Tablets Making Wireless Networks Mission-critical

In case you hadn’t heard, iPad 2 launches in 25 more countries around the world, including the UK, this morning. As it launches, John McHugh, chief marketing officer at networking solutions company Brocade, says that as tablets grow in popularity in the enterprise, it is vital that IT departments deploy wireless networks, not as an overlay network, but increasingly, as a mission-critical one.

He says: “These consumer devices such as the iPad 2 and other tablets, theorised as thin clients back in the 1990s, are great lightweight personal terminals, but users now want everything brought together in one place. However, because of the devices lightweight form factor (they literally dont have the physical ports in most cases), they simply cant be connected into the traditional wired network. This is creating a mandate for high-quality wireless networks that can run mission-critical enterprise applications.

“So with modest increases in IT budget in mind, the question becomes: How do IT departments support this influx of devices? The good news is that the industry is already in the midst of a technology roll cycle. While the past 10 years have been all about 802.11a, b and g networks with best-effort, ad-hoc network overlays, that approach is no longer applicable for the applications and demands of today.

“Enter the 802.11n wireless standard. New solutions built on this protocol will provide the performance required to create a robust network that can be deployed in a much more disciplined and predictable manner. Adopting technologies which provide greater levels of resilience and dependable connections will enable a more robust network.

“With wired networks you are effectively dead in the water if there is a port freeze on the wiring closet switch. Your whole department is at zero productivity until someone finds and fixes the problem. Wireless solutions provide the advantage of seamless roaming to provide a much more predictable user experience. Now, wireless networks can provide both high performance and continuous connectivity, something that is difficult to achieve with your existing wired infrastructure.

“Thanks to innovators like Apple, the next technology refresh is never far away. Most existing network infrastructure has worn out its capital cycle and needs to be upgraded. But when youre looking at a refresh, it is critical to shop around and find the right wireless solution that is thoughtfully engineered, just like my beloved iPad.”