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Myth vs. Reality: Cloud-managed Wireless LAN
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of June 2012 Vol. 3, No. 3
Historically, network pros have managed and controlled their enterprise wireless LANs (WLANs) using dedicated systems deployed inside corporate networks and data centers. But over the past few years, cloud-managed WLAN alternatives have emerged that let users log into a provider-operated, multi-tenant Internet server from which they can perform administrative tasks on the Wi-Fi network. In this piece, we bust several common myths about cloud-managed WLANs, cutting through the hype to understand what you can really expect from these SaaS offerings. Myth: Cloud-managed WLANs inevitably create traffic bottlenecks. Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth. Management tasks, such as access point (AP) initialization, provisioning, policy definition, maintenance and monitoring, simply do not lie in the data path. Centralizing these tasks -- whether they're performed by an on-premises management server or an Internet-based cloud server -- has no direct impact over data-path architecture and doesn't require traffic to flow ...
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Features in this issue
New cloud-managed wireless LAN services have many users wondering whether Wi-Fi management as a service is dependable. Wireless expert Lisa Phifer goes on a myth-busting mission.
When building a more complex WLAN for mobile devices is not a viable choice, there are a few enterprise cellular options that can extend coverage.
Ad hoc network creation is rising due to personal wi-fi hotspots from smartphones and computers. Addressing its impact on your WLAN is key to overcoming potential interference.
News in this issue
Mobile video streaming can disrupt WLAN performance, so engineers are re-architecting networks and taking precautions to handle video traffic.