Feeds

Cisco looks for WLAN boost

Can we manage your access point?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Two successive quarters of flat sales of wireless LAN kit in the enterprise market have prompted Cisco Systems to look to the consumer and small office market for growth in the immediate future.

Misplaced security concerns and fears about confusion about standards have left enterprise sales flat while consumer sales are going gangbusters, according to Cisco. The company recently bought consumer networking specialist Linksys.

Speaking at a London press briefing today, Martin Cook, a solution consultant at Cisco who specialises in Wi-Fi technology, predicted that corporate growth will begin again - once standards were sorted and the enterprise market was educated on the benefits of further Wi-Fi investment. Cisco forecasts 30 per cent growth in Wi-Fi sales for its financial year beginning July 2003.

"The enterprise LAN market has plateaued but we expect it to take off again," Cook said. "Confusion about standards, potential security issues - which are resolved by the WPA security architecture - and the lack of management tools for large scale wireless LAN have held back growth in the enterprise."

Impotent

Cook's colleague Cisco consultant Paul King admitted that vendors collectively failed to get things right with WEP (the flawed first-generation Wi-Fi encryption protocol. But the market should move on from endless discussion of war driving, he argued.

According to King, the recent introduction of WPA leaves cracking tools such as Netstumbler and Airsnort impotent.

"I'm not saying WPA can't be attacked but we haven't seen any tools to do it," King commented. "WPA has taken security to a new level."

Rogue access points - set up by employees without approval or any security - are now the real security risk, not the admitted weakness of WEP, he says.

Nice Device

Cisco recently introduced a wireless IP phone (the Cisco 7920) that introduces proprietary QoS features to allow voice calls over 802.11b networks. But the company continues to fashion its mobile strategy around laptops as the main access device to wireless networks.

Cook notes that you don't have to change the application environment with wireless-enabled laptops - unlike PDAs, which have limited resources. He described the 7920 as a "nice device", which came across as damning with faint praise.

Cook described Intel as Cisco's "largest partner" in the WLAN market and sang the praise of Centrino, Intel's recently launched wireless-enabled mobile CPU.

Cisco is planning a major wireless LAN technology launch in early June. Details are under wraps but there were hints this morning that the launch will cover improving the manageability of wireless LANs.

Unlike WLAN switch appliance vendors such as Bluesocket, Cisco is against centralising the intelligence in wireless LAN networks.

"We believe in intelligence in the access point, managed and controlled from deeper in the network," Cook said. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.