Vendor exhibitor: Xirrus
Conferences have a tough time keeping the wireless network up, sysadmin conferences even more so. With the LISA Build team planning to expand the network from just the keynote area to the entire conference, serious network gear was needed. Fortunately, Xirrus stepped in to donate 10 high-density access points. For the past 10 years, Xirrus equipment has focused on density, allowing for greater coverage and capacity with fewer units. In fact, they told me that for conferences like LISA, they can use four times fewer APs than competitors.
Xirrus APs are circular instead of the usual rectangle because they were designed to be like cellular phone towers. The radios are modular and can be easily swapped out to provide support for different use cases and phased upgrades. Xirrus even brought a senior engineer on-site to provide assistance to the LISA Build team. By providing this level of support, Xirrus hopes to reach the technical decision makers. Most large conferences don't provide direct exposure to sysadmins, so LISA is a very valuable conference to them.
The excellent WiFi quality the entire week is a testament to both the technical chops of the LISA Build team and the equipment provided by Xirrus.