Xirrus Wi-Fi Hot Spots: Top 3 Hottest Market Trends That Demand a Xirrus Solution 

Bruce Miller

Xirrus Hot Spots: Top 3 Hottest Market Trends That Demand a Xirrus SolutionWi-Fi is a hot market right now, and for good reason. The demand for enterprise-scale Wi-Fi has been growing steadily, and is anticipated to grow at 9% per year through 2021. And when you talk about cloud-managed Wi-Fi, that figure doubles to 18% per year. i 

As data gets bigger, resolutions get higher, and more connected devices continue to flood the consumer and business markets, enterprises, governments and educational facilities will find themselves falling behind demand if they don’t migrate to a scalable and secure Wi-Fi solution like that from Riverbed Xirrus. 

Riverbed is gearing up for the widespread roll-out of Xirrus in January 2018, and there are three market trends that partners need to keep top of mind going forward. 

The increasing demand for simplified Wi-Fi networks  

Businesses are looking for Wi-Fi solutions that provide connectivity everywhere: indoors and outdoors, in work areas and conference rooms, and in cafeterias, walkways, and public spaces. Schools need high capacity to cover entire campuses with robust service. And public venues want a solution that can scale to handle hundreds or thousands of active connections. According to Gartner, through 2022, 85% of new public venues will require wireless connectivity, compared to 30% in 2016.ii 

Cloud-enabled Wi-Fi networks provide the ability to configure, provision, update and operate from a single, central console and making it easier and much more cost effective. Wi-Fi access points (APs) must be physically located in the areas that they covera unique requirement compared to most networking infrastructure. Deploying large, distributed networks with hundreds or thousands of APs becomes a large task, requiring significant time and manpower for strapped IT departments to handle.  

Cloud Wi-Fi networks, such as those from Riverbed Xirrus, enable easy and rapid roll out of new networks. Thousands of APs can be configured with little-to-no IT experience at the actual location of installationsimply plug in the AP and it will automatically discover into the cloud, download its configuration, and provide near-instant secure Wi-Fi service. The ease of installation ultimately provides significant savings in operational expense when rolling out new, upgraded or expanded Wi-Fi networks. 

The rapid introduction of connected devices accelerates the need for dense Wi-Fi networks 

Smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices have accelerated the requirement for Wi-Fi networks to support greater client densities nearly everywhere Wi-Fi is available. While LTE networks deliver high-speed access to cellular-enabled devices, they provide a solution for only a limited number of devices, smartphones in particular. LTE connectivity quickly becomes cost prohibitive when connecting a multitude of devices. Wi-Fi service is increasingly required to enable connectivity for less sophisticated IoT devices. And onboarding these devices needs to be simple and secure to guard against potential network vulnerabilities. 

Xirrus has proven success in enabling businesses, governments and educational institutions to deploy ubiquitous Wi-Fi networks that can handle the continually increasing load from connected devices while maintaining simple control from a single console. Devices can easily and rapidly connect to the Wi-Fi network en masse with no IT involvement. 

More devices mean more and more applications and data 

Not only has the number of devices grown exponentially, but the data these devices are using is steadily growing larger as well. HD and 4K displays require devices to pull massive video streams across the network. Large files containing high-resolution images are increasingly stored in the cloud. And who doesn’t have a pair of earbuds streaming the latest tunes or listening to a podcast while walking to work or waiting at the bus stop? 

The ability to provide access to any type of data in any location is key to businesses, communities and schools supporting their mobile constituents. Mobility increases productivity and means happy users. This means Wi-Fi networks must scale and adapt to keep up with ever-increasing and ever-changing traffic they are handling.  

Application visibility and control is key to creating dynamic and scalable Wi-Fi networks. By first understanding the applications the network is carrying, then mapping the priorities of the business or organization to how that traffic is handled, the network can be optimized to match desired outcomes. Policies can be created to prioritize business-critical usage and limit or block recreational usage, empowering IT to better support the needs of the business. 

Positioning Xirrus with Riverbed Solutions 

Partners offering Riverbed solutions should be on the lookout for potential Xirrus Wi-Fi opportunities. Businesses that already have a Wi-Fi solution in place might not be ready to rip and replace an entire infrastructure. However, Xirrus works hand-in-hand with Riverbed SteelConnect, providing a single, cloud-enabled and managed network from the data center, to the WAN, to the LAN/WLAN. This is a powerful proposition for IT departments looking to simplify their operations and reduce costs. 

When you talk with customers, make sure to identify Xirrus opportunities. If the company is up for a refresh of their Wi-Fi, Xirrus is the perfect complement to their Riverbed solution. And if your customer is expanding to new locations, suggest packaging Xirrus into the deal for fast, easy integration of new sites and remote offices.  

The increase in demand for Wi-Fi will grow the enterprise market to $8.5B by 2021, reflecting a 9% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) relative to 2016. The opportunity is driven by enterprises who continue to see increased demand on their wireless networks, and customers requiring a refresh of their existing wireless LAN solutions. iii  

Combined with the Riverbed SteelConnect solution, Xirrus helps create a complete networking infrastructure that can address the biggest macro trends in IT today. Be sure your customers are ready by demonstrating this powerful technology that will carry them into their connected future. 

i Dell’Oro Group, July 2016 

ii Gartner: “Market Guide for Public Venue Wireless Connectivity,” Tim Zimmerman, Ian Keene, Christian Canales, Bill Menezes, 29 Nov 2016. 

iii Dell’Oro Group, Wireless LAN Five Year Forecast Report 2017  2021.