Not too long ago, wireless networking was viewed as being a distinctly different class of networking that stood apart from the rest of the wired networking environment. But as the number of wireless devices inside the enterprise began to proliferate, it became apparent that rather than being a separate secondary network, the wireless network has evolved into being the primary network end users employ to access both backend applications and Web services. The challenge many IT organizations now face is that all that traffic is overwhelming the wireless access points, which creates a need to seamlessly integrate wireless access points and network switches to efficiently provide access to bandwidth.
To facilitate that process, Ruckus has announced it is now adding to its lineup a 24-port switch from Brocade, which formally acquired Ruckus last May for $1.2 billion. At the same time, Ruckus introduced a dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 access point that provides more throughput.
Ruckus CTO Steve Martin says that as networking has evolved, IT organizations are looking for ways to centrally manage extended networks made up of switches and access points. In the case of Ruckus, that means providing access to Cloudpath, an infrastructure-agnostic cloud service through which organizations can centrally manage wireless and wired infrastructure.
At the same time, Martin notes that IT organizations want to be able to flexibly deploy access points wherever needed. That requirement means IT organizations are starting to insist on support for Power-over Ethernet (PoE).
“PoE support is now critical,” says Martin.
Of course, Ruckus and Brocade are not the first networking vendors to figure out that the relationship between switches and wireless access points has changed. But they are collectively committed to competing across a network infrastructure category that has fundamentally changed IT management for the better.