Meru MobileFLEX Architecture

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1 Meru MobileFLEX Architecture Bringing new levels of choice and control to enterprise wireless LANs Today, network management is a tug-of-war between user demands and IT requirements. Users are pulling hard: They rely on instant connections to the information and applications they need to work, study, and live, wherever they happen to be at the moment. They bring along their own devices and run their own apps right alongside business-critical applications. At the other end of the network, IT managers are stretching to accommodate more devices, mobilize core business applications, and make room for bandwidth-hungry user apps all the while keeping the network secure and the service reliable. Can your network stand the strain? you into the future. Built-in flexibility gives you the option of single-channel or multiple-channel modes, along with channel layering for highdensity environments and simple scalability. There s no need to sacrifice control when users bring their own devices, and there s no need to ban BYOD to ensure network integrity. Users stay connected and productive, while your network stays secure, reliable, and easily manageable. With MobileFLEX, everybody wins Call a truce. All it takes is the right infrastructure. Meru s unified MobileFLEX architecture lets you manage your network your way and give users the consistent, interactive experience they ve come to expect. With MobileFLEX, you have the tools to control network access, the flexibility to deploy the best Wi-Fi coverage for your environment, and the infrastructure to take For more information, visit

2 MOBILEFLEX ARCHITECTURE The control and flexibility you need to meet escalating network demands Meru s MobileFLEX is a unified architecture that gives you the choice and control you need to address the exploding demand for wireless LAN capacity and bandwidth. MobileFLEX features include robust support of ac, the latest standard from IEEE, support for service discovery tools like Apple Bonjour, and Meru s unique context-aware channel layering technology. The MobileFLEX architecture enables you to provide users with the reliable, predictable access to the applications and content they need to stay productive, while preparing your infrastructure to support the next generation of applications (see figure 1). FLEX Solutions Meru MobileFLEX Architecture Technology Industry The benefits of MobileFLEX build with each layer of the architecture: Consistent, ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage through the FLEX Access layer FLEX Policy user device time app location Multiple deployment options through the FLEX Control layer FLEX Management Management Security Troubleshooting Unified network and security tools in the FLEX Management layer Simplified user onboarding and management with the FLEX Policy layer FLEX Control Centralized Distributed Virtualized Easy integration of supporting applications and services through the FLEX Solutions layer FLEX Access Multiple Channels Single Channel Channel Layering Figure 1: Meru s MobileFLEX is a unified architecture that delivers the reliable, high-performance wireless access users want, while providing the security and control IT managers need. Meru s MobileFLEX architecture lets you create context-aware channel layers, separate dedicated channels for different applications and usage contexts such as mission-critical enterprise applications, voice, or customer-facing applications. With context-aware channel layers, each application has the guaranteed performance it needs, even over a dynamic and shared wireless infrastructure. User Context user device time app location Channel Layers

3 FLEX ACCESS More configuration options to meet exploding mobile needs Most IT managers are familiar with the steps typically required to deploy a wireless LAN. First, you do an expensive and timeconsuming site survey to assess your environment. Then you design a coverage plan for the wireless LAN that minimizes dead spots and RF interference and ensures that neighboring access points use non-overlapping RF channels. Ultimately, the Wi-Fi client device is in control it chooses which access point it will connect to. Meru is different. Meru s FLEX Access makes it simple to deliver consistent wireless LAN services, even in dense client deployments and for real-time applications like voice and video. Meru provides various channel planning options so you can count on smooth, predictable performance to support highly dense client deployments and bandwidth-intensive applications. Air Traffic Control technology coordinates which access points communicate with which client devices when they are in the same interference zone, so your users enjoy a more consistent experience. Airtime Fairness keeps traffic flowing across your wireless LAN by ensuring that every client gets equal Wi-Fi time and every transmission moves at its highest potential speed. Meru makes it easy to scale wireless capacity and coverage across a variety of locations to meet your growing mobile requirements. Whether users are in home or remote offices, on a large corporate campus, outdoors, or sitting in lecture halls or stadiums, they can count on ubiquitous, reliable wireless LAN coverage with Meru. The FLEX Access layer also provides you with multiple configuration options so that performance and user experience can be optimized based on the application, user, device, or location. Multiple-channel mode uses three or more non-overlapping RF channels to deliver Wi-Fi access on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHZ networks. This is the conventional multiple-channel approach. Single-channel mode significantly simplifies deployment by eliminating cumbersome RF channel planning. With this approach, unique to Meru networks, you can add capacity quickly without the burden of site surveys. Channel layering ensures capacity and coverage for highly dense environments such as lecture halls, stadiums, arenas, and trading floors. Adding capacity and coverage is as simple as adding access points. With channel layering, in a single coverage area Meru can support three times the number of clients of any other WLAN solution. Vendors that require multiple channels for their channel planning option simply can t match the performance and client density of a Meru wireless LAN. Context-aware channel layers allow applications to be mapped to dedicated channels, providing isolated, secure, and high-performance layers. In addition, Meru s virtual cell technology allows you to personalize device access and ensures superior voice quality, especially in areas of high mobility. Users experience a single, seamless layer of coverage because their mobile devices act as though they are always connected to the same access point. Behind the scenes, the Meru network makes the decisions about when clients will connect to a new access point. Together these technologies give you the flexibility you need to build wireless networks that meet increasing demands for bandwidth, client density, and application mobility. Competitors Requires minimum three non-overlapping channels Wireless Virtualization Multiple Channel Ideal for low/medium density environments Single Channel Ease of deployment Virtual Cell Seamless mobility Client selects access point Figure 2: FLEX Access gives you choice and control in the configuration of wireless LAN services. Air Traffic Control Network in Control Channel Layering Maximize capacity Physical security

4 FLEX CONTROL More deployment options to suit your environment Get the flexibility you need to deploy wireless LAN services to fit your environment, whether you choose a centralized, distributed, or virtualized network controller. Centralized Distributed Virtualized Virtualized Distributed Centralized deployment. If your IT systems are centralized, such as on a campus, you may prefer the simplicity of deploying a centralized mobility controller to manage your access points. A single Meru controller can manage up to 5,000 access points. Traffic tunneled to controller Simplifies overlay deployments Ideal for campus deployments Distributed deployment. For remote or branch offices, you can deploy Meru controllers in distributed mode. This allows you to define and manage policies centrally, and those policies will be enforced at the edge. Virtualized deployment. If you run a virtualized data center, consider Meru s unique virtualized controller software, which runs on VMware. Virtualization makes it simple to add capacity on demand. And running Meru on your existing virtual servers lowers your total cost of ownership. Policies defined centrally and enforced at the edge Ideal for remote/ branch offices Contoller appliance virtualized Lower cost of ownership Capacity on demand Figure 3: FLEX Control gives IT managers a choice of deployment options to best fit their needs. Meru supports network service delivery protocols, including Apple Bonjour, Simple Service Delivery Protocol (SSDP), and WS-Discovery. Bonjour enables network services such as AirPrint, which allows Apple ios devices to print wirelessly, and AirPlay, which allows audio and video to be shared among Apple ios devices. With Bonjour support, AirPrint, and AirPlay can be used in enterprise deployments. Meru fully supports both IPv6 and IPv4, meeting the growing requirements for IPv6 client connectivity specified in national and international mandates for migration to next-generation IP addressing. FLEX MANAGEMENT Unified network and security management The days of swivel-chair management are coming to a close. Meru s Network Management Suite, part of the FLEX Management layer, enables you to easily manage even the largest distributed deployments. Ease of operations is built in, as the Meru wireless network automatically adjusts to deliver the optimal user experience. Meru s single-channel mode allows access points to act as clients and connect with neighboring APs to test end-to-end connectivity all the way to the application. E(z)RF simplifies configuration and maintenance of your Meru wireless network and eliminates the hassle of RF management. And Meru s proactive management software allows you to diagnose and fix problems before users even notice them. Integration with SolarWinds enables unified monitoring and management of both wired and wireless networks. For businesses that need real-time wireless tracking and location services, Meru integrates with AeroScout. As security threats continue to rise, maintaining the security of the wireless LAN is critical. A wireless intrusion protection system (WIPS), integrated into the Meru network, ensures strong protection against attackers while lowering your total cost of ownership. For organizations with the most stringent security and compliance requirements, Meru also integrates with AirMagnet for advanced WIPS capabilities and Palo Alto Networks for advanced firewall capabilities.

5 FLEX POLICY Simplified user onboarding and management BYOD doesn t have to become a nightmare, no matter how many users bring their own devices. With Meru s FLEX Policy, you can simplify the task of provisioning devices and managing guest access without sacrificing security or control. It s easy to ensure consistent, policybased access for all users and guests across both wired and wireless networks to maintain ongoing security and compliance. User policies can be applied by user as well as client device with Meru s device profiling and fingerprinting technology. You can enforce policies that allow, for example, an employee to use a personal tablet to access the corporate intranet but only access and the Internet from his or her smartphone. FLEX Policy eliminates the administrative burden of providing guest access through multiple provisioning methods, including self-registration, sponsor-based access, and bulk import, to fit your business needs. With Meru, 802.1X network access control is automated on any mobile device, across ios, Android, and Windows platforms, and on wired and wireless networks. Guest Management Guest Connect Automate guest access Integrated billing time user location device Policy Management and AAA Server BYOD Provisioning Smart Connect app Meru Identity Manager Suite Automate 802.1x configuration Any device, any network Service Delivery Service Connect eduroam: education-specific authentication service Credit card processing Figure 4: FLEX Policy simplifies BYOD and guest access management while ensuring secure, consistent access. First to market 10X as widely deployed as competitive open solutions Fully integrated from day one Meru also supports eduroam 1, which is used by the education and research communities for secure, worldwide, site-to-site roaming. FLEX SOLUTIONS Easy integration of supporting applications and services The industry s next wave of productivity will come from mobilizing general and line-of-business applications. Meru s FLEX Solutions layer provides an open platform for easy integration of ancillary technologies and specialized applications for education, healthcare, hospitality, and other industries. Context-aware channel layers allow you to fine-tune the Wi-Fi network to deliver performance that s uniquely suited to different applications and contexts. In addition, Meru and LanSchool have validated a joint classroom management solution that includes an easy-to-follow configuration and deployment guide. Configuration and deployment of Microsoft Lync unified communications and other applications are also simplified with Meru. 1

6 802.11ac READY Prepared to move your network traffic faster Your investment in a Meru network will be protected even as the industry transitions to the new ac standard ac will enable Wi-Fi to meet the demand for high-capacity and high-quality mobile, real-time applications like voice and video and to resolve the growing issue of congestion as more and more mobile devices are used. Meru s unique single-channel mode can help you maximize the benefits of ac with higher speeds. To achieve gigabit speeds, ac uses wider channels in the 5-GHz band, and that minimizes the total number of channels available to enterprise deployments. There will be instances where fewer than three channels are available for use, making vendors without singlechannel WLAN options difficult, if not impossible, to deploy. However, Meru s single-channel mode will remain ideal for this situation. MEETING EXPLODING DEMANDS FOR MOBILITY A network that delivers an excellent user experience and an excellent IT experience With Meru, you can meet users expectations to use their laptops, tablets, and smartphones everywhere without sacrificing the security and control you need to manage the network. Meru s broad portfolio of solutions makes it easy to deliver ubiquitous and high-capacity coverage to meet the specific requirements of your environment, even in high mobility areas and highly dense spaces such as conference rooms, lecture halls, stadiums, arenas, and entertainment venues. With Meru s unique contextaware channel layers, users will have a superior experience even when using voice, video, digital learning, and other resource-intensive applications. And services like AirPlay and AirPrint will work as users expect. With Meru, you can easily deploy reliable, secure, consistent coverage all the way from small offices to large campuses. Meru delivers an all-wireless network that fully supports the enterprise, delivering a consistent, interactive experience for all users. No matter what applications they are running. No matter how many other users are on the network. For more information, visit or your questions to: Meru Networks Copyright 2013 Meru Networks, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Meru Networks, Air Traffic Control, Airtime Fairness, and E(z)RF are registered trademarks of Meru Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, trade names, or service marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. Meru Networks assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies in this document. Meru Networks reserves the right to change, modify, transfer, or otherwise revise this publication without notice BR US Corporate Headquarters 894 Ross Drive, Sunnyvale, CA T +1 (408) F +1 (408) E

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