Upcoming Webinar: 802.11ac Security and Assurance

I can’t tell you how many people have called to discuss 802.11ac deployment scenarios over the past few months. An upcoming Webinar summarizes and explores the options here – and the big decisions that need to be made now no matter which path you take.

The deployment of 802.11ac, I'm sure we can all agree, is more a question of when than if. It's very clear that the uptake of this new technology (yes, the official standard's still not done; what else is new?) is proceeding faster than any preceding 802.11 standard, and I stand by my forecast that sales of .11ac will exceed those of .11n by the end of 2015 - if not sooner! There are already reports of dramatic improvements in 802.11n client performance when the other end of the connection is 802.11ac (what I've been calling "better n than n effect"), again no surprise - we saw that with the .11g on .11n infrastructure as well. Anyway, my general advice remains to begin deploying .11ac now, at least to get started up the experience curve.

But suppose you don't want to deploy .11ac service today? Perhaps there's no budget for a large rollout, or you're still completing your .11n installation, or finance hasn't yet fully depreciated all that .11n gear (and, sigh, even some .11g stuff may be yet caught up in the accounting rules as well), or you're just plain not ready for another major upgrade? Sorry - none of those excuses are going to fly.

And the reason for this is our old friend the rogue AP. 802.11n infrastructure and assurance tools (with the exception of some spectrum analyzers, and this by inference) won't be able to "see" 802.11ac. So you're going to need to deploy some 802.11ac sensors, or APs operating as sensors, to make sure that rogues are neutralized and that interference from .11ac doesn't degrade your 5-GHz. .11n spectrum.

The good news is that proceeding along these lines needn't be all that hard or expensive in terms of either dollars of staff time. Our next Webinar, hosted by Aruba Networks on the subject of 802.11ac will focus on deployment scenarios and the relatively small set of alternatives that every WLAN (make that IT) shop must consider now. It's on 4 December 13 at 1:00 PM ET; as always, we'll have time for your questions, and admission is free. I hope to see you there.

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