SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | September 17, 2012 |

 
   

Aerohive Gives Away its Bonjour Gateway

Aerohive Gives Away its Bonjour Gateway A good move for Aerohive but a better move for any company out there that wants to leverage Bonjour for Apple-specific services.

A good move for Aerohive but a better move for any company out there that wants to leverage Bonjour for Apple-specific services.

On Monday, Aerohive announced it was giving away a downloadable version of its Bonjour Gateway. The Aerohive Bonjour Gateway had previously been made available with the purchase of a single Aerohive access point. Now, instead of mandating customers buy an Aerohive AP, anyone can download the software and run it on a VMWare ESXI 4.1 host.

The Bonjour Gateway allows Apple's Bonjour protocol to cross network boundaries and enable Bonjour services across large enterprise networks, both wired and wireless, even if the customer is not running any Aerohive equipment. The Bonjour protocol is used by Apple to enable services such as AirPrint, AirPlay and Apple file sharing.

The use of Bonjour has skyrocketed within companies primarily because of the rapid shift to a BYOD-enabled world. Earlier this year I did some research in this area, and ZK Research data shows that, in the US, only 18% of CIOs are opposed to BYOD. On the other hand, only about 20% of CIOs fully embrace and support BYOD, meaning the majority of companies are moving through the process of figuring out their BYOD strategies.

The majority of focus for BYOD has been on the device, for obvious reasons. The devices grab all of the media headlines, and cool devices are what workers want to use in the workplace. However, the IT departments have to deal with more than just bringing the device on the network. IT needs to provide the infrastructure for a high quality, familiar user experience; and providing access to the Bonjour services is a big part of the Apple value proposition. The more aggressively organizations move with BYOD, the faster we find Apple devices like iPhones, AppleTV and the dominant iPad moving into businesses.

The reason a gateway is needed is because Bonjour is not a routable protocol, meaning Apple devices can only use Bonjour services that are on the same subnet. Frankly, I'm not sure Apple ever envisioned the widespread use of Bonjour within companies, but here we are. There are other competitive offerings, but here is what I think stands out most from the Aerohive release:

* The Aerohive Bonjour Gateway is designed to work with any wired or wireless vendor. Organizations can leave their existing infrastructure in place, download the Aerohive Gateway and have instant company-wide Bonour based services. As far as I know, all of the other competitive offerings require some infrastructure from that particular vendor.

* It's easy to get up and running. The implementation is plug and play. Download, install and it's up and running. There's no requirement for specific VLAN, multicast or any other configurations. This means even small companies or overburdened IT managers from school systems can leverage it.

* Centralized control and management. Bonjour services can be fully managed, filtered and controlled across the enterprise wide area network from a central location.

* Maintains existing security policies. The deployment of the Aerohive Gateway should be transparent to any wired or wireless security and data forwarding policies.

This raises the question, why would Aerohive give away the gateway? Decoupling the gateway from the access point was the right thing to do. Allowing the software to be downloaded for free was also the right thing for Aerohive. As innovative as Aerohive is, they're a very small player in a market with some large incumbents such as Motorola, Cisco and Aruba. Charging for the feature, even if it's a small amount like under $500 for a single access point, may give customers cause for concern, as it could be perceived as creating a mixed vendor environment. This concern is actually unwarranted since the original AP-based gateway was designed to work in multi-vendor environments, but just the perception might keep customers from trying the gateway.

I think giving the software away was actually quite smart by Aerohive. Removing any barrier to entry allows companies to download the software, use it and get value for it. This will create some familiarity with Aerohive in companies that may never have considered them otherwise. This was similar to the strategy Aruba used with the Airwave management software. Although Aruba didn't give it away, the company sold a tremendous amount of management software with no wireless infrastructure, since Airwave has great multi-vendor capabilities. Aruba then leveraged that installed base to later sell its infrastructure. Aerohive should be able to create a similar back-door approach.

A good move for Aerohive but a better move for any company out there that wants to leverage Bonjour for Apple-specific services.





COMMENTS



April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.