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Businesses Networking Wireless Networking

Making Wireless, Not Ethernet, the Heart of the Network 346

Posted by timothy
from the telepathy's-the-next-step dept.
GMGruman writes "As mobile devices enter the workplace and latch on to Wi-Fi networks — along with devices such as HVAC sensors and videoconferencing that most people don't even realize use Wi-Fi — the typical wireless LAN is unable to cope. What needs to happen, argues Aberdeen Group's Andrew Borg, is a rethink of the wireless LAN not as a casual adjunct to the wired LAN (the typical mentality when they were first set up) but as the corporate LAN itself."
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Making Wireless, Not Ethernet, the Heart of the Network

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  • [...]as mobile devices gain strong adoption in businesses, it's not unusual for there to be as many -- or more -- devices connecting to your network via Wi-Fi as are plugged into an Ethernet jack.

    So what? What is relevant is what those devices are doing. Anyone who needs to pull boatloads of data needs to sit the hell down, and at that point, you can serve them with a wire.

  • by Amarantine (1100187) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @08:58AM (#36062610)

    One of the advantages of a wired network is that the data only leaves the premises at well defined locations that you control.

    Well defined locations you control, or well defined locations you *think* you control? It is very well possible to do port security at the access layer of your network, but how many networks have that? There's always some outlet somewhere for a printer that nobody uses... Somebody sneaks his way into the building, hooks up an accesspoint to that port, sits in his van outside, and can hack away at your network. Really, wired is not always as safe as people think.

    In fact, i remember a customer with a voip network, and had a sip intercom at the front door... I got sniggered at when i suggested that anybody could screw off the intercom, and had free access to the network. Went into my report anyway.

    And before you can say "encryption will protect me", think about how easy it would be to build a transmitter running on the same frequencies as the wireless network and sit that just outside the company and pointed inwards - instant denial of service attack with zero traceability.

    Zero traceability? Get an Aruba wireless network controller with sufficient accesspoints, put a map of your building in the controller, and it will tell you where rogue transmitters are, including those outside of the building (if you left enough white space around the building map when uploading). Cisco has similar solutions, and i'm sure there are many more.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 08, 2011 @09:58AM (#36063170)

    Unlike most kinds of wires (e.g. USB), it's very common for people to want to make their own Ethernet cables. Part of the reason people are often staying with CAT 5e instead of CAT 6 is that it's easier to deal with. Any change would have to keep them easy to pull and crimp. Plus, if you make a new system, you're going to have to replace all the tools associated with it. Every IT pro is going to need to buy new crimpers and testers.

    All that to fix a system that ain't broken.

    Now I wouldn't mind seeing a new cable that's better, but I'm afraid in this case it might be impractical.

  • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @10:02AM (#36063220)

    People are apparently having trouble understanding that there is a finite amount of spectrum allocated to wireless and you have to share it between all the devices in range. At some point all the bandwidth is used up, and if you want more, you need wires.

  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @10:07AM (#36063264)
    An iPad is not a real device, it's a toy. Besides exactly how much "data" do you need to send it?......... oh wait you are talking about watching movies/video at work not actually doing "work" because anything else doesn't actually take up that much bandwidth for more than a minute or two.

    The only thing thin devices like iPads may be usefull for someday is running remotely software on a hardwired server or a desktop and then streaming it to it.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @10:16AM (#36063346) Journal

    I work in IT security at my company. If an end user acted the they way you are acting I'd report it and you'd probably be pretty severely reprimanded for your attitude and if you failed to change it afterward you'd be fired. Yes IT does need to *make it work* if its actually *work*, the fact that'd you would *like* to use your iWhatever may or may not be work. If you have a good reason come talk to us, most security departments would try to find a solution.

    Expecting IT (Security especially) to just get out of the way or have a no request is to unreasonable attitude is just wrong, and I think you will find your UPPER management realizes that. Maybe you are not at a public company that might change things a bit too, but trust me someone will care when they have to put in the notes to the financial statement that something happened.

    Management would be very unhappy if they were forced to report that, our trade secrets relating to the manufacturing we do may have been leaked, that our competitors know our cost structure, that we lost customer data, etc etc. The last on is embarrassing and might cost some current business, the first two could seriously harm the competitiveness of the company going forward. IT Security IS IMPORTANT we are not just your BITCH. We play a role just like every other department. We need you to be able to do what you do so we have job, you need us to make sure you are able to keep doing what you do, so you have job. That is why its called a (corp)oration, we are supposed to be cooperating.

  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @10:22AM (#36063430)
    :) I can give you 1,000mbit connection all to yourself over a wire which you can plug into your desktop/laptop.

    Or I can give you a 300mbit wirelss connection that you have to share with every office drone within 300ft who is watchin youtube on their portable and non-portable devices.

    Even with a thousand fold improvement in wireless bandwidth the unwashed masses will still be bringing the network to its knees while the wired network won't even break a sweat with 10 times the traffic.

    Maybe what they really need is a very short distance wireless router that covers the distance of say a room or four cubicals or maybe not much beyond your own cubical/office. You'd get the benefit of being wirelss without the downside of sharing.

    Of course the bean counters will just say plug your damn device in instead of having to spend an extra 100-200$ per employee so they can be lazy.

  • by MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:04PM (#36064288)

    Your job may be vital to your organization, and you may be "goddamned good" at it, but thats really besides the issue. Any corporate network contains mountains of proprietary data that is placed at risk when people who dont understand how to manage that data (you) attempt to hook up whatever you damn well fancy. Computers are not magic no matter how much you'd like to believe otherwise. Ethernet is not powered by unicorn blood an IT staff are not wizards (no matter how much some of us would like to believe otherwise). Getting a virus is only one potential problem, and truthfully the ability to not get a virus has no bearing on "knowing what you're doing"

    At the end of the day, if your flashy electronic status symbol causes a network issue and then no one in your office can work, it really doesnt matter how 'goddamnded good' you are at your job, you cant do everyone elses too.

    I've seen a number the power-suit, anger-management, "i'm a type-A", throbbing hard-ons; thinking they're the next Richard Branson. its a great wet-dream until you fuck up and get punted from your high horse by people that care about advancing the goals of the business over their own personal agenda.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @03:03PM (#36065540) Homepage

    > some people obviously have zero ideas about basic physics and how wifi works and just how much more expensive a wireless network its when compared to wired one.

    It's almost as if these conspicuous consumers like to brag about their willful ignorance while denigrating anyone with a clue or more interesting requirements.

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