Over the last many months, we've been hard at work here at iBwave getting the next release of our various in-building wireless network design solutions ready to go. And we are delirious with excitement to let our customers, and the rest of the world, know that the newest release of our solutions are here.
World, meet iBwave R9!
Packed with many new features across all our product lines, this release truly is one by our users, for our users.
Let's go through some of the key new features, and why we've implemented them.
New User Interface for iBwave Design, User Interface Tweaks for iBwave Wi-Fi
iBwave Design now has an all-new user interface aimed at helping to make the day-to-day use of the software faster and more intuitive for our users, and to ultimately accelerate the design phase of the many wireless network projects our software is used for. With a new 'ribbon' styled menu that is structured into the phases of a network design project, larger and more intuitive icons, as well as the ability to build a personalized ribbon with all your favourite features. iBwave Wi-Fi has had a new user interface for awhile now but with this release we've taken some feedback from our users and made some additional tweaks to it, including moving the in-software 'Chat Support' to a more accessible place from the main 'Help' menu, and adding the capability to define your own personalized 'ribbon' that allows you to create your own toolbar with your most-used icons.
iBwave R9 is a HIGH step forward! From being a part of the Beta program, I can definitely say that this release is ALL about the end user! Every step of the way, user feedback has been received and incorporated into the software. The updated/improved GUI is easy to work with and well thought out! The ability to build a “Custom Ribbon” is a GREAT feature as well!
-- Russ Edmondson, Goodman Networks
Automatic Cable Routing
While it's always been possible to route cabling in both iBwave Design and iBwave Wi-Fi and get automatic cable length estimates, we've now taken our cabling automation to the next level with the ability to model cable trays and risers, and then have the software automatically 'snap' the cabling to the route. This is a feature widely requested by our users and is estimated to save hours of time off of the design time for a project - plus with this new feature, you can even be more sure that the automatically generated Bill of Materials and Costing Report is extremely accurate.
Smart Antenna Contouring
This is one of my personal favourite new features! New in both iBwave Wi-Fi and iBwave Design is 'smart antenna contouring' which essentially means that you can now view live signal strength prediction results as you are placing access points in your design. And beyond just looking really cool, this can be a big time saver when working on a project as it can significantly reduce the number of times you have to run your prediction engine in order to view how the network will perform.
How does it work?
The smart antenna contouring feature works with our 'Fast Ray Tracing' prediction algorithm, which is one of three prediction algorithm choices available in iBwave Wi-Fi (the other two are COST231 and VPLE). Why fast ray tracing? This particular algorithm, unlike the other two, takes into account all signal paths from a radio: direct path, reflected path, and diffracted paths - which essentially means that it gives you more accurate prediction of how your network will perform. In combination with the smart antenna contouring you can be sure that you are getting a very accurate idea of how the signal strength of each AP that you place will perform while you are actually doing the design. I think that's pretty great.
Here is a quick look at what this looks like (also featuring our new multi-radio AP feature!)
Prediction Zone Exclusion
Ever wish you could exclude a particular area of a venue from prediction calculations because you know that no coverage is needed in that particular area? This new feature helps network designers using iBwave Wi-Fi or iBwave Design to designate areas not to be included in prediction calculations. What does that help achieve? By excluding these zones not intended to receive coverage, the KPI Compliancy report will now be more accurate and your output maps more meaningful.
With capacity planning critical to successfully designing high-performing Wi-Fi networks in high-density venues, it's key for our users to be able to optimize capacity planning during the design phase of implementing a network so both equipment and troubleshooting costs are minimized. With this in mind, we're always looking at what features can help our users to do this - last year we came out with advanced capacity planning capabilities, and now starting with this release we support design using multi-radio access points - or software selectable radios as some put it.
Why this feature?
Because today in order to design using multi-radio AP (for example with a Dual 5GHz radio), designers usually resort to overlaying multiple single radio APs on top of each other to ensure that the capacity planning requirements are met. Using this approach leads to an inaccurate bill of materials and cost estimates, and can lead to potential prediction issues. With the ability to now use these multi-radio APs in the design, prediction will be more accurate to reality and the Bill of Materials and Cost Details report will be much more accurate which benefits both the designer and their customer.
"The ability to design and visualize Wi-Fi networks in 3-D is a unique iBwave feature that I have come to rely on for access point placement and troubleshooting. The granularity iBwave provides is exceptional, especially with the new capability to design with multi-radio APs that are unique to Riverbed Xirrus for supporting high density Wi-Fi networks. Add to that the mobile tools and the variety of reports you can generate makes iBwave an invaluable tool for Wi-Fi deployment." -- Ty Parker, Director Solutions Engineering for Riverbed, CWNE #173
In today’s high density Wi-Fi environments, airtime is a precious commodity that is best served by the abundance of available channels in 5 GHz. Access points with dual 5 GHz radios are best suited to meet airtime and capacity needs. A software selectable radio also offers the benefit of 2.4 GHz connectivity when needed. iBwave’s multi-radio feature assists any WLAN professional with dual 5 GHz WLAN designs in addition to legacy 2.4/5GHz WLANs designs." -- Dave Coleman, Aerohive, CWNE #4
And last but not least, I will just leave this quote here from Ronald Van Kleunen, CWNE and Owner of Globeron (wireless training):
From a vendor neutral perspective, iBwave Wi-Fi (PC Version) is probably the most advanced solution in the market. With full support to integrate Wi-Fi APs with detailed backhaul cabling , network infrastructures and budgeting, 3D venue modeling and network visualizations, the most advanced RF calculations for prediction accuracy, and cloud integration to simplify the interaction between Wi-Fi architects, project managers and site surveyors.
How do you see all these great new features in action?
Good question, and you have a few options. We're holding a few demo webinars of the new features the week of October 11th and 18th.
Or, if you're eager to jump in and try them out for yourself, you can get a 15 day free trial of iBwave Wi-Fi here.
Already have iBwave Wi-Fi or iBwave Design? Take advantage of the new features by upgrading today on your My iBwave!
What do you think of the new features? Comment below to let us know.