2012 Prediction: ADTRAN
The Power of Virtualization
Virtualization is one of the most powerful trends to hit IT infrastructure in the past ten years. “Virtualizing” mission-critical business application holds various benefits for an enterprise, including increased performance, outstanding reliability, unsurpassed scalability, maximized infrastructure efficiency and substantial reduction in CAPEX. Virtualization has completely changed the economics of operating the essential applications that run the enterprise. Today, virtualization is now a critical component of any enterprise’s IT strategy. More and more applications are being “virtualized”. While computing infrastructure has benefited from virtualization, networking infrastructure has been slow to adopt the scale improvement and cost optimization of virtualization. However, virtualization is now moving beyond classic business applications and is starting to positively affect networking applications. Bringing the power of virtualization to networking is a trend that will show rapid growth in 2012 as enterprises’ who have implemented server virtualization realize that the same benefits can be brought to their networking environment.
The Problem with Legacy Wireless Networks
Wi-Fi networks are ubiquitous in the enterprise. Wireless access in the enterprise is almost as common as wired access and is often the access method of first choice for employees. Employees often carry multiple devices to access the wireless network. An enterprise must provide access for non-employees such as contractors, vendors, and guests. And the applications that employees and guests are accessing are much more demanding for bandwidth than was the case five years ago.
This huge growth of Wi-Fi usage, the ever increasing number of Wi-Fi enabled devices and bandwidth intensive applications have created a scaling challenge for wireless networks. Addressing these challenges become harder and more expensive when faced with controller-based legacy wireless LANs. Hardware controllers have complexities and scale limitations – and unfortunately the conventional method of scaling this type of network has been to add more single-purpose controllers, in other words, more and more hardware. It quickly becomes a vicious circle for companies. Administration of the network becomes even more cumbersome with every piece of hardware that is added.
The Power of Virtualization Brought to Wireless Networks!
A trend that has emerged – and will only continue to rapidly grow throughout 2012 – is to apply virtualization to wireless networks. Rather than deploying hardware controllers to operate a wireless network, an enterprise can enable centralized control and management of the WLAN on to a hypervisor. This approach completely eliminates the need for, common constraints of and costs related to physical controllers.
A virtual wireless LAN (vWLAN) eliminates wireless controller capital costs completely, substantially reduces OPEX, decreases the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and saves thousands of dollars during the initial wireless deployment phase.
Enterprises deploying a virtual wireless LAN (vWLAN) free the control of the wireless network from the LAN, making it possible to control wireless access points from anywhere in the networked world. IT departments can enjoy more flexibility since the control function does not have to reside on the same LAN as the access points.