NextGen Networking
ebrigham

Why the world will become “wired-less”

by Juniper Employee on ‎05-10-2011 06:01 AM

At a large industry conference last fall, I had the opportunity to talk to my neighbors about what was new and interesting in their worlds and in their networks.  Interestingly, the answer was some variation of the following: “My boss wants to use his new iPad at work.  We have to change/fix/install new network policies to make this happen.”  When I asked what had to change in order to make this easy, the same three themes emerged:

 

  • They need a better way to provision tablets.  While they can support the boss as a one-off, they can’t fix everyone’s tablets to make them compatible and secure in the workplace.
  • They need more 802.11n wireless solutions in place—their current coverage is insufficient.
  • They need to figure out what to do if everyone wants tablets and smart devices.

Even more interesting was the applications that were to be used with these tablets.  Much to my surprise, many people said that their bosses wanted to put more business apps on the tablets and mobilize the workforce more efficiently.  So this was not purely about getting the boss a new toy; this was about changing the way people work and, in many cases, helping them become more productive.

 

This is when I realized that the access network was going to change much more quickly than we had initially projected.  And in order to be successful and sustainable over the long term, multiple things need to change at the same time.

 

At Juniper Networks, when we looked at all of these required changes, we concluded that it all came down to one thing: being wired-less.  In short, this means the growing popularity of wireless network access demands a simplification of the wire-line network.   Does this mean that wires go away completely?  Of course not.  Wires will still play a critical role as the support structure for the network on-ramp and traffic distribution—the access points and controllers require a wired infrastructure to reach the rest of the world.

 

Simplification is the key for this brave new world of the myDevice.  Consumer values are forcing IT to make things simple, accessible and flexible.  We call this being “Simply Connected.”  This is both a statement of vision and a prescription for how to rethink the network architecture.

 

Here is what needs to happen:

 

  1. Provide a secure, device-agnostic  connection everywhere
  2. Build one general-purpose, application-agnostic network
  3. Assume the primary means of connection is wireless
  4. Simplify the wired network

The age of the company-owned, network-proprietary end point is over.  Welcome to the world of “myDevice on myTerms.”  This means that every employee has the freedom to choose and change their access devices when they want.

 

Should IT departments despair?  Certainly not.  They can maintain the same or even greater control over the devices by extending the security client into the “myDevice.”  Employees can use free apps to install the clients, and IT gets consistent security policies by user.  It’s the best of both worlds: employees are free to use the devices of their choice while IT controls who gets on the network. What’s not to like?

 

As you might suspect, Juniper Networks has a solution offering that lets you be Simply Connected in a “wired-less” world. This is comprised of the EX Series, WLAN Series, SRX Series and Junos ®Pulse.   For more details, read the solutions brochure.

 

 

 

About the Author
  • Ellen Brigham is Director of Product Marketing at Juniper Networks responsible for Enterprise Domain Marketing. She has held multiple management positions in networking at Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Ellen holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and is a member of the IEEE and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
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