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June 2012 Vol. 3, No. 3

Myth vs. Reality: Cloud-managed Wireless LAN

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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