I was originally going to post this in January, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. From January 25th to 27th, I will be a delegate at Wireless Field Day 2 (WFD2) in San Jose, CA.
My day job focuses primarily on Aruba Networks and Meraki, but I have always made an effort to keep up-to-speed with what everyone else is doing in the wireless industry. WFD2 will be a tremendous opportunity to do so. Sponsoring vendors include:
If the opportunity to get all these vendors in the same room and have a pointed, no-BS discussion about wireless technology wasn’t enough, there’s more! Along with the vendors, there will also be a list of delegates that is nothing short amazing! So far, delegates include:
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you have probably noticed that I make an effort to confine my posts to vendor-neutral topics. However, every now and then I come across vendor-specific technology implementations that are so cool that I just have to say something about them. In this case, it is DHCP fingerprinting by Aruba Networks.
Without getting into too much technical detail, this technology watches the DHCP requests of wireless clients and identifies the operating system based on the way each device asks for an address. This feature is really cool because it means you can allow a user to connect to the same ESSID (read: wireless network), using the same username/password, with a variety of different devices, and get different levels of access depending on the specific device type. For example, if the user connects to the WLAN with a company issued laptop then they get access to the internal network. However, if they connect using an iPad they get Internet access only. Didn’t I say this was cool?
Enough typing, I recorded a little demonstration of DHCP fingerprinting for your viewing enjoyment:
As BYOD becomes more prevalent, I think we are going to start seeing technologies like this popping up all over the place. This is a good thing since it gives administrators the ability to allow BYODs onto the network without having to give up on security and control.
How do you deal with BYODs in your environment? If you have thoughts or comments regarding the proper way of dealing with BYODs please share them in the comments section. Also, as usual, please share this post with others if you found it useful or interesting.
A few days ago I was given the opportunity to sit down with the CEO of Aruba Networks, Dominic Orr, and a few members of his Canadian team. While the swordfish was great, I thought the conversation was even better. Listening to and discussing thoughts on the future of mobility with a team of like-minded individuals is an amazing way to spend an evening.
Here are some quick points and discussion summaries from the evening:
Wireless networking and mobility is growing at an incredible rate (no surprise there). With the ever growing number of devices that are ‘wireless only’ it is more important than ever to start planning your mobility strategy. That means immediately. Not tomorrow, not next week, immediately. You don’t want to be caught in a reactive stance when your environment gets hit by the tidal wave of BYODs.
It’s great to see that one of the top players in the wireless/mobility space is making a conscious effort not to leave smaller clients behind during this period of enormous market growth. Solutions like Aruba Instant allow SMBs to take advantage of enterprise-level features without going over budget. Mobility is primed to be a game-changer for everyone; not just the richest companies.
Starting now, or in the very near future, context will be king. It is no longer good enough to only plan for coverage, capacity, or even secure access. To take full advantage of mobility, you will need to start providing coverage, capacity, and security based on the context of the individual users and devices connecting to your network. Using identity, device type, time, location, and application usage as the context in which you create your policies will allow for optimal, secure, and efficient use of wireless networks and mobility in the workplace.
Overall, I left that dinner feeling energized and excited about the future of mobility. Am I ready to cut all of my cables right now? No. However, as more and more device manufacturers take the option of a wired connection away, it is comforting to know that networks are set to adapt and offer a far more customized level of service than ever before.
What are your thoughts on the future of mobility? Do you need help developing your strategy? Leave a comment or contact us directly and let’s start the discussion.
Full Disclosure: NCI is a partner/reseller of Aruba Networks.