Next Generation Switching Networks & Wired Capabilities

Sudarshan Boosupalli, Director & Country Head, Ruckus Networks • What are the innovative technologies that enable users to scale and future-proof their switching network infrastructure? How does it impact next generation networks?
Switching networks, which is the wired infrastructure, forms the backbone of an enterprise. Implementing a high performance, very scalable and secure network along with a flexible architecture helps in effortlessly deploying, managing and monitoring larger networks. Delivering these kinds of innovative highly efficient architectures is what the focus point is.

Switches should offer innovative deployment options, as they can be deployed as a standalone switch, or in a virtual distributed chassis/stack, or as a campus fabric or managed by the cloud, using the same hardware and software, making it a truly unique offering in the industry today.

The low-latency, non-blocking architecture of switches also ensures excellent throughput for the most demanding video, Unified Communications, VDI and mobile applications. Such switches have a fixed form-factor which works together with advanced software capabilities to simplify network set-up, management, enhancing security, minimizing troubleshooting and makes upgrades easy. The technology should be such that it is used to create a resilient network fabric, eliminating single points of failures thereby drastically improving network resiliency.

Here are some important considerations that will help build a next generation network:
- Virtual distributed software based switching architectures to ensure dramatic reduction in CapEx and OpEx. The network should have minimal management touch points and a very high degree of automation.

- Cohesive Wired and Wireless Hardware and Software Solutions, with a very high level of integration.
- The network infrastructure, wired and wireless must provide for secure innovative user on boarding capabilities and seamless security policies.

Zero touch provisioning accelerates deployment and reduces the total cost of ownership drastically

• The advancement of Wi-Fi technology has influenced customers on their current and future needs. Explain the challenges customers face to have the Wi-Fi technology in place?
Connectivity is an integral part of modern life and Wi-Fi is the primary form of connectivity for almost all users. Being connected to the Applications on the Internet or Intranet helps achieve productivity efficiently and effectively. A reliable and easy-to-use wireless network, with advanced Wi-Fi technology, will help the IT department circumvent most of the technical challenges they face today.

Customers today face the following challenges while adopting Wi-Fi technology:
- The lack of coverage, reliability and capacity haunts Wi-Fi networks. Compounding to this RF interference further impedes Wi-Fi performance which leads to spotty coverage and dropped connections.
- Inability to handle high density of devices as well as mobile device orientation optimally.
- Under-utilization of available Wi-Fi channels, because of the inability to move load to less congested Wi-Fi channels.
- Limited automation and security for user login and user on-boarding.
- Compromise of security policies while seamlessly roaming for mobility.

Moving to an enterprise grade wireless medium, overcoming these problems is what makes the real difference to a customer.

• Explain in detail the wired capabilities. How can they work in tandem with the wireless infrastructure?
Wired and wireless infrastructure should work in tandem to provide the best in class user experience along with using analytics and machine learning to help in analyzing, monitoring and managing network traffic for better control and visibility.

With the unprecedented increase in mobility devices, it is important for the wired infrastructure to deliver high performance, faster, higher capacity multi-gigabit Wi-Fi in an extremely efficient reliable manner providing for a superior application experience with seamless secure access for both wired and wireless users.

The switches should ideally have high port densities in a single rack unit form factor for user connectivity and uplinks or stacking. The switches should provide industry leading standards based Power over Ethernet (PoE, PoE+, UPoE, PoH) capabilities with up to 90 watts for high performance access points, video surveillance devices, video conferencing equipment, and other network devices defining the path for a future-proof infrastructure. Zero touch provisioning accelerates deployment and reduces the total cost of ownership drastically.