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Cisco Employee

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers to help with your adoption of Cisco DNA Center Wireless. Subscribe (how-toto this post to stay up-to-date with the latest Q&A and recommended Ask the Experts (ATXs) sessions to attend.


Q. What is Rolling AP Upgrade?

A. Cisco 9800 supports rolling out critical AP bug fixes using an AP Service pack (APSP). To activate the new AP images, APs need to be upgraded to the new image. Cisco 9800 supports doing this in a staggered fashion. The idea here is to upgrade access points in a wireless network in a staggered manner such that an appropriate number of APs are always up and running in the network and providing RF coverage to clients. This is referred to as “Rolling AP Upgrade”.


Q. What is the “Wi-Fi 6 readiness dashboard?”

A. This is a dashboard in the assurance menu of Cisco DNA Center. It will look through the inventory of all devices on the network and verify device, software, and client compatibility for the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. Do your wireless LAN controllers support Wi-Fi 6? Do they have the latest software image? How many Wi-Fi clients on your network are Wi-Fi 6 compatible? As you start to upgrade your access points, what locations are best served by an upgrade? Then, after upgrading, advanced wireless analytics will indicate performance and capacity gains as a result of the Wi-Fi 6 deployment. This is an incredible tool that will help your team define where and how the wireless network should be upgraded. It will also give you insights into the AP distribution by protocol (802.11 ac/n/abg), wireless airtime efficiency by protocol, and granular performance metrics.


Q.  How does Cisco DNA Center work with but differ from other network management systems?

A. Cisco DNA Center is a powerful intent-based networking controller that allows companies to maximize their investment in Cisco Catalyst software-defined devices. It truly provides a single-pane-of-glass control for your enterprise network, saving your team from mundane configurations and troubleshooting, while maximizing network user experience and security. It combines basic network management functions with integrations with Cisco ISE, Cisco Secure Network Analytics (formerly Stealthwatch), Cisco Umbrella, and Cisco Meraki ®, so that organizations can benefit from the single management of multiple software solutions and cross-domain integrations.

Recommended ATXs - Getting Started: Cisco DNA Center


Q.  Is a software subscription license mandatory for wireless? What options are available to customers?

A.  Any access point connecting to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers and/or Cisco DNA Center requires a Cisco DNA Software subscription. Customers also have the option on Wi-Fi 6 (9130-9105) to deploy the embedded wireless controller (EWC), which has no license or fees. When ordering, customers can opt out of Cisco DNA licensing if they plan to use EWC.

Recommended ATXs - Use Case Overview and Planning: Cisco DNA Assurance


Q.  What is AI-enhanced Radio Resource Management?

A. Everyday enterprises rely on Cisco's Radio Resource Management (RRM) to successfully optimize their wireless networks for the best performance, coverage, and capacity. By integrating more than a decade of RRM expertise, heuristics, and modern data models, AI-enhanced RRM delivers adaptive parameter optimization for the wireless network, ensuring the network is always performing at its best. Customers can access up to 14 days of historical trends and get greater insights into the performance of configurations, wireless settings, and coverage for radios and access points. The dashboard monitors KPIs such as RRM performance changes, co-channel interference, RF coverage, spatial density, and power distribution. AI-enhanced RRM makes configuration recommendations that improve the performance, coverage, and capacity of the Wi-Fi network, eliminates the need for time-consuming RF tuning, and allows management of all sites and RF locations in one place.

The AI RRM simulator enables the user to get a preview of the impact of RRM changes. When insights recommend RRM setting changes, or when the user plans change to settings such as channel, channel width, and power, that user will be able to:

  •       Simulate how the RF environment will respond to recommended changes
  •       Analyze the impact of potential changes during a particular time interval
  •       View the proposed changes measured in quantified stats, including RRM health, co-channel interference, utilization, and RRM changes


Q.  What is a Cisco Wireless Active Sensor?

A. This is a compact network hardware device that is the size of a smartphone designed to monitor your wired or wireless network. This device connects anywhere to your network and constantly monitors the wired and wireless connectivity. Cisco DNA Center includes location-based sensor heatmaps for each sensor, to quickly identify failed tests and potential network issues. The device simulates real-world client experiences to validate wireless performance for critical venues and high-value locations such as conference halls and meeting rooms. It is also very useful in remote branches where local IT staff are not located.

Recommended ATXs - Advanced Feature Overview: AI Network Analytics


Q. What is True Trace?

A. Captures live traffic on devices for path analysis. Cisco DNA Center’s True Trace extends the current path trace capability and provides KPIs for each hop, granular reasons for path degradation, and downloadable packet capture files. These deep insights enable faster troubleshooting in enterprise deployments and lead to operational savings.


Q. What is new with the Cisco DNA Center 2.2.3 version for Wireless?

A. Wireless coverage issues can be challenging to identify and locate. Currently wireless maps do not give a true representation of Wi-Fi signal propagation through actual obstacles, building materials and architectural designs. A new way to visualize your Wi-Fi network is the Wireless 3D analyzer, available in the Cisco DNA Advantage tier. Cisco DNA Center now includes a ground-breaking wireless 3D analyzer which considers granular analysis of millions of spatial RF data points and provides the ability to automatically visualize, identify, locate and alert visualize RF characteristics. Watch a short demo to learn more.

We’ve also improved our Cisco AI Network Analytics offer. New baseline analytics features allow customer to zoom in problematic sites and identify access points that causes Wi-Fi onboarding issues.

Improve your wireless networking by using Ekahau’s wireless planning tools to determine the positioning of your access points to get the best coverage. Using Ekahau tools integration into the Cisco DNA Center make wireless management easier than ever before and streamlining the design process for additional time savings.

For a comprehensive list of Wireless features, please see the feature matrix.

Recommended ATXs - Product Overview and Business Value: What’s New in Cisco DNA Center Version 2.2.3



Looking for more resources? Access the latest guides, recordings, other FAQs and more via Cisco DNA Center ATXs Resources. 

Want to learn more and get real-time Cisco expert advice? Through live Q&A and solution demos, Ask the Experts (ATXs) real-time sessions help you tackle deployment hurdles and learn advanced tips to maximize your use of Cisco technology. View and register for the upcoming Ask the Experts (ATXs) sessions today. [Pro tip: Subscribe to the event listing for new session updates.]

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