Cisco Tuesday unveiled new additions to its mobility product lines, including an entry-level 802.11n Wi-Fi access point, a mobile VPN client, and the first step toward extending virtual desktop environments to mobile devices in the field.
The mobility news is part of a larger announcement expanding what Cisco calls its "borderless network architecture", to add switching capacity, and higher security appliance performance and scaling.
The new Wi-fi access point, aimed at the small-to-midsize business (SMB) market, is the Aironet 1040 Series, offering a low price point for Cisco 11n gear. The single-radio model is $495, the two-radio model, $795. The price tag is intended to drive SMB 11n deployments, where customers mainly need basic Wi-Fi connectivity, according to Cisco.
The models work with standard 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet networks. Both can run in conjunction with a controller or as part of a stand-alone Wi-Fi deployment. Both models are now shipping.
At the opposite end of Cisco's 11n products is the recently announced Aironet 3500, with spectrum analysis and interference avoidance built into the radio frequency chipset, priced at $1,295. It was recently reviewed in our Cisco Subnet's "No Strings Attached" blog by Erik Parker.
Version 3.0 of AnyConnect, the mobile VPN first launched in March 2010, adds support for IPSEC Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), in addition to SSL and DTLS. Other new features are integrated 802.1X supplicant, 802.1AE MACSec support; and support for Cisco acquisition ScanSafe's cloud security services. AnyConnect is part of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) VPN infrastructure.
Apple recently published the iOS AnyConnect client in the App Store. Enterprises using the ASA platform can transition to AnyConnect from the original Cisco IPSEC client incorporated into iOS; and by doing so, take advantage of the expanding range of AnyConnect features. James Heary, who writes Network World's "Cisco Security Expert" blog on Cisco Subnet described the new features in the iOS AnyConnect client and the transition. (See: "Apple Posts Cisco's AnyConnect iPhone SSLVPN Client to the App Store".)
Cisco also announced support for the virtualization platforms from Citrix and VMware. The goal is to extend the desktop virtualization model to a growing range of mobile devices outside of traditional offices, starting first with Cisco's own Cius tablet, unveiled last July. The Cius will become a Citrix or VMware virtual client, from any location accessing centrally stored, maintained and secured desktop and other applications, according to Cisco executives. Eventually, with future product introduction and changes in coming months, a virtual session could be carried intact across several, very different client devices.