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Xirrus Puts IT Back in Control With Comprehensive Networking Solutions for the BYOD and Mobile Device Challenge

Why Does Wi-Fi Work Better at Home Than in the Office? Xirrus Enables IT Teams to Overcome the Unpredictability of BYOD, Scale the Network on Demand for the Proliferation of New Devices, and Maximize Network Performance for Critical Applications

THOUSAND OAKS, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/12 -- Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, today launched the most sweeping set of capabilities to make enterprise networks BYOD-ready. Users frequently complain that Wi-Fi works better in the home that it does in the office. This new solution couples significant enhancements in wireless performance with fine-grained application control. Given the massive increase in wireless devices on enterprise networks, the combination of performance and policy enforcement puts IT back in control and ensures the wireless network responds predictably under heavy load.

The number one issue with BYOD today is the sheer number of devices proliferating on the network and the strain this puts on the Wi-Fi infrastructure. IT departments are scrambling to re-architect their networks to be BYOD-ready. Xirrus, in conjunction with its customers, has developed the following strategy for BYOD deployments:

Step 1 - Create more wireless capacity to deal with more users and more devices.

  • No longer do you know which users are legitimately connecting to your network. Guests, contractors, partners, and employees are all showing up in unpredictable numbers and with multiple device types.

Step 2 - Control the applications so the network responds predictably under heavy load.

  • Increases in video and VDI application traffic are creating greater strain on network performance than more traditional applications. In addition, the requirements of employee-purchased applications such as box.net, Evernote and iCloud are frequently unknown, as is their impact on the network.

Step 3 - Secure the network to support unknown users and unknown devices.

  • Specific types of devices may already be known and managed by IT, while others may be unknown and unmanaged and therefore affect the network in unpredictable ways. Complicating the challenge, new device types are being introduced at a rapid rate, which can make the existing network obsolete without a 'rip-and-replace' upgrade.

Step 4 - Optimize the network for specific devices and applications

  • Specific applications such as Apple Airplay™ and Airprint™ require network optimizations to work effectively in the enterprise, as do specific devices that have different types of radios, antennas, power levels and connection capabilities.

Step 5 - Optimize the network for high transaction density to ensure maximum throughput.

  • Because IT doesn't know how many devices will be connecting to the network or which applications they are running, sizing the network becomes orders of magnitude more complex.

The Xirrus BYOD solution uniquely addresses these considerations, providing functionality dedicated to managing user access, application access, device access, and network requirements for BYOD deployments.

Step 1 - Create more capacity to deal with more users and more devices.

  • Xirrus XR Arrays provide a complete range of solutions from 2 to 16 modular APs that deliver up to 8X the performance of traditional access points. The new XR-2200 is a four-slot Array that comes populated with two modular APs, either 300Mbps (XR-2220) or 450Mbps (XR-2230) 802.11n radios. Two open slots allow for capacity expansion via additional 802.11n modules or 802.11ac when they become available, providing complete investment protection.

Step 2 - Control the applications so the network responds predictably under heavy load.

  • Application Control: Application Control provides application-level visibility and policy enforcement at the network edge, enabling prioritization, rate limiting, and firewalling of traffic by application. Application Control ensures the network responds predictably under heavy load.

Step 3 - Secure the network against unknown users and unknown devices

  • Xirrus Access Manager: Xirrus Access Manager provides access control and management of BYOD devices on the wireless network, including unknown users with unknown devices for guest access as well as simplifying the onboarding of known users bringing unknown devices on the wireless network. Xirrus Access Manager operates seamlessly for remote offices with zero network changes. A partnership with Airwatch provides enhanced mobile device management and mobile application management, while allowing scalability of the network to meet anticipated future requirements.

Step 4 - Optimize the network for specific devices and applications

  • Device optimizations: Xirrus ensures that different devices -- such as tablets or smartphones -- are grouped together to ensure optimal performance of all devices on the network. Devices are automatically categorized according to wireless radio type, roaming preferences and battery power.
  • Bonjour Director: Provides native support for Apple devices and services such as Airplay and Airprint on the network with zero network reconfiguration. Bonjour Director filters and forwards Apple Bonjour traffic, which does not natively operate across multi-subnet networks. This enables Apple iOS device usage across enterprise networks.

Step 5 - Optimize the network for high transaction density to ensure maximum throughput.

  • RF band optimizations: Xirrus Wireless Arrays incorporate software-programmable radios, providing support for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands on each radio. This allows migration over time to the 5GHz band for heightened performance as client mixes change. A new Honeypot feature eliminates much of the unnecessary traffic generated by smartphones attempting to connect to the network. This capability optimizes use of the available spectrum, especially in the crowded 2.4GHz band, and increases network performance and the number of devices that can connect to the network. Additionally, new radio optimization support optimizes coverage patterns to support dense 2.4GHz device scenarios.

"Bring your own device is rapidly ushering in the mobile computing era. While much of the industry has focused on issues such as access, mobile device management (MDM) and security, these are not the main issues when it comes to a successful IT strategy," said Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst, ZK Research. "The current generation of mobile workers demands a high-quality wireless experience all of the time. They depend on it and when it's not delivered, productivity drops, ultimately costing the company productivity, profits and possibly brand reputation."

"We have been working with Xirrus since 2010 and they have, with every interaction, proven to be a trusted partner in our pursuit of the 'any device, any place, any time' and 'without wires' access visions for our students, faculty, staff and guests," said Duncan Sutherland, Technology Director and CTO of Vermont Law School, located in South Royalton Vermont. "Since setup, the Xirrus solution -- the combination of their excellent products and services -- has delivered everything promised, without compromise."

"Users are massively frustrated that they get better Wi-Fi performance at home than they do in the office or public places," said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus. "BYOD has compounded this issue and brought it to the forefront of IT issues. This shift to BYOD has been so rapid and pervasive that a network buildout just to augment existing wireless bandwidth has become the highest imperative. The situation is dire: in many organizations, fixed-bandwidth wireless APs put a damper on access times and introduce excessive latencies across the entire wireless infrastructure, choking mobile computing. Our approach, we believe, is the first by any provider to take a 360-degree view of the BYOD challenge, addressing both the performance and the control requirements that BYOD deployments are starting to face."

For More Information
To learn more about Xirrus or its BYOD solutions, contact Xirrus at [email protected].

About Xirrus, Inc.
Xirrus is the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. Xirrus' Array-based solutions perform under the most demanding circumstances with wired-like reliability and superior security. The Xirrus wireless solutions provide a vital strategic business and IT infrastructure advantage to the education, healthcare, government and enterprise industries that depend on wireless to operate business-critical applications. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, Xirrus is a privately held company that designs and manufactures its products and solutions in the USA. For more information please visit: http://www.xirrus.com/ and follow us on Twitter: @Xirrus.

Xirrus, XMS and Bonjour Director are trademarks or registered trademarks of Xirrus. Other trade names used in this document are or may be the property of their respective owners.

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