Enterprise Wireless: Two Models; Which One is Right for You?

The next generation of wireless technology is coming down the pike faster than ever thanks to the explosive growth in smartphone and tablet PC use.

Schools, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, retail organizations, hospitality and convention facilities, and many others, all find themselves with a pressing need to upgrade enterprise wireless systems while sidestepping the need to do a “forklift upgrade.”

How can you provide convenient, secure, wireless access, according to the latest standards, while still reigning in both costs and workload?

Two Paths to an 802.11n Wireless
Developers of the latest 802.11n wireless networks have come up with two different kinds of solutions:

  1.  “Command and control”: a pyramid-style hub type of system. At the heart of these solutions is a brain called a “controller,” to which a network of access points (APs) connect, and from which they receive information. A controller is expensive—and the costs multiply as networks grow. Because all of a network’s traffic must flow through a controller, it can become a bottleneck.
  2.  “Equal Partnership”: a network of equal partners. Individual APs work as peer-to-peer devices, configured in a self-aware “mesh arrangement” where they work together to improve speed and redundancy. Individually, they function much like the intelligent smart switching devices found in today’s wired networks: they sort and send data only where they’re needed. There is collaborative control. There are no bottlenecks and there is no single point of failure.

SmartPath WirelessBlack Box’s SmartPath Enterprise Wireless system is the smart way to create an 802.11n network or upgrade an older WLAN or wired LAN for 802.11n Wi-Fi communications.

SmartPath combines the stability, security, and speed of a wired network with the versatility and adaptability of a wireless network. It’s just what you need to set up fast, 802.11n standard Wi-Fi communications in a logical way. The technology differs greatly from other wireless technology available today. You get speed and reliable wireless communications from a system that’s simpler — and more affordable — to deploy.

With SmartPath, enterprise-class APs and a suite of management and security functions provide all the benefits of a controller-based wireless LAN (WLAN) solution — without requiring a controller or an overlay network.

SmartPath APs work together to improve throughput and provide redundancy for your latest 802.11n wireless devices. The SmartPath system combines a distributed WLAN architecture and best-in-class management without a lot of upfront costs or operating expenses.

Meeting Wi-Fi Needs In Your Industry
SmartPath has been designed to meet the security and regulatory needs of a range of organizations and industries:

  • Education: SmartPath is affordable and easy to set up and use, yet powerful enough to maintain CIPA compliance. Set up multiple SSIDs with different credentials to keep faculty, student, and guest information on separate networks.
  • Healthcare: Put Wi-Fi on every floor in every building, quickly and easily. Advanced security features exceed HIPAA requirements, and the units provide the bandwidth to send VoWi-Fi, imaging, and telemetry.
  • Manufacturing: Its distributed nature means there are no single points of failure, and “hardened” versions enable you to install APs wherever you need them.
  • Distribution and Retail: Advanced security is integrated for PCI compliance, and because they need no controller, they provide coverage in hard-to-wire locations.
  • Hospitality: APs “talk” to each other, so roaming customers don’t need to authenticate as they move around the facility. Install them in hard-to-reach locations with only a power supply.

Get the Most Cost-Effective Wi-Fi Solution Available
Because it’s a controllerless system, you can start with just a few APs and build out from there—a process requiring no capital investment. You can pay as you grow on a credit card!

SmartPath is self-aware. So as you add additional APs, the network configures itself. And SmartPath is robust enough to handle VoIP and video. You can manage a SmartPath network from a cloud or an appliance.

Find out more about SmartPath. Visit www.blackbox.com/go/smartpath.


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