Mobility in the workplace: how to manage your WLAN and the consequences on bandwidth

As Wi-Fi devices managed by applications grow in number, the need to support more mobile hotspots quickly creates new challenges for enterprise networks. To properly support the surge in wireless devices , organizations need a modern network infrastructure that delivers responsive connectivity with the right security measures.

Smartphones and tablets have several effects on the functioning of the network.

First, they are pushing businesses to move more quickly to a WLAN- oriented infrastructure that replaces the connectivity of a wired local area network (WLAN) with quality of service (QoS).

Mobile

Second, they overload the WLAN.

Third, they require governance, which means IT needs to consider both mobile device management (MDM) and hybrid network MDM.

Applications take up bandwidth

Behind this hype around mobility are the applications . From email clients to Angry Birds to video feeds – launched only during lunch breaks, of course – apps consume a lot of bandwidth.

Messaging applications do not overload networks, but video streaming is bandwidth-intensive, and VDI applications require a strong, stable connection.

When devices overload an access point (AP), the latency increases and when the latency increases, the tickets received by the help desk do not take long to do the same. Aruba, Cisco, Juniper, and other QoS queuing technologies prioritize mission-critical applications.

But in most cases, the quality of service alone can not solve all the bandwidth issues ; businesses can not continue to add more devices to the network without increasing the number of access points and bandwidth.

As a result, to manage the increased number of mobile devices , businesses are adding bandwidth to their WLANs. On average, businesses have almost doubled their WLAN.

Although enterprise WLANs are becoming increasingly important, there is a fairly large disparity in the companies’ capacity investments, which are likely to depend on their size and respective wireless roadmaps.

Of this 90% increase, 71% of capacity demand came from mobile devices. Consumer and productivity applications account for half of the increases generated by mobile devices.

Network security

While the end user is having fun on his smartphone and tablet, the administrator has to deal with the security threats that these mobile devices generate.

Concerns include scammed access points and unregistered devices. Fortunately, network security manages these problems and makes even the day-to-day operations of IT services easier.

In fact, 41% of businesses already use some form of network security for mobile devices.

All major mobility management solution providers offer rogue access protection devices, device status checks, and fingerprint recognition when users request access to the network.

These fixes track the status of device records, verify that protection and antivirus applications are up to date, and determine if an MDM client is installed.

The systems then move users into profile-based repositories, such as a limited, secure guest account with network access, or to a more resilient network segment that provides broader access to applications and data. All these operations are done automatically without the IT department touching the mobile devices.

Despite all that the MDM program effectively handles , MDM clients on the devices still need to perform recommended functions such as wipe, remote lock, or encryption .

Network security features can be considered more like an additional technology, but they remain an important layer of protection, especially for organizations with large networks of unrecognized devices.

Mobility changes the rules of the game

Mobility in business has changed everything ; from the way business lines do their work to infrastructure needs and IT governance.
When they do not have a strong network and both the bandwidth and security tools to properly monitor mobile hotspots, IT administrators are fighting hard.

Mobility management requires bold action. Forward-thinking companies help the end-user to take full advantage of their smartphone and tablet. Those who are slow to invest in their networks will be left behind and will put their assets at risk.

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