Notes on IT (mainly Microsoft)

Archive for September 2012

Technology Roadmaps in IT (Infrastructure)

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Technology Roadmapping is concerned with mapping goals to specific technologies and as such is about the timeline for the goals (or market spaces) as matching the lifecycle of the technology.

The wikipedia article references the Sandia Labs paper which seems to be the defining reference in this area and these cover generic technology roadmapping as might be used by a manufacturer to plan product lines for technology products.

In IT services one might start with a high-level strategic plan (almost technology independent roadmap) as here or here.

In IT services the technology underlies the service and so roadmaps are critical documents for showing AS-IS to TO BE matched to goal, budget, vendor and technology timelines. A possible approach (a commercial offering but with quite a bit of detail on the approach) for developing such a roadmap is here.

In looking for specific examples relating to roadmapping for IT infrastructure I have found very few over the years, one I found recently and particularly like for an IT infrastructure area (Data Center) technology roadmap is the one used at MIT, their IT Roadmaps are here and the specific example is here. If you know of other examples in IT infrastructure please leave a comment.

Microsoft Windows 8 and Cisco Wireless LAN Controller incompatibility

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During the Windows 8 beta and preview program, a colleague and I did some detailed testing of new features in Windows 8 wireless networking particularly around the new EAP-TTLS support. We found some issues which Microsoft fixed, however  one problem we found, unrelated to EAP-TTLS, was with certain Broadcom wireless NICs failing to connect to our Cisco wireless network (Lightweight APs with central wireless LAN controllers CUWN). We filed a bug and provided detailed debugging but were disappointed to find the issue still present in Windows 8 RTM. It now seems to be the case that the issue was not with the Broadcom wireless NICs per se, but with the fact that the Broadcom drivers in Windows 8 are Windows 8 logo certified and implement 802.11w (Management Frame Protection) and that it transpires that Cisco wireless LAN controller software has problems in this area, an 802.11w-capable client cannot connect to an SSID on Cisco (controller-based) CUWN using WPA or WPA2 key management with AES encryption, see here for an explanation from Cisco and their official announcement here.

See this //Build conference presentation for Windows 8 wireless networking and particularly the Appendix of the slide deck for more 802.11w in Windows 8 logo certification.

UPDATE: There are now versions of the 7.0, 7.2 and (new) 7.3 cisco software trains that have fixes for the bug (CSCua29504).

UPDATE: A KB article from Microsoft covering this problem is here.

UPDATE: Having now seen a number of Windows 8 clients connected to Cisco wireless networks running controller software that fixes the 802.11w issue, we have found some clients running Broadcom wireless NICs that have very degraded performance. One such example was a Samsung netbook that had been upgraded to Windows 8 and was using the BCMWL63.SYS driver dated 13/03/2012 version; downgrading the driver to the Windows 7 version (BCMWL664.SYS version greatly improved performance. The downlevel driver was obtained from the Samsung support page for the netbook.

Written by adamsync

September 5, 2012 at 23:28