This fall your wireless networks will experience many devices upgrading to the new Android 5.0(L-release) and Apple iOS 8 releases (cue: IT managers groan). There have now been many blogs attempting to capture the enhancements expected with these releases. Today I am going to focus on describing how Android L and iOS 8 may affect customers deploying Cisco enterprise grade Wi-Fi networks based upon our research and testing of the Apple seed. Our verdict: Carry on with business as usual.
Here are four features we predict will have the most impact your networks:
1. Chromecast and Google Cast Enhancements (Android L)
Rishi Chandra, the Director of Chromecast Product Management announced that, starting with the Android L release, users have the ability to cast to your neighboring devices such as a TV without having to connect to your Wi-Fi network. In the demo, a phone used the cellular connection to connect to chromecast through the cloud. A variety of techniques are used to authenticate the users in the same room OR use a pin-code as an alternative. Users can Google Cast an ecosystem of applications or even their own applications over any Android or iOS device as well as Cloud based apps on Chrome.
Predicted Impact: Given that this feature works transparently to the Wi-Fi, it is expected that there is no impact on the WLAN in your classrooms or dorm rooms or auditoriums where this will most likely be used.
2. Peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback (iOS 8)
Starting with the iOS 7.1 release, AirPlay devices will discover an AppleTV via the bluetooth network. Users could also secure their AppleTV via a 4 digit pin-code. With the iOS 8 release, Airplay devices can also mirror their content via Airdrop. This feature offers an alternative method for customers to discover and mirroring of Bonjour traffic without accessing the corporate Wi-Fi network.
Predicted Impact: Again this feature operates transparent to the Wi-Fi and therefore customers using this feature should not see any impact on the WLAN. Cisco wireless customers also have the ability to use the Service Discovery Gateway on Cisco IOS based switches, routers or wireless LAN controllers or the Bonjour Services Directory on AireOS controllers. Read More »
As you may have read, Apple’s iOS 8 will come with some changes to the way MAC addresses are exposed in Wi-Fi probe requests. Apple’s intent was to provide an additional layer of privacy for consumers and target those companies that offer analytics without providing any value to the end consumer. We’ve been getting some questions about what this means and how it impacts our Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so we wanted to clear this up for our customers.
What does this mean for you?
First and foremost, Cisco has always been dedicated to privacy for our customers and their end-users. There are four aspects of privacy that are built into our CMX solution:
1. Anonymous Aggregate Information: All analytics are based on aggregate, anonymized location data.
2. Permission-based: Users have to opt-in to join a Wi-Fi network or download an app
3. MAC Address Hash: Users’ MAC addresses can be hashed before exposing to 3rd party apps
4. Opt Out: End-users are always presented with the option to opt out of location-based services
The true value of CMX analytics for organizations is in aggregate location data to be used for business analysis to improve the customer experience for end-users. Providing customers with high performing Wi-Fi not only keeps always-on mobile users happy and opens the doors to delighting customers with more personalized experiences, but also helps provide more granularity to those aggregate trends to feed back into the experience creation machine. Win-win.
What does this mean for our CMX value proposition? Read More »
We’ve been hearing from some of our customers that they are interested in using Cisco Meraki in their branches alongside their Cisco infrastructure in their main offices, but were worried about having to deal with too many segregated policy management systems.
Good news: Interoperability between Cisco Meraki and ISE is here. Administrators can now define a single user access policy across on-premise and cloud-managed networks.With this interoperability, Cisco infrastructure customers can now deploy Cisco Meraki in their branches in the same network as other Cisco equipment, with all devices across the network managed under ISE for unified access policy management.
Read more about the Cisco Meraki and ISE interoperability in the blog post: Got ISE?
To get a free Meraki wireless access point and learn more about the solution, join one of our online webinars. See the complete schedule and choose from a range of webinars featuring Meraki customers, product and solution overviews, and topics like BYOD.
A couple of months ago I designed a Cisco Unified Wireless Network for an enterprise company. One of the big challenges was the ability to serve wireless guest services in the branch offices, which are connected to the headquarters via MPLS. Mostly the MPLS connections are terminated in the LAN zone, so it is difficult to tunnel the guests via the corporate infrastructure to gain internet access. I achieved this in the Cisco environment with the Mobility Anchor feature. With this feature, you can offer a flexible and easy-to-implement method for deploying wireless guest services by using Ethernet in IP within a centralized architecture. Ethernet over IP is a proprietary tunnel across Layer 3 topology between two Cisco wireless LAN controllers. For more Information see: http://goo.gl/6pjXcZRead More »
Employee are now unchained from their desks; mobility frees the ability to work anyplace, anytime, and from any device. This is revolutionizing the type of productivity and efficiency businesses see from their workforce- large, medium, or small. While realizing business efficiency and growth, midmarket IT is struggling to balance objectives (make the network for you) and challenges (limited resources).
Midmarket IT Objectives
Leverage the network as a strategic asset
To increase employee productivity and gain competitive advantage;
Better serving customers,
Thus realizing overall growth
Midmarket IT Challenges with Mobility and BYOD
The advent of mobility and BYOD, while unleashing unprecedented levels of communication and collaboration, brings challenges to IT. Mobility enables BYOD. BYOD enables multiple types of employees, logging in from multiple types of devices, from multiple locations. Users are demanding access to the Internet and applications wherever and whenever they want. Chaos? Anyone reading this won’t need the laundry list of concerns. It’s there.