Aiming to Power Hybrid Work, Cisco Launches Faster 6E Wi-Fi Secure Access Platform

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Cisco Systems Inc. today announced that it is “reinventing hybrid working” with multiple enhancements to its Secure Access Networking Platform that will allow users to connect quickly and securely from home, office, or anywhere. other place.

As Cisco notes in its pitch, hybrid working is quickly becoming a mainstay of many companies today and it believes success will be defined by their ability to adapt to change as it happens. This means that reliable and essential connectivity will be essential for every business.

The networking giant, unsurprisingly, says the network will quickly be seen as the essential driver of productivity in a hybrid world, whether at work, school or government. As organizations evolve, Cisco adds, they will need ubiquitous wireless connectivity, increased network power and resiliency, and reliable security to ensure their work runs without interruption.

To that end, Cisco today announced a number of networking and wireless access innovations, including new Wi-Fi 6E products, private 5G managed service, and a new series of network switches. Catalyst 9000X.

Cisco said Wi-Fi 6E technology expands network capacity by accessing clean, newly available spectrum in the 6 GHz band, unlocking increased capacity, performance and reliability. He says the new products from Catalyst and Meraki are the industry’s first high-end 6E access points. They are designed to meet the most demanding hybrid work demands, including bandwidth-intensive and low-latency applications such as augmented reality, virtual reality, video streaming, and even holographic Webex experiences.

The new Catalyst 9136 access point is an enterprise-grade device for large-scale deployments, Cisco said. It offers unique features around power management, adapting its consumption according to the current load it is experiencing. So, if only a small number of clients are connected, it will automatically reduce its number of radio streams to save power.

It also features something called “Band Steering” which uses software-defined radio resource management technology to optimize the use of any available spectrum to boost connectivity. This helps ensure the best possible Wi-Fi performance in all situations, Cisco said, by automatically routing Wi-Fi 6E devices to the 6 GHz band, freeing up the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands for “the Internet of Things.” objects” and legacy devices.

Regarding the new Meraki MR57 access point, Cisco said it is designed for the rigors of a dynamic hybrid workforce and combines the speed, power and security of a high 6E access range with simplified management via the Meraki Cloud-Managed Dashboard. According to Cisco, the MR57 is designed for use in next-generation offices, schools, hospitals, stores, and hotels, delivering high throughput, scalable cloud-based management, and enterprise-grade security. Features include a flexible tri-band radio that can operate in 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz mode, giving users full control over their wireless networks.

The new access points also come with a number of features that will help businesses manage security in hybrid workplaces, Cisco said. He explained that the devices collect environmental data on air quality, humidity, etc., combining it with location data and other information.

This means companies can quickly access metrics on the number of people working in a given location and send an alert if a location is over capacity. Density is monitored based on user devices connecting to Catalyst or Meraki networks, according to the company.

The new access points have received high praise from Cisco partners and early adopters. “With access to the new 6 GHz spectrum, free of legacy Wi-Fi congestion, Wi-Fi 6E is poised to deliver faster speeds, lower latencies and increased reliability for communication, collaboration and productivity. improved,” said Eric McLaughlin, vice president. of the Client Computing Group of Intel Corp. and General Manager of its Wireless Solutions Group.

Dave Benham, principal technical architect at People Driven Technology Inc., said hybrid working means a greater reliance on video conferencing and greater use of sensors to see occupancy levels in different workspaces. “The Cisco Catalyst 9136’s Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, when combined with a Wi-Fi 6E client, can virtually eliminate the possibility of Wi-Fi bottlenecks in these environments,” Benham said. “The wide channels and clean 6 GHz RF spectrum can provide more bandwidth than a wired connection in many cases.”

Cisco’s new private 5G service is designed to complement Wi-Fi connectivity to help connect physical operations in smart buildings and industrial IoT deployments with major information technology systems, analytics tools and automation. Cisco said its Private 5G managed service is delivered from the cloud to reduce technical and business risk, so it serves as an alternative to Wi-Fi in situations where environmental conditions or business imperatives require an alternative approach to service delivery. connectivity.

The new Catalyst 9500X and 9600X switches are intended to serve as the backbone of new modern networks, delivering the speed, bandwidth, capacity and scale needed to meet the higher demands of hybrid working. The switches are powered by Cisco’s latest Silicon One processors, adding programmable flexibility to support a wider range of networking use cases, Cisco said.

International Data Corp. analyst Brandon Butler hailed the launch of Cisco’s new products, saying a secure and powerful network that can reliably connect any user from anywhere will be fundamental. for the success of hybrid work strategies. “IDC believes the network of the future will need to meet growing demands for network performance and reliability to ultimately deliver greater business agility and productivity,” he said.

Image: Cisco

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