Want to manage your wired/wireless LANS together? Too bad

Management tools for multivendor mixed LANS are scarce

For the past few years, organizations have gone full-force in deploying a combination of wired and wireless enterprise networks. But now, as wireless technology matures, they are left asking: Where are the tools to unify management of these disparate networks?

"There's not a lot on the market at this point for unified wired/wireless management, but it's clearly in future plans for vendors," says Craig Mathias, principal at Farpoint Group, and a Computerworld columnist.

Mathias says the obstacle for most wireless and wired equipment and software makers has been figuring out how to develop a management platform that would work across a heterogeneous environment that involves so many different parts.

Simultaneous, but not unified

The closest thing to unified management tools that Mathias has seen are systems that let you view your separate wired and wireless networks simultaneously.

But, he says, as management rises up the stack of importance for IT teams, this problem will garner much more attention. "Once the capital expenditure is made on a combined wired and wireless network, success is a result of how good the management platform is," he says.

Seth Atkins, mobility solutions leader for the Enterprise CTO Office at Nortel Networks, says that a unified management tool could actually lead to lower capital expenditures and operational expenses because IT teams would need less equipment, less software and fewer workers to manage the combined wired and wireless enterprise network. "The industry is just now starting to see the value of a single management tool," he says.

Present tools are unified in name only

At Nortel, teams are already researching how to create unified management tools that are truly integrated. "Today most tools on the market are unified in name only. It's one thing to say you put a link in a wired management application that can launch a wireless management tool, but another to really unify them," Atkins says.

Part of the problem is that vendors created wireless LAN tools with primary elements that differ from their wired counterparts. "There are monitoring and security capabilities that just didn't exist in previous wired management tools because certain concepts don't apply to wired networks," he says. For instance, there was no need for radio frequency management or rogue access point monitoring and mitigation features in wired networks. "Also the concept of locating rogue and client devices in three-dimensional space using signal trilateration or other similar techniques doesn't apply to wired networks," Atkins explains.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sandra Gittlen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?