Wi-Fi networks are overwhelmed by BYOD, warns Xirrus

Poor connectivity decreases worker productivity, says ZK Research
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Wi-Fi devices will consume 37.2 exabytes of data per month in 2015, compared with 37 exabytes for wired devices, according to a prediction by Wi-Fi provider Xirrus.

This amount of data threatens to overwhelm the network. "What we are seeing with a lot of our customers is networks that were working fine a year or two ago are starting to hit their chokepoints," said Bruce Miller, vice president of product marketing with Xirrus.

"When a new BYOD policy is implemented in an organization, it can triple or quadruple the number of devices and amount of traffic on the network," Miller told FierceMobileIT.

"What we are seeing from the onslaught of all these devices and applications are unpredictability and variability. It is like the Wild Wild West at the network edge," he said.

Xirrus said it had developed the following multi-phase strategy for BYOD deployments: create more wireless capacity to deal with more users and more devices; control the applications so the network responds predictably under heavy loads; secure the network to support unknown users and unknown devices; optimize the network for specific devices and applications; and optimize the network for high transaction density for maximum throughput.

Miller explained that Xirrus' products address each phase of this strategy. For example, its XR arrays provide products offering from two to 16 modular access points; its application control product provides application-level visibility and policy enforcement at the network edge; and its access manager provides access control and management of BYOD devices on the wireless network.

"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 and security, these are not the main issues when it comes to a successful IT strategy," said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with 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," he concluded.

For more:
- see Xirrus' release

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