Fluke Networks broadens support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi network standard

Fluke launches 802.11ac versions of its OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet and the OneTouch AT Generation 2 Network Assistant tools to help Wi-Fi providers troubleshoot and optimise network performance

Fluke Networks broadens support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi network standard

Fluke Networks Enterprise Solutions, a business unit of NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, has unveiled new analysis and troubleshooting tools designed to ensure 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks run at optimal levels thereby maximising the quality of the end user experience

To do this, Fluke is rolling out new 802.11ac functionality in two of its most popular portable network analysis and troubleshooting tools, the OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet (pictured) and the OneTouch AT Generation 2 Network Assistant.

The driver behind the move is that as more organisations embrace mobile computing and consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices to manage their always-on, hyper-connected world, Wi-Fi networks are quickly becoming the backbone for delivering an optimal user experience. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index report, wired devices will account for just 33% of IP traffic by 2019, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 66%.

“People increasingly judge the quality of a network by wireless access performance. If users experience a slow Wi-Fi network, or they can’t connect to it, or they keep losing the connection, their frustration mounts and the entire network becomes suspect,” said Daryle DeBalski, vice president and general manager of Fluke Networks Enterprise Solutions.

“A faster wireless technology standard like 802.11ac offers significant upside, but only if IT teams can keep the network running at optimal levels. Our expanded support for 802.11ac gives IT leaders peace of mind, knowing their teams can quickly find and fix any wired or wireless performance issue to maximise end-user experience.”

Fluke argues that the appetite for Wi-Fi is growing faster than the infrastructure to support it. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit consortium of companies that develop Wi-Fi products and services, more than 42% of the world’s mobile data traffic and more than 90% of the world’s tablet traffic ran over Wi-Fi in 2014.

At the same time, the number of network-connected devices continues to grow at a staggering rate of nearly 20% by 2016, according to independent research firm Infonetics.

With the number of enterprise users expected to grow by 10% over the next two years and each of those users more likely to carry one or more connected devices, enterprise organisations are moving quickly to adopt 802.11ac. However, upgrading to 802.11ac is not a simple 1:1 replacement of existing 802.11 technologies.

Fluke also points out that everything wireless starts with a wire. The 802.11ac wireless standard promises to triple the speed of Wi-Fi network connections, but unless the entire network infrastructure (both wired and wireless) can handle those speeds, end users aren’t likely to experience the full benefit of 802.11ac.

Organisations upgrading to the faster standard need a holistic way to plan, analyse and troubleshoot the entire network infrastructure, rather than relying on multiple point solutions to test separate components of the network.

Fluke said its Networks Enterprise Solutions put organisations back in control of the performance of their entire IT landscape and the user experience it provides—regardless of whether services are running on wired or wireless networks.

The OptiView XG is the first tablet specifically designed for the network engineer. It automates root cause analysis of both wired and wireless network and application problems, saving the engineer significant time and effort.

The new version of OptiView XG comes with the full suite of AirMagnet Mobile tools already built in, enabling XG users to leverage the industry’s premier wireless network planning, deployment, troubleshooting, and security solution in combination with the market leading wired analysis capabilities.

The OneTouch AT is an automated handheld tester that network technicians use to troubleshoot both Ethernet and Wi-Fi network performance in real time by validating connectivity, service availability and path performance.

Both products are rugged, portable devices, enabling IT teams to connect, analyse and troubleshoot issues from anywhere—from their desk, in the data centre or at an end user’s location—using a single, integrated wireline and wireless portable tool. This enables network engineers and technicians alike to:

• Reduce IT costs, simplify workload, and minimize user complaints with instant answers and guidance on security, performance, and voice issues
• Simultaneously validate wired and wireless infrastructure performance, mirroring the actual experience of end users
• Speed detection, location and resolution of faults, freeing up IT teams to work on other initiatives.

The OptiView XG Network Analysis Table and OneTouch AT G2 Network Assistant with new 802.11ac functionality are available now.


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