Arguably, with faster transmission speeds and more reliability, the only network an enterprise needs is a wireless one. That is one of the factors driving the adoption of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol.
If you browse through today's issue, you may notice a trend. It wasn't planned (I'm not that clever, especially the day after we sprung forward), but most of today's top stories speak to the importance and difficulties of maintaining a wireless networking infrastructure.
The 802.11ac protocol has now been around two years, and as most device manufacturers are just now shipping new products that are 11ac-compatible, it will still be a few years before the protocol proliferates in the enterprise.
Even with the launch of the latest 802.11 wireless networking standard, Wi-Fi has a performance issue. The slowest device on an access point kills the fun for everyone else, bringing throughput down and impacting efficiency. But there are ways to combat the problem, even without waiting for 802.11ac Wave 2.
Upgrading wireless networks to 802.11ac--and then on to Wave 2 later this year--can be a tricky task even in the best situations. Enterprises are still moving to the latest wireless standard, but with a rapidly increasing number of devices supporting it and the overall benefit of faster transfer speeds, it's a justifiable network upgrade project.
If the promises being made about the speeds of the 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless protocol come true, then network administrators may want to consider it for organizations that are running hefty unified communications applications.
Cisco plans to roll out in the second quarter new LAN switches that will serve as a stopgap for businesses that want to roll out faster WLANs but don't want to update their cabling just yet.
Close to one quarter of all enterprise access points use the latest 802.11ac standard, according to the latest data from Infonetics Research.
The Wi-Fi customer premise equipment market is forecast by ABI Research to increase 11 percent this year, with 802.11ac equipment expected to capture 18 percent of total shipments this year.
The most recent Magic Quadrant to come out of Gartner looks at the market for wired and wireless local area network access infrastructure, an issue of concern to enterprises, especially those dealing with the demands BYOD is placing on that infrastructure.