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Defining the Enterprise Mobility Network

Given my role as CTO for the Ethernet and Wireless Technology Group, I am frequently asked how Ethernet relates to mobility. While this is a great question, I typically ask whether they have ever connected to an Ethernet cable other than the one in their office -- and, of course, you already know the answer. Mobility itself has many forms, including being nomadic, which is typically how most people use both wireless and wired networks with laptops/notebooks.Today’s wireless networks have evolved to the point where strong user authentication is used to ensure that users are provided the proper level of access based on their role in the organization. More often than not, what I am hearing is that once a wireless network has been deployed, and the user/policy mappings have been defined, network managers would like to leverage that existing base for their wired networks as well. Imagine how much simpler it would be to deploy a network if it was no longer necessary to know apriori who/what was connected to each individual switch port, and simply let the network apply the proper policy and route/isolate the traffic accordingly.I saw a recent study where a number of IT professionals were asked about their plans for deploying Network Admission Control (NAC). One of the questions in this survey asked whether they had plans to provide NAC services on the wired or wireless network? I think the reason why I was perplexed by this question was that someone could believe their devices would be ‘non-compliant to their corporate policy’ only when connecting through a specific network.In the end, it’s really about One Network. Users will roam throughout the enterprise and expect a seamless user experience as well as the same level of service, regardless of whether they are on the wireless network, or conected to any Ethernet jack they can find. So while you may be asking yourself how Ethernet relates to mobility, your users already know the answer.

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