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Cloud falling short as mobile management tool?

ICYMI: CenturyLink debuts a managed mobile analytics service in concert with Meraki; Xirrus rounds out its high-speed Wave 2 access point portfolio.

The cloud is still falling short as a mobile management tool, according to a recent Extreme Networks Inc. survey of enterprise managers.

The survey, which polled more than 200 cloud users, found cloud adoption was a top IT priority, trailing only security and BYOD initiatives.

But more than a third of respondents said cloud services aren't satisfactorily supporting their BYOD and emerging technology strategies.

A major roadblock: their inability to understand the traffic generated by those devices, which range from tablet computers to mechanical sensors.

"We're no longer talking as much about [managing] high-density and high-bandwidth applications, said Thomas Borrel, director of product management at Extreme, based in San Jose, Calif. BYOD and other technology implementations require a different way of management and control, and many enterprise IT managers remain concerned that those requirements aren't met by existing cloud services.

Other results from the survey:

  • Enterprises are moving toward hybrid management tools. While half of respondents said they are overseeing their networks with on-premises tools, 32% are using cloud or hybrid applications, primarily to oversee their wireless networks. Extreme launched its own cloud-based unified wired and mobile management tool earlier this spring, designed to oversee the company's 802.11ac Wave 1 access points, as well as selected access and edge switches.
  • 802.11ac Wave 2 is gaining penetration. Approximately 45% said they have either implemented or plan to upgrade their wireless networks to the 6.93 Gbps standard.

CenturyLink intros analytics service for Meraki APs

CenturyLink has introduced a mobile analytics service that dovetails with access points (APs) and security equipment from Meraki. The managed service, CenturyLink Location-Based Analytics, lets businesses provide tools that include wayfinding, individualized messages and marketing offers that are customized to consumers.

The service is based on analytics technology developed by Purple, a U.K.-based firm that specializes in Wi-Fi marketing services.

Location-based marketing is gaining traction, as museums, airports, shopping centers and other public venues attempt to find more efficient ways to communicate with consumers through their mobile devices. The burgeoning internet of things market is another likely target for the service.

The alliance between the telco and Meraki was announced at Cisco Live.

Xirrus beefs up Wave 2 AP line

Xirrus has introduced a series of four- and eight-radio 802.11ac Wave 2APs), geared to high-density deployments.

The APs support four-stream multiuser multiple input, multiple output, which lets them simultaneously transmit to multiple receivers, rather than only one, as in previous versions of the 802.11 standard. Each radio is rated at 3.47 Gbps, Xirrus said.

"With Wi-Fi user experience and connectivity expectations at an all-time high, organizations cannot ignore new technology standards when upgrading network infrastructure," Matthias Machowinski, senior research director at IHS Inc., based in Englewood, Colo., said in a statement "The Xirrus Wave 2 portfolio includes features to address today's requirements for fast, reliable and flexible Wi-Fi across a broad range of environments, including high-density deployments."

According to a research from IDC, 802.11ac -- fueled by the adoption of Wave 2 technologies -- will become the dominant standard among enterprises in 2016.

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