The Great WiFi Migration

Cloud this, virtual that… it’s the future, and mostly it’s a good thing! Welcome to the great WiFi expansion, folks!

The Past

Not too long ago, when people started deploying multiple wireless access points (APs) in a single location, they realized how cumbersome it was to manage all APs individually. The masses demanded a way of managing multiple APs from a single location, and so the Controller was born. A Controller is just what the name says: a device that ‘controls’ and manages all APs from one central location.

For some time, this was the only option for managing multiple APs, and there was no way around it. And it was a great thing. It still is.


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Jibba Jabba or the Nines Nines Nines

You’ve probably heard “nines” thrown around when talking high availability, so let’s review them to make everyone talk the same talk or IT Jibba-Jabba.

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Breaking news: Ruckus Will Be Joining The Cloud!

That’s right people, the Controller based wireless giant is working on a cloud offering similar to Aerohive, Aruba and Meraki.

For now, it is still too early to tell what we are exactly in for. Ruckus is keeping their cards close.  As a matter of fact, the whole Ruckus Cloud offering subject is very hush hush.   Just getting whispers on the subject wasn’t easy – we had to have our cousin Vinny pay a visit to Ruckus HQ with a baseball bat.

For plausible deniability, we cannot tell you what he did there. For now, we know that Ruckus will be making a public announcement of their Cloud Managed solution some time in April. We are not sure if the solution will be ready by then, or if that’s when it will be announced. What we do know, however, is that this will be a huge win for Ruckus.

Cloud managed solutions are somewhat new, and up until recently Aerohive and Meraki were the only two giants in the field. Since then, Aruba has introduced their Aruba Central Cloud management service. Meraki was purchased by Cisco in Q4 of 2012 – therefore Cisco has a cloud managed WiFi. And now, Ruckus is joining the pack!

What’s all the fuss about Cloud managed WiFi and why the move toward them, you might ask? Well, the short answer is: Cloud managed WiFi solutions offer the benefits of a physical controller, without the huge initial cost.
I will not be going over what those benefits are, as I have already done this in another blog, so if you would like to find out more on Cloud vs. Controller based WiFi solutions click here.

Ruckus Cloud Managed WiFi is huge news, and we will keep our ears open for any new information. Or maybe we will send cousin Vinny to visit Ruckus HQ again.


Peter Yordanov. Signing Out.

Are we ready to sync for the cloud?

The idea of working from anywhere on any internet enabled platform is alluring, but are we really ready yet, or are we even going to get there in the near future?

Many tech watchers and industry experts say yes, and to some degree it’s true. The technology is there, Enterprises has been doing it for years, but to really get any tech to take off, the consumer market is the biggest part of the equation.

The biggest problem isn’t the technology, but the infrastructure, the ability to carry large enough bandwidth for consumer to utilize syncing and cloud. The first problem the United States face is its aging copper line. Unlike Japan, Europe, and other parts of the world, United States’ telecommunication infrastructure is old. Japan and Europe had their social infrastructure almost completely destroyed by World War II, so they had to rebuilt their entire network infrastructure after the war. This made those countries able to use newer technology in laying out the telecommunication grid and much of that technology was rapidly advanced through the years of war for war effort. Japan in particular, nearly every single home is connected on Fiber.

Secondly, the size of the United States make it expensive to upgrade existing copper lines. Japan is the size of California, and many European nations are the size of New York. With the size of the United States, and the popular opinion against “monopoly” it is hard for any service provider to bear the sole burden of upgrading our nation’s vast telecommunication infrastructure. Verizon and AT&T has started rolling out Fiber-to-home services which is the “OSPF” to enable sync and cloud, but they still have a long way to go in terms of coverage.

Thirdly, the traditional “consumer” model of selling has to change. With the increase impact and usage of social media, and consumer becoming more “tech-savvy,” end users/home users/SMBs are no longer just largely consumers but also contributors. With most ADSL and Cable services (still the most common Internet Connection method) still stuck under 1 Mbit Upload bandwidth (you’d be quiet lucky to even get a Service-level guarantee of 50% advertised speed), common use of the sync and cloud function are just mere dreams. With data (especially multimedia data) getting richer, the size is only going to become bigger (common compression technology has advanced little in comparison to data sizes). A merely 5 minute video shot in 720p is about 50~60mb in size, and on an average ADSL/Cable Line, this can take up to 15~20 minutes to upload. Not only does it take 15~20 minutes to upload, unlike T1 and T3 services where traffic in each direction (upstream and downstream) has no barring on the other, consumer grade ADSL/Cable shares the same line between Upstream and Downstream. This means during the 15 minute of uncapped upload, various other latency-critical application like streaming content, and remote VM application will not be able to be used without intense delay.

Fourthly, while in business grade ADSL/Cable, the ISP usually provide a SLA upon sign-up, residential/consumer grade lines rarely get a SLA. Although some ISP offers SLA to residential premise such as Speakeasy, they come at a premium (usually 1.5x ~ 2x the cost, Verizon offer similar speed for residential users at about half the price). There is really nothing more annoying when you are working remotely on a project that requires a continuous connection to just be cut-off in the middle of it. And getting bad connections resolved with residential ISP is a nightmare in itself as many of the service reps at an ISP are rarely knowledgeable enough beyond the basic scripted diagnose (i.e. Did you restart your modem? Have you tried restarting your computer?).

So, where we stand now in the adoption of the concept of utilizing remote resources? The technology is there, medium-large business and very high-end power users will benefit it greatly, but the means to access it en masse still has a long way to go. Until we can effectively address our infrastructure capability, the cloud for the mass is still a long way ahead.

PitaByte is a guest blogger on the Myriad Supply blogs. He blogs just about everything, mostly technology related.