Archive for June, 2013

Overland Storage SnapScale Wins Hardware Product of the Year

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Overland Storage the trusted global provider of effortless data management and data protection solutions across the data lifecycle, has announced that its SnapScale clustered NAS solution has won the Editor’s Choice Award for Hardware Product of the Year at The Storage Awards 2013.

The Storage Awards 2013 were held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London. This annual event is attended by most of the industry’s key influencers. It offers readers of Storage Magazine (UK) the chance to reward outstanding products, services and people within the storage sector. The much-coveted Editor’s Choice Award recognizes the company’s industry-leading status and celebrates its innovative hardware solutions.

“We are honored to receive the Editor’s Choice Award, as it reflects our continuous effort to deliver simple, intuitive and cost effective data storage solutions,” said Joe Disher , Director of Product Marketing for Disk Based Products, Overland Storage. “SnapScale provides enterprise-class features such as high availability with automatic failover, snapshots, replication and flexible provisioning at one of the most competitive prices in the market. With the ability to easily add hundreds of petabytes of capacity, scale performance linearly and manage data under a single global namespace, SnapScale empowers businesses to grow their storage infrastructure without interruption or downtime.”

The SnapScale brand has revolutionized scale-out storage since it was launched in late 2012. Built on the company’s newest innovation – RAINcloud OS technology – and utilizing features such as RapidRebuild, which maximizes availability, this clustered NAS solution eliminates independent storage silos and unifies storage volumes under one global namespace. SnapScale represents a simple to deploy, easy to manage, highly available, high-performance data storage solution.

Click here to view the full release from Overland Storage, or for more information on the brilliant SnapScale solution email sales@net-ctrl.com, or call us direct on 01473 281 211.

11ac What the Vendors Wont Tell You

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Learn about 802.11ac and what the vendors won’t tell you.

802.11ac is all the rage, and rightfully so. It represents another fundamental change in the innovation of the 802.11 protocol that promises to boost speeds into the gigabit world.

802.11ac gets this big leap in Wi-Fi performance using wider channels, more efficient modulation (the way in which bits are carried within RF waves), and multiple user connections (so-called multi-user MIMO). And it will come in waves. Literally.

Print

However, Wave 2 requires new silicon chips that are different from Wave 1 devices (read hardware upgrade).

Beware that not all 802.11ac access points will be created equal. Many using the Broadcom chip will suffer from some limitations such as the inability to support more than 50 encrypted clients. And without an onboard CPU in the Broadcom .ac, all Wi-Fi functions are processed by the host’s (AP’s) CPU. This is far less efficient because the offloading prevents the AP CPU from using low-power states.

multiuseMIMO

As always, don’t actually believe that you’ll get any of the gigabit speeds that vendors are promising anytime soon because most of these features are dependent on how well Wi-Fi access points can manage the RF spectrum. The vast majority of enterprise APs today still use basic omni-directional antenna designs that have no control over RF signals.

Quite honestly, the single best benefit of 802.11ac is that it operates within the channel-rich 5GHz band – offering 500MHz of bandwidth from 25 non-overlapping channels (compared to 83.5MHz of bandwidth within the 2.4GHz band using 3 non-overlapping channels).

Wider channels are also compatible with 20 or 40 MHz 802.11a and 11n devices. 802.11ac uses an enhanced version of protection mechanisms (RTS/CTS) to dynamically determine whether all or only some (such as the primary 20, 40, or 80 MHz) of the wider channel is available for transmission.

Finally, a fundamental priority for the IEEE is to maintain backward compatibility with previous 802.11 protocols. As a 5GHz only technology, 802.11ac supports both 802.11a and 11n frame formats and protection mechanisms and is fully backward compatible with both.

So we’re all good, right? Not so fast (get it?).
 
Spectral Efficiency: the Key to 802.11ac

What vendors WON’T tell you about 802.11ac is that spectral efficiency can easily be reduced in a Wi-Fi network whenever multiple APs are using wider channels.

Spectral efficiency relates to the information rate that can be transmitted over a given bandwidth in a specific communication system. It is a measure of how efficiently a limited frequency spectrum utilized by the physical layer protocol.

And they won’t tell you that the modulation techniques that allow faster communications will only benefit clients at close range with a very high signal-to-noise ratio (that the preponderance of enterprise access points can’t deliver). Range will also be an issue as 5GHz Wi-Fi signals have shorter useful range and do not penetrate obstructions as well as 2.4GHz signals.

As a result, it’s important to look for 802.11ac products that focus RF signals, increasing gain and extending reach to enable higher data and modulation rates. The ability for Wi-Fi systems to adapt to changing environmental conditions and a myriad of different client types significantly increases the likelihood that all these capabilities (that make 802.11ac so attractive to enterprises) can actually be put to good use.

Finally, keep in mind that 802.11ac will come at a cost – a higher cost. This cost is not only for the access points but also for new PoE switches that will have to support the higher-power 802.3at standard that many of these new 802.11ac APs will require.
 
Signal Path Control Adds Big Value

For 802.11ac to work as advertised, it’s essential to have greater control over the signal paths within the RF spectrum.

This proved to be the case as the industry moved from 802.11g to 802.11n, which introduced multiple Wi-Fi radio chains (MIMO), a whole bunch of new PHY rates, spatial multiplexing, and the aggregation of frames. The same is true as companies migrate from 802.11n to 802.11ac.

For instance, with per-packet adaptive antenna control, polarization diversity, and active channel selection techniques, Smarter Wi-Fi APs maximize the potential of 256-QAM with 802.11. This means

Greater SNR/SINR increases the useful downlink range of 256-QAM Adaptive polarization diversity with maximal ratio combining (PD-MRC) and higher uplink receive sensitivity increase uplink range of 256-QAM, and APs that can select channels with more capacity and less noise and interference.

QAM

Also with the possibility of 20MHz, 40 MHz, 80MHz or 160MHz channel widths, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine what channel widths are optimal for each environment based on spectral reuse, the number of APs, transmit power, client device types and channel support, etc.

Predictive channel selection (i.e. ChannelFly) tackles these problems by determining the highest-capacity channel available by using statistical modeling of actual traffic over time. ChannelFly help 802.11ac to learn the channels best suited for bonding at any given time,adaptively change channel as environmental conditions fluctuate, discover the best channel settings for the environment, the client device types and count, channel width support, and the amount of traffic at each bandwidth setting.

Finally, when multi-user MIMO comes around, it will be imperative to have access points that can direct Wi-Fi signals to each client to better separate signals. This enables higher sustained data rates, and increased client capacities can be achieved because users can get on and off the Wi-Fi network faster and with less packet loss and retransmissions.

Adaptive or smart antennas will simply add unmatched value to any 802.11ac deployment. Without explicit RF controls, 802.11ac performance will be severely limited.

Because adaptive antennas constantly focus Wi-Fi signals over the fastest possible path at any given time, this provides better spectral efficiency – enabling larger frames to be transmitted, advanced modulation techniques to be extended, and higher SNR/SINR levels to be achieved.

802.11ac is an optimistic protocol with impressive theoretical gains. But at the end of the day, the best approach to improve capacity and enable such high data rates with 802.11ac will require a more sophisticated approach to RF management. Without it, you just might be wasting your time and money.

To view the original article by the Ruckus Room click here.

Ruckus Unveils New Device Agnostic Networking Framework

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Ruckus Unveils New Device Agnostic Networking Framework that Uniquely Combines High Capacity Wi-Fi with Best in Class BYOD

Simple and Low-Cost BYOD Essentials Bring Easy Device Onboarding, Automatic Device-Based Policy Enforcement, Granular Application Filtering, and Robust Device Management to Smart Wi-Fi

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. unveiled a new framework for device agnostic networking (DAN) that helps organizations reduce the burden on IT staff and related costs associated with managing the explosion in mobile device usage.

With the increased use of personal smart devices like smartphones and tablets at home, school, and work, organizations everywhere face challenges in supporting and managing different devices accessing their networks and network resources with limited administrative visibility. This can create performance, security and management concerns.

The Ruckus DAN framework is a new approach to the industry’s growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon that combines important access management capabilities with the industry’s highest capacity wireless LAN (WLAN) system, Ruckus ZoneFlex™. This unique combination helps IT organizations drive down mobility service management costs while rapidly scaling their Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructures to meet the influx of new Wi-Fi devices flooding their networks.

DAN introduces a number of software enhancements to the Ruckus ZoneFlex system that simplify and automate these major BYOD tasks:

1: provisioning users and devices on the network (onboarding)

2: applying policies based on device type

3: filtering select application traffic

4: managing and controlling IT authorized and non-authorized user devices

“The first order problem companies face with BYOD is simply dealing with the extraordinary increase in client capacities,” said Rob Mustarde, VP of Marketing for Ruckus Wireless. “Before worrying about BYOD, organizations must be able to reliably connect three times the number of concurrent devices that users now have in their pockets. You simply can’t manage what you can’t get on the network.”

“Ruckus is bringing together the industry’s highest capacity WLAN system with essential elements for addressing BYOD. DAN delivers a more simplified and integrated BYOD framework that enables device agnostic access management — automating everything from onboarding to device and application policy enforcement,” added Mustarde.

All Onboard!

To automate secure network access for sanctioned and unsanctioned devices, DAN introduces a consolidated BYOD portal for guest access and device registration using a single WLAN. This speeds onboarding and eliminates the need for an external captive portal Web server.

The DAN portal is a mobile friendly landing page provided by the Ruckus ZoneFlex operating system that gives mobile users easy and intuitive instructions to securely access the Wi-Fi network without manually configuring their wireless devices. Additionally, the BYOD onboarding portal provides a one-click operation to Ruckus Zero-IT registration.

Zero-IT is an onboarding technology that lets users self-provision devices without IT intervention. Users connect to a provisioning network, login with their domain credentials, and Zero-IT auto-configures their device with the right network profile and associated privileges.

When the device reconnects to the proper network, advanced security is enforced with standard 802.1x or with Ruckus patented Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (Dynamic PSK™) technology and the user receives access, based on the role- or device-based policies in place. IT stays out of the onboarding loop while retaining full control over the user/device access. Additionally, IT staff can identify which logon credentials were used to register a device, the type of device registered, and granular network use.

Automating Device and Application Policies Simplifies BYOD Management

Once users and devices are provisioned, DAN allows automatic enforcement of pre-defined device and application rules, eliminating burdensome policy management.

Within the DAN framework, administrators can automatically apply policies to allow, deny, rate limit, or assign devices to separate virtual LANs (VLANs) based on the operating system or device type. This permits flexible access rules to be automatically enforced based on the device type without the need to maintain user roles or attributes within an authentication system.

In the future, administrators could use this same automatic policy enforcement function to allow, deny or change the priority of specific application traffic such as social media, gaming, and video streaming. This reduces unwanted traffic and congestion on Wi-Fi networks to improve performance.

Robust Mobile Device Management Delivers Complete Remote Control

With users and their devices now connected and provisioned to the network, DAN can deliver robust mobile device management (MDM) capabilities through partnerships with MDM vendors such as FileWave. DAN MDM capabilities make it easy for administrators to manage mobile devices and applications, push device profiles, and better control and troubleshoot user devices. For example, administrators can remotely manage passwords and encryption, delete data or wipe devices, inject network settings and configure remote and email access policies.

DAN MDM can also provide additional functionality such as an end-user kiosk application, a portal residing on the end-user device that houses business applications that an organization wants to share with users from a central location.

DAN MDM provides easy access to a rich inventory of device information such as installed applications, application deployment status, available device capacity, IP address, UDID, serial number, OS version, device name, and MAC address. With cloud-hosted or on premises options, DAN mobile device management supports a variety of operating systems including Windows, MAC OS X, Linux, and iOS, giving customers a more reliable, powerful and scalable solution.

User self-service capabilities, role-based access, and application control allow IT staff to set up policies one time, eliminating the need to respond to myriad support requests. Automated application updates also reduce IT end user support workload.

Pricing and Availability

Available immediately, DAN capabilities including the BYOD onboarding portal and automatic device policy enforcement are supported at no cost within ZoneFlex 9.6 software. Automatic application filtering is also a free capability that will be available within the ZoneFlex software system in the fourth quarter.

DAN mobile device management software, available through a partnership with FileWave, can be purchased through Ruckus value-added resellers either as on premises software or as a cloud-based SAAS solution. It is available immediately in the U.S. and Europe and priced on a per-device license basis.

Original press release from Ruckus Wireless can be viewed here. For more information on any of the above please email sales@net-ctrl.com , or call 01473 281 211.

Ruckus Wireless Bring Back Education Promotion

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

It’s Back: Buy 8 Ruckus Wireless Access Points and get 2 Free!

Ruckus Wireless has re-introduced the successful Buy 8 Get 2 free bundle for education.

The promotion applies to:

ZoneFlex 7363 – Indoor Dual-Band 802.11n AP
ZoneFlex 7372 – Indoor Dual-Band 802.11n AP with 3rd generation chipset
ZoneFlex 7982 – Indoor Dual-Band 3×3:3 802.11n AP

For more information contact Net-Ctrl direct on 01473 281 211, or email sales@net-ctrl.com

Why use Net-Ctrl

Net-Ctrl is the largest Ruckus Wireless reseller in Europe, Middle East and Asia, and we have been for the last two years. We have a dedicated wireless technical team that are fully trained and certified in the wireless field and who are capable of performing highly detailed and accurate site surveys so you know exactly what you’re buying. We are also able to fully install and cable your new wireless installation.

Terms & Conditions:
1. A ZoneDirector controller must be purchased with licenses up to the appropriate number of Access Points.
2. Access Points must all be of the same type.
3. Watchdog support must be taken on the ZoneDirector controller.
4. Ruckus Partner must attain deal registration from Ruckus Wireless