In my previous posts, I discussed with you the importance of unified policy and management as you respond to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. The Cisco Unified Access solution brings “One Policy. One Management. One Network” to help you with your BYOD initiatives. Today I’ll take a look at the third pillar of Cisco Unified Access, One Network. I’ll explore with you what it means and why it is a critical factor as you take on BYOD.
The workforce is increasingly going mobile. According to research firm Gartner, tablets will be the key accelerator to workforce mobility. A Gartner 2012 report suggested that annual tablet purchase by businesses totaled 13 million units and this number would more than triple to reach 53 million units by 2016. Such rapid mobile growth calls for major wireless network expansion. Market data from Infonetics showed that global wireless LAN equipment sales in the 3rd quarter of 2012 passed the $1-billion mark for the first time.
For you and IT teams around the world, the question is how to keep up with such rapid endpoint device and network growth, while handling the complexity that comes with it.
For a long time, wireless networks were considered to be a “secondary network” or “best effort network”. For that reason, many vital technologies and capabilities were lacking in wireless in the early days, such as security (remember WEP?), QoS, resiliency and scalability. A lot of progress has been made but there are still clear gaps. For example, in his article “It’s time for wireless LANs to evolve”, analyst Zeus Kerravala described four areas for wireless network to improve, including high-density wireless, resiliency, real-time media (voice/video) and application-specific support. Do you see similar needs to improve your wireless network?
In the meantime, critical demand on wired networks continues. Do you need to support both wired and wireless networks? And do your network users have the expectation that no matter what devices they use, wired or wireless, they will get the same level of performance, reliability, security and satisfaction?
One Network is a major pillar of Cisco Unified Access. It is a strategy to combine the best of wired and wireless networks to deliver a consistent and high quality user experience, while reducing IT complexity. To date, Cisco has made much progress on One Network including:
- Security: Security Group Access (SGA) for context-aware security on both wired and wireless networks
- Network resiliency: Stateful Switchover (SSO) for maximized wired and wireless network availability
- Application Visibility and Control: Flexible NetFlow, WhireShark and other tools for better support of real-time applications on both wired and wireless networks
- Smart Operations: auto-install and configuration of Cisco Catalyst switches and wireless access points to simplify IT operations.
Your BYOD initiatives will include the ability to identify and control incoming devices (onboarding) based on your organizational policy; provisioning of resources and services based on business needs; and application and collaboration support for your workforce. Cisco Unified Access provides you with a solid platform based on mission critical wired and wireless networks to build your BYOD initiatives. No matter how your users connect and where they connect, you can use Cisco Unified Access with one policy, one management and one network to simplify your operations while delivering the best user experience possible.
Expect more Cisco Unified Access excitement in the coming weeks – in fact you can register for our webinar, Is Your Network Ready for BYOD? live on January 29th at 8:30am PST!