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Four Steps to Prepare Your Network for the Challenges of BYOD and Pervasive Wireless

I know BYOD is hitting close to home when I’m receiving notices from the local middle and high schools requiring students to bring their own tablets to class. It is efforts like these that show BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as more than simply a marketing term being thrown around by various network vendors—it’s undeniably real and it’s all around us.

With that in mind, the promise of BYOD will come with its challenges—the deployment and management risks involved threaten to be a major headache for IT managers if they are not properly prepared for it. When it comes to wireless networks, preparing and planning for potential future technological trends is always a best practice. We know our customers will be faced with the challenge of preparing for BYOD, and we want to help. That’s why we are hosting a webinar called Pervasive Wireless for BYOD.

We plan to discuss how to best prepare your network for the challenges and management risks inherent to a BYOD deployment:

  • New user expectations in an evolving workplace landscape.
  • The enterprise no longer owns the mobile devices accessing the network.
  • IT has lost visibility and control of user devices and applications.

With BYOD, anywhere, anytime, any device usage is expected from the user, and the workplace is now globally dispersed with users touting mixed wireless devices. This paradigm shift calls for dramatic changes in how IT controls and manages users, devices, and applications.  It is critical to be aware of these challenges when planning, deploying and managing your network for BYOD.

To give you a taste of what is included in the webinar; here are four steps we will be discussing:

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Lost Not Found

A few years back, I was traveling in the Southwest. Since I needed to work while on the road, I made reservations for a hotel that advertised in-room WiFi. I guess I should have paid attention to the disclaimer that the hotel was “not responsible for errors or omissions.” The IT vendor that installed the hotel’s WiFi network had apparently forgotten the WiFi. And wired access. And any connections of any sort.

But I had work to do, so I headed to the lobby in search of a WiFi signal and a quiet corner. Unfortunately, the only thing that was quiet was the WiFi network. Even in the coffee shop. The barista served up a mean macchiato but still no WiFi.

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Wireless Security and Monitoring via the Cisco Aironet 3600 Expansion Module

A recent highway project in Orlando had proposed that an off-ramp be built for a future neighborhood and development center. Because the area was planned for future development, this caused some debate within the community. Some argued that that there was no point to spending money on something that might not be possible in the future. Others argued that it was good idea to build the off-ramp and spend the money now so when the neighborhood and development center was ready, a cost savings would occur since building it now would save money in the future. Both sides have good arguments and after some healthy debate, the off-ramp was built for the future neighborhood and development center, which both are now thriving.

Well, what does this have to do with Cisco and wireless technology? This is a good example of how the 3600 Access Point was designed. Even with the pressures of time to market and cost management, the development team took the extra time to add the option for future modular expansion. The same debates in the Orlando community took place here between development engineering and product management. “It will cost too much and delay the release of the product (especially in an industry where time to market is essential)” versus “Let’s have modularity so we can address whatever future technology is available so our customers can take advantage of it without having to rip & replace their APs”. We like to say we’re “future proofing” the AP.

Well, the future proofing argument won, and the 3600 was released last January with an expansion module for additional features and emerging technology. Already in May  we announced the 802.11ac Radio Module that will support the emerging standard.

Now, we have another addition to this expansion: the Security and Monitor Module. Read More »

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Always-On Mobile Experience with Wi-Fi

August 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm PST

Importance of High Availability:  If you are reading this blog, you likely own 2-5 Wi-Fi-capable devices: laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. From employees to students, from doctors to guests, the common theme is that everyone now uses wireless as a preferred mode of access.

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802.11n for Midmarket BYOD: Why now?

We’re in the midst of an incredible megatrend. We know it and we’re living it. We all love our mobile devices; whether it’s our laptop (yes, I’m sitting at my kids swim class typing away for work), our mobile phone (I’m getting texts on what’s for dinner), or our tablet (where Draw Something awaits me). Apple recently stated that they have sold more than 67 million iPads in the recent 18 months. That is more than all the Mac sales in the past 27 years. There’s no denying it:  we are in the midst of an incredible megatrend—a mobile megatrend.

But what does this mean to businesses?From the IT perspective, the role of the mobile devices has transformed from a luxury item used for personal communication and entertainment to an integral tool for employee productivity. Mobile devices are now the main platform for work (laptop or tablet) and the primary medium for corporate contact (mobile phone). With employees bringing an average of two mobile devices each (laptop/tablet + mobile phone), companies can reap the benefits of new business opportunities and more productive employees.

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