My feelings on Canopy

I have been thinking alot about the recent Moto bashing. After using Canopy over the last two years I too have formed some opinions about the product and the company:

Moto Tech Support is very very good. I have yet to run into anyone that told me “go look in the manual”. I have had them tell me that what I needed to know was in the manual, and then go on to answer my question. I take that as my general laziness to get the manual and look. I now have the manual on my desktop and my laptop so I can search the .pdf. I usually find what I need pretty fast.

I have been working with, and have had exposure to a number of different technologies since 1988, Computers and Cellular, Biomed, Professional Audio and Video, and Networking and Communications. I know quality, and I know junk. My personal feeling with the quality of Canopy has been that the hardware is as solid and well built as anything I have used. Every failure we have had (including power supply failures) has been self-inflicted. Either poor sealing, poor grounding, poor power protection, poor terminations, crossed wires, staples in the wire, etc.

The software revisions came fast when they were needed. 4.x was pretty bad but was quickly followed by 6.1. With 7.1.9 things really improved. When we upgraded the AP’s to Advantage, and went to 7.3.6 our network has been very solid.

The BH issue can be looked at two ways:
1 - the upgrade causes colo issues and you have to use an earlier version
2 - the BH’s did not get an upgrade during the last round and an older version has to be used.

Either way, there is a workaround for the BH issues and it seems to me that only one person has an issue with it. After a couple of years on the forums with this individual it seems that if it were not this, it would be something else. Some people are not happy unless they have something to complain about.

With all the ranting, I found myself saying “Yeah, Moto - WTF?” After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that there are alot of training classes, they adjusted manufacturing to keep up with demand, and have grown the Canopy team quite a bit. This does not sound like abandonment to me.

Fears about the Telcos and Cellular providers are certaily justified and real. What version of software our Canopy is running has nothing to do with our ability to survive what’s coming. What do you think Mesh is all about? It’s Moto’s solution for the WISP to compete against the big boys. Not being able to (or wanting to) afford it is a different problem. Those that can survive are the ones that can figure out how to compete in the space available. This may mean competing WISPs need to combine, acquiring some investment capital, looking for add-on products, etc.

We are in a very very tech saavy environment (about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley, 30 minutes from SF), and have A LOT of competition
- A Myriad of DSL Providers including Covad, Megapath, Speakeasy, etc
- A host of T1 providers
- Not one but two Cable Companies

Being a small company we had to be very focused as to our position in our market. We target small to medium size businesses. This seems to be an area where the Telcos do a particularly bad job and make it damn easy for us to compete.

As WISP’s we are in a business where Economics of Scale rule. We don’t have the marketing budgets, staff, brand recognition, and infrastructure that the big guys have so they will generally be able to beat us in price. Their size also makes them vulnerable to smaller, nimble companies that can offer superior service and technical expertise. Don’t panic. Think about what you can offer and sell that. People can get Internet from anywhere, you need to differentiate yourselves from everyone else and sell that. Perhaps it’s automated backup services, VoIP, or computer support services (at the going rate).

This ought to be an interesting thread…

It would be an interesting thread if others are allowed to express their opinions, but based on recent experience I feel if that expression of opinion happens to be negative towards MOT then the expressor would be be banned and the thread removed.

last time I commented on a subject like this, I got told off…

There is more to the story than what has been seen here.

We have also been using canopy for 2 years, I have not had a problem that could not be worked around. If I had to do it all over again I would choose Canopy. It is easy to work with, very reliable and the support from this forum is excellant. I’m not sure what all the complaining is about.

I did not like the fact we had to upgrade to advantage, though it is much better. If we would have had 40 Ap’s to upgrade it might be different.

The return on our money was quick, the monthly cash flow is very good. I don’t have any complaints. But then again I am clueless.

I was wondering what happened to that post. I didn’t get a chance to reply to you know who. I hope all of you didn’t misunderstand. Yes Tech support is good though I have had 2 bad experiances with the same individual who has an attitude but hay so do I hense the name. My post was just trying to say hay dispite the minor issues their isn’t anything better. And every post was always the same thing, WAH! WAH! WAH! a million this a million that. People are here to learn. If I can teach them something then great, and im sure I will learn something alond the way. I enjoy coming to this site to help, but the last thing I want to read is WAH! WAH! WAH!. We are in the 2way radio/wireless communications business. We have have or still sell alot of diffarent brands, but when a customer comes to me and says I want the best, or the toughest it’s a no brainer.

Jerry you are exactly right, their are easy work around’s for the minor issues, but nothing worth loosing a customer over. That was my point to him.

I had some sites with colocation issues if it was 5.7 I switched out one link with 2.4 or the other way around. Their are new features in ver 8 that require other things come first, CNUT2.0, micro 2.2 etc. With all that going on you will also have to work the bug’s out.

I see alot of people trying to do what we do with inferior equipment most of witch is 802.11abg. Their always having to work on it. Purposely I didn’t touch our network (other then setting up a new customer) to see what would happen. 32 days later I finally had a failure. It was a solar site and the system went down due to no sun for several days.

Anyways im probably getting off subject. We are a Motorola MSS one of only 2 in the state of New Mexico. With Moto being our main line I can’t remember within the last 10 years any model not being supported or dumped too early.

Im not saying they are perfect, but like Jerry said we know Quality and thats never been an issue with Motorola.

i know moto is busy i am too i also understand this is not the main tech support channel i just don’t understand why they do not come around a little more.

example: i have got every answer i have ever needed form this forum and i have never since i started had to call moto for tech support see i have even same them some money by coming here first.

also you know there watching and moderating why not say hello and hand out a few answers just be sociable i guess make us feel like we are appreciated for even buying there product.

and i agree with jerry they have a good product just reassure me that this product is good for a good while it will make me feel much better next time i buy 25 to 50 more units.

i have not spent millions but i have spent what i had which was everything i guess thats why i am so worried just say hey you guys are good to go for several more years now go sell some more and i will say 10-4 lets get this party started.

I can not argue one point jerry had.

With this community we can find a solution for any problem with or without motos help. We are all in this position because we are a lil more crafty then the average person.

a problem is only a problem when you are unwilling to look for the solution. If you can not find the solution then you are not trying hard enough.

This equipment is good. I wish it had certian features but then again…we are purchasing wireless bridges.

I would like to see a group of us design the perfect network, regardless of the cost, but address every problem and have a template. This could be extremely useful to not only new moto customers but also to current WISPs.

That’s an interesting concept Vince.

I will check with one of the Sales guys from Mot to see if they have anything like that we can start with.

I can agree with that. I have another thought also. A more interactive site like a Wiki.

This is a place where users of Canopy solutions share information, examples, howtos and ideas with each other. This is not an official supported Motorola manual, but rather a community page that everyone can edit. If you find a mistake in someone else’s article - simply correct it.

The underlying frustration of the whole thread was lack of communication. I too would like to know what is the product road map, when to expect upgrades/features etc… yeah s**t happens and companies miss deadlines, we are not gonna hold them to gun point.

You can always argue that well thats a minor thing but for some its not. We were running 4.3 and had customers who wanted WAN links, the only solution we could think of at the time was to place a small vlan capable router at each customers location. We ordered 100 of them. 2 weeks later 6.1 came out, those routers are still sitting there.

We now have customers wanting to use Public IP, I do not want to NAT disable, so we charge for public IP and allocate blocks of because we want to avoid giving public IP as we need to NAT disable. Had I not heard that V8 does port forwarding I was thinking of re-engineering our backend to deal with this, now I am holding out, if it is true then we will be giving free public IP, already the NAT public address on a customer SM is a public IP.

I bring on 100 customers a month, and that will increase once I can install quick enough. We install 7 days a week. We are above 1000 customers.
We have 15 main sites and about 10 remote setups.

Our Layer 2 is reaching its limits, I am now going to invest in CISCO switches for every locations that has a CMM, I don’t know if in the next 3 months the next CMM upgrade may have feature/functionality to avoid me spending this now, I can wait 3 months, I can wait 6.

Wi-Max, what are Canopy plans for Wi-Max, will we have the option to upgrade at a cost to it, or if we need to go wi-max do we have to change everything. There are articles, press releases from about 2 years ago saying that yes, Canopy will migrate to Wi-Max once the standard is signed off, but nothing lately.

All I and the others ask is for them to work with us, tell us what to expect in the future so we can plan for it, and invest accordingly.

Tech support based on my experience I would disagree with you, but its not a major issue for me, as we have a good team here and good test environment where we usually play with things and work it out. Having said that every time I do call they always have a good friendly attitude and are always willing to help I just sometimes feel that I need more indepth info understanding of how things are working.

The product, I agree, it is stable and fantastic, 2 years in, if I had to make the choice again I would choose the same. I hope I can say that 2 years from now.

There are 7 other WISPS competeing with us using different technologies, it is extremely important that we plan smartly. At the moment we kick there A$$ hands down, we are the youngest, yet we are stealing business off them like stealing a toy of a baby, and all that is because of Canopy. I just want to be assured and know whats coming up so we can design develop our packages, products and services around that.

The suggestions part of the forum is a good idea, but if only we got response back to say, yes good idea will consider, is being considered, not for another 2 releases, no dum idea. Its just like a hole.

None of the current bugs/issues is causing me any problems.

Bottom line they need to do a better CR (customer relation) job with their users.

Attitude, I love the idea of a Canopy documentation Wiki.

To chime in on the underlying theme of the thread:

Much of the (for lack of a better term) FUD ( that has been floating around the forum is (IMHO) directly related to lack of information.

VJ mentioned a software roadmap. Many OSS projects have documented roadmaps and continually update the roadmap as progress is made and setbacks are discovered. This would be a wonderful bit of information from “the folks upstairs.”

Several folks expressed a fear of the Canopy (Part 15) product line would be dropped for 802.16 (Wi-Max) products. I’m sure an official statement of intent from Moto would calm the restless minds of all but the most paranoid of conspiracy theorists. But since there has been no answer to these ideas, the fear runs rampant.

Canopy is a great product. Its had rough spots, but resloving them has alowed the Canopy Dev Team a chance to show us their skill and devotion.

Moto’s ability to keep Canopy customers (business owners and sysadmins who build business models and performance infrastructure on Canopy) informed and happy? Now that need improvement.

Wow! I got really busy lasy week and a lot has happened here since I last looked in. Hmmm… where to start…

Think about what you can offer and sell that. People can get Internet from anywhere, you need to differentiate yourselves from everyone else and sell that.

Excellent point. I could go on so much about this.

if that expression of opinion happens to be negative towards MOT then the expressor would be be banned and the thread removed.

Haha, did you see the flame job I received when I (in a small way) defended Motorola? :shock: I think my a$$ still hurts from that pounding. :lol:

I would like to see a group of us design the perfect network, regardless of the cost, but address every problem and have a template. This could be extremely useful to not only new moto customers but also to current WISPs.

That would be a great experience. I know my network is not perfect, but it works quite well. I would like to see other ideas and implementations as well as network designs from those that have large networks.

And I apologize to anyone that was offended by the afformentioned thread. Part of me wishes I had the chance to reply to a number of things (character, knowledge, experience attacks), but at the same time, this forum is for more important things. Let’s get back to learning and sharing about Canopy… :smiley:

I forgot one…
i just don’t understand why they do not come around a little more.

Because it’s only one guy (maybe two if he has gotten help lately) that is the Canopy Tech Support presence in this forum - he started it thinking it would be a cool idea to have a place for us to share info. Perhaps it is not the main focus of his time - we all know that no one has the time to do their regular work and read every post in here (although sometimes I would like to).


Come to think of it… I always complain about Tech support, and also have taken digs at Moto, and I still stand by what I have said.

I think it is also fair for me to say that I do appreciate this forum they run and also the fact they have a technical support that I can call at any time of the day and night.

There have been times where, we have decided to trouble shoot at 3AM and it was great to have Moto tech support on the phone to bounce ideas off. I don’t know of any other companies in the same business offering an equivalent service (i could be wrong) but they are easy to get hold off.

Non of this I need to contact who I purchased it from, or we will get tech to call you back…

The forum is brilliant…

from my side ot things,

Canopy has been for the most part amazing for the stability and the ability. I am disapointed in the 900 tree penitration but it is a tough nut to crack here.

this is rf that we are dealing with and we all know from firing that analizer up that its a black magic we all weave, some of the 802.11x stuff is scarry easy and scary unreliable.

we have been up and running for about a year now and full steam ahead.
i admit i have not gone through the software issues we are advantage and hardware from the start.

i would like to see some of the magic pill v8 features but for the most part canopy seems to work just fine.

wimax is another issue i beleive we will survive from great service and very spotty cell service in our area, and large towers are not the easyiest thing to get aproved.


slightly away from the thread…

we are seriously worried about wimax… .mainly because this is a small country (5000sq km) and does not require a large amount of investement from the telco to deploy.

we are currently looking at wifi mesh products (hotzone and alternatives), we plan to roll out in stages, problem is trying to make money out of it (fund the project just to cover its costs)…

wimax is not necessarily gonna require towers, the recent GSM rollout here was 70% on buildings.