While most of the focus on wireless networking these days tends to be on access points that are ubiquitously deployed through most enterprises, the most strategic wireless networking decision an IT organization needs to make is where to place the controller functionality that manages all those access points. In most cases, controllers are running on premises. But increasingly, controller functionality is moving to the cloud.
Case in point is Ruckus Wireless, a unit of Brocade Communications, which today announced the general availability of Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi, which gives IT organizations the option of deploying Ruckus controllers on a public cloud service managed by Ruckus on their behalf.
Mark Davis, senior director of global product at Ruckus Wireless, says Ruckus Cloud is becoming a more strategic option because it enables Ruckus to employ virtual network function (VNF) software to deliver additional networking services.
By leveraging a long history of working with telecommunications providers, Davis says that Ruckus has eliminated the network latency issues associated with delivering networking services via the cloud using a more efficient SmartCell architecture that also saves money by reducing the number of access points an organization needs to deploy to cover a particular area by half, on average, when compared to competitors.
Now that wireless networks are for all intents and purposes the primary means that end users employ to access applications and services, IT organizations need to ask themselves to what degree they want to be responsible for setting up the control plane that manages them. For many IT organizations, it’s going to be simpler to manage access points via a centralized platform that a networking vendor makes available.
Regardless of the approach, thanks to the rise of VNF functionality in the cloud, the way network services in general are delivered will never be the same.