RUCKCast #64: Insights Into IoT

January 26, 2023 Ruckus Networks Season 3 Episode 4
RUCKCast #64: Insights Into IoT
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RUCKCast #64: Insights Into IoT
Jan 26, 2023 Season 3 Episode 4
Ruckus Networks

In our latest episode, we take a bite out of the Internet of Things, discussing vRIoT servers, the oh-so-important Ruckus IoT Insights, and some really neat real-world applications for this increasingly popular technology.

You can read the blog about this subject here

Intro music by Alex Grohl, available here:

Show Notes Transcript

In our latest episode, we take a bite out of the Internet of Things, discussing vRIoT servers, the oh-so-important Ruckus IoT Insights, and some really neat real-world applications for this increasingly popular technology.

You can read the blog about this subject here

Intro music by Alex Grohl, available here:

Episode 64 - Insights into IoT

John Deegan: Just like that. We are back for another episode of the RUCKCast. I had to remember which show we're recording. So good morning, Jim. 

Jim Palmer: Morning John. 

John Deegan: How are you, sir? 

Jim Palmer: I'm all right. How are you doing? 

John Deegan: Oh, all things considered. I'm alive, so I'll take it.

Jim Palmer: All right. What do you wanna talk about today? 

John Deegan: Oh, I, I think there's this, this IoT story that I saw from a, a, a guy named Jim Palmer. And I thought you might know him, figured we could talk about him a little bit. Nothing but good stuff. But let's, let's talk about IoT and how it ties into RUCKUS a little bit, if you will.

Jim Palmer: Yeah, no problem. And for those of you be wondering, John's referring to a blog that I'm actually working on. We haven't published it yet, so this will actually, the podcast will be published before the blog is. So we're, we're gonna talk about something that you can't read just yet, which I know surprises everybody.

But you know, it was, it was, it's all about a story I have with my neighbor across the street and so, I'm all about, I'm all about stories in my personal life that I ended up tying back into IT. So my neighbor across the street has built a smart home, if you will, and he, the big thing that he was bragging to me about one day when we were, you know, doing like neighbors do, especially, you know, nerdy neighbors.

We sit around and we were talking and he was like, I can, I can say, you know, the name of my voice assistant, which I'm not gonna advertise. And he is like, I can simply say that and then say goodnight. He goes, when I go to bed each night and he goes, and my smart home will turn off the lights, it'll lock the front door, it'll make sure the garage door's closed and it'll set my thermostat for my nighttime setting.

And I was like, Hey, that's kind of cool. So I thought, huh, I should do that too, cuz I'm a nerd. And at some point in time, every IT nerd has to dabble in the smart home IoT stuff. And so I, I did that and I went and I found a commercial hub and I had my little voice assistant set up and I, and I, and I got, I got a little sensor, went and got a little $15 $20 sensor.

I put it on my back door and, and it was, and it was pretty cool. It worked. I got it set up in just a couple of minutes. I'd open the back door and it would play a little announcement and it says, oh, the back door is open. And then I'd close the back door and go, oh, the back door's closed. And I was like, Hey, this is kind of cool.

Except I wanted to know is my back door open or closed when I'm sitting in my office? And so I was sitting in my office and I said, Hey, back door. Or hey, voice assistant is my back door open. And it came back and it said, it said that's not supported. Or, you know, is it the network isn't there? Or, you know, and I was like, man, what, what is going on?

And so I so I went, checked my back door and sure enough opened the door. Wait a second or two, get the little notification ding on my speaker. Oh, the back door is open. Okay. Then I close it, back door's closed. I was like, okay, that's all working. So I was like, maybe I'm doing something wrong, cuz I really, you know, my back door's kind of central to my house.

And so it's pretty simple to know if it's open or closed. And so, I was like, I was like, this is really weird. I was like, I just, I was like, I with the kid and the dog and everybody, it's like the back door, especially in the summertime, is always opening and closing. And my biggest thing is I'm like, I don't want to air condition or heat the outside.

So you know, is my back door closed or is my back door open? So I go across the street to my neighbor and I'm like, his name's, his name's Walt. And I'm like, Hey Walt. I was like, Does your smart home tell you? I was like, can you find out if your back door, if your door's open or closed, or you know, some stuff like that.

And he is like, he's like, well, I can see my front door. And I said, that's not what I asked Walt. I said, what if you're upstairs? And he goes, oh, I can't see my front door. And I said, well, is it open or closed? And he's like, I don't know man. And so he You know, so he is like, I gotta go test this. So he goes and test it and he comes back and he goes, he goes, I can't find out if my front door is open or closed or not.

And I was like, I was like, how do we have smart homes that lack monitoring? I was like, I don't want to close my front door or close my back door. I mean, that's actuators and motors and stuff. I don't wanna be that fancy. I'm not, I'm not there. It's not the Jetsons yet. But I was like, I'd really like to know when I'm sitting in my office.

If, you know, the kid let the, let the dog out and then forgot to close the back door. And I was like, and it didn't work. And I was shocked. And it was funny because after talking to my, after talking to Walt, Walt was like, well, damn, now I want this too. He's like, I want my, if my kids left the doors open or closed.

And he goes, but I can't. He's like, he's like, man. And so both Walt and I were stumped and so that's where this all came from, was. You know me, me wanting to know if I was air conditioning the outside. Cuz let's face it, I'm an old dad. Right. You know, I mean, I don't want to, I don't want to air condition the, the outside.

I don't want to leave all my lights on. I'm, I'm that dad. So that's where this whole thing came from. 

John Deegan: Nice. That mean, I think everybody, and I'm not gonna say it either cuz I've got one sitting at my desk and I know one trigger, but everybody's got, 

Jim Palmer: So do I! 

John Deegan: Yeah. You know, so, so you don't wanna trigger it. I, I, I feel like somebody did a podcast like that where they mentioned it and everybody's went off.

But, so while they have an ecosystem, so do we, and, and by we, I mean RUCKUS and then not an ecosystem, but more of a, what would you call it? A management overlay. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah. 

You know, and this is, this is where it got interesting for me, right? Because I was like, I was like, You know, I was like, I was really sad for a couple of hours.

I was like, man, I was like, I'm really sad cause it worked well and it, and it's ZigBee, right? Just, we'll, we'll get that out there. I got some ZigBee sensors. I actually have two of 'em sitting on my desk and I was so disappointed. I actually went and got a second ZigBee sensor cause I was like, maybe I just cheaped out and, you know, because I went with the, the 15, $20 sensor.

I was like, maybe I can get a more expensive sensor. So I actually have, I have another little sensor that I'm holding up. It's actually kind of nice. It's a little one, right? And I was like, I was like, and oh, and it's like a multipurpose sensor too, so it does like temperature and, and couple other things I haven't figured out.

I just want to know is my back door open or closed? And And so I went and got another, went. Same problem. And so I was like, man, what is going on? And then it dawned on me, cuz you know I'm smart, but sometimes I can especially IT guys, we, we get so fixated on things that we forget, like stuff that's staring us in the face.

And I went, wait a second. I was like, I have a Wi-Fi. RUCKUS Wi-Fi network in my house and it's all Wi-Fi 6 at this point. I finally got it upgraded to Wi-Fi 6, thanks to some horse trading and some other friendly people who've helped me out with that. And and I was like, each one of our RUCKUS APs that I have in my house and I have three different models, I don't need 'em, I just like playing with 'em.

But they all have IoT on board and I was like, and one day I was, so I'm sitting there and I'm staring at my AP that's hanging in my living room and I was like, wait a second. I was like, these things have IoT on, on board. I was like, what does that mean? Because I'd never played with it. And so I started delving into the i, the RUCKUS IoT story and I was like, and after playing with it for a while, I was like, wow.

I was like, this is actually kind of cool. So I, I think we do have an ecosystem for IoT. You know, you said you weren't sure if you'd call it an, an ecosystem. I would. But what the one thing that I quickly discovered is I. It's not for home use. So oddly enough though, and I'll, I'll get back to Walt.

There is a part of the RUCKUS IoT solution that my buddy Walt across the street now wants for his house. And we'll get to that here in a little bit, but But that's where it all started from is I was like, let me delve, let me, let me actually take a look at it and and let's, let me figure out what is the RUCKUS IoT story and what can we do?

And like I said, the one thing that I realized very, very early on was we lack the voice interface that, you know, most consumer stuff has. And I, and I was a little sad for a little bit until I realized well, But while there's people that use RUCKUS at their house, it's not built for people to use at their house.

You know, it's, I, I know a lot of people that use it, but I mean, how many people do you know outside of IT, people that run a enterprise class or enterprise enterprise grade Wi-Fi system at their home? 

John Deegan: I know many. 

Jim Palmer: I mean, I know we've both done it, but. Of course we're hosting a Wi-Fi podcast, so that makes sense.

But like none of my neighbors do. And so I was thinking about 

John Deegan: No, that's true. 

Jim Palmer: But if you 

John Deegan: Go ahead. 

Jim Palmer: But if you have an organization and you have. 15, 20 APs and you have, let's say you have that many doors or maybe, maybe you got 40 doors, you got twice as many doors and you got windows and you got sensors.

All of a sudden it's like if every single time you open a door or a window, a little voice announcement popped up on the speaker sitting on our desk that said, Hey, door 301 is open. How annoying would that be with 50 doors? 

John Deegan: Yeah, probably pretty annoying. 

Jim Palmer: So I quickly realized that, well, it's not great for home use because my wife can't do any of this stuff.

It's not what it was designed for. So I quickly got over not having that aspect in the, in our, in the RUCKUS IoT solution. 

John Deegan: And, and the nice thing about it right, is, you know, okay, yeah, you lose the voice assistant, which. And depending on how you look at it, is a nice thing or not. We use it mostly around like Christmas, honestly.

We have it set to turn on the lights and mm-hmm. So we don't have like, reach behind the tree, but, you know, otherwise it's we don't use it a lot. I don't do a whole lot of the smart home stuff. But then the nice thing is to your point, you know, our, our solution is kind of. Focused I mean, it can, it can work anywhere.

Obviously if you put it on RUCKUS ap, you've got an IoT radio in pretty much all the models I think that are current at this point. And if you don't have an IoT radio, we've got USB ports on all the APs and it's an easy way to fix it. But, you know, it's definitely focused at not the, the home IT mega nerds like us, but rather the.

You know, the MDU, the hospitality space, those kinds of verticals where we have a lot of traction both in, you know, AP deployments, but, you know, what are they looking to do in terms of, like you said, door locks environmental sensors, you know, hot, cold, leak sensors, things like that. I know I've, I've got some customers that I've talked to or, or, or heard about where they're using it to, to know when apartments are vacant, to make sure that, you know, when the last cleaning crew leaves, the lights go off and the, you know, the thermostat gets set down to, you know, whatever, 55 degrees.

So they're not heating an apartment that they don't have a renter for, you know, because at the end of the day, until that's rented again, that's the, the landlord's cost. And, you know, if you're in a, a freezing cold climate, And you're heating an apartment for a couple months. I mean, it adds up. And especially if you got properties like hundreds of properties, it adds up pretty quick.

So there's definitely a benefit there, but, That's, that's kind of my exposure to it. I can see the, the value, I like the idea of it. I mean, I think, you know, I'm a nerd. I would love to have some sensors around the house to know when doors are left open or, you know if we've got a leak or a, a flood or something going on.

Cuz we've had all those problems before and it's, it's one of those where if you've got this sensor out there that can tell you and for us, I think it would be like a notification on your phone. I think it would be something going off, I think but maybe in a little bit more than I do. 

Jim Palmer: So the other vertical you didn't talk about is like education and K-12.

We have a, we have a partnership with a company called Soder and they do vape detectors. And a lot of our K-12 customers will use this vape detector and they'll put it in the bathroom and. There's part of the r you know, so with the, the RUCKUS IoT solution, you have the APs that have the radios. And I've been playing around with this a lot ever since.

You know, I was like, Hey, is my back door open? And I was like, man, I can't tell if that my back. And so, I've been playing around with this, and it's, you have the APs and then the next step in the process is what's known as the RUCKUS IoT controller, and it's a virtual thing, so it's actually, we, we refer to it internally and I think in it's a lot, some of our marketing stuff is vRIoT, the virtual RUCKUS i o t, and it's the vRIoT controller.

And this controller is to your IoT network. What the wlan controllers, you know, cloud and Smart Zone are to your Wi-Fi network. And so you spin up this virtual RUCKUS IoT controller, the vRIoT, and that allows it, it, it gives you a dashboard and it gives you a lot of cool information about your IoT network.

But. It's, it's, it's cool for managing and running it, but it, it's actually missing a piece. And I covered this in the blog, you know, where I'm like, Hey, here's the, here's the vRIoT. This is how you do it. But one of the things that it does is it actually allows IT organizations to help secure their IoT network because it actually gives you an inventory of, Hey, what IoT devices are on my network, you know, and.

Security people are always like, well, who's talking? You know, who's on the network? What's the inventory? We want to know, and vRIoT gives us that, that ability. I can go look and I can say, Hey, here is this con, you know, this sensor here is this, you know, detector, this is a motion detector, a vape detector, or something like that.

But it's, it's sort of missing a piece of it. And so while we do that there, there's a third piece, and this is the thing that intrigues me the most because I don't feel like we talk about it enough, is another virtual server called IoT Insights and IoT Insights is actually where I was like, wow, this is really cool because it then brings that IoT solution full picture in a way that I don't know I've seen from any other vendor. 

This allows us to do the really cool things where we, we can actually map out on floor plans where our IoT sensors are and we can see the status of them, and then it'll play, if you have multiple floors, you can set it to play through a loop, so you can throw it up on a SOC screen or a NOC screen or something like that, and it'll actually.

When the back door opens, the sensor changes and it lists it on on a, on a list on the right hand side of the image that says, Hey, the back door's open. And I was like, wow, this is, yeah. So this gives me a visual representation of what's happening. And it also then allows me the last little piece that we take advantage of the, our K-12 customers take advantage of is when the vape detector detects that somebody's been vaping in the bathroom.

Cuz that's their favorite place to do it. I mean, I think there was a song in the eighties or nineties called Smoking in the Boys Room. 

John Deegan: Mm-hmm. 

Jim Palmer: You know, I mean, well, the, well it might not, might not be smoking anymore, it's vaping and it's always in the restrooms. Right now you can't put a camera in the restroom, but what they figured out is you can put a camera right outside the restroom.

So when the vape detector detects, if somebody's vaping, it triggers a camera to record who's coming out of the restroom. And so at that point they can go, well, they don't know exactly who was doing it. They know who to go ask. And all of that is done in the IoT Insights side, and we have. I didn't realize this, but we have a ton of different it's called the Insight Marketplace.

We have a ton of different types of integrations that allow you to trigger video cameras that allows you to do if this, then that the IFTTT stuff, we can send text messages, we can send emails. This is where all that comes in is that's the integration piece. And it's, and, and like I said, the map part's pretty cool because you can put in a map and then you drop, basically like you drop Wi-Fi access points on a map.

You drop your IoT stuff on a map and say, here's this, this, here's this, this. And then when you stare at the screen, you, you look at your big, you throw it up on a big screen and a NOC, and you go, oh, here's the floor plan. And I can look at this floor plan for 10 seconds or 30 seconds, whatever you want to configure, and it'll show you the status of all of your IoT stuff.

And then, and then it'll rotate to the next floor and rotate to the next floor. And it'll tell you like, Hey, is the battery low in my sensor? Now the vape detector sensor is cabled into a switch, so we don't have to worry about batteries there. But some of these other sensors, there's batteries. I was pretty cool.

It was pretty cool cause I was playing with it and I kept op, you know, opening and closing my back door. My, my battery prematurely died in my back door sensor. And so I was looking at it and I was like, oh. Then I got this alert on my IoT Insights that said, Hey, the back door sensor battery is low. You need to go change it.

And I was like, visibility. I mean, how many. You know, times, have you heard about visibility into the network? I need visibility into the network. 

John Deegan: That's key. I mean, it's big deal. It's a big deal. And I was, you know, I remember in a past life, not quite the same exact use case, but you mentioned the batteries, right?

And that's, you know, a big deal. And I had a, a previous employer at a very large outdoor deployment. And they were doing, like, they wanted to put BLE out and the sensors that they were putting out and everything that was, it was all beacons. Everything was battery powered, but there was no visibility to it.

Jim Palmer: Mm-hmm. 

John Deegan: So they just knew there was like, literally they had like a guy that they hired twice a year to go change batteries. 

Jim Palmer: Whether they needed 'em or not. 

John Deegan: Yeah. Exactly. And so, you know, you, you get anything like that that you can. Change that. And you can see the visibility because, I mean, is it the, I mean, let, let's be honest, right?

They're cheap sensors for the most part. Yes, some of 'em are a little bit more expensive, but you know, anybody can go on, you know, any preferred common internet marketplace, not gonna plug anybody cuz we're not sponsored. And go buy one for anywhere, 5, 10, 15, 20 bucks and you can spend more. But they're cheap at the, the end of the day and they're battery powered.

So. Does it die? Does the battery run out? Is the sensor flaky? But to have any visibility on it and to know. Assuming you placed it on your map correctly, where it is that's giving you the problem is good. And then obviously the other side of the coin is if it's working correctly and it shows you where something's happening, that's also good.

It's giving you the visibility that you didn't previously have. So I can see like, like you said, M D U hospitality education, you know, you, whether it's a college campus or a high school campus. I mean, the applications here are pretty, you know. Cool. And I know going back to. About a year ago, you and I were talking about doing a a, a really, you know, a deep dive on how we could stand this up, and I think the Insights part was the piece we were missing at the time.

Getting that visibility and then siloing it cuz that's the other nice thing. I believe this is the piece. And if it's not the piece, I know there is a piece where, you know, if you're talking MDU and for those who don't speak, the parlance M D U, multi-dwelling unit. So hotels would be hospitality. M D U would be a apartments, condos in some case, high-end resident housing for colleges, dorms, things like that.

But everybody wants a smart home. Not everybody has a home. They might have a condo, they might have an apartment, but it's, it's their smart home. And so the, and I, if I got it wrong, let me know. I apologize, but I, I think it's Insights and if it's not Insights, we do have a, a, a tool that overlays that did a, you know, if I have an apartment, you have an apartment and RUCKUS owns the apartment building.

RUCKUS has the admin view and can see all the sensors going off that are theirs. But we have the ability to add sensors to that network because we've got RUCKUS access points in our apartments because they were provided part of the, you know, part of the lease agreement. But we can add our own sensors to our own home so that I can have a smart thermostat and I can have a, you know, a drip sensor to make sure I didn't leave the water running or, or whatever. 

And RUCKUS doesn't necessarily get to see that as the landlord, and you don't get to see it as my neighbor, but they're all running on the same backbone IoT infrastructure, which is pretty cool. 

Jim Palmer: It, and it is Insights. And there's a, what it does is it, it allows you to segment out the building to where you can say, and it's, it's almost like you know, a.

What am I, there's a term for it, but it's, it allows you to, to segment it out to where Yeah. You know, you can segment that off and you can segment that down and say, you can see your apartment, I can see my apartment. The other cool thing that allows us to do is within the, the IoT controller is we can actually assign VLANs, so we can actually take the IoT network and we can assign it to vlan.

Now, in a, in a. Education environment or somewhere where you're, you're running the entire building and you have that visibility, you own that, then you go, Hey, I'm gonna segment off all my traffic, all my IoT traffic, and I'm gonna put it into its own vlan. And then you can overlay that with, with tunnels or other type of You know, protocols in order to kind of keep that segmented to where you can't bust out and get into, you know, your data center VLANs and go, go hack your, your customer lists and stuff like that.

There's a, there's actually a famous story behind, behind that where a, a casino got breached through the the front desk fish tank heater. 

John Deegan: Hmm. 

Jim Palmer: They put in a brand new fish tank and a and a fish tank heater, and they wanted to make it smart so they could automatically adjust and monitor the temperature of the fish tank so that they could keep their fish, which is expensive and there's a lot of money in that alive, except there was a vulnerability within the IoT device, but because of the way they deployed it on their network.

Hackers were able to get in and they were able to steal the entire like database of the casino and they, and they got it out through the fish tank heater and they picked up on it when they realized that the fish tank heater was using like video protocols to send a crap ton of data to Europe. And this was in, this was in the US and so it was like, why is my fish tank heater sending gigabytes of data to Europe?

And they went, that's probably a problem. And then that's how they figured it out. And so, but by able to, you know, the AP says, this is IoT, this is coming in through my IoT radios. I'm gonna drop it onto a specific vlan and it can be a different vlan from your Wi-Fi traffic, or in the case of MDU, you put it on the same vlan as your IoT traffic or use your Wi-Fi traffic so that, the people in that apartment, in that condo, in that whatever, now have their own network.

Now, in a disclaimer, and I actually been watching some emails about this over the past. week or so, which is what has triggered my blog post, is we're still working on the ability if you have more than one or more than one apartment or dorm or whatever per AP. So IoT stuff gets dropped on one VLAN today. 

In the future the plan is to be able to do that differently so that we can end up with the micro segmentation and be able to, and, and do that a little bit more efficiently. So, bold disclaimer. Don't go out, you know, if you have one AP serving three dorm rooms and each one of 'em has their own SSID or they're put on their own vxlan the IoT stuff isn't quite there yet, but the IoT Insights is the one you're thinking of that we do have that the ability to say, Hey, you get, you know, it's kind of like with the smart zone high scale where it's like you only get access to this particular part of the controller.

You can only see this domain and you can hide all the other ones. And so that's what IoT Insights is. But it's really interesting because that's where it all of a sudden starts to make sense. And this is where when I was talking to my buddy Walt, kind of bring this full circle, you know, cuz Walt and I talked about I smart homes for a while.

And, and he came back to me and he goes, you know what I'd really love? He goes, cuz I'm kind of tired of the voice. He goes, I would love to have a screen. He goes like, hanging in my kitchen or you know, somewhere in the main part of my house. And he goes, that I can look at a map. And it will tell me at a glance what the status of my entire IoT network is.

He's like, that's what I would really love. And it was finally I was able to look at Walt and go, when you're ready to do that, let me know because I have the solution for you. I have this. And he looked at me and he goes, we need to talk. And I was like, I know. And we never got back to it. But you know, life gets in the way.

But it was funny because, you know, all of a sudden, you know, when I asked Walt, can is your back? You know, is your door open? And he's like, I can't tell. And then he comes back to me, he's like, I want a map. And I was like, guess what buddy? I got a map for you. But it is funny cuz you know, we're gonna put a, you're gonna put a link in this show notes to our IoT solution.

But the IoT Insights part is the one part that. we don't talk about enough. And that's kind of where the magic happens. That's where all this stuff kind of comes into play. And so it's, it was, that's the piece that when I was playing around with it, learning about my back door, that I went, man, this is the part that we need to talk about.

And so when we we're looking for a topic, I said, you know what, let's talk about basically this is IoT Insights. Because we have documentation on everything else and. But Insights is where the cool part happens. And there's another piece that I was thinking of when I was writing a blog that I wanna bring up is I, I imagine in my head that, cuz where I live, they've been building a boatload of warehouses.

With e-commerce and stuff like that, you know, they need more warehouses. I mean, maybe not where you live or in your part of the woods, cuz you're on the east coast and everything that's not housing is warehouse. But where I live, 

John Deegan: We were building a lot of 'em too. 

Jim Palmer: Lots of warehouses. I was like, you know, if you put a sensor on every bay door and you knew when the door was open and when the door was closed, You could tell how long one of your shipping bays was occupied by a trailer based on is the door open and are we working the trailer or is the door closed?

And it's like, imagine if you could then take that information, how long the door was open, and you could put that into a analytics machine that could then tell you how fast are these trucks loaded? How fast are these trucks unloaded? And then if you could figure out like, Why do some trucks take longer than others?

You could optimize your operation as a shipping and receiving warehouse and actually turn your product faster. You know, turn those trucks faster. And I was like, you know, I was like, that would be something really interesting. So I went, look, and guess what? In IoT Insights in the marketplace, there's an analytics hook, and I was like, Ooh, now I want to get my hands on a warehouse.

And go, can I figure out how long it takes to load a truck? How long it takes to unload a truck? Is there a way that we can trigger that to where, you know, it's like, oh, scan a bar. You know, kinda like with janitors going to a restroom, right? You know, like, how long does it take me to scan to clean the restroom?

I scan the barcode when I go in and get a timestamp. I scan it when I go out. It's like, is there a way that we could figure that out using I o T to make warehouses more efficient? 

John Deegan: Probably. I mean, everything at this point is, it's all AI and ML and IoT and it's alphabet soup. 

Jim Palmer: Well, it is, but you also need a little bit, and this is where, you know, we're gonna go outside of our, our avenue here and, and, and talk about that new chatbot thing they came up with.

John Deegan: Oh boy. 

Jim Palmer: You know, it's funny because that's really cool and it does really good stuff, but it's still not. Perfect. There's still times when you can ask it a question or you can do, and it'll come out with something really kind of off and weird just based on how you write the question. It's still missing that whole aspect of the human, and so the chat, G B G P T, I guess what they call it, it's missing that aspect of how do I, how do I take all this data I have and efficiently turn it into the information I want?

You still have to go tell it that stuff. And so it's a, it's a way of taking the data that we're getting from our IoT networks and saying, I want to slice it and dice it a little differently to look at it in a, in a way, in a method that hasn't been done before. And so you can't get that from artificial intelligence, you can get it from machine learning, but you, you still need that person to sit down and say, I want to slice and dice my metrics, my data, to gimme a metric, that tells me how efficiently my trucks are loaded. 

And so we have that stuff, but you still need people, you still need engineers, you still need to sit down with the tools like, you know, RUCKUS, I a APs with depending on which model you have, it has built in ZigBee and BLE. Or like you said, it's got the U S B dongle using a RUCKUS IoT controller to manage your, your IoT devices. You know, hey, if it's stolen, you can blacklist it and be like, I mean, that's something you don't know if it's stolen, you just know that there's a problem.

You send a guy out, you dispatch, a tech, tech goes, oh yeah, you know, just went off on, went offline for whatever reason. Maybe somebody got broken or they go out and say, go, it's stolen, it's missing, and you go, Ooh, let me blacklist it so I close that door to my network. I can secure my network that way. You still need that human interaction in this stuff to make sure that we're making the right decision.

And then taking that information with IoT Insights, you know, to where you can see the map. You can say, Hey, what is my status? Is there a leak? Is the door open? Is the, you know, are all my doors locked? You know, can I trigger something when we hit a panic button that make sure that all of the doors close and lock.

And then get a, get a confirmation of that. You glance at the screen, that door is not locked. Why is that door not locked? Why is, why is my smart lock not reporting that back? You know? So you still need that human in there to be able to say, what does this information mean to me? 

Because if you rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to do all your thinking for you, then it's going to end up giving you information that's not correct. And so we still need that in there. We still need these, all of these different products that we can go take a look at and we can, and then manipulate. And then once you get it done, then it's a little bit easier to just let the thing you know, you can use AI and ML to figure out you know, Hey, how long does it take to load my truck or unload my truck? Or why is, you know, you can, you can, you can allow that to give you the information, but you still have to be able to ask it for the right things, using the right type of data inputs. 

John Deegan: Yeah, 

I mean, I look at it as they work smarter, not harder kind of scenario.

We've all been in the offices in the old days when you used to have the security guards walking around and doing the rounds, and those things are still necessary. I mean, I remember before the pandemic. You know, we had put like RFID tags on all the doors and the, and the guards used to have to carry a, a reader and, and it was their, it was, you knew what it was, right.

It was the office's way of knowing that the guards actually checked in and all the locks and doors and everything that they said they did. 

Jim Palmer: Right. 

John Deegan: But you know, this takes it all this stuff further. And like I said, you sit at the guard station or you know, so you've got a centrally managed school district and you wanna know or make sure that at 8:30 when school is in session and all the doors are supposed to be closed.

And the students in there, especially with us, are going on, you know, you're sitting there, some central office making sure that all the school doors are closed. 

Jim Palmer: Mm-hmm. 

John Deegan: And if there's not, you know, maybe you've got a school officer in one school and maybe he's the only one, she can sit there and say, Hey, you know, Officer, what's his name?

Go, go look at that door real quick before you go take your coffee break or whatever. So it, it is definitely, it's a, to, to steal a, a term from the, the military you know, force multiplier, you know, we can't be everywhere and you're not gonna hire a million guards or a million whatever engineers to do all the monitoring of a particular system.

And that's the other thing too, right? This is, we've been talking about IoT sensors in terms like door locks and temperature sensors, but, and maybe not IoT Insights and maybe not our, our RUCKUS solutions, but, you know, industrial places use it all the time to ma you know, monitor plants and you mentioned warehouses.

There's a, I mean, there a litany of, of applications for IoT that we haven't even touched. And I'm not saying we can, or we can't do it with RUCKUS, but there's a lot of uses out there for, you know, areas that weren't necessarily getting monitored or, or, you know, in harsh environments. You know, I think of an industrial, like a gas plant or something like that.

Some of those areas, you know, you put a sensor in it and the sensor has to last for a couple years because to replace it, you have to shut down that part of the plant. But you need that sensor to tell you the critical information because you can't put a human there. It's just an unsafe environment for a person to be in there on a regular basis.

So yeah, work smarter, not harder. Cool. No, it's definitely a cool product. I mean, I think, I think we knew it was a cool R, just the RUCKUS IoT deployment was cool, and I think Insights was that missing piece for us. Like you said. And I don't know when you talked to Walt, but I remember when I got my first demo of it, I was at SCTE in September and Jay Bestermann who is in our managed services group was doing demos of it on the floor.

And I saw it. And for me that was like the ah-ha moment. I was like, okay, it's not just. I can run my house with it. It's, I can actually see what it's doing and I can see what's actually, you know, closed or armed or whatever the status is that I need it to be like that, put it all together, you know. And Jay's got some pretty cool demos where like he has a bowl of water with a, a water sensor.

And if, if the sensor goes in the water, the light bulb lights up and things like that, you know, he is got a door, like a fake door jam kind of sensor, and he can show like, again, door opens, light goes off, light blinks. And some of these are great, you know, when you think about the different applications and I know like you talk about accommodation, right?

So if you've got like a, a, a deaf person, you know, they've got fire alarms for them and they've got different, you know, doorbells that they set up that they would flash a light. And like I know now like your phone, you can have it set to flash your camera flash if you, if you're hard of hearing or whatever when it rings.

But usually in the, in, in years past, you paid extra. Sometimes a lot extra to get those kinds of accommodations. Now with something like IoT, you know, you can get those with a sensor and a little bit of ingenuity whether it's our RUCKUS IoT or not. It just, it's bringing a lot of these things that used to be inaccessible to us.

It is bringing it to everybody. Again, forgetting the, the, the cool enterprise, great wireless that we have in our houses for a minute, but, you know, it, it's a pretty cool thing, I think as a nerd, and the nice thing is, I know there's some other platforms out there. I think Samsung has one, which we actually have a partnership with, I believe, or, or, I'm not sure exactly the official terms of the agreement, but we do work with them.

And, and you know, the beauty part is ZigBee is open. Or, or not open, but readily available. I think it's pretty prevalent. There's a couple other IoT standards that we work with and I, I can't recall them off the top of my head. But we're not locked into one particular format. And I know there's some new stuff coming and that we're looking at.

So it's definitely a pretty cool, and like you said, it's a. Part of our ecosystem that doesn't get a lot of attention. But as I've been talking to customers and I've been hearing customers ask about it, I think it's an area that's going to get a lot of attention in the coming years because it, it's something that we ha it's built in.

I mean, at the end of the day, most of our access points that these people are running have it already. So you're not paying extra for it, for the, for the radios. Whereas if you went out and put some other overlay, you know, IoT network, you're adding radios, you're adding expense, you're adding support costs, and it's like, just pick a solution that works with the radios that are already in our gear and done.

So, yeah, I think it's pretty cool. And I, I'm, I'm kind of excited to see where it takes us. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah. So you were talking about the Alliance partners, which is, I guess the technical, I'm looking at the website that we're gonna put the link in the In the show notes so people can go find the website. It's

I think that was the 

John Deegan: mm-hmm. 

Jim Palmer: Or where did we put that? Product type, enterprise networking. IoT Networking. So Long link that'll be in the show notes, but you can go take a look at it. And there's a, you know, listing of 10 different Alliance partners that we work with. Door locks, location and sensor data location using BLE is a big one.

The vaping detect and we, so we have all that stuff. You were hitting on the the IoT APs actually starting with Wi-Fi 5, but wave two, so the like the 510, 610, 710 series, the, they were IoT ready, which meant you had to add in that USB module that would then onboard it. But they were able to take, they were, that's what the I, the USB port was there for, with the Wi-Fi 6 APs, the only one that's not, that doesn't have the radios built in is the R350.

So the R350 does not have the IoT radio built in, but it is what's known as IoT ready. So you can add that USB module in. But the cool thing about the IoT protocols is they have a much greater range. So if you're looking at an MDU or a hospitality or something like that, and you're like, and you do your Wi-Fi design, you don't have to turn on every single IoT radio on every single ap.

So it's, it's not the, the, it is not a one-to-one thing. You can have three, or if you have. Six APs on a on a floor. You can only have, you know, you might only need three IoT radios turned on in order to give you the coverage that you would need for six Wi-Fi APs. And so, you know, You don't, you know, so if you have a mix R350s, R550s, R650s type of thing, you know, if you have that mix in there, then you're fine.

If you're running an all R350 network, then we probably needed to talk. But it, it does give, like you said, it was, that's what my, that was my aha moment, you know, from 35 minutes ago. 35, 45 minutes ago. That was my aha moment when I was sitting there on my, on my couch staring at this AP going, wait a second.

I was like, that's an R650. That's got IoT radios in it. What can I do with it? It's been sitting there, it's been hanging in my ceiling for a year. What do I do with it? You know, it was like, and, and that's the, that's the thing. I think, you know, I, it's always been like, I always, I always see it's like, oh, we have IoT.

Great at this point, who doesn't have IoT radios in their enterprise class, what APs? The question is what do you do with it? And so that's where I sort of was like, hey, let me dig into this and let me find out. And, and yeah, I was like, I was like, wow, this is, this is actually really kind of some cool stuff.

And then at scale, It just makes so much more sense. I was like, I would really not like to do a little handheld app on my phone to try to manage 500 sensors or, you know, it's like, no, there's things you do on your phone, there's things you do on your computer and managing 500 IoT sensors is not something you do on your phone.

John Deegan: Yeah, doesn't scale on a smartphone. 

Jim Palmer: So, 

John Deegan: Well cool. I don't know if we've got too much more we can drill into on our particular platform right now, although I'm sure if we wanted to, we could certainly grab somebody from the product side of things and pick their brains about where we're going with it.

But I've, I've heard a lot of exciting things, I guess at the trade shows. It seems like it's a, a growth area for us. I think it's, like you said, you've got the AP in a lot of cases we've got, we've got partners, we've got customers that have these APs out there that, you know, they've heard about IoT, everybody's heard about it and they wanna do it.

And maybe they didn't even realize that they bought it already. Effectively. Which is nice. Like you said, you, you have 500 APs out there. You've got, you know, if you've got the right ones, you probably have 500 IoT radios out there waiting to, to do their thing. So it's kind of a nice added benefit of going RUCKUS.

But again, I'm not sure what the other customers have out there. I'm not going into that, but it's yeah, I'm excited to see what the future holds for this. I think it's a, it's something we can do a lot with. And you know, we just mentioned some of the use cases and you know, that, that, you know, that it's tailored or it can be tailored.

Like you mentioned, the vaping solution, that was something that was kind of concocted with all the different parts of the marketplace. That wasn't something off the shelf, I don't think. So that's pretty cool. And actually the first time I heard about that, and this is yes, segue was at WLPC2022 from another one of our SEs who had actually had a hand in deploying a, a vaping IoT solution because the school had a problem with it.

So I think we're, we're gonna close the IoT book, but where are we going next, Jim? Right? You now? What? What do we have coming up in the next couple weeks? 

Jim Palmer: I don't know. John, where, where are we going? Are we gonna 

John Deegan: Good, good Lord willing and the creek. Don't rise. WLPC is in a couple weeks, so we're, we're, we're chatting in, I guess, sort of close to late January at this point.

And it's a little early this year. It's usually late February this time. It's early February. So two weeks from, oh no wait, is it, is it a week from tomorrow? Not tomorrow, Friday, right? Is it 

Jim Palmer: Two weeks. It two, well, two weeks from today is when WLPC starts from when we're recording. So if you have a calendar, 

John Deegan: No, no, no, no.

It's a week from Friday. 

Jim Palmer: That's when you start, because what are you doing? 

John Deegan: Well, so I'm doing the bootcamp. 

Jim Palmer: So you're boot? 

John Deegan: Yeah, I, yeah, so I'm doing an RCWA bootcamp on February 3rd, but I arrive next Friday. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah. 

John Deegan: Which it sounds like I've been sitting in my head, I've been saying two weeks, two weeks, two weeks.

And then I'm like, wait a minute, it's, it's Tuesday. But for whatever reason, this week already feels over for me. So a week from Friday I fly out to Phoenix and I've got the bootcamp for three days, or two and a half days, and then WLPC itself starts registration not reg Well, yeah. Registration check-in, whatever you wanna call it.

Is this, I'm gonna look at my counter to make sure I don't get the days wrong. Monday, February 6th, and then the whole shindig opens up on the seventh. So 

Jim Palmer: Two weeks from today. Two weeks from right now when we're talking, which is the 24th. 

John Deegan: Absolutely scary. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. We'll, we'll, we, we'll, we will be there.

Easy for me to say. So I'll, I'll, like I said, I'll have the bootcamp. Jim, I know has a big 55 minute session on something. And you're doing a deep dive again. 

Jim Palmer: Mm-hmm. 

John Deegan: We've got, I think, six or seven RUCKUS folks coming out. Most of us are giving a talk. Some of those talks probably aren't done yet. I'm not guilty at all.

We will have a vendor session again, like we did last year. I believe we're doing it Tuesday night right after, shortly after the, the main conference wrAPs for the day. So if you want to come and talk to Jim or I and get a sticker or tell us the podcast is wonderful or otherwise, you know, come, come visit us.

Hopefully we can. I dunno, but we'll treat on the social media side, but we'll, we'll get the deets out there and everybody can come visit us and it'll be a good time. To be had by all. Well, 

Jim Palmer: More importantly, there's going to be other people other than just us that I'm actually really looking forward to seeing.

From the RUCKUS side we're bringing in one of our SEs, one of my, I'll, I'll admit I got a man crush on him. Super, super smart guy and you've met him. Not in person, but it's funny. I'll tell this story later, especially in Phoenix, but. I met, I met this guy, his name's Matt, Matt Hall. Hi Matt, at Black Hat in 2019.

And I worked with him for four days. And at the, and right before I walked out the door, I was like, I was like, I should teach you about Wi-Fi one of these days, because the dude was so smart about switching, and he was, I mean, just like crazy, crazy smart. And he was like, dude, he goes, I'm a Wi-Fi SE. And I was like, oh.

I was like, this entire time you've been working, switching and coding and, and you know, API stuff. I was like, I didn't realize you were actually a Wi-Fi person. He goes, yeah. He goes, I'm a Wi-Fi SE. And so Matt's gonna be there. I'm super excited about that. And there's actually a neighbor, not a neighbor, but 

John Deegan: close enough 

Jim Palmer: In a global co in a global company.

A guy that lives 20 minutes away from you is your neighbor. Sharan gonna be there and I'm really excited about Sharan and Matt being there. So don't come to the vendor session or anything else to talk to me or John, cuz we're just a bunch of rambling. Yeah. Wannabes come to talk to those guys cuz those guys are really smart.

And so I'm really excited that both of those guys are gonna be there and and we're gonna be able to learn from those guys cuz they, they do have a lot to teach and so I'm really excited they're gonna be there and they're gonna share. So yeah. Come to the vendor session, say hi to us, get a sticker, but then go talk to those guys cuz they'll fix your problems.

John Deegan: Exactly. 

Yeah. No, it, it's gonna be fun couple weeks away. Come say hi, if you're listening and, and you wanna see us or you don't wanna see us. Like you wanna see some smart people. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah. 

John Deegan: Hopefully, hopefully you, anybody listening comes out. I mean, it's, 

Jim Palmer: Go talk to Matt and Matt and Sharan. They're, they're the smart ones.

That's, that's what I do behind the scenes when people are like, Hey Jim, how do I fix this? And I'm like, I'm like, let me go check real quick. And my checking is, I'm gonna go ask somebody else. So now you, now you can just skip me and you can go talk to those guys. 

John Deegan: Just what they wanted. Oh, alright. Another good session in the bag, and I think we're gonna call it a wrap on that one. I'm gonna hit the music and we'll we'll, I guess we're gonna record next when we're in Phoenix. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah, we'll, we'll see each other. We haven't seen each other in a while, so we'll actually be in the same building at the same time.

And two weeks in, we should probably record. We might, you know what, let's do some other cool, like little short recordings and maybe, maybe do some like little mini episodes and we can post 'em in like, let's do something like that with some of these other smart people. 

John Deegan: It could be fun, man. 

Jim Palmer: Yeah, let's do it.

John Deegan: All right, man. Well have a good one. 

Jim Palmer: All right. I'll see you in Phoenix, man.