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 >>

Zeus Kerravala | September 27, 2011 |


Extreme "Snaps" Wireless onto Its Portfolio

Extreme "Snaps" Wireless onto Its Portfolio A unique solution to help network managers get the right technology in the best spots.

A unique solution to help network managers get the right technology in the best spots.

Earlier this year, Extreme Networks oriented its go-to-market strategy around the redefinition of "mobility"--that is, how everything goes mobile--content, applications, devices and people. This vision involves more than a wireless edge, it requires a robust wired core and access edge, which is the sweet spot of traditional Extreme.

Last week though, Extreme stepped out of its comfort zone and launched its first wireless product--the Altitude 4511 wall plate access point or "Snap-On WiFi" solution. The Snap-On WiFi access point is one of the cooler products I have seen in awhile. It's an access point in a wall jack form factor. Grab any wired wall plate, unscrew it, unplug the wire and plug it in to the Altitude 4511. That's it. Instant wireless where there was none before.

Sure, there are other ways to solve the problem, you could actually plug a full size access point into the wall jack and mount it on the desk or the wall. Alternatively you could get out your site planning tools and extend the wireless network to that location. But those methods seem rather time consuming and overkill for a product that takes under five minutes to install. It also sits nice and flush to the wall and takes up no actual room. There's a few different flavors as well in case the installer wants to put in wireless only, or wireless plus a couple of wired ports for anything that might require a cable to connect to the network.

The Extreme Snap-On wall plate isn't some run-of-the mill AP that Extreme built overnight. It's based on technology from its long-time wireless partner, Motorola and includes spectrum analysis, intrusion prevention and, from what I understand, can be its own controller.

The Snap-On, though, does have a couple of limitations, the most notable one being that it can't be part of a larger WiFi "mesh". However, despite the lack of meshability, I think there's room in many verticals, such as education and hospitality, for the Altitude 4511.

In these verticals there are literally thousands of miles of copper cabling that have been run through hotels, schools, universities, etc. over the past few decades. These cables were run when a wired connection was the norm. Any business traveller remembers the day where the hotel provided you a 3-foot long cable to connect to some box on your desk or even the lamp (who ever thought that was a good idea?) for Internet connectivity.

Well, most of those cables are still there, but the students and hotel guests want to connect over wireless. In fact, most devices today have no wired port on them, making wireless service a must for these verticals. In today's environment, it's not good enough to provide just wireless access--it needs to be wireless of some quality.

I can't tell you how many hotels I've stayed in where the wireless access is poor to fair only. I've been in rooms where it works marginally by the door to the hallway, but when I sit on the bed, it's out of range. Or the wireless is so congested, I could connect but nothing works. This is the primary reason I carry a MyFi card. I've given up on wireless in hotels, so none of the places I stay get any revenue from me for Internet access.

Well here is where the Altitude 4511 can definitely help. Any hotel could replace a wall jack with one of these devices for every 3-4 rooms in the hotel, improving the in room experience greatly. If the hotel was a high end one, each room could have its own AP, giving each user uncongested bandwidth and a great experience.

The same drivers are true for education as well. Lots of copper cabling has been run to classrooms, labs, dorm rooms and other areas years ago to connect computers. Well, times have changed but the infrastructure to support it has not.

Many school are implementing tablet programs, but if the wireless infrastructure can't support hundreds of tablets, then what? Parents and students pay hundreds of dollars for devices, but the wireless network doesn’t have the proper reach or is too old and the experience is bad?

I'd like to be clear here, the Altitude 4511 Snap On wall plate isn't for every company. Most enterprises are going to choose a traditional mesh from one of the market leaders, but for the verticals like the ones I mentioned above where there is a wireless need, the Snap On solution is a low cost way of putting in wireless where no wireless was before. As we continue to do more demanding stuff on our wireless networks like VoIP and video, it becomes ever more important that solution providers find unique solutions like this to help network managers get the right technology in the best spots.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
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.