Channelnomics

Cisco Updates Unified Wireless Software

Cisco_WirelessCisco Systems Inc. is doubling down on its wireless strategy with another update to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software (CUWN), bringing it to version 7.4

Currently integrated with many of Ciscos wireless infrastructure products, including the 5500 Series wireless controller (pictured above), CUWN 7.4 is “jam-packed” with more than 40 features unique to wireless infrastructure needs. On Cisco’s official blog, the primary focus of these updates includes a focus on wireless quality improvement, security and spectrum intelligence, small deployment performance improvements and IT service delivery via mobile applications.

Cisco is now providing:

  • Cisco Application Visibility and Control: Cisco boasts over 1000 web applications including YouTube, Netflix and even Cisco Jabber can now be scrubbed with deep packet inspection, allowing policy makers to ensure traffic flow by assigning prioritization to application-specific packets — or dropping those packets all together.
  • Bonjour Services Directory: Apple services including AirPlay and AirPrint can now be automatically enabled “with additional security controls” at layer 3 network levels. Likewise, these features can be controlled based on policy, which can limit the kinds of users that are Bonjour-enabled. Cisco offers an example where teachers can push AirPlay content but students cannot.
  • Expanded Mobile Connectivity: Built on the Cisco Mobility Services engine, location services can now be aggregated to produce network metrics that can be analyzed and tracked to uncover context-aware usage of corporate infrastructure. This can helping improve reliability across a business campus. Alongside logistical abilities, Cisco also is including the Mobile Concierge SDK, allowing developers and providers to enable native applications on mobile devices that receive push notifications and other personalized services while connected to corporate WiFi.
  • Cisco Wireless Security and Spectrum Intelligence (WSSI) Module: CUWN 7.4 will also include this module for Cisco’s Aironet 3600 series access points. This provides a continual spectrum monitoring analysis that can uncover rogue devices, coming threats, RF interference and more. Cisco promises that this can provide up to a 30 percent CAPEX reduction when compared to regular monitoring of access points. This stat is complemented with zero-touch configuration capabilities.

Partners interested in a deeper dive should take a look at Cisco’s official release notes on CUWN 7.4 and the accompanying blog post.

At Channelnomics, we’ve stressed consultation opportunities that emerge through wireless infrastructure and network assessment services. These assessments have the potential to include  value-added services, including hardware and software, which can be quickly spun-up and managed via the cloud with little investment in infrastructure.

Cisco is just one of many vendors currently offering such advanced wireless capabilities. ADTRAN, Aerohive, Enterasys, Meraki and Aruba Networks — to name a few — have all been instrumental in suppling wireless capabilities that meet both security demands alongside wide support for BYOD and MDM solutions. Amid the 2012 onslaught of cloud and mobility, 2013 is the ideal time to support the next paradigm of computing.

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