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Fixed wireless access suffers poor perceptions

This week, bloggers discuss fixed wireless access, IoT security challenges and living with the Border Gateway Protocol in data center fabrics.

In a recent post, Brian Washburn, an analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling, Va., explored the subject of fixed wireless access. While cellular wireless services continue to gain attention for failover and temporary connectivity, fixed wireless offerings -- anchored by flexible microwave connectivity -- have had a harder time marketing themselves. Especially in the United States, Washburn said he believes that compared with wired connections, fixed wireless access has suffered from poor perception, resulting in a series of publicity booms and busts.

"Still, buyers might assume any wireless option is a gamble," Washburn wrote. He suggested that in spite of ubiquitous 4G nationwide, cellular is "best-effort broadband," and an insufficient failover. In fact, fixed wireless access may be a much better bet for some enterprises, with 99.99% availability and in short urban hops, few challenges, such as rain fade. For example, Washburn pointed to short-hop fixed wireless access systems from vendors such as Windstream, Webpass and Towerstream that range between $1,000 and $5,000 each month, and deliver between 100 Mbps to as much as 1 Gbps of throughput.

Read more of Washburn's thoughts on fixed wireless access.

Visit to Israeli security firms shines light on IoT threats

Avivah Litan, an analyst with Gartner, found herself compelled to discuss network security after returning from a visit to Israeli cybersecurity firms. Litan emphasized the growing security threats to the Internet of Things (IoT). While coverage has focused on hacking of driverless cars, organized criminals are already stealing conventional vehicles from showroom lots by exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in keyless ignitions.

Litan added that a combination of social engineering and spoof sites is also reinforcing banking malware, such as Bugat, Dridex and Dyre, as they redirect customers for fraudulent purposes. Given that customers are often directed to different destinations over the network, bank security measures, such as malware analysis, frequently become ineffective. Threat intelligence firms that claim to probe the Dark Web for fraudulent activity, meantime, aren't much help, either, Litan said. Criminals want their sites to be found, so they can promote their forums and sell stolen data.

Explore more of Litan's thoughts on IoT security.

BGP for data center fabrics

Networking engineer and ipSpace blogger Ivan Pepelnjak said he believes it's time for enterprise network engineers to rethink the value of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in data center fabrics. Pepelnjak said engineers often paint BGP as too complicated to deploy or configure, but he pointed out the fallacies in this line of thought. Yes, BGP can be challenging when it comes to routing policies, but for data center fabrics, these challenges can be minimized by propagating routing information, Pepelnjak said. Tuning and bidirectional forwarding detection can reduce implementation times, so they are more akin to open shortest path first. Additionally, network automation can speed BGP configuration.

Read more of Pepelnjak's ideas about BGP and its use in the data center.

Next Steps

Understanding WiMAX

Threat intelligence benefits enterprises

Advanced BGP design for stability

Dig Deeper on Wireless LAN (WLAN)