Mobile devices and applications continue to proliferate in enterprise networks, and wireless LANs continue to expand to serve them. A recent survey by Infonetics revealed that companies plan to increase the number of access points in their wireless networks by about 19 percent per year over the next 2 years.
"Not only are companies upgrading and expanding coverage to accommodate their growing needs,” says Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research (News - Alert), “they're also rethinking their approach to network operations and are looking to unify network silos and implement more flexible management approaches."
Here’s a roundup of some of the companies delivering solutions on the WLAN front.
ADTRAN Bluesocket virtual Wireless LAN is a cloud-based, virtualized management and control solution for WLANs, eliminating 100 percent of the physical, hardware-based controllers from the network. It is ideally suited to meet the growing BYOD need by eliminating the scale limitations of the controller-based architecture. ADTRAN vWLAN makes it possible to easily manage the wireless network from any device, with management and control of access points across multiple buildings, the corporate campus, or across any geographic location worldwide. The solution provides wired-equivalent performance to wireless users with seamless roaming and enterprise-class security and policy management. ADTRAN ProCloud Wi-Fi – a no-worry managed, business-class Wi-Fi service – is built on ADTRAN Bluesocket vWLAN. It includes proactive 7x24 monitoring, help desk service, advanced equipment replacement, support for moves/adds/changes, and monthly reports. It offers the freedom to migrate across public and private cloud management models. ADTRAN ProCloud is available as a turnkey option, or service providers and resellers can quickly and easily resell ADTRAN branded or private label services.
Aerohive unleashes the power of enterprise mobility, simplifying networking by reducing the cost and complexity of distributed enterprise deployments with cloud-enabled networking solutions. The company’s technology enables organizations of all sizes to use mobility to increase productivity, engage customers and grow their business. These solutions, based on Aerohive's unique distributed intelligence architecture, include
enterprise-class Wi-Fi access points, state-of-the-art gigabit switches,
and easy-to-deploy routers. Deployed in more than 17,000 customers worldwide,
Aerohive's proprietary mobility platform takes advantage of the cloud and
a distributed architecture to deliver scalable, simplified, secure, and
cost-effective networks. Aerohive was founded in 2006 and is headquartered
in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) Enterprise
A comprehensive portfolio with 802.11n/ac technology from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise consists of next generation wireless LAN technology with the choice of controller-based and controller-less WLAN products, offering flexible deployment options meeting various scale, cost, and use case requirements. Alcatel-Lucent OmniAcccess Access Points have built-in multimode capabilities where the same AP can be deployed in instant mode without the need for a controller, or it can be managed by a OmniAccess controller depending on customer deployment scenario. With zero-touch provisioning capabilities of remote access point mode, customers can easily create a secured home or branch office network in minutes. The wireless LAN controllers offer an excellent price/performance ratio with integrated security and application intelligence. These controllers have built-in network analytics that provide complete application visibility and control.
Aruba Networks (News - Alert) Inc.
Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks empower IT departments and #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work and personal communications. To create a mobility experience that #GenMobile and IT can rely upon, Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks automate infrastructure-wide performance optimization and trigger security actions that used to require manual IT intervention. The results are dramatically improved productivity and lower operational costs. The Aruba portfolio includes a full set of wireless LAN controllers and 802.11ac access points, Aruba Instant controller-less access points, the AirWave Network Management System, the ClearPass Access Management System, and Aruba Mobile Engagement solution.
The Avaya Wireless LAN 9100 Series (introduced June 2014) is a next generation, application-first wireless solution tailored to today's mobile environment. Offering application-level visibility and control for more than 1300 applications, it help ensure wireless networks deliver uncompromised access to the applications and services users value most. The solution supports the latest 802.11ac WLAN industry standard and offers an integrated, two-tier architecture that reduces equipment requirements and costs. The extension of Avaya's Fabric technology (which powered the 2014 Sochi Olympics) to the wireless access point reduces the burden on IT administrators, making implementation, provisioning, and ongoing changes to wireless networks fast, easy, and error-proof.
D-Link Systems Inc.
D-Link Systems has several enterprise WLAN offerings, including Unified Wireless controllers and access points designed specifically for business environments. The recently announced DWL-8610AP Unified Wireless concurrent dual band 802.11ac access point combines cutting edge wireless speeds of 802.11ac with the unparalleled flexibility and scalability of D-Link’s Unified Wireless Solution. The DWL-8610AP is designed to support enterprise environments by providing network administrators with secure and manageable dual-band wireless network options. It supports maximum wireless signal rates of up to 450mbps over the 2.4gHz band, and 1300mbps over the 5gHz band. The DWL-8610AP can be flexibly deployed as an autonomously managed, standalone wireless access point, or as a centrally managed access point controlled by a D-Link Unified Wireless Switch or Wireless Controller. Businesses can start with standalone mode deployment, and then migrate to a centrally managed system anytime later. It supports impressive device densities and offers optimal range and coverage over both bands. The DWL-8610AP is easy to install and can be powered using the included AC to DC adapter, or directly through the network cable using Power over Ethernet from any switch or midspan injector that supports IEEE (News - Alert) 802.3at.
As user demands of mobile connectivity continue to increase, Wi-Fi networks must evolve to address higher capacity and scale as traffic grows. Extreme Networks’ IdentiFi Wireless delivers a user experience at unmatched scale and density – addressing both indoor and outdoor wireless connectivity. As proven in the most demanding venues, IdentiFi delivers more applications and throughput to users with fewer access points. IdentiFi is simple to deploy – the access points can configure and initialize themselves from a centralized appliance and can run independently of the appliance once configured. IdentiFi supports both centralized and distributed networks and is a standalone solution that can be installed into any network. In addition to simplicity, IdentiFi is fast – it’s optimized to meet the high expectations of BYOD and mobile users. Finally, IdentiFi is smart – its system architecture is the most advanced and flexible solution on the market today. IdentiFi is currently deployed in a diversity of environments, ranging from NFL stadiums to hospitals, K-12 schools and universities.
Meru Collaborator is a Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync software-defined networking application that ensures a predictable, multi-vendor, unified communication experience. It enables Meru Wi-Fi users to optimize the performance and experience of Microsoft Lync over multivendor networks. The solution is built on top of an OpenDaylight SDN controller designed to work with any OpenFlow-enabled wired or wireless network and greatly simplifies the cost and complexity of managing unified communications. Meru Collaborator empowers IT organizations to become more responsive to the needs of the business and ensure the highest quality experiences for their users.
Ruckus Wireless Inc.
Ruckus Wireless is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market. The company offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor Smart Wi-Fi products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises, and has more than 40,000 end customers worldwide. Ruckus technology addresses Wi-Fi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the ever-increasing amount of traffic on wireless networks due to accelerated adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-the-art wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, providing consistent and reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. Ruckus on-premises enterprise WLAN products include Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points, and Ruckus ZoneDirector controllers. Ruckus also offers Wi-Fi in the cloud with its Smart Access Management service, SAMs.
Xirrus delivers a broad portfolio of Wi-Fi solutions to meet needs of the smallest offices to the largest sports venues. Xirrus XR Access Points are designed for office spaces, classrooms, hotel rooms, and similar areas with low-to-medium density requirements. The XR-520 AP supports 300mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi and XR-600 series APs support up to 1.3gbps 802.11ac. Xirrus XR Multi-Radio APs deliver superior scale and capacity
for medium-to-high density requirements by integrating two to 16 modular radios, high gain directional antennas, and a controller into a single device. Xirrus Multi-Radio APs support 1.3gbps 802.11ac and are technology upgradable via modular radio interfaces to 802.11ac Wave 2 when it becomes available, eliminating the need to rip and replace hardware to upgrade. All Xirrus APs and Multi-Radio APs operate software definable radios, enabling adaptable reconfiguration to match changing client types. All incorporate integrated application-level visibility and control to ensure consistent wireless performance for critical applications. The Xirrus Management System provides a powerful, flexible platform to manage the wireless network with complete monitoring, security, and configuration functionality. Both cloud-based and on-premises options are available and both support zero-touch provisioning for fast deployment.
Edited by Maurice Nagle