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How to adapt your wireless infrastructure for the BYOD - Black Box

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The Changing Wi-Fi Landscape
How to adapt your
wireless infrastructure
for the BYOD trend.
Wireless is evolving quickly.
Are you keeping up?
The future of wireless is now!
In the five short years since the original iPhoneВ® was
unveiled, the wireless landscape has changed dramatically.
Wireless networks that were once asked to support only
a few laptop computers now routinely host a wide range
of mobile devices including smartphones, tablet computers,
and e-readers, often with these devices running
bandwidth-intensive applications such as video.
The wireless revolution is happening right now — it won’t
wait for you to be ready. The number of mobile devices
is increasing rapidly and the users of these devices expect
wireless availability, speed, and mobility. However, this
creates challenges for IT managers, who are suddenly facing
the unprecedented bandwidth demand and security
challenges created by unknown devices on the network.
This recent explosion of handheld wireless devices has
had an impact on wireless networks in ways that are not
always obvious, so you need an understanding of what
these changes are and how they affect your wireless
network, and how new technologies can help your
network meet the demands of the wireless revolution.
It’s time for IT managers to face the future, time to evaluate
how wireless requirements have changed in recent years,
and time to take advantage of new technologies such
as 802.11n, decentralized architecture with “smart”
access points, and cloud-based management. These
new technologies help enterprise wireless networks meet
the needs of today’s users, while maintaining network
integrity and security.
The Changing Wi-Fi Landscape
The special challenge of today’s wireless environment
The proliferation of mobile devices.
There are more handheld wireless devices in use than ever —
laptops, smartphones, tablets, e-readers — and the average
number of devices per user is rising. It’s not  unusual for a user
to carry a smartphone plus an iPadВ® or e-reader.
This proliferation of mobile devices drives today’s bring-yourown-device (BYOD) trend, in which employees bring their own
personal devices to work for both business and personal use.
Smartphones and tablets are poised to become the dominant
tools of the business world, the barriers between personal
devices and company-owned “official” devices have fallen,
and IT managers are left scrambling to catch up.
Security issues.
Wireless has traditionally been a weak point in network security.
Many notorious hacks have involved wireless networks. In fact,  
one of the most embarrassing and damaging security breaches
in history started with hackers breaking into a retailer’s Wi-Fi
network, compromising millions of credit cards. Wireless security
is important not just to avoid the damage that a breach can cause,
it’s also essential for compliance with privacy and regulatory
standards such as PCI (dealing with payment card transaction
security) as well as HITECH and HIPAA healthcare regulations.
Mobile wireless devices create significant security
dilemmas, including:
• Multiple devices: Because users may have more than one
device, it becomes important to differentiate between devices
and their users. Do you grant the boss’s personal iPad® the
same level of authorization as his corporate laptop?
• Differing access levels: Different kinds of devices may require
different levels of access. For instance, personal devices could
be restricted to Internet access only while a corporate laptop
may be allowed access to the entire network.
• Rogue apps: With today’s world of easily downloaded
apps, there’s really no way to tell exactly what’s on any given
device and no way to tell if it’s safe. The security company
McAfee reports that threats to smartphones are on the rise.
Higher bandwidth requirements.
Web sites and applications are using more bandwidth than
ever and are now accessed, not only on personal computers,
but also on mobile devices. This increased bandwidth
demand impacts wireless performance — with increased
demand, connections may become slow or intermittent or
drop out altogether.
In addition to demand from mobile devices, the trend toward
network convergence means that wireless may be called upon
to support services such as VoIP and videoconferencing, which
not only require bandwidth, but are highly sensitive to network
loss, delay, and jitter.
Increased power requirements.
Mobile devices such as smartphones require higher signal
strength than laptop computers. A wireless signal that’s
adequate for a laptop computer may be insufficient for a
smartphone, which usually has a radio with lower RF transmit
power and lower RF receive sensitivities. Wireless access
points must have higher output power and better sensitivity
to serve these devices.
AndroidВ® Phone
Laptop Computer
Wireless Access Point
Most mobile devices require a higher signal strength than laptop computers.
888-245-6215 |
The Changing Wi-Fi Landscape
New technologies to meet today’s wireless demands
802.11n wireless standard.
Today’s faster processors have enabled a decentralized
architecture that uses “intelligent” access points that increase
network efficiency because functions such as forwarding
decisions, policy enforcement, and radio power control are handled
at the access-point level rather than by a central controller.
The relatively new 802.11n wireless standard offers actual
throughput of 100 Mbps or more — fast enough to compete
with wired networks and support time-sensitive applications
such as video and VoIP.
True roaming.
802.11n is much faster than the older 802.11g standard
and also supports a greater range with greater coverage and
reliability in “busy” environments that interfere with wireless.
Because mobile devices are, by definition, mobile, users may
move from the range of one access point to another. Today’s
managed wireless systems “remember” users and devices,
enabling them to roam from access point to access point
seamlessly without dropping their connection.
802.11n achieves its remarkable performance by operating in
both the 2.4- and 5-GHz bands, through the use of channel
bonding, and by using multiple wireless signals and antennas
instead of one.
The “cloud.”
802.11n offers robust security, too, with support for the 802.11i
(WPA2) security standard.
802.11n is backwards compatible with 802.11g, which still has
a broad installed base, but is now viewed as inadequate for
today’s more complex, bandwidth-intensive applications.
Distributed architecture.
The first generation of WLANs consisted of standalone access
points that were relatively simple to deploy, but lacked the
manageability, mobility, and security features that enterprises
required. Then centralized, controller-based architectures
emerged to address these issues. Unfortunately, they also
introduced performance bottlenecks, single points of failure,
increased latency, and substantially higher costs.
Cloud computing is the delivery of hosted services over the
Internet. Companies can leverage the cloud to drive out cost
or unnecessary redundancy. This technology reduces capital
expenditures by providing cost-effective central management
and increased flexibility and savings on IT infrastructure, and by
enabling centralized management of large wireless networks
across multiple sites.
Client segmentation abilities.
A common IT challenge is how to handle personal devices
when they use wireless for Internet access. Today’s managed
wireless systems enable client segmentation to create guest
networks that separate Internet traffic from corporate traffic,
enabling levels of access defined by user and device. Guest
users can also be restricted in the amount of bandwidth they
use, so they don’t interfere with vital traffic.
Corporate Enterprise APs Used in
Wired/Wireless Mesh Network
Enterprise Switch
Wired Infrastructure
Indoor AP
Hardened AP
Indoor AP
SmartPath EMS Virtual Management Appliance Software
(LWN600VMA) installed on server;
Also Available: Cloud-Based Service (LWN600CM-1 or LWN600CM-3)
Mobile Users
Indoor AP
Hardened AP
Distributed wireless architecture features intelligent access points that forward
traffic on the least-cost path without the need for a central controller.
888-245-6215 |
The Changing Wi-Fi Landscape
The SmartPath forward
SmarthPathв„ў next-generation wireless from Black Box is the
wireless solution that enables your enterprise wireless network
to meet today’s wireless demands. It combines enterprise-class
intelligent access points with a suite of management and
security functions to provide unrivaled wireless performance.
SmartPath architecture.
SmartPath features intelligent access points that actively sort
and forward packets by the most efficient route, which can be
to the wired network or to another access point. This distributed
mesh architecture ensures that there’s no single point of
failure — if an access point goes down, other nearby access
points compensate — and eliminates the traffic bottlenecks
associated with controller-based architectures.
SmartPath roaming.
For seamless mobile user connectivity, SmartPath anticipates
motion and proactively tracks users moving from access point
to point. This provides continuous coverage for voice or video
applications without an interruption in service. This is done
automatically and is transparent to the end user.
SmartPath security.
SmartPath has robust security and policy enforcement, including
NAC functionality and LDAP/Active Directory integration
for authenticating users or devices before they’re granted
access to your network.SmartPath supports VPN and QoS,
plus, each access point also has onboard stateful-inspection
firewall policy enforcement that syncs with neighboring access
points. A built-in guest portal enables secure Internet access
for mobile devices without allowing them access to the
primary network.
SmartPath throughput.
SmarthPath is built on fast 802.11n wireless and uses advanced
circuitry and algorithms to prevent older 802.11a/b/g devices
on the network from slowing down 802.11n devices.
Client load balancing automatically increases airtime allocation
to clients that need it, while enabling you to throttle less critical
clients, such as personal smartphones.
SmartPath access points continually monitor connection quality.
If target service levels fall short, the SmartPath network
automatically responds to ensure that mobile devices can
connect reliably and that bandwidth-sensitive applications
such as voice and video receive priority.
SmartPath access points are generally managed through the
SmartPath Enterprise Management System (EMS), available
as a cloud-based service. Cloud-based management eliminates
capital expenditures and enables centralized management
across multiple sites. Access Points can also be managed
through Virtual Management Appliance Software installed
on your server.
Upgrade to SmartPath.
SmartPath is a cost-effective enterprise wireless solution
for new WLAN networks or for upgrading existing enterprise
wireless. Cloud-based management makes SmartPath highly
scalable, so it can be installed incrementally.
To learn more about affordable, capable SmartPath
enterprise wireless, talk to one of our SmartPath experts
at 888-245-6215 or visit
First choose your wireless AP(s)…
SmartPath Wireless Access Point (AP)
Indoor (with Integrated Antennas)
Hardened (without Antennas)
…then select either a cloud-based management service…
SmartPath Enterprise Management System (EMS), Cloud-Based
1-Year Subscription per AP
3-Year Subscription per AP
…or locally deployed software with the required AP licenses:
SmartPath Enterprise Management System (EMS) Virtual Management
Appliance Software (Up to 1500 APs)
SmartPath Perpetual License for EMS Appliance Virtual Management Appliance
Software (Perpetual, per Access Point)
Select the power option for your application…
802.3at PoE Gigabit Injector, 1-Port
SmartPath 30-W Power Kit with Cord, U.S.
For hardened APs, order…
SmartPath 602HA Antenna Kit (Indoor Use)
вњ¦ Includes (3) 1.4-GHz and (3) 5-GHz antennas for (1) AP.
SmartPath 602HA Outdoor Kit
вњ¦ Includes (1) NEMA enclosure, (1) pole bracket, assorted hardware, (1) lightning
protection device, (1) power supply, and (4) dual-band antennas for (1) AP.
888-245-6215 |
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