7 Ways to fail at making the most of #WLPC

I recently said goodbye to Phoenix and my now yearly trek to the Wireless Lan Professionals Conference (WLPC). After three years of attending I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of making the most of my week there. With the conference getting bigger and bigger each year, I thought it might be fun to discuss a few things I’ve learned over the years that keep attendees from getting the most out of the conference.

Direct inspiration for this write up comes from the fantastic Cisco Live presentation – 7 ways to fail as a wireless expert (by Steven Heinsius)

1.) Don’t take a boot camp

If you are not coming a few days early to WLPC for a boot camp you are really missing out on some fantastic classes. This year they ran the gamut from CWNP classes (CWAP/CWSP/CWDP/CWNA), to vendor offerings from Cisco and Ekahau, as well as classes developed directly by your wireless peers like the Python class from Jake Snyder and Ryan Adzima. Be warned – the boot camps are generally brain-melting since they cram a typical 4 day class into 3 days. The instructors though are top-notch and they will do their best to make sure that the material sticks.

My Advice: If you get push back from the $$$ people in your org, pitch the extra training cost as a screaming deal. Rooms, meals, an exam voucher (usually) as well as the potential for useful toys tools are all included in the cost. Most of these trainings done standalone usually run 2.5k to 3k without the rooms/meals and typically involve travel of some sort. If your boss is already going to send you to WLPC they might as well take full advantage of your time down there!

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What I learned about Microsoft DHCP load balancing, Meraki APs, and IP Helpers

Cliche time – You learn something new every day…
… and today I learned about how the seconds elapsed field in DHCP packets can affect the DHCP DORA (Discover/Offer/Request/Acknowledgement) process – particularly when using a load-balance failover config on Microsoft DHCP servers.


  • 2 Microsoft DHCP servers with DHCP scopes setup for load-balance (50/50)
  • Meraki APs
  • AP Management VLAN gateway configured on core Nexus switch (and branch routers) with one IP helper address pointed towards DHCP server 1 (This will be important)
  • Greenfield wireless deployment


Some (but not all) new Meraki APs were not getting DHCP IP addresses when they got plugged into the network.


I love troubleshooting DHCP because it is a straightforward, structured process.

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