EnterpriseMission-Critical Wireless Solutions for the Enterprise
Enterprises are expanding their wireless LANs to improve productivity, reduce switch port plus cabling costs, and bring branch offices online inexpensively. They are also increasing wireless network capacity to address the explosion of Wi-Fi client devices including mobile internet devices (MIDs) and smart phones. As a result, near-100% uptime is critical, and multimedia traffic requires enhanced quality of service (QoS) features for optimal user experiences. The distributed, scalable Aerohive architecture has been optimized with the features needed to meet all of these requirements.
Features and Benefits:
Wireless LANs have become mission-critical within the enterprise – with any downtime affecting revenue. Meanwhile, time-bounded voice and video traffic are joining the network and require QoS enhancements to 802.11's basic packet prioritization features. Enterprises also need to tune mixed wireless networks containing 802.11n and legacy 802.11g/b/a equipment to deliver fair network access to all client devices.
|Fully Distributed Processing, Data Forwarding, and Control Architecture||
|Centralized Management (across multiple sites from a single console or online service)||
|Dynamic Airtime Scheduling||
|Fast, Secure Roaming and Identity-based Security (enforced in every access point as a user connects)||
|Mesh Technology for AP-to-AP Direct Communications||
|Simple Pricing Model and No Feature Licensing||
|Secure Guest Access with Integrated Captive Web Portal||
Entire Enterprise Rollout:
Aerohive Networks has developed a solution that provides for a single wireless architecture that meets the technology and business requirements of both convenience and mission-critical network applications. It is a single wireless architecture that is cost effective for the smallest branch office yet meets the availability and manageability requirements of a large campus or warehouse deployment.
The whole enterprise rollout:
- Branch Deployment
- Retail and Warehouse Networks
- Large Headquarters and Campus Networks
- Franchise, Teleworker or Executive office networks
- Unwired Space Networks
Branch offices often use wireless LANs as convenience networks providing non critical services such as guest access, but more recently enterprises are using wireless LANs as a quick and inexpensive way to set up remote/branch office networks. Consequentially, the network must be mission critical especially as branch offices are primarily customer facing with any down time impacting customer satisfaction and revenue. Another major concern for branch office networks is the remote administration of the wireless LAN due to lack of local support.
Traditional autonomous access points allow for a low cost deployment in small sites, but they don't adequately support mobility and they lack the necessary centralized management capabilities, to reduce the operational costs associated with a branch network. Controller solutions are at their most expensive in branch office deployments because the cost of the controller can only be spread across a small number of APs in a typical branch. Adding a second controller for local resiliency makes this problem even worse. These costs often force IT to choose between implementing a cost prohibitive solution in the branch, or installing a large controller at headquarters and backhauling all of the wireless traffic to it, which wastes bandwidth on the WAN link and significantly reduces network performance and availability for the branch office.
Aerohive Networks cooperative control architecture eliminates the need for controllers so it is cost effective even in very small branch office deployments. This same infrastructure also can be scaled linearly to deliver the performance and availability needed to support mission-critical applications when required, making it the ideal solution whether your branch requires a convenience or mission-critical network.
Many retail and warehouse locations were early implementers of wireless LANs because of the compelling business benefits of wireless LANs. These networks are mostly based on autonomous AP architectures because they were implemented before controllers existed or because the controller solution is too expensive in these smaller locations. However many of these sites are facing the need to upgrade their wireless network to allow for fast roaming, to remove the security problems with their old WEP-only APs, or because their vendor has stopped feature development on their installed autonomous APs.
As the IT organization looks at their choices for upgrading these retail and warehouse wireless LANs they are finding that the controller-based architecture has some significant challenges with providing a clean upgrade from their older autonomous APs while also meeting their need to support mission critical applications like bar code scanning, point of sale terminals, video surveillance, voice picking and video streaming to in-aisle displays. The upgrade is challenging because they have already architected their network around autonomous APs that directly connect to the LAN, rather than around an overlay network that backhauls all traffic. In addition the upgrade is costly because these low density, highly distributed, yet mission-critical locations require costly redundant controllers at each location. Finally, controller capacity planning is a challenge because future applications like video streaming and voice, as well as a challenging and ever changing RF environment may require significant increases in the number of APs per location in the future. As a result IT is forced to either over-buy controller capacity up-front, or face the risk of unexpected costly upgrades when controller capacity is exceeded.
In contrast, Aerohive Networks cooperative control architecture provides a plug and play upgrade for these existing autonomous AP networks. By simply swapping out the old APs and replacing them with APs, with no changes to the network architecture, the wireless LAN is able to support the fast roaming, security, dynamic RF management, wireless mesh redundancy, and the stateful failover and rerouting that mission-critical environments require. In addition the wireless mesh capability allows APs to be deployed in hard-to-wire locations, or be temporarily moved to handle transitory RF problems caused by seasonal displays, and changes in inventory characteristics.
The cooperative control architecture provides a clean upgrade path to these next generation capabilities without requiring controllers at each location, which means it is a substantially lower cost deployment and as requirements evolve, capacity can be added linearly when it is needed, without having to worry about costly controller upgrades.
Headquarters and campus locations are characterized by large concentrations of users, often in multiple buildings in a campus environment. These networks have predominantly been deployed as a convenience network for guest and meeting room access. More recently large organizations have been looking to use their wireless LAN for mission-critical applications, such as voice over wireless LAN (VoWLAN). VoWLAN allows enterprises to un-tether their employees by giving them WiFi enabled handsets that connect to their IP-PBX, or take advantage of dual-mode cell phones to reduce mobile phone charges associated with on-campus employee mobile phone calls. These new applications will require increased coverage, performance, and availability from the wireless LAN. In addition enterprises are looking to the performance increase of 802.11n to allow them to eliminate the need for a wired access layer in order to reduce cost, which will put substantially more traffic onto the wireless LAN.
Today's typical controller-based deployment in a large campus backhauls all of the wireless traffic to a small number of large controllers located in the data center or in the DMZ. While this is relatively cost effective it presents several challenges because of the latency and jitter caused by backhauling and U-turning through the controller, because policy and quality-of-service (QoS) is not enforced at the edge where it is most important and because the controller becomes a performance bottleneck as traffic increases and 802.11n is deployed. In addition as more APs are added to provide better coverage, voice support and throughput, costly controller upgrades are required. To address these issues with centralized controllers, many companies are starting to deploy a larger number of smaller controllers closer to the access points. This allows for traffic to be more directly forwarded onto the LAN and policy to be enforced closer to the edge, improving QoS, performance, policy enforcement and availability, but it requires complex capacity and controller placement planning and it substantially increases the capital cost of the deployment.
Aerohive Networks cooperative control architecture provides all the management, mobility, and security needed in these headquarters locations, but without needing to backhaul traffic to centralized controllers. This provides a cleaner network architecture where resiliency is integral to the network architecture, traffic is directly forwarded onto the best path, QoS and policy are enforced right at the edge of the network where it is needed most, and where bandwidth and coverage easily scale as more APs are deployed, without having to worry about costly controller upgrades.
Franchise, teleworker, or executive office locations are typically ones with very small deployments. There might be one to three APs, but with a requirement that corporate policies be enforced remotely.
Traditional autonomous access points lack the necessary centralized management capability to maintain and update corporate policy on remote APs. Controller-based APs are cost prohibitive if deployed in every location and suffer from an availability and performance perspective if the controller is located at the headquarters location.
Aerohive Networks' cooperative control architecture provides cost-effective single-or-small-AP deployments without the manageability issues of autonomous AP deployments or the cost, performance, or availability challenges with controller-based APs.
Additionally in home or franchise locations, the enterprise frequently does not have the ability to change the wiring. Aerohive Networks' mesh networking technology makes it simple to extend a network to multiple access points without pulling wires.
Unwired space locations are large areas where physical wiring is cost prohibitive or not possible. This can be due to the lack of cable infrastructure or the temporary nature of the network. Often the most logical solution is to deploy a wireless LAN with wireless mesh backhaul capabilities.
Traditional autonomous access points typically lack the dynamic RF management and the strong wireless mesh support necessary for these deployments. More modern controller-based APs have trouble scaling because they only support simple wireless bridging and not true meshing, and because of the consumption of wireless bandwidth by tunneling all traffic back to a controller.
Aerohive Networks cooperative control architecture provides a solution able to scale to relatively large deployments without wired access using APs wireless mesh capabilities. Deployments are simplified with cooperative RF management and cooperative control communications between the APs.