Enterasys Drives Next-Generation Mobility, Wi-Fi and BYOD Innovation with IdentiFi

Enterasys Drives Next-Generation Mobility, Wi-Fi and BYOD Innovation with IdentiFi

By Paul Robinson November 13, 2012 Leave a Comment
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Enterasys Drives Next-Generation Mobility, Wi-Fi and BYOD Innovation with IdentiFi by Paul Robinson

The explosive proliferation of WiFi-enabled mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and notebooks and the increasing availability of mobile apps and services, both personal and corporate, have led to the phenomenon known as the Consumization of IT. Industry analysts predict 2 billion devices in use by 2015 with 75 percent of them used for both business and personal use. Already 75 percent of all trouble tickets are generated by mobile users. Given this ever-pressing demand for BYOD, IT has a pressing desire to understand BYOD deployment program requirements and costs.

Mobile users require high bandwidth network access and a consistent user experience wherever they are located within the enterprise, including complete accessibility to all applications that increasingly have real-time traffic and Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. While just about every networking device has a wireless interface, many of them still have a wired interface that users can access when working from their desk. This presents the IT staff with the challenge of creating a fully integrated, easily managed and secure access layer network that provides mobile, transparent and always-on wired-to-wireless edge services.

The Enterasys OneFabric Edge provides a unified application delivery architecture that extends the network fabric from the datacenter to the network edge. By creating one network environment, OneFabric Edge enables a consistent application experience while offering centralized visibility and control over the entire network. The addition of the recently announced IdentiFi Wi-Fi solution to the OneFabric Edge architecture adds a wired-like WLAN experience for mobile and BYOD users. IdentiFi can also be easily integrated with the Enterasys Mobile IAM solution to provide real-time analytics for integrated wired and wireless networks.

IdentiFi includes access points, centralized management, and controllers that provide the scalability, control, and density required to meet the high user demand for simultaneous voice, HD video, and data services. With IdentiFi, control and management are done centrally then pushed out to access points thereby distributing the intelligence out to the edge for simplicity, optimization and security.

IdentiFi Features

Density and Scalability Access points(APs) utilize RF management techniques between neighboring APs to distribute the client device load across multiple APs, as well as across multiple channels within each AP. They are designed to support up to 200 video clients per AP.

No Hidden Costs or Licenses This allows the network to grow and expand in a predictable manner.

Security Includes strong encryption to protect data, authentication to validate users, policy to define user actions, Wireless Intrusion Protection/Detection Systems (WIPS/WIDS) to reduce exposure and comprehensive data collection for forensics. Once a policy is defined, it will operate seamlessly across both the Wi-Fi and wired network providing consistent security enforcement. In addition, IdentiFi analytics provides statistical data to meet compliance requirements, generate various reports, track users/devices and gather forensic information in the event of a breach.

Operational Flexibility With distributed intelligence control and management are maintained centrally and are implemented and enforced throughout the entire network. Controllers can be hardware-based or as a virtualized solution that can be installed on an existing server and deployed in the datacenter or in the cloud.

Radar RF Management, Analysis and Control – All IdentiFi 3700 series of access points support WIPS/WIDS from the start. Dynamic Radio Management (DRM) operates independently on each radio automatically adjusting radio power output and channel selection to accommodate changing RF environments to maintain a quality user experience.

High Availability – Both virtual and physical controllers have resiliency built in from the start; there is no additional software to add or purchase. Controllers run as active-active pairs. Additionally, if there is a WAN failure between the IdentiFi APs and the controllers, the APs will continue running without interruption to existing or new client connections. In the unlikely event of an AP failure, neighboring APs will automatically pick up the connections from the failed access point while maintaining user connectivity.

Apple Bonjour and Multicast Containment – The following features allow IT to take control of multicast traffic on the network in order to maximize network performance while providing a consistent experience for clients.

  • Multicast to unicast translation at the AP occurs as the AP receives multicast data and converts it to multiple unicast streams sent to each client at the speeds they are connected at.

  • Policy-based multicast filtering at the AP allows the administrators to block or filter multicast traffic at the access edge without requiring the controller to make decisions saving bandwidth resources.

  • Classification and containment of multicast traffic to a separate, multicast only VLAN ensures that Bonjour services are contained within physical or logical domains via integration with Enterasys S and K Series and Mobile IAM.

Qualities of Experience (QoE) – Hardware-based QoS queues and per client queuing are utilized to provide toll-quality voice and real-time HD video support for today’s bandwidth intensive, latency-sensitive business applications. In addition, IdentiFi is certified with leading voice over wireless handset vendors, such as Ascom, Polycom, Vocera, and Siemens.

Integration with Mobile IAM

Enterasys Mobile IAM addresses IT challenges being driven by today’s enterprise and campus mobility imperatives providing end-to-end visibility and control over individual users, devices and applications, in multi-vendor infrastructures. It provides complete software supporting seven core capabilities: auto-discovery, multi-level device profiling, flexible onboarding, context-based policy management, guest access, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and mobile device management integration (MDM).

Policy management is highly granular including per port, per device layer 2-4 access control, QoS/priority, rate limit/shape and more. Real time tracking and unique state change notification for over 50 attributes per device and user give IT maximum visibility into all network activity. It offers an open architecture for assessment (MDM integration) and threat response (Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). Mobile IAM can scale up to 100,000 devices, depending on the configuration, for the flexibility to meet current and future needs without having to buy components that are excessive at the start. The Mobile IAM Appliance is available as a physical or virtual appliance to best meet your deployment needs.

What This Means to You

To Customers: OneFabric Edge’s wired and wireless controllers, access points and management console deliver a fully integrated, unified edge solution allowing IT departments to have both deep visibility as well as a holistic view of their entire network. If you can tell who the user is, what device they are using, where they are connected and which apps are being used, you have the opportunity to manage and control the user experience. A critical factor in achieving this is the ability to create unified policies that allow the network to deterministically understand the access request and provision the connection correctly.

Other solutions exist, of course. For example, check out those of Aruba, Cisco and Juniper. Be sure to compare solutions on the above mentioned criteria as well as:

  • Total cost of ownership in terms of both CapEx and OpEx

  • Multi-vendor integration  across both wired and wireless domains

  • Availability of dynamic infrastructure management for virtualization

  • Availability of flexible and meaningful control of resources through context based policy management.

To Partners: IdentiFi offers partners additional opportunity to participate in the BYOD-driven market with a competitively packaged and featured solution offering IT control and visibility into their BYOD environments. This consultative sale, which offers improved business agility and employee satisfaction, should prove easier than selling switches and infrastructure, because of its emphasis on revenue growth – a line of business imperative. In addition, all the services that are required – the integration and deployment services – are available to partners to either supply or to sell through Enterasys Pro Services.


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