Archive for the ‘latest news’ Category

Why Wi-Fi 6 is a breakthrough technology for the IoT

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Tom Soderstrom, the IT Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), recently wrote an article titled “The Next Computing Wave: Ultra Powerful, Ultra-Accelerated, Ultra Connected.” The article, published on MeriTalk, touches on a number of topics, including Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), 5G, quantum computing, and the Cloud.

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Wi-Fi 6 & the IoT

As Soderstrom observes, Wi-Fi 6 is nothing less than a “breakthrough technology” in the wireless arena.

“It’s coming soon, and it’s built for IoT. It will connect many, many more people to mobile devices, household appliances, or public utilities, such as the power grid and traffic lights,” he states. “The transfer rates with Wi-Fi 6 are expected to improve anywhere from four times to 10 times current speeds, with a lower power draw, i.e. while using less electricity.”

According to Soderstrom, IoT devices (aka sensors) will create and store massive amounts of data in the Cloud – all the time. 

“The flexibility of the Cloud allows service providers and developers at home and in enterprises to modify applications in near-real time,” he explains. “In fact, almost all AI-based applications or machine learning programs will be built in the Cloud, including the wireless apps used in retail, manufacturing, transportation and more.”

Wi-Fi 6 & Increased Power Efficiency

As Soderstrom succinctly notes, Wi-Fi 6 is more power-efficient than its predecessors. As we’ve previously discussed here at The Ruckus Room, this is made possible by a technology known as Target Wake Time (TWT). Essentially, TWT enables devices to determine when and how frequently they will wake up to send or receive data. In real-world terms, this allows wireless Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs) to increase device sleep time and significantly conserve battery life, a feature that is particularly important for the IoT. In addition to saving power on the client device side, Target Wake Time enables wireless access points and devices to negotiate and define specific times to access the medium. This helps optimize spectral efficiency by reducing contention and overlap between users.

The Origins of Target Wake Time

The Target Wake Time mechanism first appeared in the IEEE 802.11ah “Wi-Fi HaLow” standard. Published in 2017, the low-power standard is specifically designed to support the large-scale deployment of IoT infrastructure – such as stations and sensors – that intelligently coordinate signal sharing. The TWT feature further evolved with the Wi-Fi 6 standard, as stations and sensors are now only required to wake and communicate with the specific beacons transmitting instructions for the TWT broadcast sessions they belong to. This allows the wireless Wi-Fi 6 standard to optimize power saving for many devices, with more reliable, deterministic and LTE-like performance.

Conclusion

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi that bridges the performance gap towards ten gigabit speeds. It delivers faster network performance, connects more devices simultaneously and effectively transitions Wi-Fi from a best-effort endeavor to a deterministic wireless technology that is now the de-facto medium for internet connectivity. Deployed in dense device environments – such as those created by the IoT – Wi-Fi 6 supports higher service-level agreements (SLAs) to more concurrently connected users and devices with more diverse usage profiles. This is made possible by a range of features that optimize spectral efficiency, increase throughput and reduce power consumption. In addition to TWT, these include Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO)Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)BSS Coloringand 1024-QAM.

Click here to view the original post on Ruckus’ website.

New ESG webinar discusses risk areas for BYOD and guest access

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

A while back, Ruckus Networks sponsored a white paper from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) titled “Does Your Method for BYOD Onboarding Compromise Network Security?” This thought-leadership piece did a great job of calling attention to the security flaws in the ways organizations typically get BYOD and guest users connected to the network.

We’d like to share with you a brand new on-demand ESG webinar published under the same title featuring Senior Analyst and Practice Director Bob Laliberte. No registration is required to view the webinar. As much as we like white papers, hearing Bob cover this subject matter in webinar form really brings it to life. You can think of the white paper and webinar as companion pieces that reinforce one another. The webinar builds upon the white paper content to reach new heights of insight. Even if you have read the white paper, the webinar is well worth viewing.

What does the new ESG webinar cover?

As you probably know, ESG is a highly regarded and influential IT industry analyst firm with practice areas that include networking and IT security. Many IT professionals look to them to provide insights into trends in the world of IT. Those of us on the vendor side also follow them to keep tabs on what’s going on in the broader IT landscape. You can check out some of ESG’s videos on their YouTube channel and follow them on the major social media platforms.

The new ESG webinar contains a little over 34 minutes of great content from Bob Laliberte, placing network access security in the broader context of industry topics like digital transformation and IoT adoption. It argues that the attack surface for potential data compromise is growing and suggests some root causes for that dynamic. Bob goes on to cite several drivers for making IT purchase decisions, referencing ESG research to back up his assertions.

Then things really get going as he delves into the core of the subject matte — how commonly used methods for getting BYOD and guest users connected to the network can leave you vulnerable to data and network compromise. (This is something we at Ruckus have been trying to raise awareness about for some time, so it’s great to have ESG validate that perspective.) Bob covers some questions you should ask yourself in relation to network access security. He also makes specific recommendations about how IT teams can improve security in this area.

The Ruckus take on secure network access

Since this is a vendor-sponsored webinar, you probably expect that Ruckus will have something to say on the subject matter, as well. If so, you are correct. Please note that we don’t claim the lion’s share of the airtime though—less than half of the time that Bob spends presenting. The focus here is on his thought-provoking and educational content.

We do take some time at the end to discuss our take on how to plug the security holes inherent to the default methods for getting users and devices connected to the network. This may be giving too much away about the ESG webinar content, but Cloudpath Enrollment System, our SaaS/software for secure onboarding, has security features that address precisely the issues discussed in the webinar.

Conclusion

We’ll wrap up this blog by inviting you again to watch the new on-demand webinar featuring ESG, and reiterate that you don’t need to provide any contact details to view it. It’s a great resource to learn more about network access security issues and how to address them. It can also be a good place to refer others in your organization, who may influence IT strategy, to help them understand the issues. You can also access the companion white paper, either in the form of a dynamic website or a PDF. After that, feel free to check out other resources on the Cloudpath product page. You can even request a live online demo there when you’re ready for a closer look at the product.

Click here to view the original post on Ruckus’ website.

Three ways we’ll change, and three ways we’ll stay the same as part of Thales

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

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This week, Gemalto became part of Thales, It’s the culmination of a phenomenal journey over the last 13 years (and longer, for longstanding Gemplus and Axalto employees), and the starting point for a new stage in our development and the kind of work we’ll be doing.
But amongst all the change, many things will remain very familiar to Gemalto staff, customers, suppliers and partners.

As I look backwards – but mainly forwards, I wanted to reflect on some of the positive changes – and on some of the things that will remain unchanged – as we enter this new era.

Three ways we’ll stay the same:

1. Our vision for digital security remains unchanged as part of Thales. Thales is onboard with our vision and we feel that it will only be accelerated by being part of the group. Our expertise in digital identification and data protection will remain but on top of this we gain experience in Sensors, AI, Big Data. This will help us to gather more data, transfer it securely and make more sense of it in real-time. This will allow our customers to take more intelligent decisions.

2. Our focus on innovation – Gemalto and Thales, and now Gemalto as part of Thales, share a common passion for R&D and customer-focused innovation. Our engineers and researchers are curious and focused on the latest agile practices.

3. Our customer-centric approach. Taking care of our customers, innovating in ways that will make a difference to their bottom line, and so on, is core to the ethos of the combined entity. There’s no question that integrations are busy times, and even amongst the change and the process of bringing the two companies together, a top priority will be our work to ensure that our customers don’t notice what’s happening behind the scenes.

Three ways we’ll change:

1. Our size/reach will shift dramatically. Gemalto will move from being a 15,000 person company to part of an 80,000 person company. Our reach expands from 47 to 68 countries. This gives us access to more people to design, build and sell innovative solutions in more countries around the world.

2. A world of new business ideas. The markets each business are present in will trigger opportunities for collaboration and partnership, as Thales customers benefit from direct, combined access to Gemalto thinking and solutions and vice versa. An example of this is drone traffic management where we can link our expertise in IoT and Thales’ avionics expertise.

3. Boosted R&D capabilities to bring them to market. Our direct investment in R&D grows from €265m to > €1bn and we’re now part of a group with more than 30,000 researchers and engineers. We have many new ideas for new solutions combining technology from Thales & Gemalto that wouldn’t have been possible before.

This change is a positive one for investors, customers, employees, suppliers and more. The combination of our business with Thales’ digital ambitions will help us accelerate our strategy. The future’s bright – it just isn’t orange anymore.

Click here to view the original post on Gemalto’s website

Poor Wi-Fi Can Cause Teachers to Disconnect from Digital Learning

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Are teachers really on board (and online) with digital learning? Students look so fearless swiping and tapping on iPads and Chromebooks. Teachers, on the other hand, can look a little shell-shocked when things don’t go as expected. Like when the Wilton middle school in Connecticut debuted online math testing. And the school’s entire Wi-Fi network crashed.

On paper (or tablet), the Wilton Public Schools had done everything right. All the schools were equipped with Wi-Fi before a digital learning curriculum was launched. Sure, there were complaints about connectivity and wait times. But the problems were intermittent, so the school forged ahead.

But think of Wi-Fi as the road in the digital learning roadmap. If the road isn’t designed for heavy traffic, prepare for crashes. When that happens, you may find that teachers are more resistant to digital learning. It’s understandable, when you consider the time that teachers put into creating lesson plans. How precious classroom time is. And the incredible pressure schools face around testing.

The digital learning plan

Lesson learned! The Wilton school administration brought together an IT manager and a digital learning curriculum designer to create an integrated plan: road + roadmap.

Before the next school year began, the new plan was underway. Every classroom in the four schools was equipped with Ruckus APsRuckus ICX switches were installed in wiring closets. The district-wide network is managed from one system— over 9,000 personal devices and over 14,000 wireless devices (including Chromebooks and iPads) were registered in the first school year.

Now if you visit the middle school, you might find fifth graders video chatting with a peer class in Africa. The two classes are collaborating on designing and building a product prototype to solve an energy-related problem. In another school, third graders are learning about Native Americans. As part of the curriculum, each student will take an iPad from a mobile cart and use an online design program to reproduce an archaeological artifact to represent the life of indigenous people, record an audio description using an online voice recorder and create a QR code for an interactive museum.  

Across the district, students produce about half a million documents each month using a wide variety of Google suite applications. And, if you’re wondering, the district easily supports online testing—not just in a single school but district-wide. No traffic congestion. No crashes. And every lane on the new Wi-Fi is a high-speed lane.

When teachers have confidence that applications will load and tests will be administered, they’re more willing to go outside their comfort zones. Would you like to learn more about the Wilton Public Schools Ready Access plan? Or how the district actually saved money on this Wi-Fi project? Read the full case study or watch the video below.

Click here to view the original post on Ruckus’ website.

A New Leader in Data Protection

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

It’s been an exciting week for everyone at Thales and Gemalto. The combination of our two companies creates the worldwide leader in digital security, protecting more data, transactions and identities than any other company and enabling tens of thousands of organizations to deliver trusted digital services to billions of individuals around the world.

The Leading Data Protection Provider

In addition, this week we launched Thales Cloud Protection & Licensing by bringing together two leading global data protection providers, Thales eSecurity and Gemalto’s Enterprise & Cybersecurity business.

The combination of the Thales eSecurity and Gemalto SafeNet data protection portfolios creates an unrivalled leader in data protection. Our products, including the SafeNet Luna HSM, Thales Vormetric Data Security Platform and Thales payShield, are the recognized de facto standards when it comes to securing data, identities and transactions in any environment.

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Together, we now have a unique position in the market with global leadership in:

  • General Purpose Hardware Security Modules
  • Payment Hardware Security Modules
  • Cloud Hardware Security Modules
  • Data Encryption and Key Management
  • Encryption for High-Speed Networks

Cloud First, Cloud Ready

Even as we lead the market today, we are also building our services and solutions for the future, especially one that is cloud first. It’s quite clear that more and more businesses are building their entire IT infrastructure on the cloud. And it’s not just startups. Large enterprises like banks are going all in on the cloud. Just recently, Standard Bank of South Africa, the second largest bank in Africa, announced it was going to the cloud with AWS. In addition, recently I met with a CIO at a major international bank who told me that within the next 12-18 months a majority of their workloads will be in the public cloud. Two years ago this would have seemed impossible, but clearly the shift to the cloud is accelerating, even for the most security conscious organizations like banks and financial services companies.

This is why we launched SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, making encryption, key management and hardware security modules available from the cloud as consumable, on-demand services through an online marketplace, from Cloud HSM On Demand and Key Management On Demand to Encryption on Demand services. With SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, security is made simpler. DevOps, security and IT professionals just sign up to create an online account and click on the data protection services they need, including securing CyberArk server keys in an HSM as a key vault or an on demand key brokering service that acts as a custodian of keys for your Salesforce.com environment.

The Acceleration of Innovation

With the additional resources and expertise from the combination of our two companies, we will be able to leverage our combined knowledge and increase our investments in order to accelerate innovation. Together, Thales and Gemalto will have 28,000 engineers and 3,000 researchers. For our customers, our promise will be to ensure they can easily upgrade to the new solutions we develop from the products they use today.

Looking to the future, we are uniquely positioned to help organizations protect the new perimeter, which is the data itself and the users accessing that data. While most security vendors provide services that protect just data or secure access to data, we are the only provider that does both with our data protection and access management services. Our vision is that one day these markets will converge and companies will benefit from an integrated solution that helps them identify their most sensitive data. We actually look forward to a time when security becomes part of the DNA of the data and automatically applies encryption and user access controls.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of Thales Cloud Protection & Licensing. Our ambition is to create the global leader in data protection for a cloud first and digital world.

Welcome to the new era for data protection. Learn more about Thales Cloud Protection & Licensing.

Click here to view the original post on Gemalto’s website

How Wi-Fi 6 is changing the hospitality landscape

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

I always liked the name Wi-Fi. Some say it comes from Wireless Fidelity. Others say the name was just a fun word play off High Fidelity (for those of us who may own/owned music albums). Wi-Fi was originally designed to support basic network connectivity for limited services such as retail point of sale (POS) transactions in proprietary business environments. Early consumer adoption kicked off in 1999 when Apple adopted the wireless standard, then branded as AirPort, for its iBook, with IBM announcing its support of Wi-Fi a year later for the ThinkPad 1300. Wi-Fi acceptance quickly accelerated with Intel’s launch and branding of the Centrino platform in 2003. Intel’s endorsement and integration significantly simplified connecting wireless clients and helped make Wi-Fi a standard requirement at hospitality suites across the world.

These early iterations of the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard were relatively limited in terms of speed, spectrum utilization and the efficiency of communications between the access point (AP) and client devices. In fact, the very first iteration of the Wi-Fi standard specified only two raw data rates of 1 and 2 megabits per second (Mbit/s). Fortunately, Wi-Fi has rapidly evolved over the years, bolstered by dedicated memory, faster throughput, and more sophisticated algorithms. Put simply, we’ve been putting bigger engines in our cars. 

The latest Wi-Fi iteration – Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) – offers a four-fold increase in speed over its Wi-Fi 5 predecessor, enabling hotels to smoothly stream a range of guest applications including 4-8K video, VR/AR applications, and eSports games. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 supports many devices and systems – including IoT infrastructure, smartphones, tablets, and laptops – in high-density environments such as hospitality rooms, convention centers, gyms and pools.

It is important to emphasize that Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is revolutionary, rather than simply evolutionary. This is because Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just faster than its predecessors, it is smarter (deterministic) and moves away from a ‘first come, first served’ model. Put simply, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t about brute force speed increases, as the new wireless standard prioritizes more effective utilization of spectrum for both Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) APs and clients. 

To better understand this concept, let’s think about a carpool lane, with the first two lanes dedicated to Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) devices. Let’s imagine 50% of the devices are Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and 50% are Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). We put all the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) devices in the carpool lane, allowing them to operate more efficiently. The remaining Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) clients benefit because we took half the cars from all the lanes – which frees up contention for the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) devices. This provides higher throughput and performance for networks, allowing everyone to move at 15 miles an hour instead of 10.  

The impact of Wi-Fi 6 in hospitality

Next-generation Wi-Fi 6 APs (802.11ax) have already begun shipping, with IDC forecasting Wi-Fi 6 deployment ramping significantly in 2019 and becoming the dominant enterprise Wi-Fi standard by 2021. Hotels must plan now for the coming tide of guest devices expecting Wi-Fi 6. This new wireless infrastructure is for hospitality guests and property alike, as Wi-Fi 6 significantly improves operational efficiency.

Wi-Fi 6 access points are already changing the hospitality landscape. This is the first major change in Wi-Fi architecture and the long-term benefits will last for years to come. The bottleneck used to be on the client device. Then APs became more powerful and moved the bottleneck back to the client. Now with Wi-Fi 6, the client device and AP are optimized – and the conversation will change to switching in support of these faster communications. I still like the name Wi-Fi and think it keeps getting better with age.

Click here to view the original post on Ruckus’ website.

Manage twice the number of APs and clients with Ruckus Unleashed

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Ruckus Unleashed is our easy-to-install, simple-to-manage portfolio of access points (APs) built with the same patented technologies that are present in our enterprise-grade deployments. The eighth version of Unleashed software is a much-anticipated launch for us as we are bringing a major breakthrough in Unleashed scale.

Ruckus Unleashed

With this release, we are doubling the number of clients that a Ruckus Unleashed network can support in a single site. Now, you can deploy up to 50 APs in a single site to support up to 1,024 clients. We are also adding features that will help further simplify the management of Unleashed networks and provide stronger network control.

Let me get into some of the key highlights:

  • Captive portal customization: Connect customers to your brand through a personalized access to Wi-Fi.
  • AP groups: Apply multiple configuration profiles to different groups of APs.
  • Bonjour Fencing: Provides a mechanism to limit the scope of Bonjour service discovery in the physical/spatial domain.
  • Favorite client support: Mark a client as “favorite” to receive notifications when the client connects or disconnects.
  • Merge guest and social media WLAN types: Social media WLANs are now a subcategory of guest WLAN rather than being a separate WLAN type as in previous releases.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Visit the Ruckus Unleashed support site to learn about all the 200.7 features in detail.

In addition, we have also updated our mobile app with the new 200.7 features. Upgrade your Unleashed APs and Ruckus Unleashed Mobile App to the latest version to find out more. We take great pride in our APs—the best in business.

We are expanding the Unleashed portfolio with following APs:

  • M510: Mobile Indoor 802.11ac Wave 2 2×2:2 Wi-Fi AP with LTE Backhaul
  • R320: Indoor 802.11ac Wave 2 2×2:2 Wi-Fi AP

Now, who says you can’t have an enterprise Wi-Fi that is easy to deploy, simple to manage and affordable? Make sure to check out all the excitement here.

Click here to view the original post on Ruckus’ website.

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) Fundamentals: What is MU-MIMO?

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has ratified five major iterations of the 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol, culminating with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) in 2013. However, despite a significant increase in speed, many organizations still find themselves limited by the Wi-Fi 5 standard, particularly in high-density venues such as stadiums, convention centers, transportation hubs and auditoriums. To meet the challenges of high-density deployments, the IEEE recently introduced the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard – which is the first to bridge the performance gap towards 10 gigabit speeds. With an expected four-fold capacity increase over its Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 is successfully transitioning Wi-Fi from a best-effort endeavor to a deterministic wireless technology that is fast becoming the de-facto medium for internet connectivity.


Indeed, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) deployed in dense device environments supports higher service-level agreements (SLAs) with more concurrently connected users and devices and more diverse usage profiles. This is made possible by a range of technologies that optimize spectral efficiency, increase throughput and reduce power consumption. These include Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), Target Wake Time (TWT), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), BSS Coloring and 1024-QAM. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) MU-MIMO mechanism addresses the challenges of dense device environments by adding uplink support for simultaneous (upstream and downstream) client data transmissions.

MU-MIMO describes a set of multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technologies for wireless communication. MU-MIMO was first introduced to the wireless world in 2015 as part of the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard, with the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) protocol adding MU-MIMO support for uplink. MU-MIMO can be used in networks where a single access point (AP) must communicate with multiple clients simultaneously to improve overall efficiency.

MU-MIMO (Wi-Fi 5/802.11ac)

MU-MIMO allows an access point to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously. It is part of the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wave 2 standard. With MU-MIMO, an access point or a wireless router can communicate with multiple network clients at the same time – thus increasing the speed of the data transfer without congestion. A significant advantage of MU-MIMO is its support for transmitting data from an AP to devices in a downlink connection. In addition, MU-MIMO reduces the delay for each end-device receiving the data and enhances the device connectivity between multiple end users.

However, MU-MIMO also has certain limitations. Its functionality works only within the 5GHz band, as Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) is defined only in this band. In addition, MU-MIMO works only when transmitting data from an AP to a client in downlink transmissions – and does not operate in reverse. Moreover, MU-MIMO supports only a limited number of simultaneous data streams.

MU-MIMO (Wi-Fi 6 / 802.11ax)

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) leverages the multi-user version of OFDMA and MU-MIMO for better efficiency of uplink and downlink transmissions. OFDMA allows the transmission of big chunks of data over a single noisy channel. This technique works by splitting a single signal into multiple smaller signals that are transmitted. The combination of OFDMA and MU-MIMO allows Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) to achieve increased capacity, improved coverage and performance in ultra-high-density environments.

UL MU-MIMO is a new key feature introduced with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). By leveraging UL MU-MIMO, multiple clients connected to the access point will be able to send acknowledgement responses (ack) simultaneously, thus saving airtime. This ultimately improves network throughput and efficiency.

Another important Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) feature is its support for 20MHz-only clients. This is particularly beneficial for low-cost IoT devices that require low power and pack very small batteries. In contrast, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) mandates 80MHz clients. The Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) protocol enables simultaneous upstream and downstream MU-MIMO data transmissions on the same frequency. This results in higher Wi-Fi performance, especially in higher-density environments such as stadiums, convention centers, transportation hubs and auditoriums.

It should be noted that MU-MIMO and OFDMA provide complementary techniques to concurrently serve multiple users. More specifically, MU-MIMO is most effective at close to mid-range, whereas OFDMA is effective at all ranges, close, medium and far. Moreover, MU-MIMO best serves multiple user with full buffer traffic, while OFDMA is utilized when multiple connections transmit relatively limited amounts of data.

Conclusion

Christian Kim, Senior Analyst IoT, Connectivity and Telecom Electronics at IHS Markit, estimates that total Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) device shipments will increase to 58 million units in 2021. Meanwhile, IDC sees Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) deployments ramping significantly in 2019 and becoming the dominant enterprise Wi-Fi standard by 2021. This is because the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard offers up to a four-fold capacity increase over its Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wave 2 predecessor.

With Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), multiple APs deployed in dense device environments can collectively deliver required quality-of-service (QoS) to more clients with more diverse usage profiles. This is made possible by a range of technologies, such as the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) iteration of MU-MIMO, which enables simultaneous MU-MIMO data transmissions on the same frequency. From our perspective, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is playing a critical role in helping Wi-Fi evolve in to a collision-free, deterministic wireless technology that dramatically increases aggregate network throughput to address high-density venues and beyond. Last, but certainly not least, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access points are also expected to enhance the overall Wi-Fi experience by providing tangible performance benefits for legacy wireless devices.

View the original press release at The Ruckus Room.

The top 3 drivers of wireless convergence in the enterprise

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

According to IDC, worldwide IoT market spend will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2021, while the installed base of IoT endpoints is expected to reach over 36 billion units by the end of the same year. However, the heterogeneous nature of the IoT has created multiple complexities for deployments in the enterprise. While the price of sensors has trended downward over the years, there is now a significant cost associated with building out multiple networks to support endpoint communication. Moreover, enterprises are contending with the steep, long-term cost of managing, securing and maintaining separate networks for disparate wireless protocols. Although ultimately unsustainable, the above-mentioned paradigm is serving as an unintended catalyst for the trend of wireless convergence in the enterprise. Let’s explore this concept in detail below.

1) Multiple Wireless Radio Technologies

Wi-Fi isn’t always the default choice for companies marketing IoT devices such as smart door locks or wearable staff alert buttons. This can be attributed to a range of factors such as power constraints, the demand for more compact form factors and relatively limited data transfers (no need for a big data pipe). Consequently, there are a diverse number of radio types that are being deployed in the enterprise IoT space. In addition to Wi-Fi, these include BLE, Zigbee, and LoRa. These deployments often result in the creation of separate wireless networks, driving up TCO due to redundant wiring, power, and management tools.

2) The Demand for Unified Management

The unified management of wired (LAN) and wireless (WLAN) networks has become an important selling point over the past decade. This is because administrators are notoriously unforgiving to vendors that force them to work with a separate management system for each network element. It simply isn’t cost effective to have one management system for switches, another for access points and yet more for additional wireless IoT endpoints. The lack of appetite for disparate management systems – whether for switches, APs or security – has long been a catalyst for network vendor consolidation. Put simply, IT departments are no longer willing to work with multiple management systems and strongly prefer vendors that provide a unified pane of glass for network management.

3) Deployment Issues: Lack of Physical Space

With a separate network for each wireless IoT protocol, enterprises are rapidly running out of physical real-estate to house additional network components. This is because each disparate network requires space to house an IoT gateway, a separate firewall, as well as switches, powering and cable infrastructure. A lack of physical space poses a significant barrier to adoption – except for those with the most to gain or the most to lose.

The Solution: The Converged Access Point

Unifying multiple wireless protocols – such as BLE, Zigbee and LoRa – within a single AP enables IT administrators to save physical space and streamline secure device onboarding. Moreover, a converged AP allows administrators to more easily view, manage and secure their entire wireless infrastructure with a single pane of glass. This facilitates network automation, the generation of actionable analytics and the creation of custom dashboards with open APIs.

From our perspective, the converged access point is the antithesis of the trend towards ‘commoditized’ APs, allowing support for new services and potentially lucrative revenue streams. The once humble access point is becoming a hotbed of new and exciting innovation, with more and more technologies being built directly into the AP. For example, the R730 packs embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee radios, along with support for IoT modules that can accommodate additional physical layer protocols such as LoRa.

Conclusion

Disparate wireless IoT networks such as BLE, Zigbee and LoRa are expensive to deploy, operate, secure and manage. Unifying multiple wireless protocols within a single AP allows IT administrators to save physical space and streamline secure device onboarding. In addition, a converged AP allows administrators to more easily view, manage and secure their entire wireless infrastructure with a single management console. However, it is important to emphasize that incorporating non-Wi-Fi standards into a conventional ‘Wi-Fi only’ AP creates a slew of technological challenges that range from coexistence interference to traffic coordination. This is a topic we’ll explore in-depth in a future blog post.

View the original post at The Ruckus Room.

Connect customers to your brand with personalized guest Wi-Fi

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Small businesses are constantly striving to delight their customers. Providing customers with good Wi-Fi connectivity goes a long way—be it in a restaurant, retail store or a hotel. Guest Wi-Fi features play a huge role in providing seamless Wi-Fi access to customers.

Not all Wi-Fi vendors offer guest Wi-Fi features. Of the ones that offer them, not all are the same. Ruckus is excited to announce that with the latest software update, a gamut of customization options boosts an already strong set of Ruckus Unleashed guest Wi-Fi features.

Guest Wi-Fi features

Guest Wi-Fi features enable small businesses to create guest-specific Wi-Fi networks and provide guests easy and secure ways to access Wi-Fi in a personalized manner. Let us walk through some guest Wi-Fi features that Ruckus Unleashed offers:

  • Create special Wi-Fi network(s) dedicated for guests.
  • Provide access to the special guest Wi-Fi network(s) through the guest’s Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft or WeChat credentials.
  • Provide access to the special guest Wi-Fi network(s) with email- or a text message-based guest pass.
  • Onboard guest devices with zero-IT device registration.
  • Secure guest data with encryption.
  • Personalize the guest login to the Wi-Fi network through a captive portal.

With the latest launch, you can modify a range of fields on the captive portal to provide customers an easy and personalized experience. The following pictures show all the changes one can make on the captive portal.

Here is a sample of a customized captive portal for a coffee shop.

Even with all these features, we strive to make it easy to manage Ruckus Unleashed networks. It is very easy to set up the personalized guest Wi-Fi. Anyone can instantly create personalized guest networks just with few taps on their phone through the Ruckus Unleashed mobile app.

Ruckus Unleashed™ delivers affordable Wi-Fi using the same APs we deploy for our largest customers that support enterprise-class features such as BeamFlex+™ and SmartMesh to deliver higher speeds and reliable coverage.

To learn more about Ruckus Unleashed please contact our sales team by web, email or call us 01473 281 211.

View the original post at The Ruckus Room.