Cloud-Managed Wired & Wireless Convergence Simplifies Networking

A recent three-part series by Craig Mathias, posted here on boundless, discussed the importance of converged “single pane of glass” management. Reading his articles made me stop and think about the state of the art in network management, and take stock of the choices that exist today for IT managers in the networking technology landscape.

Networking professionals today, it would seem to me, are presented with an uncomfortable choice by some of the larger WLAN vendors:

  • Do you want simple, centralized, easy-to-manage-and-deploy solutions? Well then, choose from our cloud managed access points!
  • Ah, but do you want enterprise scalability and best-of breed performance? Well then, just use our other enterprise offering! (It’s just a tad bit more complex, by the way, and has a different, older management console, and no, it’s not available in the cloud and does not manage our other line of hardware, but, you know, hey, it’s secure…).

But what if all you really wanted was to mix-and-match solutions? Say, Wi-Fi access points (APs) from one vendor and switches from another to create the best solution from a price-performance standpoint for your wireless edge network?

Firstly, it should be the case already that vendors ensure interoperability of their access points with switches from other vendors. (We do a lot of interoperability testing at Aerohive, for this reason; to make it possible for customers to have that choice).

But for customers that want unified wired and wireless networking, it used to be more complex, with multiple management solutions, multiple vendors, multiple points of support.

In fact, recent research by Gartner found that, “Slightly more than half of organizations use a single vendor for unified wired/wireless local-area network solutions; however, 75% are interested in soliciting proposals from multiple vendors.” (Source: * Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure by Bill Menezes, Tim Zimmerman, Andrew Lerner, Michelle A. Brosnahan, September 15, 2015
)

Dell’s latest announcement, which Tom Burns, VP and General Manager Dell Networking refers to in a recent blog post, achieves campus networking simplification for customers who desire a unified wired and wireless solution, while retaining all the advantages of best-of-breed components.

Dell’s One Networking strategy for the campus provides customers an integrated wired and wireless solution. Dell Networking’s N-Series L2/L3 switches are now fully integrated with Aerohive access points and HiveManager NG, giving customers a next-generation cloud-based (public and private) network management capability for both wired and wireless campus environments backed by Dell’s global services organization.

Back in April 2015, Dell and Aerohive entered into a partnership agreement whereby Dell became a global reseller of Aerohive solutions. The extension of HiveManager NG and the new support services announced today are an important milestone in executing a shared vision of cloud-managed IT.

 

This is the coveted, single-pane-of-glass management scenario that IT Managers are in search of, and which was described by Craig in his series mentioned at the top. Exercising personal choice and still getting a complete solution from a single vendor. It’s kind of like … well, having your cake and eating it too.

If you want to learn more, you can read about customers using the joint Dell-Aerohive solution by clicking the links below, or in this press release.

Walton Arts Center Case Study: Aerohive Powers Leading Arts Center for Reliable Mobile and Cloud-Based Operations
Movement Mortgage Case Study: Aerohive and Dell Provide Solutions for Cloud-Managed IT at Fastest Growing Mortgage Bank in the Nation

Resources:

Technology details:

Blogs:

Related blog series: 

  1. Why Mastering Network Management Is Key To Every-User Happiness (Craig Mathias)
  2. Why A Mix ‘n Match Strategy Causes Network Management Headaches (Craig Mathias)
  3. Why Having A Single Pane Of Glass Makes Network Management Easier (Craig Mathias)

Press Releases:

Customer stories:

News Coverage

* Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Milind Pansare is Strategic Marketing Director at Aerohive, responsible for working with Aerohive’s strategic alliance initiatives, corporate messaging and positioning, and working with key industry analysts. Prior to Aerohive Milind has led Product Marketing at several Silicon valley cloud startups, and held marketing and engineering leadership positions at companies such as Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), Saba Software, and HP. Milind holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.

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