5 Steps to Get Ready for 802.11ax

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It’s a mobile, cloud and IoT world. Whether it’s a workplace, a classroom or a dorm room, people are using a variety of devices beyond the usual phone and laptop combo—smart TVs, gaming consoles and fitness trackers, for starters. Offices, stores and manufacturing floors are outfitted with sensors that keep us safe, regulate the temperature, water the plants and run the production line. People use a broad variety of applications such as voice and video from their mobile devices. And their expectations are at an all-time high. People will simply ditch digital services that don’t work. No one wants jittery presentations and dropped calls. The network experience must be flawless.

The newest Wi-Fi—802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6 as it’s now called—delivers the capacity and reliability needed to deliver on these amazing experiences. This new standard has been positioned as ideal for “dense deployments” like large classrooms, malls and stadiums. That’s because 802.11ax increases throughput by 4X on average compared to 802.11ac. But the definition of a “dense deployment” is evolving. When each person has multiple devices and there are IoT devices everywhere, even a business with 25 or 50 employees can be a dense deployment.

We have discussed 5 steps to get ready for 802.11ax in this webinar.

Getting Ready for 802.11ax

Aruba recently introduced the 510 Series of high-performance 802.11ax APs. The 510 series leverages the full suite of the 802.11ax technology—and more. In addition to the standard capabilities, Aruba offers many other ways to deliver an amazing network experience, including intelligent RF optimization, universal connectivity for IoT, enhanced security and always-on networking.

2019 will see the introduction of the 802.11ax-capable versions of our favorite phones, laptops and IoT devices. It’s a good time to start asking some questions:

1. When we move to 802.11ax, do we need to upgrade our switches? 802.11ax APs, due to their higher performance, need higher power, creating concerns that an upgrade to the wireless means an upgrade to the wired network as well. But you can take a measured approach with an innovative capability in Aruba’s 510 Series APs called Intelligent Power Monitoring, which enables you to dynamically turn off pre-selected features you don’t need, say Bluetooth, to be able to meet the power requirements of the AP. Later you can upgrade to new switches that support 802.3bt standard for 60Watts of power.

2. What about security? 802.11ax leverages WPA3 for core security enhancements, including advanced encryption. Support for Enhanced Open makes it possible to securely authenticate users in traditionally open networks like in coffee shops, airports and restaurants. All traffic gets encrypted with Open Wireless Encryption (OWE). To further enhance security, Aruba customers can dynamically segment their networks, so that a single policy is enforced for the client no matter if they are connected via wired or wireless.

3. What’s your energy plan? You can deliver more Wi-Fi performance to your users and devices without spiking the energy bill. With Aruba’s 510 Series APs and Aruba NetInsight, you can put your APs in deep sleep mode when they’re not being used, such as evenings and weekends.

4. What are your IoT requirements? Are you supporting IoT devices that use Zigbee or Bluetooth? Since Zigbee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cover 74% of IoT use cases, odds are you are probably supporting one of these now or in the near future.

5. Do you have the flexibility of management in the cloud? Do you want to use the on-premises AirWave to manage your wired and wireless network? Or do you want the convenience and simplicity of cloud-based management like Aruba Central so you can deploy and manage the network from any browser? Also, Aruba APs can be deployed in Instant mode with a virtual controller or be controller-based.

Employees and customers don’t want to think about the network. They want to focus on their experiences and applications. Migrating to 802.11ax can enable organizations to deal with the unprecedented diversity of devices and people’s expectations for amazing experiences.

Want to learn more?

Watch the 5 Steps to Get Ready for 802.11ax webinar.

Get started with our 802.11ax blog series.

Deep dive into the Aruba 510 series AP.