21:47 12 September 2017
Cloud-based WiFi controllers eliminate the need for enterprises to install dedicated WiFi controllers in their data centre because the technology distributes the function among access points or move them to the cloud.
Farpoint Group principal Craig Mathias said that the traditional data-center deployment of a controller really isn’t a strict necessity for enterprise WLAN use any more.
“The controller is really a piece of functionality that is overhead today,” he said. “I’m not saying control is overhead … but having a separate piece of hardware to take care of that really is overhead. It’s an artifact of an earlier time."
The model for the earliest enterprise WiFi implementation uses access points that have to be manually configured, which won’t work for an installation of any real size.
According to ZK Research principal Zeus Kerravala, all major WLAN vendors have controllerless options these days, and they’re increasing in popularity.
“Choices are what customers want – that’s why most of the large vendors have a variety of different options. I will say, though that there’s been a trend towards controllerless solutions – if you look at Cisco sales, they’re largely dominated by [cloud-based] Meraki,”
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