Ruckus Wireless has unveiled a new framework for device agnostic networking (DAN) that helps organisations reduce the burden on IT staff and related costs associated with managing the explosion in mobile device usage.
With the increased use of personal smart devices like smartphones and tablets at home, school, and work, organizations everywhere face challenges in supporting and managing different devices accessing their networks and network resources with limited administrative visibility. This can create performance, security and management concerns.
The Ruckus DAN framework is a new approach to the industry’s growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon that combines important access management capabilities with what the company describes as the industry’s highest capacity wireless LAN (WLAN) system, Ruckus ZoneFlex.
This combination helps IT organisations drive down mobility service management costs while rapidly scaling their Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructures to meet the influx of new Wi-Fi devices flooding their networks.
DAN introduces a number of software enhancements to the Ruckus ZoneFlex system that simplify and automate these major BYOD tasks:
- provisioning users and devices on the network (onboarding),
- applying policies based on device type
- filtering select application traffic
- managing and controlling IT authorized and non-authorized user devices.
‘The first order problem companies face with BYOD is simply dealing with the extraordinary increase in client capacities,’ said Rob Mustarde, VP of Marketing for Ruckus Wireless. ‘Before worrying about BYOD, organisations must be able to reliably connect three times the number of concurrent devices that users now have in their pockets. You simply can’t manage what you can’t get on the network.
‘Ruckus is bringing together the industry’s highest capacity WLAN system with essential elements for addressing BYOD. DAN delivers a more simplified and integrated BYOD framework that enables device agnostic access management – automating everything from onboarding to device and application policy enforcement,’ added Mustarde.
How the DAN portal works
To automate secure network access for sanctioned and unsanctioned devices, DAN introduces a consolidated BYOD portal for guest access and device registration using a single WLAN. This speeds onboarding and eliminates the need for an external captive portal Web server.
The DAN portal is a mobile friendly landing page provided by the Ruckus ZoneFlex operating system that gives mobile users easy and intuitive instructions to securely access the Wi-Fi network without manually configuring their wireless devices. Additionally, the BYOD onboarding portal provides a one-click operation to Ruckus Zero-IT registration.
Zero-IT is an onboarding technology that lets users self-provision devices without IT intervention. Users connect to a provisioning network, login with their domain credentials, and Zero-IT auto-configures their device with the right network profile and associated privileges.
When the device reconnects to the proper network, advanced security is enforced with standard 802.1x or with Ruckus patented Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (Dynamic PSK) technology and the user receives access, based on the role- or device-based policies in place.
IT stays out of the onboarding loop while retaining full control over the user/device access. Additionally, IT staff can identify which logon credentials were used to register a device, the type of device registered, and granular network use.
Automating device and application policies simplifies BYOD management
Once users and devices are provisioned, DAN allows automatic enforcement of pre-defined device and application rules, eliminating burdensome policy management.
Within the DAN framework, administrators can automatically apply policies to allow, deny, rate limit, or assign devices to separate virtual LANs (VLANs) based on the operating system or device type. This permits flexible access rules to be automatically enforced based on the device type without the need to maintain user roles or attributes within an authentication system.
In the future, administrators could use this same automatic policy enforcement function to allow, deny or change the priority of specific application traffic such as social media, gaming, and video streaming. This reduces unwanted traffic and congestion on Wi-Fi networks to improve performance.
Mobile device management delivers complete remote control
With users and their devices now connected and provisioned to the network, DAN can deliver robust mobile device management (MDM) capabilities through partnerships with MDM vendors such as FileWave.
DAN MDM capabilities make it easy for administrators to manage mobile devices and applications, push device profiles, and better control and troubleshoot user devices. For example, administrators can remotely manage passwords and encryption, delete data or wipe devices, inject network settings and configure remote and email access policies.
DAN MDM can also provide additional functionality such as an end-user kiosk application, a portal residing on the end-user device that houses business applications that an organization wants to share with users from a central location.
It provides easy access to a rich inventory of device information such as installed applications, application deployment status, available device capacity, IP address, UDID, serial number, OS version, device name, and MAC address.
With cloud-hosted or on premises options, DAN mobile device management supports a variety of operating systems including Windows, MAC OS X, Linux, and iOS, giving customers a more reliable, powerful and scalable solution.
User self-service capabilities, role-based access, and application control allow IT staff to set up policies one time, eliminating the need to respond to myriad support requests. Automated application updates also reduce IT end user support workload.
Pricing and availability
Available immediately, DAN capabilities including the BYOD onboarding portal and automatic device policy enforcement are supported at no cost within ZoneFlex 9.6 software. Automatic application filtering is also a free capability that will be available within the ZoneFlex software system in the fourth quarter.
DAN mobile device management software, available through a partnership with FileWave, can be purchased through Ruckus value-added resellers either as on premises software or as a cloud-based SAAS solution. It is available immediately in the U.S. and Europe and priced on a per-device license basis.