Intel and Cisco have announced an enlargement to their current alliance designed to provide additional capabilities to improve the reliability of wireless local area networks (WLANs) and deliver better quality services. The fruits of the new deal are also expected to enable enterprises to use the combination of computer hardware and the network to protect against malicious attacks.
Intel and Cisco have added a wireless networking feature to their alliance.
Leading chipmaker Intel and Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, have developed a feature set known as Business Class Wireless Suite, which exploits Cisco’s Unified Wireless Architecture and Intel’s Centrino mobile technology. The new offering includes optimal access point selection technology and enhanced VoIP quality of service technology. Business Class Wireless Suite features are expected to become available in the first quarter of 2006.
Business Class Wireless Suite reinforces the previous efforts between Intel and Cisco regarding the development of the Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) program for WLAN client interoperability.
In addition, security will be an increased focus for the companies’ partnership, with Intel joining the Network Admission Control (NAC) program and Cisco participating in the Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) program. With the two technologies interoperating enterprises should be better able to prevent security breaches. The expectation is that Cisco NAC and Intel AMT will be compatible by Q4 2005.
This alliance, and the interoperability it promises, is to be welcomed, as top of the list of concerns for the IT manager is security, both from a resiliency aspect, such as protection from a virus attack, and from a confidentiality angle, where VoIP conversations could be eavesdropped. Authentication also becomes important from two perspectives, logging onto the system and the functions that are available to the user.
Just as with gaining access to the fixed data network policies and procedures need to be in place to ensure the right level of authorization is used for authenticating the user to the network. The emergence of wireless IP phones able to exploit VoIP when in the range of the enterprise WLAN is also further increasing the potential of this technology.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)