Bradley Chambers, Brainerd Baptist School
The growth of Wi-Fi only devices in my organization is exploding! We are preparing for our next lease with Apple, and none of the devices (MacBook Air and iPad) will have Ethernet ports. It's even possible that in two to three years, Ethernet ports will entirely disappear from all laptops. Evidence of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend continues.
From a user’s standpoint, this is great! These BYOD devices are not tethered to anything (even a power cord thanks to the great battery life we are getting from modern devices).
From an IT perspective, however, supporting BYOD can be a challenge compared with predictable Ethernet: You run some cables, install some switches, install a security device, and then it is plug-and-play. There is no SSID, PSK, 80211.X, RADIUS, or SNR. You simply plug a device into the wall jack and the user is online. Once users are online, they are pretty much set! People simply sit at their desks and work. With a wired network, IT doesn’t have to worry about band frequencies, load balancing, or roaming.
Let's be honest, from an IT perspective, we'd have fewer issues without wireless.
But long gone are the days of IT dictating every single policy from their computers. IT has become an internal customer-service center and the single biggest thing their 'customers' are asking for is fast Wi-Fi for their laptops, iPhones, and iPads.
The challenge can be how do you implement a Wi-Fi network in a way that doesn't require a lot of extra work (or additional salaries)?
Aerohive takes a unique perspective than most wireless vendors. Most vendors want to create a whole separate system. They want to route your traffic through a controller. My question is why? I've already got a network I am happy with. I like my firewall and I like my switches. I just need to add wireless.
Aerohive's cooperative control protocol is the closest thing possible to wired wireless. It's not creating a new part of your network to manage. It's fitting into your existing network. It's getting your users and their BYOD devices online (and wirelessly) in an efficient and secure manner.
Aerohive’s controller-less Wi-Fi architecture supports all the latest security protocols and latest in wireless technology, but it's processing it all on the access point. It's not catching that traffic and routing it to a controller.
There are also no features that require a connection to a cloud controller. I am in the business of serving my users in ways that don't require a lot of additional work on my end. Aerohive's controller-less Wi-Fi architecture allows me to do that!
Do yourself a favor and check out their products. Your future self will thank you. Hive on!
Bradley Chambers has been the Director of Information Technology at Brainerd Baptist School since 2009. At BBS, he manages an Apple network of 90 Macs and 40 iPads (with Aerohive access points). Prior to that, he worked in the telecommunications industry for five years. He has a B.S. in Organizational Management from Covenant College. He is an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician, an Apple Certified Associate for Mac 10.7 into Windows Server environments, a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, and an Aerohive Certified Wireless Administrator. He has spoken recently at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools Tech Conference on transitioning schools to cloud-based solutions. He is passionate about iOS and Mac in the education and enterprise markets. You can follow him on his blog or on Twitter (@bradleychambers).