of which might include:
•
WCS normally adds the client MAC address to the location calibration table immediately after the
parameters on the Maps > RF Calibration Models > Add Data Points GUI menu panel are completed.
If data point collection is aborted at this point by simply selecting a different WCS function from
the main WCS menu, entries in controller location calibration tables will remain. To avoid this
situation, it is recommended that users wishing to abort data collection use the “Cancel” option
instead (shown in Figure 5-37) before returning to a previous menu.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-52
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-37
Using the Cancel Option to Help Trigger Location Calibration Cleanup
•
WCS adds the client address to the location calibration table immediately after clicking on the
“Save” button shown in Figure 5-37 and initiating the data collection process for a particular data
point. While data is being collected for the calibration client, the screen shown in Figure 5-38 will
be displayed.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-53
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-38
Data Point Collection in Progress
Once the data collection has completed, the data collection screen will be re-displayed with the new data
points illustrated on the map. In extraordinary situations, the data collection process may take a few
minutes to complete (or timeout in about 90 to 120 seconds) due to an unexpected interruption in
calibration client connectivity, such as moving into a coverage hole for example. If the user becomes
impatient and decides to abruptly terminate the calibration by selecting a different menu option from the
WCS main menu, residual controller location calibration table entries may occur. To avoid this, it is
recommended that all calibration users refrain from this behavior and instead exercise patience in
waiting for the data collection to complete or timeout (shown in Figure 5-39).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-54
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-39
Data Collection Timeout Message
In cases where the contents of the controller’s location calibration table is in question, it can be queried
directly using the CLI command.
(Cisco Controller)>show client location-calibration summary
MAC Address
interval
----------------- ------------00:40:96:a1:9d:47
4
In situations where there are unnecessary residual entries present in a controller's location calibration
table from prior calibration data collections, they can be removed manually using the following
controller CLI command:
(Cisco Controller)>config client location-calibration disable
00:40:96:a1:9d:47
Note
Before removing any entries in controller location calibration tables, it is good practice to be sure that
these entries are not in use by other users performing a calibration data collection.
Calibration data collection should be performed after the system has been fully installed, basic coverage
checks are completed, and the recommended RSSI cutoff (typically -75 dB or better) to a minimum of
three access points has been verified. All access points should be in place, properly oriented and
registered to their respective controllers with WCS and the location appliance fully operational. For
optimum ease of use and visibility during the data collection procedure, a portable laptop or tablet
computer (or “computer on wheels” cart setup) with a large, clear and bright screen is recommended,
especially in areas of bright ambient light.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-55
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
During the calibration data collection process, WCS suggests locations on the floor map where samples
should be taken (shown in Figure 5-40) along with graphical indication of the degree of progress
achieved. At any point during the calibration data collection process, a graphical representation of the
calibration points captured thus far can be generated by clicking on the dropdown menu in the upper right
hand corner of the calibration data collection screen. The calibration data collection process can be
completed in one session, or the session can be stopped and returned to at a later time. This process can
be repeated as often as necessary to complete calibration data collection for a floor.
Figure 5-40
Calibration Data Collection Screen
Calibration Validity
Strictly speaking, a properly performed site calibration is considered valid as long as the fundamental
environmental factors affecting RF propagation between clients and access points have not deviated
significantly from the state under which the original calibration was performed. For example, significant
changes in the material contents of the target environment may have an impact on the path losses
experienced within that environment. Performing a re-calibration allows the system to better understand
the current level of attenuation and fading present in the environment and allow it to re-calculate the path
loss model. In many cases, this can help to restore lost accuracy and performance to the system.
From a practical standpoint, the location-aware Cisco UWN is seen to be more tolerant of environmental
path loss changes when those changes move from higher path losses to lower path losses, relative to the
path loss model currently in use. Therefore, if faced with designing a location tracking for an
environment where seasonal content variations are the norm, it is recommended that the calibration of
the site be performed at peak content levels, when path losses would be expected to be at their highest.
The use of a high path loss model when actual path loss is lower than expected has been shown to
produce better location performance than the use of a path loss model with low path loss when the actual
path loss of the environment is higher than expected.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-56
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Examples of the types of changes where a re-calibration may be recommended if a significant drop in
performance is noticed include, but are not limited, to the following cases:
•
Changes in stocked material—A floor of an supply warehouse that was last calibrated when it
contained paper products has now been converted to stocking bulk metal containers of dense liquids,
such as motor oil, transmission fluid, gear oil, etc).
•
Changes in interior walls—A newly remodeled office facility was last calibrated prior to the
installation of several new walls with improved fire protection and interior sound deadening
insulation.
•
Changes in stocking density—A large library was originally calibrated when it was still using older
bookshelves that contained six to eight shelves per stack. However, it has since been upgraded and
now sports new bookshelves that contain between ten to twelve shelves per stack.
•
Changes in access point density—A manufacturing site was originally calibrated for location
tracking with 50 access points and an inter-access point spacing of 40 feet. However, due to a
business slowdown, a large portion of the plant has been mothballed with 50% of the access points
powered down. The effective inter-access point spacing at this point is 65 feet.
Tips for Successful Calibrations
Data Collection
As stated earlier, the WCS calibration process helps ensure that a sufficient number of calibration data
point measurements are collected before allowing the calibration user to move forward with calibrating
the model and applying it to floors. During the calibration process, use the blue crosshairs on the
calibration grid (shown in Figure 5-41) as suggestions with regard to where the calibration client should
be positioned when collecting data points. Always make sure you accurately position the red cross hairs
prior to clicking on Save and initiating data collection.
Although they are only suggested locations, the blue crosshairs are an excellent way to stay on track and
uniformly cover ground, especially within large environments. The calibration grid will be updated to
indicate the locations actually visited, with the surrounding area of localization that is now “covered”
being indicated by a blue color for 802.11b/g, yellow for 802.11a, and green for both bands, as illustrated
in Figure 5-41.
Note
In order to promote better location fidelity, every attempt should be made to be as accurate as possible
when indicating the calibration client's actual physical position using the red crosshairs in Figure 5-40
and Figure 5-41.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-57
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-41
Example of a Completed Calibration Data Collection for Both Bands
Keep in mind that the calibration utility is not able to recognize floor plan obstructions or hazards, such
as interior walls, pipes, racks, or other structures. Therefore, it is not unusual to have a suggested data
point crosshair appear in an area that is physically inaccessible to the operator. In that case, simply visit
a location as close as possible to the inaccessible location and perform the calibration data collection
there. Make sure, however, that the red cross hair is positioned to correctly indicate the physical location
where the data collection actually took place.
Calibrating Under Representative Conditions
As mentioned previously, the location appliance and the Cisco WCS use the information gathered during
a calibration data collection to better understand the propagation characteristics present within the
environment. This information is culled from the aggregate of all the data points accumulated during
calibration data collection. To facilitate an accurate calibration, it is recommended that the environment
in which the calibration data collection is performed be representative of the daily production
environment. For environments that experience variations in the level of material and personnel present,
it is recommended that calibration be performed at a time when such levels are at or near their peak.
For example, the calibration should be performed during business hours when the facility contains a
representative population of people (human attenuation) as well as material on shelves (material
attenuation). If carts, racks, beds, or other large metallic objects are normally used in this environment,
these should also be present during calibration. If large doors are present in the environment, they should
be positioned as they would normally be during business hours. In most cases, calibrations performed
during normal business hours are more likely to be representative of the levels of attenuation found in
the production daily environment than off-hours calibration.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-58
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Often, the most convenient time to perform a calibration may be after construction is completed but
before people and contents are moved into a site. Cisco Systems highly recommends against performing
calibrations of such “empty rooms”. Once these areas are stocked and occupied, attempting to localize
tracked devices using a RF model based on data collected in an empty and barren environment is not
likely to provide optimal results. When presented with a choice between calibrating when stockroom
shelves are only at half capacity or at full capacity, the calibration that is done at full capacity will
typically yield better accuracy, even when used at times when the stockroom is only half full.
If it is necessary to deliver an operational location tracking system on “day one” for a newly constructed
area, you may wish to use one of the RF models that are supplied with WCS and the location appliance,
as a temporary measure. Once the area has been fully stocked and staffed, perform calibration data
collection under conditions that would be considered representative of its peak or normal capacity. After
the calibration has been completed, use the newly created RF model instead of the supplied model
chosen originally. In this way, the supplied model initially chosen allows for users and administrators to
quickly familiarize themselves with the system, and the subsequent switch to a properly calibrated RF
model should provide for better overall performance.
In order to plan for the most optimal time to perform a calibration of the area, the designer should work
closely with those personnel possessing an intimate knowledge of the business patterns and processes
occurring there. This is especially true if seasonal variation in stocking levels may occur, as would be
the case in a retail or logistics site. If it cannot be determined from prior conversations with site
personnel, one way to determine a good time to perform a calibration is to visit the site beforehand and
observe the activity pattern of both the facility and the personnel present. Prior observation of activity
in this manner allows the designer to plan for the optimum time to perform the calibration, so as to yield
the most representative results and also to not excessively inconvenience the personnel employed at the
facility.
Recommended Calibration Clients and Techniques
The Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter (AIR-CB21AG) is highly recommended for
use as a calibration client by Cisco. This client is compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions
specification for WLAN devices at version 5, and fully supports the use of both broadcast and unicast
radio measurement requests as described earlier in this section.
If a Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter (AIR-CB21AG) cannot be used as a
calibration client, a third party client device that is compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions
specification for WLAN devices at version 2 or higher may be used. In order to assure a reliable
calibration data collection, any third party WLAN client used for location data collection should be
capable of recognizing and responding to S36 unicast radio measurement requests sent during
calibration. Also, the transmit power level used by third party clients when transmitting probe requests
should be known.
WLAN client devices that are not compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for WLAN devices
specification, or compatible only with version 1 of the specification, are not considered optimal for use
in location calibration data collection.
Note that when using a laptop computer containing the Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network
Connection or the Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection adapter, the default
configuration is for a Personal level of security settings (intended for non-enterprise use) that does not
include compatibility with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification. When using this default
Personal level of wireless security, clients equipped with the Intel 3945ABG or 2915ABG client adapters
will not support S36 unicast or broadcast radio measurement requests and are not compliant with the
Cisco Compatible Extensions specification for WLAN devices.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-59
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
In order to enable compatibility with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification, the Intel ProSet
client supplicant must be used to reconfigure the client for Enterprise Security and enable Cisco
Compatible Extensions. Figure 5-42 and Figure 5-43 illustrate how this is performed.
Figure 5-42
Intel ProSet Security Settings Panel
In Figure 5-42, under the Security Settings panel of the Intel ProSet configuration, select the Enterprise
Security option (highlighted by the red circle) instead of the default Personal Security option.
Configure the appropriate authentication and authentication types, and select Cisco Options
(highlighted by the blue circle). This will present the panel shown in Figure 5-43.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-60
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-43
Intel ProSet Cisco Compatible Extensions
In Figure 5-43, Cisco Compatible Extensions should be enabled (as indicated by the red circle). Note
that Cisco Compatible Extensions is automatically enabled when configuring profiles for CKIP, LEAP,
or EAP-FAST.
Note
For additional information regarding the configuration of the Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network
Connection or Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection adapters, refer to the following
documents from Intel Corporation: ftp://download.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/3945abgug.pdf
ftp://download.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/pro2915abg/sb/2915ABG_UG.pdf
Calibration should be performed using a calibration client and a suitable laptop computer with a fully
charged battery. The following recommendations should be considered when performing calibration data
collection:
1.
Ensure that your calibration client is being detected by the access points on the floor where you wish
to perform the calibration.
2.
Temporarily disable Dynamic Transmit Power Control (DTPC) prior to conducting calibration data
collection. DTPC must be disabled separately for each band using either the controller GUI, the
controller CLI or WCS for each controller whose registered access points are expected to participate
in calibration data collection. After calibration data collection has been performed, DTPC should
be re-enabled for normal production operation.
3.
Ensure that the WLAN to which your calibration client will associate is configured to support
Aironet Information Elements (Aironet IE). Doing so will enable the use of unicast radio resource
measurement requests during calibration data collection for more efficient operation.
To obtain best performance when displaying access point coverage heat maps and tracking devices in
most cases, calibration clients should be pre-configured as closely as possible to transmit power levels
of 63mW (+18dBm) for 2.4GHz and 32mW (+15dBm) for 5 GHz. Note that it is imperative that DTPC
be disabled (item number two above) such that these transmit power levels do not vary during calibration
data collection.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-61
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Due to an open caveat1 concerning dual-band calibration clients when attempting to perform a
simultaneous data collection on both bands, it is recommended that calibration data collection be
performed for each band individually at this time. In order to do this using a dual-band client, use either
of the following alternatives:
1.
Perform the calibration data collection on each band individually using a single laptop equipped
with a dual-band client adapter compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification for
WLAN devices specification at version 2 or higher, and capable of recognizing and responding to
S36 unicast radio measurement requests. An example of such a client is the Cisco AIR-CB21AG.
For example, proceed to disable the 5 GHz band and complete the data collection using the 2.4 GHz
band only. Then, disable the 2.4 GHz band and enable the 5 GHz band, and proceed to repeat the
data collection using the 5 GHz band only.
2.
Perform the calibration data collection using two operators and two independent laptops. Each
laptop should be equipped with a dual-band client adapter compatible with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions specification for WLAN devices specification at version 2 or higher, and capable of
recognizing and responding to S36 unicast radio measurement requests. An example of such a client
is the Cisco AIR-CB21AG. Each laptop should be associated to the infrastructure using a different
band. The two calibration data collection operators may function independently, there is no need for
them to visit each data point at the same time, or to even visit the same data points. In this way, a
complete calibration data collection can be performed across both bands in half the amount of time
compared to option #1 above.
Some embedded laptop client adapters may not transmit probe requests at these power levels, but instead
are restricted to lower transmit power levels (for example, +15dBm for 2.4 GHz). Generally, these clients
can still be localized with acceptable accuracy when calibration data collection is performed according
to the guidelines outlined above. However, a slight increase in location accuracy may be possible if the
calibration data collection is performed at power levels with which we expect the embedded laptop client
to transmit its probe requests. A tradeoff that must be considered when opting for this approach, is the
possibility of reduced access point heat map accuracy (heat maps are most accurate when calibration is
performed at 63mW (+18dBm) for 2.4GHz and 32mW (+15dBm) for 5 GHz).
After calibration data collection has been completed, all temporarily configured parameter changes
should be returned to their normal settings. In some cases, the device that is used to control the
calibration data collection process may not be the same device that is used to transmit probe requests.
For example, a laptop with an embedded wireless adapter compatible with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions specification version 1 might be a user's preferred device based on a ergonomic or special
accommodation feature that he or she requires. Since this device is not compatible with the Cisco
Compatible Extensions specification at version 2 or greater, its use is not recommended for optimal
results when performing calibration data collection. However, we can use this device to log into the
UWN and control the data collection process remotely, assigning the role of transmitting probe requests
to another device that is, for example, equipped with a Cisco AIR-CB21AG. As shown in Figure 5-44,
this arrangement allows the location of the probing client (otherwise referred to as a “remote calibration
client”) as well as the timing of each data collection to be fully controlled from the laptop. The probing
client (with MAC address 00:1a:a1:92:a1:20 in Figure 5-44) is remotely instructed to issue probe
requests to the network infrastructure appropriately.
1. For further information, refer to CSCsh88795—CCX S36 Beacon Measurement Request Dual-Band Support,
page 7-1.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-62
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Calibration
Figure 5-44
Controlling Calibration Data Collection Remotely
Calibration of Non-Uniform Environments
In some cases the network designer is faced with challenges because of an environment that is of
non-uniform construction. An example is a single floor consisting of a large call center cubicle area (path
loss exponent of 3.3), dense metal racking and electronic equipment in a second area (path loss exponent
of 4.3) and a large group of individual offices with drywall walls in a third area (path loss exponent of
3.5).
Cases such as this can be addressed via one of two options:
1.
Calibrate in the area with highest expected attenuation (path loss)—The most straightforward
method in which to handle this situation is to perform the calibration in the areas possessing the
highest overall attenuation (i.e. the highest path loss exponent), and apply the resulting RF model to
all areas of the floor. In mathematical simulations as well as lab research, the application of an RF
model that is based upon a higher level of path loss to areas where the actual path loss is lower has
shown to provide better location accuracy than the converse approach. Thus in our example, it would
be recommended that the calibration be performed in the area with the dense metal racking and
electronic equipment (path loss exponent of 4.3) and the RF model that results from this calibration
used for the entire floor.
2.
Calibrate across all areas of the floor—This approach takes into account all areas of the floor and
attempts to produce a “balanced” RF calibration model. While performance may be acceptable using
this approach depending on the accuracy needs of the location application, laboratory testing
indicates that in general, improved results are obtained when using option one above. Note that if
there are large differences in size between the different floor areas that result in significant
differences in the number of calibration data points collected within each area, the final path loss
model using this approach may be biased in the direction of the path loss associated with the larger
areas.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-63
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Inspecting Location Quality
3.
Address the different areas of the floor as if they were individual floors—In some cases, improved
accuracy can be obtained within each individual area with a tradeoff of increased management
overhead and some potential edge accuracy degradation. Since WCS and the location appliance do
not allow for the provisioning of different RF models to sub-floor areas in software Release 4.1, each
of these sub-floor areas would need to be defined as a separate floor in WCS. Individual calibrations
are then performed in each of the sub-floor areas, applied to their pseudo-floor definition within
WCS and then synchronized with the location appliance. Because this approach allows for the
provisioning of separate path loss models that are attuned to the characteristics of each sub-floor
area, improved accuracy and precision is possible. However, potential tradeoffs may include
additional management overhead on the part of the WCS administrator. An organized naming
convention is typically required for floors and sub-floors such that they are easily recognizable by
WCS users and able to be logically considered as a group. Each sub-floor area should be considered
as an independent location area subject to the location-aware design recommendations made in this
document. Also, it should be noted that accuracy may degrade as devices approach the edges and
borders of sub-floors, since the location appliance positioning engine does not consider signal
strength readings from access points that are resident on a different floor in software Release 4.1.
In addition to these two mainline options, it is possible to treat each of the three areas as separate “floors”
in WCS, and thereby allow the development of RF models attuned to each area's characteristics.
However, this approach possesses a serious limitation that must be understood. In addition to the
management overhead of developing floor and sub-floor naming conventions that bring a modicum of
sensibility to such an approach, a technical limitation exists whereupon the location appliance currently
does not take into account tracked device RSSI coming from access points that are deemed to be located
on a different floor than the tracked device itself. Thus, when physical floors are divided into areas that
are then defined to WCS as individual floors themselves, tracked devices that venture into the edge
boundary areas of these newly defined “floors” may experience degraded accuracy. Unless the designer
as well as the system user is comfortable with this limitation and its potential impact on boundary area
accuracy, this approach is best avoided.
While there is no ideal solution to situations where the degree of uniformity is vastly different across a
floor, in general option #1 is observed to offer the best compromise between ease of implementation and
performance.
Inspecting Location Quality
Location inspection allows path loss model accuracy to be validated by comparing the actual versus the
predicted location of calibration data points. Unlike the location planner or location readiness tools,
which are purely predictive in nature, when you perform location inspection, you are directly comparing
the predicted locations of calibration data points to the actual physical locations originally specified by
the calibration operator. In order for location inspection to deliver on its true value, however, accurate
placement of the red crosshairs during calibration data collection is very important.
The results of each data point comparison are used to graphically express the overall accuracy of the path
loss model at various points on the floor. This provides the system designer or installer with “real-world”
feedback with regard to how the expected performance of the system compares to its actual performance,
given the calibration client used and the condition of the environment at the time of calibration.
Location inspection is accessible from the Monitor > Maps > RF Calibration Model > model name
WCS menu via the “Inspect Location Quality” hyperlink located next to the name of the floor where data
collection for the calibration model was performed, as shown in Figure 5-45.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-64
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Inspecting Location Quality
Figure 5-45
Accessing Location Inspection
Figure 5-46 illustrates an usage example for the Location Inspection tool. Here we have performed a
location inspection after a calibration has been completed for a test lab facility. The results indicate the
level of accuracy and precision the location appliance delivered during the calibration. In this example,
using an 802.11bg-only calibration client, the location appliance is seen as capable of delivering a level
of accuracy and precision (based on conditions in place at the time of calibration) of 7 meters or 23 feet
with 90% precision over the majority of the test lab area. Looking at a single calibration data point in
specific (artificially indicated in the figure by a yellow arrow to represent the point at which a
mouse-over was performed), we see the estimated location indicated by , as well as the details behind
the degree of location error for this particular case (16.8 feet).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-65
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Inspecting Location Quality
Figure 5-46
802.11bg Location Inspection
When a mouse-over is performed of any calibration data point (whose location is indicated using small
crosshair and is based on the actual coordinates reported by the calibration operator), the following
information is displayed:
•
The predicted location of the calibration client, depicted on the location inspection display by
•
The RSSI detected by each contributing access point and the band the contribution was made on, as
shown in Figure 5-46 by symbols such as BG=-74 or A=-59.
•
The true and estimated location of the calibration data point listed numerically, in terms of x and y
coordinates.
•
The estimated location error.
•
A time stamp indicating when the calibration information was collected and the MAC address of the
calibration client used to perform the collection.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-66
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Inspecting Location Quality
Note that the band can be specified (2.4 GHz, 5GHz, or both) as well as the performance criteria. The
flexibility imparted by this level of control allows the system designer to perform “what if” planning
based on the results of location inspection, and examine the limits of higher (or lower) levels of accuracy
and precision. This can be useful, for example, when planning for future location applications or in
analyzing what areas of the current environment might require additional attention. For example, it is
quite easy for us to use both of these controls to visualize the limits of location precision at the 5 meter
accuracy level using 802.11a instead of 802.11bg, as shown in Figure 5-47.
Figure 5-47
802.11a Location Inspection Example at 5 m Accuracy
In the case of our test lab example in Figure 5-47, we see that the infrastructure appears to be capable of
delivering 5 meter accuracy using 802.11a, with a precision of 85% percent or better in the top two thirds
of the test lab floor. However, the bottom area of the figure reveals that challenges exist in meeting this
level of accuracy in the lower third of the floor, thereby meriting further investigation. The value of
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-67
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy
location inspection here is that the modeling of future scenarios where increased accuracy may be
required can be performed using the information collected during a current calibration, without
involving actual users and without requiring them to participate in trial and error testing.
In both Figure 5-46 and Figure 5-47,note the appearance of calibration data points all along the
perimeter of the test lab, between the perimeter access points. These data points were purposely placed
there in order to eliminate (or at least reduce) the appearance of “white space” along the perimeter during
location inspection. When pure white spaces occur in location inspection output, often times it is due to
a lack of data in those areas, which prevents location inspection tool from calculating a valid
representation of accuracy and precision at those points. Rather than attempt to provide an estimation
based on little or no information, the location inspection tool leaves these areas blank.
To help avoid such behavior, it is suggested that calibration data points be taken along the perimeter, as
well as in areas contained within the perimeter. Perimeter data points can be added after the initial
calibration if desired. To do this, simply rerun the “Add Data Points” data collection phase for the
calibration model, and be sure to take a sufficient number of new data points directly in these white areas.
After completion, rerun the “Calibration” phase and re-inspect location quality. These white areas
should now be totally eliminated or at least significantly reduced. The process can be repeated if
necessary to further address any remaining white areas if still present.
Note
Signal strength information for each selected band as well as the test client’s actual location coordinates
must be available for each floor targeted by the location inspection tool. Even if multiple floors share
the same RF model, only the floor upon which the model was actually calibrated is eligible for location
inspection.
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy
Complementing the capabilities found in Location Inspection, beginning with software Release 4.1 the
location aware Cisco UWN allows for impromptu “go/no-go” verification of whether the location
appliance’s baseline accuracy and precision specification has been met on a particular floor. This can be
done using the test point facility, which is accessible from the WCS main menu via Monitor > Maps >
floor map name > Position Test Point. For a specified device MAC address, the test point facility keeps
track of the total number of location test point samples taken, and can calculate the percentage of the
total number of test point samples taken whose location accuracy are within the location appliance’s
baseline specification.
The test point facility is useful when there are tagged assets, wireless client devices or even rogues on a
floor whose actual physical location is known and which move very infrequently or not at all. An
example of this might be asset tags that are deployed attached to shipping containers that will not be used
during this shift, or a wireless-equipped desktop computer that does not move from its deployed location
at a supervisor’s workstation. If the MAC address of these devices are known, and their actual location
will be fixed for an extended period of time, the test point facility can be used to perform a running
comparison of their estimated versus actual location, and the results reported back to the user.
When the actual location of a device is specified by the user of the test point facility, and the device’s
MAC address is added as an active test point, WCS works in concert with the location appliance’s
debugging facility to compare the device’s actual location to its estimated location after each SNMP poll
period for that device category. WCS performs these comparisons and calculates the percentage of
occurrences where the estimated location of each tracked device is within the baseline performance
specification of the location appliance. This information is reported to the WCS user whenever the user
highlights the device MAC address in the test point’s MAC address drop-down menu and clicks on the
“Analyze” option. When the user has completed tracking a specific MAC address, usage of that device
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-68
OL-11612-01
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy
as a test point can be terminated by highlighting the device MAC address in the test point MAC address
drop-down menu and clicking on the “Stop” option. When all tracking has been completed and the
accumulated tracked data is no longer needed, all test points and their test point tracking data can be
removed by using the “Clear Logs” option.
Additional information regarding the configuration of the test point facility for use can be found at the
following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/location/2700/3.0/configuration/guide/lacg_ch7.html#wp1
066057
Note that before the “Analyze” feature can provide any useful feedback, at least one device category poll
period must occur. This is so as to allow the location appliance sufficient time to obtain location
information regarding the test points (note that historical location data is not used by the test point
facility). It is recommended to allow at least several poll periods to transpire in order to provide the best
possible indication of long term location accuracy. Figure 5-48 illustrates an example of the output
provided by the “Analyze” feature of the test point facility.
Figure 5-48
Test Point Facility
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
5-69
Chapter 5
Best Practices—Location-Aware WLAN Design Considerations
Using Test Points to Verify Accuracy
When using the test point facility, keep in mind the following:
•
Advanced Debug must be enabled on WCS prior to attempting to use the test point facility. If
Advanced Debug is not enabled on WCS, the “Position Test Point” option will not appear in the
dropdown menu located at Monitor > Maps > floor map name.
•
Although it is a recommended best practice to enable the Advanced Debug on the location appliance
prior to using the test point facility, it will be enabled automatically whenever a test point is added
using the “Save” option.
•
The “Preview” option is used to position the red cross hair on the Position Test Point floor map only
when the user is directly specifying horizontal and vertical (x,y) coordinates. This is done instead
of manually positioning the red crosshair to the test point’s actual location. The preview capability
is provided so that graphical indication of the location corresponding to the (x,y) coordinates just
entered can be presented as visual confirmation to the user. If the user manually positions the
crosshairs to the test point's location and then clicks on preview, they will not receive any feedback.
The preview feature is not intended to display the estimated location of the test point device.
•
In Figure 5-48, note that the “Total Test Points” quantity reflected in the output of the analyze
command does not indicate the total number of test point devices currently in use. Rather, it
indicates the total number of test point location samples taken for the highlighted device MAC
address.
•
Although multiple devices can be selected on the Position Test Point WCS screen, test points can
only be added (using “Save”) one device at a time. The MAC address of the last device used for a
save or stop operation is retained and shown under the “Last Used” heading.
•
Any test points that have been added using “Save” will no longer be accessible to the user if they
log out of WCS and then log back in at a later time. In order to ensure that all such residual test
points are cleared prior to beginning a new test session, it is a good idea to issue “Clear Logs” before
beginning the definition of a new set of test points.
•
Test points that have been added will not survive a reboot or restart of the appliance. Collected test
data will still be resident on the location appliance, however, it will not be possible to add further
test point data to that already collected. In order to proceed with further test point data collection
and analysis, it is recommended that the device MAC address be stopped or the “Clear Logs” option
be used.
•
The “Clear Logs” option clears all test point data logs and resets any assigned test point devices.
Keep in mind that clearing the logs will delete not only the test points created by the current user,
but those test points created by any other users that are logged in and authorized to make use of the
test point facility as well.
In software Release 4.1, the “Analyze” option performs its calculations in regard to a single device MAC
address at a time. If multiple device MAC addresses are added as test points, examine the test point data
for each device MAC address individually by highlighting the MAC address of the device in the
drop-down selector and then clicking on “Analyze”.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
5-70
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
6
RFID Tag Considerations
This chapter has the following main sections:
•
RFID Tag Technology, page 6-1
•
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN, page 6-15
•
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations, page 6-27
•
Chokepoint Considerations, page 6-31
RFID Tag Technology
The majority of RFID tags produced today are passive RFID tags, comprised basically of a micro-circuit
and an antenna. They are referred to as passive tags because the only time at which they are actively
communicating is when they are within relatively close proximity of a passive RFID tag reader or
interrogator.
Another type of common RFID tag in the marketplace today is known as the active RFID tag, which
usually contains a battery that directly powers RF communication. This onboard power source allows an
active RFID tag to transmit information about itself at great range, either by constantly beaconing this
information to a RFID tag reader or by transmitting only when it is prompted to do so. Active tags are
usually larger in size and can contain substantially more information (because of higher amounts of
memory) than do pure passive tag designs. The tables shown in Figure 6-1 provide a quick reference of
common comparisons between active and passive RFID tags. Within these basic categories of RFID tags
can be found subcategories such as semi-passive RFID tags.
Note
The terms beacon and beaconing have been used in the RFID industry for some time, predating the
establishment of the formal 802.11 standards. When an active RFID tag periodically beacons, it is simply
transmitting a tag message (much like any other messages the tag might send) at a set interval. Despite
the use of similar terminology, this should not be confused with an 802.11 Beacon. An 802.11 Beacon
is a management frame that the 802.11 access point (or the beacon sender in an IBSS) transmits to
provide time synchronization and PHY-specific parameters in order to facilitate mobile stations locating
and identifying a BSS or IBSS.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-1
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-1
Active and Passive RFID Comparison
Recent market developments have brought yet another category of RFID tag into the spotlight. Known
as hybrid or multimode tags, these combine several different tag technologies into a versatile package
that can be tracked by one or more location technologies. Multimode RFID tags are typically low power,
small form factor devices that allow a single physical tag to assume multiple personalities and perform
tasks that previously would have required several individual physical tags to be attached to the asset. A
multimode tag, for example, may combine multiple active tag subcategories along with a passive tag into
a single homogenous product.
Passive RFID Tags
Passive RFID tags typically do not possess an onboard source of power. Instead, the passive RFID tag
receives its power from the energizing electromagnetic field of an RFID reader (or interrogator). The
energy coupled from the electromagnetic field undergoes rectification and voltage multiplication in
order to allow it to be used to power the passive tag's microelectronics. In the typical passive RFID tag
design, the tag cannot communicate with host applications unless it is within the range of an RFID
reader.
Interrogators come in many forms, with two common examples being handheld reader-interrogators
(shown on the left in Figure 6-2) and large stationary models capable of reading many tags
simultaneously as they pass (shown in the center of Figure 6-2). Embedded sub-miniature passive RFID
readers and tags (shown on the right in Figure 6-2) can be used in applications requiring immediate
action verification. Examples of this might include immediate verification of proper supply-line hose
connections. In these types of applications, passive RFID tags and microreaders embedded into hose
plugs and receptacles ensure that the proper supply hoses are connected to the proper material sources
at all times. Should an incorrect connection be made, the mismatch is detected and the system refuses to
open an electromagnetic flow control.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-2
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-2
Passive RFID Interrogators
Passive RFID tags (shown in Figure 6-3) consist of a coil and a microcircuit that includes basic
modulation circuitry, an antenna, and non-volatile memory.
Figure 6-3
Passive RFID Tags
Passive RFID tags vary in how they communicate data to RFID readers and how they receive power from
the RFID reader’s inductive or electromagnetic field. This is commonly performed via two basic
methods:
•
Load modulation and inductive coupling in the near field—In this approach (see Figure 6-4), the
RFID reader provides a short-range alternating current magnetic field that the passive RFID tag uses
for both power and as a communication medium. Via a technique known as inductive (or near-field)
coupling1, this magnetic field induces a voltage in the antenna coil of the RFID tag, which in turn
powers the tag. The tag transmits its information to the RFID reader by taking advantage of the fact
that each time the tag draws energy from the RFID reader’s magnetic field, the RFID reader itself
can detect a corresponding voltage drop across its antenna leads. Capitalizing on this phenomenon,
the tag can communicate binary information to the reader by switching ON and OFF a load resistor
to perform load modulation. When the tag performs load modulation, the RFID reader detects this
action as amplitude modulation of the signal voltage at the reader’s antenna. Load modulation and
inductive coupling can be found among passive RFID tags using frequencies from 125 to 135 kHz
and 13.56 MHz. Limitations that exist with regard to the use of such low frequencies include the
1. A technique based on Faraday's principle of magnetic induction.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-3
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
necessity to use larger antennas, low data rate and bandwidth and a rather dramatic decay in the
strength of the electromagnetic field (1/r6), where r represents the distance between a low frequency
interrogator and a passive RFID tag.
Figure 6-4
Passive Tag Load Modulation
Tag
Tag modulates
inductive coupling
Reader detects
load modulation
Backscatter modulation and electromagnetic coupling in the far field—In this approach (shown in
Figure 6-5), the RFID reader provides a medium-range electromagnetic field that the passive RFID
tag uses for both power and a communication medium. Via a technique known as electromagnetic
(or far-field) coupling, the passive RFID tag draws energy from the electromagnetic field of the
RFID reader. However, the energy contained in the incoming electromagnetic field is partially
reflected back to the RFID reader by the passive tag antenna. The precise characteristics of this
reflection depend on the load (resistance) connected to the antenna. The tag varies the size of the
load that is placed in parallel with the antenna in order to apply amplitude modulation to the
reflected electromagnetic waves, thereby enabling it to communicate information payloads back to
the RFID reader via backscatter modulation. Tags using backscatter modulation and
electromagnetic coupling typically provide longer range than inductively coupled tags, and can be
found most commonly among passive RFID tags operating at 868 MHz and higher frequencies. Far
field coupled tags typically provide significantly longer range than inductively coupled tags,
principally due to the much slower rate of attenuation (1/r2) associated with the electromagnetic
far-field. Antennas used for tag employing far field coupling are typically smaller than their
inductively coupled counterparts.
Figure 6-5
Passive Tag Backscatter Modulation
Tag
Tag Reflects
electromagnetic
waves
Reader
190592
•
190591
Reader
Reader detects changes
in reflected power
Note that neither of these two techniques allows passive RFID tags to communicate directly with 802.11
infrastructure access points. All communication from the passive RFID tag occurs via the RFID reader.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-4
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Passive RFID tags are less costly to manufacture than active RFID tags and require almost zero
maintenance. These traits of long-life and low-cost make passive RFID tags attractive to retailers and
manufacturers for unit, case, and pallet-level tagging in open-loop supply chains. Open-loop supply
chains typically allow little to no regulation of whether RFID tags leave the control of the tag owner or
originator. Because of their dependence on external reader energy fields and their low reflected power
output, passive RFID tags have a much shorter read range (from a few inches for tags using load
modulation up to a few meters for those using backscatter modulation) as well as lower read reliability
when compared to active RFID tags.
The passive RFID tag is available commercially packaged in a wide variety of designs, from mounting
on a simple substrate to creating a classic “hard” tag sandwiched between adhesive and paper
(commonly referred to as an RFID “smart” label). The form factor used depends primarily on the
application intended for the passive RFID tag and can represent the bulk of the passive RFID tag cost.
Semi-Passive RFID Tags
Semi-passive RFID tags overcome two key disadvantages of pure passive RFID tag designs:
•
The lack of a continuous source of power for onboard telemetry and sensor asset monitoring circuits.
•
Short range.
Semi-passive tags differ from passive tags in that they use an onboard battery to provide power to
communication and ancillary support circuits, such as temperature and shock monitoring. It is
interesting to note that although they employ an onboard power source, semi-passive RFID tags do not
use it to directly generate RF electromagnetic energy. Rather, these tags typically make use of
backscatter modulation and reflect electromagnetic energy from the RFID reader to generate a tag
response similar to that of standard passive tags (see Figure 6-6). The onboard battery is used only to
provide power for telemetry and backscatter enabling circuits on the tag, not to generate RF energy
directly.
Figure 6-6
Backscatter Modulation in Semi-Passive RFID Tags
Tag
Reader
190593
+
Reader detects changes
in reflected power
Semi-passive RFID tags operating in the ISM band (shown in Figure 6-7) can have a range of up to 30
meters with onboard lithium cell batteries lasting several years. Range is vastly improved over
conventional passive RFID tags primarily because of the use of a backscatter-optimized antenna in the
semi-passive design. Unlike a conventional backscatter-modulated passive RFID tag, the antenna
contained in a semi-passive tag is dedicated to backscatter modulation and there is no dependence on the
semi-passive RFID tag antenna to be a reliable conduit of power for the tag. Therefore, the semi-passive
tag antenna can be optimized to make most efficient use of the backscatter technique and provide far
better performance than purely passive RFID tag antenna designs.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-5
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-7
Semi-Passive RFID Tags
Several varieties of semi-passive RFID tags exist, with and without onboard NVRAM, real time clocks,
and various types of environmental sensors. Semi-passive RFID tags also support interfaces to tamper
indicators, shock sensors, and so on. Common applications of semi-passive RFID tags include but are
not limited to vehicle asset tracking, security access systems, supply chain automation, cold storage
management, and hierarchical asset tracking systems.
Active RFID Tags
Active tags are typically used in real-time tracking of high-value assets in closed-loop systems (that is,
systems in which the tags are not intended to physically leave the control premises of the tag owner or
originator). Higher value assets can usually justify the higher cost of the active tag, and presents strong
motivation for tag reuse. Medical equipment, electronic test gear, computer equipment, reusable
shipping containers, and assembly line material-in-process are all excellent examples of applications for
active tag technology. Active RFID tags (see Figure 6-8) can provide tracking in terms of presence
(positive or negative indication of whether an asset is present in a particular area) or real-time location.
Active RFID tags are usually physically larger than passive RFID tags. Most RTLS systems are based
on the use of active RFID tag technology.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-6
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-8
Active RFID Tags
Active tags can contain 512 KB or more of RAM, which enables the active tag to store information from
attached assets for transmission at the next beacon interval or when polled. This large memory capacity
also makes active RFID preferable to passive RFID in situations when the RFID tag cannot simply be
used as a “license plate” or reference, to enable an immediate lookup in a host database. A good example
of this might be a remote military installation where a host database may or may not be available at all
times. By storing critical asset data directly on the tag itself, this information can be retrieved directly
from the tag and used regardless of the availability of the host system.
Active RFID tags can be found operating at frequencies including 303, 315, 418, 433, 868, 915, and 2400
MHz with read ranges of 60 to 300 feet. Active RFID tag technology typically display very high read
rates and read reliability because of their higher transmitter output, optimized antenna, and reliable
source of onboard power. Active RFID tag cost can vary significantly depending on the amount of
memory, the battery life required, and whether the tag includes added value features such as onboard
temperature sensors, motion detection, or telemetry interfaces. The durability of the tag housing also
affects price, with the more durable or specialized housings required for specific tag applications coming
at increased cost. As with most electronic components of this nature, prices for active tags can be
expected to decline as technological advances, production efficiencies, and product commoditization all
exert a downward influence on market pricing.
Beaconing Active RFID Tags
Beaconing active RFID tags are used in many RTLS systems and are primarily useful when the location
of an asset needs to be tracked anywhere and anytime via the use of location receivers. With a beaconing
active RFID tag, a short message payload containing the unique identifier of the RFID tag is emitted at
pre-programmed intervals. This interval is programmed into the tag by the tag owner or user, and it can
be set appropriately depending on how often tag RSSI updates are required. A shorter tag transmission
interval typically results in shorter tag battery life but may improve tag location accuracy in some cases,
since tag RSSI is reported more often. Longer tag transmission intervals increase tag battery life but as
tag RSSI is reported less often, the frequency of location update will be less.
802.11 Active RFID Tags
802.11 (Wi-Fi) active RFID tags (shown in Figure 6-9) are designed to operate in the unlicensed ISM
bands of 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz or 5.8 to 5.825 GHz. Currently manufactured 802.11 Wi-Fi active RFID tags
available at publication are limited to 2.4 GHz.
These tags exhibit the characteristics of active RFID tags, but also comply with applicable IEEE 802.11
standards and protocols. Wi-Fi RFID tags can readily communicate directly with standard Wi-Fi
infrastructure without any special hardware or firmware modifications and can co-exist alongside Wi-Fi
clients such as laptops, VoWLAN phones, and so on. When powered on, assets equipped with 802.11
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-7
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Wi-Fi client radios can be tracked natively without the need to have an asset tag attached. Other assets
lacking an internal 802.11 Wi-Fi client radio can be tracked via a physically attached 802.11 active RFID
tag. A physically attached 802.11 active RFID tag also makes it possible to use the location-aware Cisco
UWN to track assets with integrated Wi-Fi client radios when those radios are powered off.
Figure 6-9
802.11 Wi-Fi Active RFID Tags
Multimode RFID Tags
As mentioned previously, transponder active RFID tags offer the combination of a primary tag
operational mode with a secondary method of communication that can be used for a plethora of added
value functions, such as activation, deactivation, behavior modification and so on. This type of tag has
been used for quite some time in highway toll plaza applications, for example, where tags are triggered
to transmit when in proximity of high speed activators, thereby triggering a debit to the user's account
for the toll charge.
A relatively new development has been the introduction of multimode RFID tags that leverage multiple
location technologies. Multimode tags offer the functional equivalent of having assets equipped with
several individual tags in one physical package. This can be very useful when assets must travel outside
of a single enterprise closed loop system into other systems, where the same type of location tracking
technology may not be in use. For example, consider the case where reusable shipping containers must
be tracked at a manufacturer, a distributor and a retailer using a combination of ISO24730-2 TDoA,
802.11 Wi-Fi Active RFID and passive RFID. A multimode tag could offer all three of these technologies
in a single small form factor, low power draw package. Such a device may also include the capability to
use tag magnetic signaling proximity communication devices as well. This can offer distinct advantages
in terms of management, maintenance and overall ease of deployment, especially when compared to
equipping assets with three or more physically separate RFID tags.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-8
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Multimode tags of this nature have been made much more feasible by the availability of highly integrated
tag OEM silicon that combines two or more distinct RFID tag technologies into a single chip or chipset.
This is exemplified by the G2C501 from G2 Microsystems (shown in Figure 6-10), which is a complete
Wi-Fi system-on-chip (SoC) that includes 802.11b Wi-Fi active RFID, 900 MHz EPC Global Gen 1
Class 0 passive RFID, 2.4 GHz ISO24730-2 TDoA, a 32-bit CPU, crypto accelerator, real-time clock
and sensor interfaces.
Figure 6-10
G2C501 RFID System-On-A-Chip (SoC)
2.4 GHz Low
Power Transceiver
Crypto
Accelerator
802.11b and
ISO 24730-2
PHY and MAC
32-bit CPU
Subsystem
CPU
125 kHz Magnetic
Receiver
900 MHz EPC
80 KB
RAM
320 KB
ROM
Digital Interface
(External Flash, SPI,
GPIO, UART)
223361
General Sensor
Interface
Power
Management Unit
The use of highly integrated tag silicon offers many advantages to the tag vendor, including:
•
Small form factor
•
Low power consumption
•
Well documented software and hardware interfaces
•
Flexible support for multiple location technologies
A good example of a multimode tag that capitalizes on such capabilities is the WhereNet IV asset tag
from WhereNet Corporation (http://www.wherenet.com), shown in the lower left hand quadrant of
Figure 6-9. The WhereNet IV combines a Cisco Compatible Extensions compliant 802.11 Wi-Fi active
tag implementation along with 125kHz magnetic signaling and ISO 24730-2 capabilities in a small,
highly integrated design.
Chokepoint Triggers
Chokepoint triggers are proximity communication devices that trigger asset tags to alter their
configuration or behavior when the asset tag enters the chokepoint trigger’s area of operation. This
alteration could be as simple as causing the asset tag to transmit its unique identifier, or more complex,
including causing the tag to change its internal configuration or status. One of the prime functions of a
chokepoint trigger is to stimulate the asset tag such that it provides indication to the RTLS that the tag
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-9
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
has entered (or exited) the confines of an area known as a chokepoint. Chokepoints are tightly defined
physical areas (such as entrances, exits or other types of constrictions) that provide passage between
connected regions. Figure 6-11 illustrates some common examples of chokepoints.
Note
While chokepoint triggers are typically deployed within chokepoints, it is often commonplace to hear
the term chokepoint used to refer to a chokepoint trigger.
Figure 6-11
Common Chokepoint Areas
Outdoor chokepoint locations may include a fenced gate, bridge, toll plaza, or similar passageway.
Indoor chokepoint locations includes connecting entrances or exits between:
•
A building’s interior rooms or floors such as doorways, ramps, gates, stairwells, elevator entrances,
and so on).
•
Adjacent structures (such as passageways or tunnels) or the interior and exterior of structures (main
and auxiliary entrances, loading docks, fire exits, and so on).
Chokepoint triggers can initiate behavioral changes in tags that can immediately alert the location
system that the tagged asset has entered or exited the chokepoint area. Due to the comparatively modest
range of chokepoint triggers in relation to the overall area covered by an RTLS, the RTLS is able to
deterministically localize the asset to the confines of the chokepoint area relatively quickly and with
excellent reliability. In addition to displaying the chokepoint area on floor maps, the RTLS can use the
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-10
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
detection of assets within chokepoints to trigger events in external systems. These can include database
updates, notification alerts, or alarms. When properly augmented by appropriate application software,
chokepoint applications may include:
•
Tracking of high value assets—Chokepoint location tracking can help ensure that valuable assets
intended for a particular area stay within such areas. If these assets are detected as being removed
via entrances or exits, for example, the RTLS is alerted.
•
Manufacturing process control—Equipment, parts, and finished products can be precisely tracked
as they move between the various production stations. This helps ensure not only that all required
process stations are visited, but that they are visited in the proper sequence.
•
Inventory control—By strategically equipping all distribution center entrances and exits with
chokepoint location tracking capabilities, inventory databases can be automatically updated as
product enters or leaves the distribution center.
•
Security—The movement of tagged assets can be tracked and monitored to protect against
unauthorized removal from the premises or unauthorized movement within the facility itself
structure.
Low power, short range chokepoint triggers make it possible to expand usage beyond traditional entry
and exit passages. Low output power enables customization of the chokepoint trigger’s effective range
to better correspond to very small, tightly defined areas such as shelves, racks, storage bins, workstations
and patient beds. The movement of assets into or away from such limited areas can be then be precisely
monitored (such as the placement or removal of equipment in a rack, for example) in a similar fashion
to that of the higher power chokepoint triggers described earlier.
The specific changes in tag behavior that can be enacted by a chokepoint are vendor dependent. Tag
behavior modification may include, but are not limited to:
•
Immediate tag multicast message transmission
•
Tag reactivation
•
Tag deactivation
•
Tag transmission interval change
•
Indicator lamp activation
•
Storage of floor or cell identifiers
•
Appending of additional messages to tag multicast messages, such as:
– Chokepoint identification
– Pre-configured message data
– Telemetry data
Not every active tag vendor supports the use of chokepoint triggers with their tags. Of those that do, the
use of chokepoint triggers tends to be tag vendor specific. Each vendor offering asset tags that are
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification usually supplies
chokepoint triggers that are designed specifically for compatibility with those tags. At the current time,
chokepoint triggers are not interoperable between asset tags from different manufacturers.
Range may vary between models and manufacturers, with those chokepoint triggers used with asset tags
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi tags specification typically possessing
effective ranges between 10 inches and approximately 25 feet. These products operate using low
frequency magnetic signaling. Range tends to be predictable, with excellent penetration of typical
building materials and their contents.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-11
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-12 depicts low frequency, magnetic signaling-based chokepoint trigger devices from
AeroScout and WhereNet. AeroScout refers to their chokepoint triggers as Exciters and WhereNet refers
to their products as WherePorts. The AeroScout EX-2000 Exciter and the WhereNet WherePort products
are larger footprint models, capable of providing the maximum possible range for large chokepoint areas
or room-based presence detection applications. These products are intended for vehicular doorways,
gates and other large chokepoint areas, with adjustable ranges that can exceed 20 feet. The compact
AeroScout EX-3100 and EX-3200 Exciters are intended for short range use in smaller chokepoints such
as doorways, shelves and racks. The range of these products spans from 8 inches to a maximum of 6.5
and 9.75 feet, respectively.
Figure 6-12
AeroScout Exciters and WhereNet WherePorts
Additional information on these products can be found at the following vendor web sites:
http://www.aeroscout.com/content.asp?page=exciter
http://www.wherenet.com/products_whereport.shtml
Note
The Cisco WCS is used to define chokepoint triggers to the location-aware Cisco UWN, but cannot be
used to configure the chokepoint triggers themselves at this time. This must be accomplished using
software provided by the vendor of the chokepoint trigger (the AeroScout Network Exciter Manager
(ANEM) and the WhereNet SystemBuilder / WhereWand are two examples). Chokepoint triggers that
have been added to WCS without proper configuration by the vendor's chokepoint management software
may not function properly.
Once configured, chokepoint triggers can operate in one of two modes:
•
An online mode, where their status is monitored by software supplied by the chokepoint trigger
vendor via an Ethernet or serial data connection.
•
An offline mode, where the configured chokepoint trigger operates with only a power connection
required.
Chokepoint triggers are identified by unique addresses that enables tags receiving their transmission to
clearly identify the chokepoint trigger responsible for stimulating them. This identifier is typically the
MAC address of the chokepoint trigger for Ethernet-based models, but could be any locally administered
and assigned identifier (such as a “Transmit ID” of a WhereNet WherePort). In Release 4.1 of the
location-aware Cisco UWN (shown in Figure 6-13), when an asset tag compatible with the Cisco
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-12
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification enters the effective range of a chokepoint trigger,
the tag is stimulated by the chokepoint trigger and identifies the source of such stimulation to the
location-aware Cisco UWN using a tag multicast frame that is sent via using 802.11. All access points
detecting this tag multicast frame forwards it to their registered controller, which in turn results in the
generation of LOCP Measurement Notification frames destined for the location appliance.
Note
Communication between chokepoint triggers and asset tags is unidirectional, from the chokepoint
trigger to the asset tag. In software Release 4.1, there is no direct communication between chokepoint
triggers and the location-aware Cisco UWN.
Figure 6-13
Location-Aware Cisco UWN with Chokepoint Triggers
Browser Based
Remote Console for
Cisco WCS
Cisco Wireless
Control System
(WCS)
HTTPS
SOAP XML
W
N
E
S
Cisco
Wireless
Location
Appliance
Cisco Wireless
LAN Controller
LWAPP
Cisco Aironet
Access Point
Chokepoint Trigger
Cisco Compatible
Extensions Wi-Fi Tag
223364
Chokepoint Trigger
The location appliance uses the information provided to it by the LOCP Measurement Notification to
indicate that the tag's current location is within the configured range of the specified chokepoint. This
information is placed in the appropriate location appliance databases and made available to location
clients via the location appliance API. Location clients may display chokepoint location information on
floor maps. An example is the WCS floor map shown in Figure 6-14, where we can see two RFID tags
located at the chokepoint labeled Basement Entrance). The location appliance can also trigger alerts and
other asynchronous northbound notifications to WCS and external applications using email, syslog,
SOAP, or SNMP traps.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-13
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
RFID Tag Technology
Figure 6-14
WCS Floor Map With Chokepoints
In Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN software, after a tag has left the range of a chokepoint trigger, the
location appliance continues to indicate the tag’s location as being within the configured range of the
chokepoint trigger until one of the following events occur:
•
The tag indicates that it is now out of range of that chokepoint trigger.
•
The value configured for the Chokepoint Out of Range Timeout expires (shown in Figure 6-15,
default 60 seconds).
After one of these events occur, the location appliance uses RF Fingerprinting to calculate the location
of the device until such point that it enters into another chokepoint area and into the stimulation zone of
another chokepoint trigger. If the device is then stimulated by a subsequent chokepoint trigger and
successfully reports this stimulation to the Cisco UWN, the location appliance then places the tracked
device at the location of the new chokepoint.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-14
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
Figure 6-15
Chokepoint Out of Range Timeout
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
Compatible RFID Tags
An often asked question revolves around whether the Cisco Location Appliance can be leveraged to track
RFID tags that already are being deployed by product and durable goods manufacturers as part of a larger
business initiative. Often applied en masse to manufactured or distributed goods, these tags are most
commonly passive RFID designs, but in the case of some durable high-cost goods, active RFID may also
be used. In many cases, products and goods are being tagged at the time of production or initial
distribution in compliance with mandates set forth by large commercial or governmental entities.
The answer depends on the type of RFID tag being used. As of Cisco UWN software Release 4.1, only
802.11 Wi-Fi active RFID tags (or multimode asset tags containing 802.11 Wi-Fi active RFID
capabilities) can communicate directly with Wi-Fi access points (including Cisco Wi-Fi access points).
At this time, most commonly available “pure” passive RFID tags or non-Wi-Fi active RFID tags are not
capable of communicating with the location-aware Cisco UWN and the Cisco Wireless Location
Appliance. Of the available 802.11 Wi-Fi active tag designs currently on the market, not all are
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification. Non-compliant asset tags
from PanGo / InnerWireless and AeroScout Ltd. can be recognized by the location-aware Cisco UWN.
However, these tags will not be able to make use of the advanced features in the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification and introduced in Release 4.1. Non-compliant asset tags from
vendors other than PanGo Networks and AeroScout are not supported for use with the Cisco Wireless
Location Appliance.
To determine whether a Wi-Fi active RFID tag is compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for
Wi-Fi Tags specification and capable of taking advantage of the advanced features of the location-aware
Cisco UWN, the Cisco Compatible Extensions website
(http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr46/pr147/ccx_wifi_tags.html) should be consulted. A current
listing of all tags and tag vendors compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags
specification may be found there.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-15
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
The listing of the tag and tag vendor on the Cisco Compatible Extensions website indicate that the asset
tag has passed stringent validation testing as part of the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program for Wi-Fi
tags. The Cisco Compatible Extensions program for Wi-Fi tags allows customers with a location-aware
Cisco Unified Wireless Network to benefit from the latest innovation and technology advancements
offered by Cisco’s technology partners. Registered channel partners may view the guidelines for the
Cisco Compatible Extensions Program for Wi-Fi Tags at the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/downloads/partner/WWChannels/download/wifiguide.pdf.
In some cases, passive or non-802.11 active RFID reader interrogators may be deployed in an
environment that is also serviced by a Cisco LWAPP-enabled wireless network, independently of the
location tracking capabilities of the Cisco UWN and the location appliance. These reader/interrogators
may be using traditional wired Ethernet as their uplink to the network, or they may have an integrated
Wi-Fi client radio (such as the case of portable RFID interrogators like those shown in Figure 6-16).
Although it is not possible at this time to track the individual passive RFID tags associated with these
portable RFID tag readers using the Cisco location appliance, tracking the portable readers themselves
is typically feasible because of their use of industry standard 802.11 client radios. As long as these
readers act as standard WLAN clients and authenticate/associate to WLAN SSIDs serviced by
controllers defined to the location appliance, they are treated just as other WLAN clients and are
indicated on floor maps by a blue rectangular icon.
Figure 6-16
Portable RFID Interrogators with Integrated Wi-Fi Uplink
Using 802.11b Tags in an 802.11g Environment
Another common question that often arises is about the potential performance impact of using an
802.11b asset tag in a network that otherwise consists entirely of 802.11g clients and access points. The
crux of such discussions is typically centered around whether or not protection mechanisms (such as
RTS-CTS or CTS-to-self) are initiated by the 802.11g network to assure compatibility between the
802.11b asset tags and the 802.11g network.
Note
For an explanation of 802.11g performance, capacity, and protection mechanisms, see the whitepaper
entitled Capacity, Coverage and Deployment Considerations for IEEE 802.11gat the following URL:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/products_white_paper09186a00801d61a3.sh
tml.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-16
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
A popular point of discussion often revolves around whether these protection mechanisms are initiated
upon the introduction of one or more of the following to the all-802.11g wireless infrastructure:
•
An 802.11b asset tag that is transmitting tag layer two multicast messages.
•
An 802.11b asset tag (acting as a WLAN client) that is issuing probe requests.
•
An 802.11b asset tag (acting as a WLAN client) that actively associates.
First and foremost, it should be clearly understood that 802.11b asset tags that transmit tag messages
using Layer 2 multicasts (and do not attempt to associate to any WLANs) will not cause the initiation of
any 802.11g protection modes under any circumstances. This includes asset tags operating in strict
compliance with version 1 of the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi tags specification.
Laboratory research and analysis have shown that protection mechanisms are not initiated throughout an
entire network of access points if an 802.11b asset tag or WLAN client is simply powered on. In fact,
the following are observed:
•
A probe request from an 802.11b asset tag that is not associated to any access point on a particular
channel does not in and of itself cause the initiation of protection mode by an 802.11g access point
that detects it.
•
Protection mode is not initiated until the 802.11b asset tag successfully associates to either the cell
in question or an adjacent cell on the same channel. At that point, the target cell as well as any other
cells on the same channel and RF-adjacent to the target cell initiate protection mode.
•
Access points that are not on the same channel as the 802.11b asset tag or not RF-adjacent to it does
not initiate protection mode.
Some 802.11b asset tags may, as an optional feature, periodically probe and attempt to briefly associate
to the wireless infrastructure in order to conduct over-the-air firmware or configuration updates. The
observations stated above would apply to these tags, but only during the brief periods during which these
extended modes of communication are in use.
Enabling Asset Tag Tracking
Note
Beginning with the Cisco UWN Release 4.1, it is no longer necessary to enable asset tag tracking in
WLAN controllers using the config status rfid enable CLI command. RFID tag data collection in
controllers containing Release 4.1 is now enabled by default.
Enable Asset Tag RF Data Timeout
The RFID Data Timeout parameter sets a static time value (in seconds) that must elapse without any
access points on the controller detecting an asset tag, before that asset tag is removed from the internal
tables of the controller. For general usage, it is recommended that this parameter be set to a minimum of
three times (and a maximum of eight times) the longest tag transmission interval found in the general
tag population. This should be inclusive of stationary as well as any “in-motion” transmission intervals.
The valid range of values for this parameter is 60-7200 seconds and the default value is 1200 seconds.
For example, for a tag with a constant transmission interval of 60 seconds, you may choose to set the
RFID data timeout to 480:
(Cisco Controller) >config rfid timeout 480
(cisco Controller) >
(Cisco Controller) >show rfid config
RFID Tag data Collection......................... Enabled
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-17
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
RFID data timeout................................ 480 seconds
To ensure proper collection of updated asset tag RSSI from WLAN controllers, it is recommended that
the RFID data timeout always be greater than the asset tag polling interval on the location appliance,
which is discussed in the next section.
Enable Asset Tag Polling
To use the location appliance for asset tag tracking, SNMP asset tag polling must be explicitly enabled
via the Locate > Location Server > Polling Parameters GUI panel. To enable it, use the checkbox
indicated by the red rectangle in Figure 6-17.
Figure 6-17
Enabling RFID Tag Polling
The default polling interval value represents the time period between the start of subsequent polling
cycles in which the location appliance polls the controller using SNMP. For example, if a polling cycle
requires 30 seconds to complete and the polling interval is 300 seconds, polling cycles start every 330
seconds, as shown in Figure 6-18.
Polling Interval
Polling cycle
300
Polling interval
330
Polling cycle
630
660
Seconds
146189
Figure 6-18
Depending on the degree of asset movement, updated tag RSSI information obtained via shorter polling
intervals may be translated into more frequent location updates in some cases. However, depending on
the time lag between the asset tag polling interval configured on the location appliance and the average
transmission interval configured amongst the general tag population, a risk of reduced asset tag polling
efficiency may occur. In extreme cases of deployments with a large number of WLAN controllers, a too
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-18
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
short asset tag polling interval could burden both the location appliance as well as the WLAN controllers
with almost constant (and often times unproductive) polling. This wastes resources that could have been
put to use more productively, and could negatively impact performance.
In general, for a given population of asset tags with the same transmission interval, the most productive
and efficient polling is found to occur when the location appliance's asset tag polling interval is
configured to be greater than or equal to the asset tag's transmission interval. For example, in a
population of 100 asset tags each with a transmission interval of 60 seconds, if the location appliance's
asset tag polling interval is left at the default of 120 seconds (twice the tag transmission interval) it is
likely that controllers will receive updated RSSI from all 100 tags at least once (and most likely twice)
within the 120 second time interval. Setting the asset tag polling interval to 30 seconds in an attempt to
increase the frequency of tag location updates might indeed accomplish this goal for some tags, however,
overall polling efficiency is likely to decline.
In a population of asset tags that are configured with mixed transmission intervals, a tradeoff typically
is required between the desire to acquire frequently updated RSSI information from tags possessing the
shortest transmission intervals versus overall polling efficiency for the general tag population. Shorter
asset tag polling intervals can be configured to favor tags that transmit multicast frames more frequently,
but depending on the number of WLAN controllers deployed, asset tag polling intervals should not be
set so short that the location appliance is spending the bulk of its time constantly polling controllers,
which could impact performance in an environment with many controllers present. Remember that the
speed at which location updates are displayed on location client screens depends not only on the
frequency of updates between controllers and the location appliance, but also upon the frequency with
which the location client polls the location appliance for updates.
Recording of asset tag location history is disabled by default. If location trending and the analysis of past
asset tag location history is desired, location history recording should be enabled via the Location >
History Parameters screen, as shown in Figure 6-19. Enable the Asset Tags line item and specify the
history archival interval between writes of historical data to the database (default is 720 seconds). Note
that the recording of location history is not mandatory to perform asset tag tracking, but is often
desirable, as it allows the location appliance to “playback” the history of locations the asset tag has
visited.
Figure 6-19
Enabling RFID Tag History
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-19
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
Enable Asset Tag Display
For WCS to display the location of asset tags, asset tag display must be explicitly enabled via Monitor
> Maps > Campus > Building > Floor, as shown in Figure 6-20. To enable the display of asset tags, make
sure that 802.11 Tags is selected from the dropdown Layers menu. Refresh or reload the WCS floor map
page and yellow tag icons is used on the floor map to denote the current location of any detected asset
tags.
Figure 6-20
Enabling Display of Asset Tags on WCS
Configuring Asset Tags
In order to communicate with the location-aware Cisco UWN, asset tags must be properly configured
for parameters such as channels, transmission interval, and data formats. In this section, we examine the
basic parameter settings necessary for AeroScout tags to be recognized by the UWN and properly
localized.
Note
AeroScout asset tags are highlighted in this section only as an example of how to configure asset tags
that are compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification. Keep in mind that
each vendor's asset tags require configuration using vendor-specific tools. Users of AeroScout,
InnerWireless (PanGo), WhereNet, G2 or other asset tag vendors offering similar products should
always consult their vendor's product documentation for appropriate configuration guidelines.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-20
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
In comparison to the earlier 2.x versions of AeroScout Tag Manager, version 3.x introduces several new
features designed to support AeroScout asset tags that are compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification, including the recently introduced AeroScout T3 asset tags.
This section outlines the steps necessary to configure AeroScout asset tags for basic communication with
the location-aware Cisco UWN. It does not attempt to serve as a substitute for the much more
comprehensive vendor documentation offered by AeroScout in this regard. The following AeroScout
documents should serve as the primary reference materials with regard to configuration of AeroScout
asset tags using Tag Manager:
•
AeroScout Tag Manager Quick Start
•
AeroScout Tag Manager 3.0 User Guide
In order to take advantage of the new capabilities introduced by the Cisco Compatible Extensions for
Wi-Fi Tags specification, AeroScout asset tags should contain the following tag firmware levels (see
Figure 6-21):
•
AeroScout T2—Firmware Release 4.3x or greater
•
AeroScout T3—Firmware Release 6.0x or greater
AeroScout asset tags with firmware releases prior to those listed will still interoperate with software
Release 4.1 of the location-aware Cisco UWN. However, tags not meeting these specifications will not
take advantage of the capabilities introduced by the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags
specification that are present in software Release 4.1.
Figure 6-21
AeroScout T2 and T3 Asset Tags
AeroScout asset tags contain both a 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11b transceiver as well as a low-frequency,
short-range 125 kHz magnetic signaling receiver. 2.4 GHz output power is configurable up to a
maximum of +19dBm (81mW). During tag configuration, AeroScout asset tags use their 802.11b
interface to reply to commands and data received from a programming device known as a Tag Activator,
which is an Ethernet addressable, low-frequency 125 kHz magnetic signaling transmitter housed in
combination with a 802.11b receiver. Tag Activators are designed to be used in conjunction with
Windows-based tag configuration software known as Tag Manager.
It is important to note that AeroScout asset tags are only capable of receiving information from Tag
Activators via their magnetic signaling 125 kHz receiver. AeroScout asset tags are not equipped with a
magnetic signaling transmitters, and Tag Activators are not equipped with magnetic signaling receivers.
AeroScout asset tags receive commands and data from Tag Activators via magnetic signaling, and
respond back to the Tag Manager application confirming those transmissions using their 802.11b
capabilities and the 802.11b receiver in the Tag Activator.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-21
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
The AeroScout Tag Activator (shown in Figure 6-22) can be powered via 802.3af Ethernet or an external
5VDC power source. The Tag Activator works in conjunction with AeroScout Tag Manager software to
configure, program, activate, or deactivate up to 50 AeroScout asset tags simultaneously at a range of up
to approximately three feet. The use of a Tag Activator is completely non-intrusive in relation to the
AeroScout tag hardware. There are no cables that interconnect the two, and the use of the Tag Activator
eliminates disturbing the environmental seal of the tag casing for configuration modifications. Minimal
disruption of tag seals is an advantage if the asset tag is intended for use in harsh or wet environments
where tight environmental sealing is required.
Figure 6-22
AeroScout Tag Activator
The following AeroScout document should serve as the primary reference with regard to the AeroScout
Tag Activator:
•
AeroScout Tag Activator User’s Guide
In order to configure AeroScout T2 or T3 asset tags for basic communication with software Release 4.1,
the following steps should be followed:
1.
Deploy the AeroScout Tag Activator in accordance with the vendor’s recommendations as outlined
in the AeroScout Tag Activator User’s Guide. The AeroScout tag activator may be powered directly
from a 802.3af compliant switch or from a non-802.3af switch using the provided AC power supply
included with the product. Spanning tree portfast should be configured on any Cisco switch port
to which the AeroScout Tag Activator is attached to avoid potential instability.
2.
Configure the AeroScout Tag Manager to communicate with the Tag Activator as per the vendor’s
recommendations as outlined in the AeroScout Tag Activator User’s Guide and the AeroScout Tag
Manager version 3.0, Quick Start Guide. Ensure that the Tag Activator is properly recognized by the
Tag Manager.
3.
Place up to 50 AeroScout tags within about three feet of the Tag Activator and detect the tags using
the “Detect Tags” feature as shown in Figure 6-23.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-22
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
Figure 6-23
Detecting Tags using Tag Manager v3.04
4.
Once the tags have been detected (Figure 6-24), select all tags by clicking on their checkboxes, as
shown in the right hand column of the screen depicted in Figure 6-25.
Figure 6-24
Successful Tag Detection using Tag Manager v3.04
Figure 6-25
Selecting Tags to Configure
5.
Select the configuration option from the left hand column of the Tag Detection menu, which yields
the Tag Configuration menu (shown in Figure 6-26).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-23
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
Note
Figure 6-26
When making minor modifications to preconfigured tags, it is recommended that the current
configuration of the tag be imported into Tag Manager and used as a configuration template, with any
modifications then applied to that configuration. The result can then be applied to one or more tags. To
do this, after selecting the Configuration menu option, place the mouse cursor over the tag that you
would like to use as a template. Right click, and select Get Tag Configuration, respond Yes when asked
to proceed.
Tag Manager 3.04 Configuration Panel
6.
Configure each parameter subcategory for basic operation of T2 or T3 tags with the Cisco UWN
software Release 4.1. If you have selected both T2 and T3 tags, note that only the configuration
options that apply to both tag models are available. Once all parameters in a configuration group
have been configured, they may be applied to the selected tags by clicking on the Apply button that
appears within each group. Alternatively, you may delay applying changes until all groups have been
configured (use the Apply Multiple Configuration option shown at the bottom of Figure 6-26). All
parameters selected are applied to all selected asset tags and will override any other values that may
be present.
a.
General Parameters:
– Channel Selection—It is recommended that tags be configured for the standard set of 802.11b
non-overlapping channels, typically channels 1, 6 and 11 (or otherwise depending on your
regulatory domain).
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-24
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
– LED Indication—In most cases, it is useful to have visual indication of when the tag is using its
communication interfaces. In cases where there are reasons why such indication is undesirable,
such as in a light sensitive, security or other “stealth” application, the LED can be disabled.
– Transmission Interval When Not In Motion—Select an appropriate tag transmission interval for
your asset tagging application, in seconds or milliseconds. Typically tags are configured to
transmit less frequently when stationary using this parameter setting as compared to when they
are in motion. In-motion transmission intervals are set using the Motion Sensor category
settings.
b.
Transmission Parameters:
– Message repetitions—Standard operation for the AeroScout tag is to transmit a single multicast
transmission on all defined channels. This parameter controls the number of times each
transmitted message is repeated, per channel. It is generally recommended that this parameter
be raised from the default value of one to a value of three. Doing this helps protect against lost
tag transmissions, which results in lost RSSI readings. Lost RSSI readings is a confirmed cause
of degraded location accuracy, especially in environments where there is a significant likelihood
of tag transmissions being interfered with or dropped due to congestion or interference. Avoid
configuring an excessive number of message repetitions, as there are few conditions where a
message repetition factor greater than 3 would be truly required. The setting of three message
repetitions works very well for the majority of environments. Setting this parameter above a
value of 5 is typically not considered necessary.
– Message Repetitions Interval—The delay between subsequent message repetitions on the same
channel, specified as either 128, 256 or 512 milliseconds. The default value is 512 milliseconds.
– Transmission Power (dBm)—The default value for transmission power is typically +18dBm on
T2 model AeroScout asset tags. The location-aware Cisco UWN is capable of discerning the
transmission power used by tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi
Tags specification.
– Data Rate—Data rates of 2 Mbps can only be specified for T3 tags. Although the message
payloads and frame sizes associated with asset tags are very small, the use of a faster
transmission speed can allow T3 tags to transmit their payloads faster and free the channel for
use by other stations sooner. This can also reduce battery consumption since each frame’s
transmission time is shorter.
– Data Frame Format—This parameter should be changed from the default value of IBSS to
CCX.
– Destination Address—This value must be specified as 01:40:96:00:00:03 for use with software
Release 4.1 and later releases.
c.
Data Transmission Mode Parameters:
– Normal Tag Transmission (without additional message)—Select this parameter unless you have
valid reasons to configure it otherwise. For example, the location client you are using in
conjunction with your asset tags may be able to process additional stored messages on your tag,
sent as part of tag payloads, or you may be using an AeroScout T2 telemetry tag that allows for
telemetry to be read directly from sensors onboard custom-integrated host peripheral devices.
d.
Supplementary Settings:
– CCX Options—Transmit Out of Range Chokepoint Group should be enabled.
e.
Call Buttons Primary —Configure these options if you wish to use call button signaling (Panic
Button alerting) with software Release 4.1.
– Short Clicks (button depression that last less than 2 seconds):
•
Enable Short Clicks should be checked
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-25
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Using Wi-Fi RFID Tags with the Cisco UWN
•
Number of Short Clicks: 1
•
Tag Reaction Parameters: Send Standard Tag Transmission
•
Message Repetition: 1
– Long Clicks (button depression that lasts at least 2 seconds):
•
Enable Long Clicks should be checked
•
Number of Long Clicks: 1
•
Tag Reaction Parameters: Send Standard Tag Transmission
f.
Call Buttons - Secondary—These are identical options to those listed for “Call Buttons – Primary”
but are only available if you are using T3 asset tags.
g.
Sensors:
– Motion—These options can be used to enable the on-board motion sensor if desired.
– Temperature—These options can be used to enable on-board temperature sensors if desired.
Note that the on-board temperature sensor is not supported in T2 tags with v4.3x firmware.
– Tamper—This option can be enabled for T3 tags only. Enabling this option allows tag tamper
indication to be sent to the Cisco UWN.
7.
Figure 6-27
In some cases, the existing configuration of an AeroScout asset tag may be in question and need
verification. Using Tag Manager v3.04, this is a straightforward process. Simply right-click on any
detected tag and click on Status from the pop-up menu. This brings up a listing of basic tag
configuration parameters, with further detail available by selecting Advanced Configuration as
shown in Figure 6-27.
Retrieving The Configuration of a Single Tag
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-26
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
The preceding quick, seven-step configuration guide is just a short synopsis of the required steps to
configure and activate AeroScout tags for use with the Cisco UWN software Release 4.1. Refer to the
AeroScout Tag Manager v3.0 User’s Guide for more detailed information as well as information on
several other useful configuration options in the Tag Manager.
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
Beginning with software Release 4.1, the location aware Cisco UWN will recognize tag telemetry and
high priority notifications transmitted by Wi-Fi Tags specification may transmit tag telemetry and
high-priority notifications to the location-aware Cisco UWN. This information is passed from WLAN
controllers to the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance using the Location Control Protocol (LOCP),
which is described in Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP), page 3-36.
This section provides initial best practice recommendations and other information and should be kept in
mind when designing solutions that are dependent on telemetry and high-priority notification functions
found in Cisco UWN software Release 4.1.
Deploying Tag Telemetry
Active RFID tags supplied by tag vendors in compliance with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for
Wi-Fi Tags specification may include the ability to accept telemetry data from onboard sensors or from
sensors integrated into the asset to which the tag is attached. If configured to do so, these active RFID
tags can pass this telemetry data as part of the tag transmissions that are sent to the Cisco UWN at
periodic transmission intervals, or when entering into the stimulation zone of chokepoint triggers.
For example, an asset tag connected to the fuel level sensor of a forklift may be able to pass fuel level
telemetry via the Cisco UWN to the location appliance and its location clients (which could include
WCS and third party location clients). The ability of the asset tag to perform these telemetry functions
is dependent upon the asset tag manufacturer, and typically requires the appropriate level of integration
and physical connectivity between the tag and sensors found aboard the attached asset. Note that some
asset tags are available with their own onboard sensors, which can measure certain ambient
environmental characteristics (such as temperature and humidity) external to tagged assets without any
dependence on embedded sensors.
Onboard tag sensors, for example, might be appropriate where the primary concern surrounds general
environmental conditions effecting both the asset tag as well as the asset to which it is attached. Thus,
an asset tag equipped with onboard temperature sensors would be appropriate in detecting whether an
attached asset was incorrectly stored in temperatures outside recommended ranges. Embedded sensors
within the asset itself would be more appropriate when the goal is to alert the system administrator to an
internal condition resulting from improper use that could result in costly damage to the asset if not
addressed promptly. A good example of this might be an engine providing indication of an insufficient
internal lubrication, which could result in costly repairs.
As described in the section entitled Asset Tag Telemetry Using LOCP, page 3-38, beginning with the
Cisco UWN software Release 4.1 all tag telemetry sent by tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification is aggregated by WLAN controllers and passed to the Cisco
Wireless Location Appliance. In software Release 4.1, LOCP uses a polled mechanism to collect tag
telemetry after the fact, the timing of which is tied to the traditional SNMP polling mechanism used to
gather asset tag RSSI information. The location appliance updates the telemetry information for each
asset tag in its databases with that received from the most recently responding WLAN controller that has
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-27
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
included telemetry information for that specific tag’s MAC address. If archiving of tag historical
information has been enabled on the location appliance, tag telemetry information is included along with
other tag information (shown in Figure 6-28).
Figure 6-28
Archive Playback of Tag Telemetry and “Emergency” Data
The default configuration of some active RFID tags may provide for transmitting only one tag
transmission per channel per transmission interval. While this setting can help optimize the battery life
of the tag in some cases, this single transmission per channel may not always be successfully detected
by the expected number of access points, especially in RF-noisy or congested environments. This can
result in missing RSSI readings, which can cause location inaccuracy.
Therefore, in such environments it is recommended that tags be configured to transmit multiple
transmission repetitions per channel at each transmission interval, which should aid in improving tag
detection and location accuracy as well as increasing the reliability of tag telemetry as well. It is
recommended that the tag vendor's configuration software should be used to set the number of tag
transmissions to three (but not more than five) per channel per transmission interval.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-28
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
Although it is unlikely that LOCP telemetry collection will burden modern wired and wireless networks,
nevertheless it is good practice for the network designer to understand the nature of the traffic that can
be expected in their designs. The following traffic and frame size information has been observed during
LOCP telemetry testing in support of this document:
•
Echo Request—Sent periodically by the location appliance to each defined WLAN controller based
on the configuration of the Echo Interval parameter (Location Servers > Advanced > LOCP
Parameters). LOCP Echo Request Ethernet frames are 100 bytes in length and are transmitted to
TCP destination port 16113.
•
Echo Response—Sent periodically by each WLAN controller in response to an Echo Request (see
above). Like Echo Requests, LOCP Echo Response Ethernet frames are 100 bytes in length.
•
Information Request—Sent periodically by the Location appliance to each WLAN controller to
request information. LOCP Information Request Ethernet frames are 106 bytes in length are
transmitted to TCP destination port 16113. LOCP Information Requests are the primary mechanism
used in software Release 4.1 to conduct LOCP polling.
•
Information Response—Sent periodically by each WLAN controller in response to the receipt of a
LOCP Information Request frame (LOCP Polling). The basic size of a LOCP Information Request
Ethernet frame for a controller that has not detected any tags is 113 bytes. If one tag is detected, this
frame size will increase to 144 bytes and for two tags it will increase to 175 bytes (these frame sizes
do not include any telemetry data). Frame sizes will increase based on the number of tags currently
active in the controller's database as well as the amount of telemetry that has been collected. Support
for fragmentation and reassembly of combined tag payloads is inherently to LOCP.
To ensure proper LOCP operation between the location appliance and any WLAN controllers defined to
it, ensure that port 16113 is not blocked by any firewalls or other security devices.
When designing solutions that will rely on the reporting and collection of tag telemetry with Release 4.1,
there are a few considerations that should be kept in mind:
1.
Telemetry Timing—Since in Release 4.1 telemetry is aggregated on a per-tag basis by WLAN
controllers and passed to the location appliance only during a periodic LOCP polling cycle, users of
software Release 4.1 should not rely on the receipt of tag telemetry to be real-time in nature. It is
reasonable to expect that there will be a delay between the time the tag sends the telemetry
information and the time it is updated in the location appliance database and made available to
location clients.
2.
Northbound Asynchronous Notifications—In Release 4.1 of the location-aware Cisco UWN, the
location appliance does not issue asynchronous northbound notifications (in the form of email,
SNMP, SOAP or UDP-Syslog messages) for telemetry received from tags. Therefore, any external
applications (such as paging systems, text messaging, enterprise management consoles and so on)
relying on northbound notifications in these formats must receive them from an alternate source
having visibility to tag telemetry, such as a third-party location client.
Battery telemetry, however, is an exception. In this case, the location appliance will trigger northbound
asynchronous notifications based on remaining battery life for tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification. These notifications are generated as per the following trigger
condition definitions:
•
Battery Level is Low—Reported battery life remaining is 30%
•
Battery Level is Medium—75% battery remaining > 30%
•
Battery Level is Normal—Battery remaining is > 75%
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-29
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Tag Telemetry and Notification Considerations
Deploying Tag High-Priority Notifications
Beginning with software Release 4.1 of the Cisco UWN, asset tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification may transmit high-priority and vendor-specific notifications to
the location-aware Cisco UWN. This information is transmitted as part of a tag transmission that is sent
on-demand, and is passed from WLAN controllers to the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance using
LOCP. Keep in mind that the format of the tag message sent by the tag when a high-priority type event
occurs is very similar to the standard tag multicast transmission sent during each tag transmission
interval, except that it contains additional information that conveys the nature of the high-priority event.
It is important to note that information contained in the tag notifications received over RF by the WLAN
controller is passed (with minimal delay) to the location appliance in the form of LOCP Information
Notifications. Thus, for example, when a call button is depressed on an asset tag that is compatible with
the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification, a LOCP Information Notification is
transmitted by the WLAN controller to the location appliance very shortly after the tag notification has
been received by the controller’s registered access points. Once received by the location appliance, the
updated call button status is reflected in the location appliance database (for example, “panic button
depressed”) and made available to location clients. If archiving of tag historical information has been
enabled on the location appliance, tag “emergency” information is archived along with other tag
information (shown in Figure 6-28).
The basic size of a LOCP Information Notification Ethernet frame is approximately 130 bytes. Frame
sizes can be larger based on additional information included in the frame, such as tampering information
or vendor-specific data. In Release 4.1, LOCP Information Notifications are not aggregated by WLAN
controllers. WLAN controllers will transmit a LOCP Information Notification frame to the location
appliance for each tag high-priority notification received via each of its registered access points
(including any high-priority notification repetitions).
Expressed mathematically, it can be stated that for each notification event coming from a tag, the total
number of LOCP Information Notifications that can be expected to be transmitted from a WLAN
controller to the location appliance can be calculated as:
LOCP Information NotificationsTOTAL = Detecting APsTOTAL * High-Priority Notification Repetitions PER CHANNEL
where High-Priority Notification RepetitionsPER CHANNEL represents the total number of high-priority
notifications that are sent by the tag on a single RF channel. Note that the number of high-priority
notification repetitions per channel should not be confused with the standard setting for tag message
notifications per channel, which applies to tag transmissions that are sent periodically based on the
expiration of a tag transmission interval. It should also be noted that this calculation yields the maximum
possible value for LOCP Information NotificationsTOTAL as it assumes that all notification repetitions
coming from the tag are successfully detected by all access points included within Detecting APs TOTAL
and none are dropped due to interference, contention or other RF anomalies.
Using our formula, we can calculate the expected number of LOCP Information Notifications that will
be generated if the call button is depressed once on an asset tag compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification within the following Release 4.1 environment:
•
Two WLAN controllers
•
Three access points registered to each controller, for a total of six detecting access points.
•
Tags send one notification for each call button depression on each of channels 1, 6 and 11
Substituting this information into the aforementioned equation, we see that 6 * 1 or 6 total LOCP
Information Notifications will be transmitted from the WLAN controllers to the location appliance in
this example. Note that although both WLAN controllers will be sources of LOCP Notifications in this
example, the number of WLAN controllers present in the environment has no bearing on the number of
LOCP Notifications that will be sent to the location appliance. We could have substituted three WLAN
controllers with two access points registered to each in this example, and the calculated value for LOCP
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-30
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Information NotificationsTOTAL would have been the same. It is the number of access points that detect
the tag multicast transmissions bearing the high-priority notification information sent that is pertinent to
the number of LOCP Notifications that will be generated from controllers to the location appliance.
To ensure proper LOCP operation between the location appliance and any WLAN controllers defined to
it, always ensure that port 16113 is not blocked by any firewalls or other security devices.
Configuring Tags for Telemetry and Notifications
While the support of tag telemetry and notifications are basic components of the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification, each tag vendor uses their GUI or CLI-based tag software to
enable, disable or otherwise customize precisely how these features are supported in their products.
While a limited amount of AeroScout tag configuration information has been already provided in prior
sections of this document, more comprehensive information specifically relating to the configuration of
external telemetry sensors and asset tags is available from asset tag vendors, but is beyond the scope of
this document.
Readers seeking such information are directed to the following sources of information:
•
AeroScout T2 Tag User Guide
•
AeroScout Tag Manager User Guide version 3.0
•
http://www.aeroscout.com or your AeroScout account and technical support team
For asset tags from other vendors that are compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi
Tags specification, it is recommended to contact those vendors directly. These would include:
•
InnerWireless (formerly PanGo Networks) http://www.innerwireless.com
•
WhereNet http://www.wherenet.com
Chokepoint Considerations
Configuring Chokepoint Triggers
In order to use chokepoint triggers with the Cisco UWN, they must be properly configured using the
appropriate vendor-supplied software utility, defined to WCS, placed on floor maps and synchronized as
part of an updated network design to the location appliance. After all of this is complete, the location
appliance will be able to recognize that asset tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for
Wi-Fi Tags specification have been stimulated by a particular chokepoint trigger MAC address and
proceed to localize the asset tag. Location clients may then display the asset tag's location at the
chokepoint icon associated with the chokepoint trigger's MAC address.
Various chokepoint trigger specific parameters such as transmission range, IP address, transmission
interval, transmission repetitions and so on are set using vendor-specific utilities. For non
IP-addressable AeroScout EX-3100 series Exciters, the AeroScout Exciter Manager standalone software
utility must be used (shown on the left in Figure 6-29). For WhereNet WherePort chokepoint triggers,
the WhereNet System Builder (shown on the right in Figure 6-29) and the WhereNet WhereWand are
used.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-31
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Figure 6-29
Vendor-Specific Configuration Utilities
Note that each vendor maintains their set of software tools necessary for configuration of their
chokepoint triggers. These software configuration tools are not interoperable between vendors (for
example, AeroScout software configuration tools cannot be used to configure WhereNet chokepoint
triggers or vice-versa).
In general, the individual configuration of each vendor’s chokepoint trigger device is beyond the scope
of this white paper. This document does, however, attempt to shed light on specific chokepoint trigger
configuration parameters that are of particular significance in solving design challenges. As necessary,
the topical sections of this document make reference to such parameters as necessary. However,
complete and detailed configuration information relating to the specific configuration of each vendor’s
chokepoint trigger can be found in the appropriate vendor’s documentation:
Available from AeroScout Corporation:
•
AeroScout EX-3100 Exciters:
– AeroScout Exciter EX-3100 User Manual
– AeroScout EX-3100 Exciter Manager User’s Manual
•
AeroScout EX-3200 Exciters:
– AeroScout EX-3200 User Guide
•
AeroScout EX-2000 Exciters:
– AeroScout Exciter EX-2000 User Guide
The following reference manuals are recommended for configuration of AeroScout EX-2000 and
EX-3200 Exciters, using either the AeroScout System Manager or the AeroScout Network Exciter
Manager (ANEM). The AeroScout Network Exciter Manager is a standalone Exciter software
configuration utility specifically designed for users of AeroScout Exciters and the Cisco UWN.
– AeroScout Engine Version 3.2 User’s Guide
– AeroScout Network Exciter Manager (ANEM) User’s Guide
Technical documentation for WhereNet WherePort chokepoint triggers and the necessary software and
hardware for configuration of WherePorts is available from WhereNet Corporation
(http://www.wherenet.com) via your WhereNet account representative.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-32
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Defining Chokepoint Triggers to the Cisco UWN
As mentioned earlier, after chokepoint triggers have been individually configured using the
configuration tools supplied by the vendor, they must be defined to WCS, placed on appropriate floor
maps and synchronized with the location appliance as part of an updated network design. Only then can
they can be used to track asset tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags
specification.
Complete step-by-step guidance regarding how to define compatible chokepoint triggers to WCS and
the location appliance can be found at the following location:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008082d7
d2.html#wp1058654.
When defining chokepoint triggers, it should be noted that the range is specified in both the vendor’s
configuration program as well as in WCS (shown in Figure 6-30). However, it is the range configuration
parameter specified in the vendor's configuration program that actually sets the transmission range of
the chokepoint trigger, not the range setting in WCS. The value that is specified for the range of the
chokepoint trigger in WCS simply sets the size of the gray concentric rings that appear surrounding each
chokepoint icon on WCS floor maps. These concentric rings are visual aids placed simply to serve as a
convenient reminder of the range associated with the chokepoint trigger.
Figure 6-30
WCS and Vendor Range Parameters Compared
Note that these concentric rings do not represent any type of “special” area. For example, when RF
Fingerprinting is being used to as the means of localizing tags instead of chokepoint location, tags may
be placed by the system anywhere on floor maps (including within these gray concentric rings) if that is
the location deemed to be correct by the location appliance.
There are also two additional parameters regarding the use of chokepoints that are found on the Location
> Location Servers > Advanced > Location Parameters menu screen, as shown in Figure 6-31:
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-33
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Figure 6-31
Chokepoint Advanced Location Parameters
•
Chokepoint Usage—This checkbox (shown within the red rectangle in Figure 6-31) must be enabled
in order for the location appliance to use chokepoint location techniques to localize tags. This occurs
when it receives incoming LOCP Measurement Notifications indicating that a tagged asset has been
stimulated by a chokepoint trigger. With regard to the chokepoint capabilities contained with the
Cisco location appliance and the location-aware Cisco UWN, these techniques are only used with
asset tags that are compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tag specification. If
this parameter is disabled, the appliance will use the standard mechanism of RSSI based RF
Fingerprinting to calculate tag location at all times.
•
Chokepoint Out of Range Timeout—This parameter (shown within the blue rectangle in
Figure 6-31) specifies the timer used to age the last “in-range” report received from for an asset tag
that is being localized using chokepoint location techniques. It assures that any tags no longer
transmitting frames indicating they are within range of a chokepoint trigger are removed from that
chokepoint in the active location database, once the Chokepoint Out of Range Timeout has expired.
These tags are assumed to have left the chokepoint and are reverted back to being localized using
standard RF Fingerprinting techniques.
Chokepoint Trigger Traffic Considerations
Beginning with Cisco UWN software Release 4.1, tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions
for Wi-Fi Tags specification can use a consistent method to inform the UWN that they are within (or
have left) the proximity of a chokepoint trigger. Once received by access points and forwarded to
registered controllers, this information is passed to the location appliance using LOCP Measurement
Notifications, which have already been described in Cisco Location Control Protocol (LOCP), page
3-36.
The length of each 802.11 tag multicast frame transmitted in response to stimulation received from a
chokepoint trigger is approximately 63 bytes, which includes only a single chokepoint MAC address and
does not include any historical chokepoint information. The length of the frame could increase due to
the inclusion of a historical list of chokepoints traversed, or it may be larger than 63 bytes due to
vendor-specific information that may be included in the frame. For example, during lab testing with
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-34
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
AeroScout T2 tags, it was observed that the typical size of the tag multicast frame emitted when in
proximity of a chokepoint trigger is approximately 71 bytes, slightly larger than the multicast frame
transmitted by these same tags during routine periodic transmissions (56 bytes). This 71-byte length is
greater than the expected 63 bytes, and upon further examination it is discovered that eight additional
bytes of vendor-specific information is included.
The Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification also allows asset tags to communicate
historical information about the chokepoints they traverse to the Cisco UWN. This could increase the
size of the frame by approximately 10 bytes per chokepoint trigger encountered depending on the
number of historical entries maintained. The basic size of a LOCP Measurement Notification Ethernet
frame is approximately 160 bytes. Frame sizes may be larger based on additional information included
in the frame, such as historical chokepoint information.
In software Release 4.1, LOCP Measurement Notifications are not aggregated by WLAN controllers.
WLAN controllers will transmit a LOCP Measurement Notification frame to the location appliance for
each incoming tag multicast transmission, received by each of its registered access points, that indicates
that the tag has been successfully stimulated by a chokepoint trigger. Therefore, the number of LOCP
Measurement Notifications generated by one or more WLAN controllers for a single tag transmitting
multicast frames indicating that the tag has been stimulated by a chokepoint trigger, is dependent upon:
•
the number of registered access points that are within range of the tag and that have detected the
tag’s chokepoint-related transmissions.
•
the number of times the tag will transmit a multicast frame on each configured 802.11 channel in
response to chokepoint trigger stimulation.
This can be expressed mathematically as:
LOCP Measurement Notifications CHOKEPOINT = Detecting APsTOTAL * 802.11 RepetitionsPER CHANNEL
Note the following considerations:
1.
This calculation yields the number of LOCP Measurement Notifications that result from a single tag
reacting to a single chokepoint stimulation event.
2.
Chokepoint triggers by default transmit multiple stimulation packets over their magnetic signaling
medium. This could result in multiple stimulation events, which is highly dependent on the amount
of time spent within the chokepoint stimulation zone and other factors.
3.
This calculation yields a maximized value for LOCP Measurement Notifications as it assumes that
all frames transmitted by the tag are successfully detected by the number of access points specified
in Detecting APsTOTAL (none are dropped due to interference, contention or other RF anomalies).
In the majority of cases:
•
Chokepoints are deployed in areas where the surrounding access point spacing meets the
requirements discussed in Access Point Placement, page 5-5.
•
Access points and tags are configured to operate on the non-overlapping 2.4 GHz channels (channels
1 (2412 GHz), 6 (2437 GHz) and 11 (2462 GHz) in the Americas, for example).
Most chokepoint triggers assume a default value of one for the number of times they repeat, per channel,
tag multicast transmissions indicating that the tag has been successfully stimulated by a chokepoint
trigger. Only a single tag multicast transmission frame containing the stimulating chokepoint trigger's
MAC address need be received in order to result in the generation of a LOCP Measurement Notification.
Because of this, the default value for the number of times these chokepoint-related tag transmissions are
repeated per channel is usually sufficient, especially since this tag transmission will typically be repeated
across three 2.4 GHz channels, resulting in more than one access point receiving the tag transmission,
even without increasing the repetition count. However, in some cases where interference or congestion
may be extremely high, it may make sense to increase the repetition count slightly. In other cases
involving tagged assets traversing through chokepoint areas at high speed or at fringe distances from
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-35
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
chokepoint triggers, this parameter can be used to increase the likelihood of reliable stimulation (see
Appendix A, “Chokepoint Transmission Interval Analysis” for more details). In all cases, however, such
increases should be done judiciously given the ability of this parameter to affect the amount of traffic
added per stimulated tag in large tag environments.
It should be noted that the repetition count that applies to the tag multicast frames sent in response to
chokepoint stimulation is usually managed independently of the repetition count for other tag events
such as telemetry, high-priority notifications or periodic tag transmissions sent as a result of the tag's
configured transmission interval. When configuring tags and chokepoint triggers, it is important to
maintain this distinction. For example, with AeroScout tags the repetition count that applies to the
802.11 frames sent by a tag in response to a chokepoint stimulation event is known as the “Tag Repetition
of an Exciter event” parameter. It is configured on a per-Exciter basis using the AeroScout System
Manager, Exciter Manager or ANEM utility. In contrast, the tag repetition parameter used for
non-Exciter related events is known as the Message Repetitions transmission parameter. It is set on a
per-tag basis using the Transmission Settings panel of the AeroScout Tag Manager, as shown in
Figure 6-32.
Figure 6-32
Transmission Settings Panel in AeroScout Tag Manager (not used for Exciter Events)
As mentioned earlier, the length of each 802.11 multicast tag frame transmitted by a tag in response to
chokepoint stimulation is approximately 63 bytes, which includes only a single chokepoint MAC address
and does not include any historical chokepoint information. We mentioned earlier that it was observed
during testing that the 802.11 multicast frame transmitted by an AeroScout T2 tag also contains eight
bytes of vendor-specific information. Figure 6-33 illustrates this, with the mandatory chokepoint
information contained within the yellow rectangle and the additional vendor-specific information
contained within the blue rectangle.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-36
OL-11612-01
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Figure 6-33
Vendor-Specific Information Included in Tag Chokepoint Transmission
Although both the standard chokepoint information as well as the optional vendor-specific information
travels from the tag to the access point contained within the same tag multicast frame, in software
Release 4.1 the WLAN controller parses this into two separate LOCP notifications:
•
An LOCP Measurement Notification containing the chokepoint group information that is 160 bytes
in length.
•
An LOCP Information Notification containing the vendor-specific information that is 138 bytes in
length.
The precise composition of the vendor-specific fields varies depending on the chokepoint and tag vendor.
For example, AeroScout allows for additional message information to be appended to the Exciter ID via
the Tag Reaction tab of the Exciter Properties menu in the AeroScout System Manager and AeroScout
Network Exciter Manager. These capabilities are also available via the Exciter Manager utility for users
of the AeroScout EX-3100 Exciter.
Vendor specific information can be:
•
Directly entered and saved on a per-Exciter basis.
•
Saved to tag memory for later reuse.
•
Consist of one of ten preconfigured messages programmed into tags.
•
Emanate from a host attached to the tag.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
6-37
Chapter 6
RFID Tag Considerations
Chokepoint Considerations
Figure 6-34 illustrates the use of this capability for an AeroScout EX-2000 Exciter and AeroScout tags.
In this figure the Exciter instructs the tag to append vendor-specific information in addition to the
vendor-specific Exciter ID to each tag transmission frame sent as a result of stimulation received from
the Exciter.
Figure 6-34
AeroScout Vendor-Specific Information Options
In Figure 6-34 we see the message “CISCO CCX” being defined to the Exciter as well as the complete
83 byte message transmitted by the tag when stimulated by the Exciter. This 83-byte message includes
the standard information regarding the MAC address of the stimulating Exciter as well as the vendor
specific information. Note that the text defined to the Exciter in the AeroScout System Manager is seen
transmitted by the tag at offset x0046 in the trace (you can see the ASCII text “CISCO CCX” shown at
the right in Figure 6-34). Every access point receiving this information will forward it to their registered
controller where a 160-byte LOCP Measurement Notification as well as a 148-byte LOCP Information
Notification will be sent to the location appliance. Although this information was hard-coded at the
Exciter, the Exciter could have just as easily instructed the tag to instead include telemetry data that it
retrieved from the asset (host) that it is attached to, such as embedded sensor data.
Keep in mind that results of our test observations obviously are, in this case, AeroScout specific, as other
vendors may or may not opt to allow the inclusion of vendor-specific information to the same degree.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
6-38
OL-11612-01
C H A P T E R
7
Caveats
This chapter provides the caveats discovered in lab testing.
CSCse14724—Degraded Location Accuracy with Monitor Mode
APs
Degraded accuracy has been observed in lab testing of monitor mode access points when compared to
local mode.
The use of Monitor Mode in location aware designs with software Release 4.1 is not recommended at
this time.
CSCsh88795—CCX S36 Beacon Measurement Request
Dual-Band Support
CCX S36 Beacon Request includes channels from the same band as association but not the other band.
This can affect the reliability of performing simultaneous calibration data collection on both bands when
using dual-band clients. The band currently associated will typically calibrate reliably, whereas the other
band does not experience the same degree of reliable probe-request generation that is brought about by
the use of unicast Radio Measurement Requests.
Workaround
It is recommended that calibration data collection be performed for each band individually at this time,
even when using dual-band clients. To accomplish this, use either of the following alternatives:
1.
Perform the calibration data collection on each band individually using a single laptop equipped
with a dual-band client adapter compatible with the Cisco Compatible Extensions specification for
WLAN devices specification at version 2 or higher, and capable of recognizing and responding to
S36 unicast radio measurement requests. An example of such a client is the Cisco Aironet
802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter (AIR-CB21AG). For example, proceed to disable the 5 GHz
band and complete the data collection using the 2.4 GHz band only. Then, disable the 2.4 GHz band
and enable the 5 GHz band, and proceed to repeat the data collection using the 5 GHz band only.
2.
Perform the calibration data collection using two operators and two independent laptops. Each
laptop should be equipped with a dual band client adapter compatible with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions specification for WLAN devices specification at version 2 or higher, and capable of
recognizing and responding to S36 unicast radio measurement requests. An example of such a client
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
7-1
Chapter 7
Caveats
CSCsi95122—WCS Does Not Dispatch Northbound Emails for Location Notifications
is the Cisco AIR-CB21AG. Each laptop should be associated to the infrastructure using a different
band. The two calibration data collection operators may function independently; there is no need for
them to visit each data point at the same time, or to even visit the same data points. In this way, a
complete calibration data collection can be performed across both bands in half the time as option
#1 above.
CSCsi95122—WCS Does Not Dispatch Northbound Emails for
Location Notifications
WCS does not send email notifications for any location notification alarm categories. Alarms for
location notifications appear on the alarm console, however email notifications do not get transmitted.
Workaround
Use email northbound notifications present in the Location Appliance instead of WCS with software
Release 4.1.
For additional caveats than those discussed above, refer to the following documents:
•
Release Notes for Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
3.0—http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Release Notes for the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS)
4.1—http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6305/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Release Note for Cisco WLAN Controllers and Lightweight Access Points
4.1—http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Release Notes for Cisco Aironet Access Points for Cisco IOS Release 12.3(11)JA1—
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/prod_release_notes_list.html
•
Cisco Bug Toolkit—http://www.cisco.com/pcgi-bin/Support/Bugtool/home.pl
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
7-2
OL-11612-01
A P P E N D I X
A
Determining Approximate Roots using Maxima
In the circle-circle intersection equations below:
•
d represents the inter-access point distance in feet
•
Obg represents the percentage of overlap desired for 802.11bg
•
Oa represents the percentage of overlap desired for 802.11a
•
R represents the cell radius in feet
Note that zero overlap occurs when the distance between the centers of the two circles is equal to twice the
radius (d = 2R). This relationship becomes invalid if d is allowed to exceed 2R, as an area of intersection
would be impossible to calculate. This is why the find_root function is limited to the closed interval from
d/2 to d.
wxMaxima 0.7.3a http://wxmaxima.sourceforge.net
Maxima 5.13.0 http://maxima.sourceforge.net
Using Lisp GNU Common Lisp (GCL) GCL 2.6.8 (aka GCL)
Distributed under the GNU Public License. See the file COPYING.
Dedicated to the memory of William Schelter.
(%i1) d:45.9;
(%o1) 45.9
(%i2) Obg:0.10;
(%o2) 0.1
(%i3) Oa:0.15;
(%o3) 0.15
(%i4) find_root(Obg*%pi*R^2=2*R^2*acos(d/(2*R))-(1/2*d*(sqrt(4*R^2-d^2))),R,d/2,d);
(%o4) 28.49573663945017
(%i5) find_root(Oa*%pi*R^2=2*R^2*acos(d/(2*R))-(1/2*d*(sqrt(4*R^2-d^2))),R,d/2,d);
(%o5) 30.87736860938116
Note
Maxima is not produced, marketed, sold, or supported by Cisco. Maxima is a publically available
computer algebra system (CAS) that has been released under the GNU Public License. Further details
regarding Maxima, its capabilities, and its use (including downloads for various operating systems) can
be found at the following URL http://maxima.sourceforge.net.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
A-1
Appendix A
Determining Approximate Roots using Maxima
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
A-2
OL-11612-01
A P P E N D I X
B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN
Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
The protocol analyzer trace in Figure B-1 provides important information with regard to how asset tags
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification are recognized and
distinguished from other tracked devices in the network. In this example, we use an AeroScout T2 asset
tag with firmware version 4.33. Assets tags that are supplied by other vendors that are also compliant
with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification can be expected to be recognized by
the Cisco UWN in a similar fashion.
Figure B-1 depicts the layer two multicast frame that is transmitted at the expiration of every tag
transmission interval for an AeroScout T2 asset tag configured for a basic set of operational parameters.
In Figure B-1, the tag configuration includes:
•
Periodic 60 second tag transmission interval across three channels (1, 6, 11)
•
Chokepoint out of range indication (indicated by the blue rectangle in Figure B-1)
•
Onboard motion and temperature detection sensors disabled
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
B-1
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
Figure B-1
RF Protocol Analysis of Tag Multicast Frame (Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tag Compliant)
This asset tag shown in Figure B-1 is not configured to transmit external sensor telemetry. In addition,
the RF frame also includes the following information:
•
Five byte Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags header (black rectangle)
•
Tag product type identification (yellow rectangle)
•
Optional battery telemetry (red rectangle)
•
Optional vendor specific information (green rectangles)
The length of the multicast frames is dependent upon the tag's configuration and the optional features
supported by the tag and tag vendor. In this case, the length of the multicast frame shown in Figure B-1
is 72 bytes. If additional features such as on-board temperature sensing were enabled, or if the tag were
transmitting a multicast message due to stimulation from a chokepoint trigger, the frame length would
be greater. For example, a typical length for tag multicasts transmitted as a result of stimulation from a
chokepoint trigger is 88 bytes. The added length in this case comes primarily from the inclusion of the
stimulating chokepoint trigger’s MAC address and additional vendor-specific information.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
B-2
OL-11612-01
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
The AeroScout T2 tag initiates Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) for 100 microseconds. If the channel
is clear, it then multicasts its payload at 1 Mbps. These frames are sent at 1 Mbps with the To Distribution
System (ToDS) and Exit From Distribution System (FromDS) bits in the 802.11 MAC header both set
to “1”. Note that the Wireless Distribution System (WDS) four-address frame format is being used,
indicated by the presence of the receiver and transmitter addresses in Figure B-1.
The transmitter address will always indicate the MAC address of the asset tag responsible for
transmitting the frame, whereas the receiver address is a multicast address used by all asset tags
compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification, regardless of vendor
origin. The destination and source addresses shown within the 802.11 MAC header are not used by the
Cisco UWN for asset tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification.
These are typically set to all zeroes, although vendor-specific usage of the destination address field by
tag vendors is possible, as we see with the AeroScout T2 tag shown in Figure B-1.
After the frame shown in Figure B-1 is received by access points, it will be transmitted to the
controller(s) to which these access points are registered using the LWAPP protocol, as shown in
Figure B-2. Here we see the IP source address associated with the receiving access point, and the IP
destination address associated with the AP Manager interface of the controller to which the receiving
access point is registered. When comparing the two figures, notice in Figure B-2 that Cisco Aironet
access points make two modifications to the frame information prior to dispatching to the controller via
LWAPP:
•
It copies the access point’s base radio MAC address (base BSSID) to the receiver address field in
the encapsulated 802.11 header.
•
It copies the CCX multicast address of 01:40:96:00:00:03 to the destination address field in the
encapsulated 802.11 header.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
B-3
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
Figure B-2
LWAPP Capture of Tag Multicast Frame (Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tag Compliant)
When the tag multicast address is recognized by the controller, the identity and type of sender is
established via the payload information contained in the frame. Depending on the type of information
contained within the tag payload, it will be passed to the location appliance using either traditional
SNMP poll responses or the new LOCP introduced in software Release 4.1.
Note the sequence number (1189) and fragment fields (0) that appear in both the RF as well as the
LWAPP frame analysis. This is an important piece of information that can be very useful when matching
packets that flow into access points via 802.11 and out of them via LWAPP. The sequence number for a
particular tag frame indicates the number of the tag message and is assigned from a single modulo 4096
counter starting at zero, and is incremented by 1 for each tag message cycle. The fragment number
specifies the specific frame within a burst of frames transmitted on a single channel. The fragment
number should always start from zero even if the burst length is zero. For a packet burst, the fragment
number should be set to n where n is the packet index within the burst starting from 0. For example, if a
tag is configured to transmit a burst of length 5, then the fragment number would start at 0 for the first
packet in the burst, 1 for the second packet and so on up to 4 for the last packet in the burst.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
B-4
OL-11612-01
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Detection
For example, assume that an asset tag is configured to send a burst length of 3 packets for each of
channels 1, 6, and 11. In the case of an AeroScout asset tag, the burst length is configured by using the
tag message repetitions transmission parameter. The expected fragment and sequence numbers would be
as shown in Table B-1.
Table B-1
Packet Fragment and Sequence Numbers
Packet Instance
Fragment Number
Sequence Number
Channel
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
2
2
0
1
3
0
0
6
4
1
0
6
5
2
0
6
6
0
0
11
7
1
0
11
8
2
0
11
Assume a second asset tag is configured to send a single message on each of channels 1, 6, and 11 every
60 seconds. The expected fragment and sequence numbers occurring over the next 120 seconds would
be as shown in Table B-2 to Table B-4.
Table B-2
Time+0
Packet Instance
Fragment Number
Sequence Number
Channel
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
6
2
0
0
11
Packet Instance
Fragment Number
Sequence Number
Channel
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
6
2
0
1
11
Table B-3
Table B-4
Time+60
Time+120
Packet Instance
Fragment Number
Sequence Number
Channel
0
0
2
1
1
0
2
6
2
0
2
11
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
B-5
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Not Detected
Asset Tags Not Detected
In situations where asset tags are not being detected properly despite configuration of the system in
accordance with best practices, re-verification of proper configuration should be performed. It is also
recommended that verification of proper asset tag RSSI detection and message forwarding be conducted.
The following steps are recommended to accomplish this:
Step 1
Verify if tag is properly detected by WLAN controllers by using the show rfid summary command:
(Controller) >show rfid summary
Total Number of RFID
: 12
-------------- -------- ------------------ ------ --------------------RFID ID
VENDOR
Closest AP
RSSI Time Since Last Heard
-------------- -------- ------------------ ------ --------------------00:0c:cc:5d:4c:5e Aerosct AP0014.6a1b.41f0
-34
24 seconds ago
00:12:b8:00:20:52 G2
AP001a.a10e.2ffa
-61
16 seconds ago
00:14:7e:00:30:a1 Pango
AP0014.6a1b.41f0
-65
2 seconds ago
If the controller does not detect the tag, use the command show rfid config to verify that RFID tag
detection has been enabled on the controller.
(Controller) >show rfid config
RFID Tag data Collection..... Enabled
RFID Tag Auto-Timeout........ Disabled
RFID timeout................ 1200 seconds
Step 2
If the RFID tag detection is not enabled, enable it using the command shown below. Note that starting
with the Cisco UWN software Release 4.1, RFID tag detection is enabled by default.
config rfid status enable
Step 3
Ensure that the RFID tag timeout is set to a recommended minimum of three times (and a recommended
maximum of eight times) the longest tag transmission interval found in the tag population, inclusive of
stationary as well as any “in-motion” tag transmission intervals. The valid range of values for this
parameter is 60 to 7200 seconds and the default value is 1200 seconds.
For example:
(Controller) >config rfid timeout 1200
Step 4
Check that the RSSI expiry timeout are set as follows:
(Controller) >show advanced location summary
Advanced Location Summary :
Algorithm used:
Average
Client RSSI expiry timeout:
150 sec, half life: 60 sec
Calibrating Client RSSI expiry timeout: 30 sec, half life: 0 sec
Rogue AP RSSI expiry timeout:
1200 sec, half life: 120 sec
RFID Tag RSSI expiry timeout:
1200 sec, half life: 120 sec
If the values are different from default as shown above, set them to default using the following
configuration commands:
config advanced location expiry {calibrating client | client | rogue-aps | tags }
<seconds>
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
B-6
OL-11612-01
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Asset Tags Not Detected
config advanced location rssi-half-life {calibrating client | client | rogue-aps | tags}
<seconds>
Step 5
If asset tags are still not detected by the controller using the show rfid summary command, enable the
following debugs on the controller:
debug mac addr <tag mac addr>
debug dot11 rfid enable
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Parsing Cisco Tag RFID packet 68
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d System group 51
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Battery group: status 0x42, days 0, age 0
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Chokepoint group, option 0x8, power 0, range 128
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Vendor group
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d LOCPBuffer 0x133245ec buffer 0x13324611 msgLen 37 msgId 18 transId
816848706
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Notifying LBS of vendor specific data
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d rfid Aerosct updated by AP 00:14:1B:59:41:F0 (Incoming rssi -47,snr 53),
New saved values rssi -48, snr 49, timestamp 3402186024
Note
It is recommended that the debug mac addr command be used when debugging in this fashion. This will
help avoid a flood of debug messages in environments where there are many tags active.
Step 6
If the debug command output indicates that packets from this asset tag are not received by the controller,
you may want to continue debugging on the console of an access point that is known to be within range
of the asset tag. In order to verify the detection of an RFID tag by an access point, perform the following
steps:
a.
Verify whether RFID tag detection has been enabled on the access point and the channel that the
access point is currently configured for. This can be done on the access point console using the
following command:
show controller Dot11Radio 0
<snipped capture>
Current Frequency: 2412 MHz
RFID Tag Detection: Enabled
Channel 1
If tag detection is found to be disabled on the access point, enable tag detection by issuing the
following command on the controller:
config rfid status enable
Note that some access point commands can also be executed remotely from the controller using the
access point remote debugging feature:
debug ap enable <Cisco AP>
debug ap command <command> <Cisco AP>
b.
If tag detection is enabled and the asset tag is configured to transmit on the channel the access point
is configured for, check to see that the access point is forwarding the tag multicast packet to the
controller by enabling the following debugs on the access point:
debug dot11 Dot11Radio 0 trace print mcast
Note
In software Release 4.1, in order for the output of the debug dot11 Dot11Radio 0 trace print
mcast command to be viewed, the command must be entered directly at the access point console.
It cannot be entered remotely from the controller.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
B-7
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Verifying Asset Tag Telemetry and Events
4A1F8FB0 r 1 60/ 38- 0803 000 m014096 5D33CF m61356B 6D00
000000 l73
0012 0606 0100 0200 3302 0742 0000 0000 0000 0302 0A03 0109 0000 8000
0CCC 6010 BF04 0800 0CCC 6E10 BF00 0000 019C 917C 00B8 F564 608F FD05 0000
– m014096—The 3 bytes following the letter “m” represents the first 3 bytes of the multicast
address used for asset tags compliant with the Cisco Compatible Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags
specification.
– 5D33CF—This represents the last 3 bytes of the asset tag’s MAC address.
If you would like to view the multicast address and tag MAC address in their unabbreviated format,
issue the command no debug dot11 Dot11Radio 0 print short command at the access point
console.
If information similar to that shown above is seen on the debug output, it indicates that the access
point is receiving and forwarding asset tag packets to the controller. If the controller still does not
show the asset tag packets being received, use an ethernet protocol analyzer capable of decoding
LWAPP encapsulated 802.11 frames (such as WireShark or OmniPeek) on the LWAPP ethernet
connection between the access point and controller to verify that the asset tag packets are indeed
reaching the controller. The format of these packets should similar to that shown in Figure B-2. If
these packets are seen on the protocol analyzer trace and the controller still does not indicate that
asset tag packets are successfully received, capture all the details collected so far including the
protocol analyzer traces and contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center for further debugging
assistance.
c.
If the tag multicast messages are not seen in the access point debug output, use an RF protocol
analyzer such as OmniPeek or WireShark to verify that asset tags are indeed successfully
transmitting packets in the format expected on all three 2.4 GHz channels (or the channels that your
infrastructure is configured for) as seen in Figure B-1. If the proper frame formats are not seen on
the protocol analyzer trace, this should be addressed via the asset tag configuration or by replacing
the asset tag if necessary, especially if the asset tag firmware is out of date. If the proper frames are
seen on the RF protocol analyzer, attempt to reset tag detection in the controller by issuing the
following commands:
config rfid status disable
config rfid status enable
If the issue continues to persist despite these suggestions, it is recommended that you capture all the
details collected so far including the protocol analyzer traces and contact the Cisco Technical
Assistance Center for further debugging assistance.
Verifying Asset Tag Telemetry and Events
In order to verify that WLAN controllers are detecting asset tag telemetry and high-priority events, and
forwarding that information to the location appliance using LOCP, the following procedure may be used:
Step 1
Make sure that the asset tag is detected by the WLAN controller using the procedure outlined in the
previous section.
Step 2
Verify that the telemetry or high-priority “emergency” event information you are concerned with has
been recorded in the RFID database on the controller:
show rfid detail <tag mac addr>
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
B-8
OL-11612-01
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Verifying Asset Tag Telemetry and Events
For example, the following output snippet illustrates that indication of a panic button being depressed
on an asset tag has been received, along with vendor specific data pertaining to the event:
<snip>
Telemetry Group
===================
Motion Probability...............................
No Motion
!! EMERGENCY !!
===================
Reason...........................................
Panic Button
Vendor Specific
===================
Group Length.....................................
Vendor OUI:......................................
Vendor Data: 0x6e 0x13 0xa3 0x0 0x0
Step 3
8
0x0
0xc
0xcc
If the notification is not seen above in the controller’s RFID database, enable the following debugs on
the controller to validate that it is receiving the notifications.:
debug mac addr <tag mac addr>
debug dot11 rfid enable
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Parsing Cisco Tag RFID packet 62
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d System group 51
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Battery group: status 0x42, days 0, age 0
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Chokepoint group, option 0x8, power 0, range 128
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Emergency group
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d LOCP Buffer 0x133245ec buffer 0x1332460a msgLen 30 msgId 18 transId
808989330
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d Notifying LBS of emergency
00:0c:cc:5e:82:8d rfid Aerosct updated by AP 00:14:1B:59:41:F0 (Incoming rssi -49,snr 50),
New saved values rssi -48, snr 49, timestamp 3444175997
Step 4
If output similar to that above is not seen, use an RF protocol analyzer to capture the packets being
transmitted by the tag during the send of telemetry or high priority events to verify that data is being
transmitted in the correct format. You will need the assistance of the Cisco Technical Assistance Center
to confirm this. If the packets that the tag transmits over the air are deemed by the Cisco TAC not to be
valid, verify that the level of firmware being used in the asset tag is compliant with the Cisco Compatible
Extensions for Wi-Fi Tags specification and that it supports the telemetry or high-priority functions
desired.
Step 5
If the telemetry or high-priority events are seen in the controller's RFID database, check to see if they
are being sent to the location appliance (look for Notifying LBS of emergency) in the output above.
Issue the following command to verify that the LOCP connection between the controller and the location
appliance is up and functioning.
(Cisco Controller) >show LOCP status
LocServer IP
-------------10.1.56.21
TxEchoResp
----------5300
RxEchoReq
--------5300
TxData
-------83597
RxData
------441
Normally, if the LOCP connection is up and running properly, you should see the echo counts regularly
increment (based on the settings of the echo interval in the location appliance). In addition, as
emergencies and telemetry events occur that require transport via LOCP, you will see the data fields
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
OL-11612-01
B-9
Appendix B
Verifying Detection of Asset Tags in WLAN Controllers
Verifying Asset Tag Telemetry and Events
increment as well. If a controller is rebooted and repeatedly fails to establish a connection to the location
appliance, you will fail to see an IP address listed for the location appliance, and the Tx / Rx counts will
be blank.
If the TxData fields fail to increment in spite of known emergencies and telemetry data being sent by
tags, verify that the LOCP send to the location appliance is successful using the following debug
command:
debug LOCP event enable
The output should look similar to the following:
LOCP TX message
Sending LOCP_APP_INFO_NOTIF_MSG to LocServer 0
Tx OK
If messages are received indicating that there are LOCP failures, contact the Cisco Technical Assistance
Center for further troubleshooting assistance.
Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide
B-10
OL-11612-01
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement