Virtualization, cloud computing, and wireless technology are fundamentally changing enterprise computing, providing revolutionary gains in productivity and cost savings. Powerful enterprise applications can now be delivered to almost any device, anywhere, at any time and take advantage of tremendous computing power available in consumer devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Regardless of whether these devices are issued corporately or personally owned, almost every IT department is experiencing the effects of unprecedented smart device adoption in their enterprise.
These changes demand that IT organizations think strategically about their Wi-Fi infrastructures, so that they can maximize the benefits of mobility and virtualization while helping ensure the flexibility needed to accommodate rapid growth and changing user needs. Integrating this new world of mobile, virtual computing begins with selecting the right wireless access infrastructure.
Just a few short years ago, if you claimed that "everything will access the network wirelessly and wires will be obsolete from the network access layer," you would have been laughed out of the room. Since the 1990s, Wi-Fi has been implemented in laptops and by sheer momentum usage grew rapidly. However, wireless access remained little more than a convenient way to access basic services away from your desk. Desktops and laptops continued to have wired network connections for primary access and no IT manager in his right mind considered delivering mission-critical applications wirelessly. In 2007 about 300 million Wi-Fi devices were shipped, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, and still Wi-Fi was not broadly leveraged for primary access. Until now.
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