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802.11ac - The Wireless Enterprise Without Compromise

A Meru Networks Guest Blog By Jason Green, Managing Director, Building Zones, a Meru Gold Partner.

November has been a busy month for Building Zones. We have been successfully installing our first few 802.11ac Meru Networks wireless solutions. In fact, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the latest AP832 access points and the latest version 6 firmware.

To provide you with some background information, at Building Zones we have been delivering the wireless enterprise to our most innovative clients for many years, but have generally been met with a look of disbelief from most people when we tell them that they can achieve a completely wireless office.

More to the point, we have been delivering Meru wireless networks for almost 10 years and what has really taken us by surprise is the general appetite for 802.11ac – existing network upgrades and new installations to 802.11ac are happening faster than we ever anticipated. Yes, everyone in the wireless industry has been talking about 802.11ac for the past few years, but did we ever really expect the uptake to happen so quickly? I doubt it.

So the reality is 802.11ac is a tipping point for wireless. 802.11ac or “Gigabit” wireless has caught the attention of IT professionals and sparked their imaginations; they are now thinking that the wireless enterprise is possible – IT departments can rest at ease knowing that their network will cope with the ever growing proliferation of mobile devices and mobile applications. And for the end user, the increased bandwidth will benefit BYOD practices with users no longer tethered to their desks.

Our first client installations included a leading UK financial company and a leading UK IT consultancy. We asked them to test drive the Meru 802.11ac access points, and here are the results for one of them compared to their existing wired solution.

As you can see, their total Internet bandwidth is 100Mb downstream and 50Mb upstream, and this was just with an existing 802.11n device. We’re looking forward to doing further tests with 802.11ac devices. As you can see there is no difference between their wired and wireless connections.

As always with Meru, we set up a few VLANS, configured some Radius servers, security profiles and SSIDs and voila, we have a fully functioning secure, robust and reliable wireless network. The thing with Meru Networks is it’s wireless that just works and I’m pleased to say this is no different with their 802.11ac offering.

Our Top 3 reasons for investing in Gigabit Wireless:
1.Performance
2.Simplicity
3.Future Proof

But the main reason we think 802.11ac is so good is that our clients are telling us that their users can’t tell if they are on a wired or wireless connection, apart from the fact they are free to work wherever they want.








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