Aerohive Extends Cloud Wi-Fi To Wired Nets

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

One day, all enterprise networks will be managed from the cloud, says Aerohive

Wi-Fi vendor Aerohive, which offers business wireless LANs managed from the cloud, has expanded its offering by acquiring a company which offers cloud management for wired switches and routers.

Pareto Networks started selling routers and VPN appliances managed from the cloud in June last year, and has been quickly bought by Aerohive to extend the cloud-controlled LAN offering – and acquire patents relating to networks-as-a-service.

All networks will be managed from the cloud?

“Aerohive will immediately integrate Pareto’s routing, VPN and innovative cloud services technology into Aerohive’s operating system (HiveOS) and Cloud Services Platform with new features and platforms beginning to be delivered in Q2 2011,” said Stephen Philip, vice president of marketing at Aerohive.

The company does not plan to major on managed wired switch ports, in products which will be aimed at smaller businesses and small offices within large organisations. “In the majority of mid-sized enterprises and branch/teleworker networks the switching decision is not strategic and they are often commodity unmanaged switches,” said Philip.

The company will, however, be selling against big network players Cisco and Juniper, as well as wireless specialist Aruba in the branch offices – and lower-end network equipment makers for smaller businesses. “None of these vendors has tapped into the advantages that cloud-based networks provide to the customer,” said Philip, mentioning one exception, Meraki, a wireless router maker which has alwo launched a cloud-based router solution focused at the smaller business.

Philip believes all networks will ultimately be managed from the cloud: “Although many larger enterprises will likely take the cloud technology into their own data centres – which is being discussed as Private Cloud solutions.”

Low energy, low risk

The idea also has a green angle, said Philip, since cloud-based networks use fewer hardware resources in the office, and also eliminate many of the costs involved with installation and support visits.

Philip denied that cloud management adds any risk to the network, since no actual payload data or network optimisation jobs go to the cloud, and any WAN (Internet) failure should not affect day-to-day use.

In the next few months, Aerohive plans to deliver a branch gateway, telecommuter device, and router which combine the two companies’ expertise.