Extreme, HP Unveil BYOD Solutions for Enterprises, SMBs

Extreme is adding to its IME offering with new WLAN access points, while HP is trying to make BYOD more secure and easier to implement for smaller businesses.

Extreme Networks and Hewlett-Packard are looking to make it easier for enterprises and SMBs to deal with the growing numbers of increasingly mobile workers who want to use their own devices for work.

Extreme officials on June 18 announced new wireless LAN access points to complement the company€™s Intelligent Mobile Edge (IME) solution announced in March and aimed at helping IT administrators address the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that is improving employee productivity but is raising concerns around corporate network security and management.

Two days later, HP unveiled mobile solutions aimed at helping small and midsize businesses protect company data that is being accessed by employees using their personal mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. The BYOD trend challenges companies of all sizes, but it€™s a particular concern for SMBs, who don€™t always have the number of people or expertise in their IT departments to focus on it, according to Lisa Wolfe, worldwide SMB leader for HP's Enterprise Business Division.

€œThis is a segment where there are very few IT professionals,€ Wolfe told eWEEK. €œThey just do not have the resources or the expertise.€

Cost also is an issue that all companies are dealing with as the number of mobile workers and devices increases, according to David Ginsburg, chief marketing officer at Extreme.

"The growth of wireless traffic and new devices has organizations struggling with the costs of upgrading their networks to meet user demand," Ginsburg said in a statement. "Extreme Networks is addressing the challenge by providing IT with increased WLAN options, and lower prices supporting the most sophisticated, enterprise-class mobility solution."

Extreme three months ago launched its IME solution to help businesses deal with the costs and technological challenges presented by BYOD. The company unveiled new Summit fixed switches that all run on the company€™s ExtremeXOS operating system, the WM3000 802.11n WLAN portfolio, and greater identity-aware access control and policy enforcement through its Ridgeline management platform.

On June 18 at the CommunicAsia show in Singapore, Extreme officials unveiled new 802.11n WLAN access points that will be added to the IME solution to enable enterprises to offer greater and more affordable choices for deploying 802.11n wireless technology. The new access points include the Altitude 4021, a single radio-dependent access point designed to offer 802.11n performance at a low cost and that can be used in either branch offices or at corporate headquarters.

The Altitude 4521 is an independent access point that can help SMBs by enabling controllerless operations. The access point works as a virtual controller and can coordinate the operations of up to 24 neighboring access points. In addition, the Altitude 4532 is a dual-radio independent access point aimed at medium-sized deployment. The access point can continue to run even if it loses its connection to a local or remote controller, and also can be used as a virtual controller for operations of up to 24 nearby access points.

HP on June 20 introduced a host of new solutions and services that touch on everything from the need to secure critical corporate data and networks and new collaboration tools to reducing the complexity of implementing a mobile IT infrastructure, streamline the deployment of networks and assessing an SMB€™s preparation for client virtualization projects.