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Microsoft Lync App Certifies Aruba and Extreme Networks 802.11AC Access Points

Microsoft Lync App Certifies Aruba and Extreme Networks AC Access Points

Microsoft Lync App Certifies Aruba and Extreme Networks AC Access PointsA question that I and others have brought up about 802.11ac is about what applications need the new standard to operate effectively versus the old, reliable N standard. Microsoft has an answer to that question in the form of Lync, Microsoft’s market leading Unified Communications product utilizing voice and video services. Unfortunately for most organizations’ networks, the data demands of the Lync app threaten to “guzzle wireless LAN bandwidth” according to News Writer Gina Narcisi at TechTarget. This problem has kept many potential buyers “on the fence” about Lync.

Enter Aruba’s and Extreme Networks’ suite of indoor and outdoor 802.11ac WLAN Access Points, which Microsoft just certified over the last month as the only technologies capable of meeting the standards of the Microsoft Lync Server Wi-Fi qualification program. The company said that “The qualification ensures that Aruba customers using Lync within their gigabit Wi-Fi environments will have a high-performing, reliable voice and video experience,” and Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at Westminster, Mass.-based ZK Research said that “I think this qualification can help to remove that hesitation, particularly if they are planning to use Lync for mobile voice and still have their deskphone,” according to Narcisi in her piece on September 4. According to a press release Microsoft Lync’s Principal Program Manager, Pascal Menezes said “Through integrating analytics, wireless and QoS, Extreme Networks is helping customers obtain high quality user experiences and deep insights into how users, applications and devices are being leveraged” while speaking about Extreme Networks’ certification on September 30.

Microsoft and Aruba are reportedly already seeing business results. Bellevue College, just outside of Seattle, decided to go with an Aruba WLAN solution as a result of this certification. Russ Beard, Bellevue’s VP of Information Resources said Our partnership with Microsoft isn’t going away any time soon, so any time we can work with a vendor who also has a relationship with Microsoft, it makes a difference.” Bellevue’s Lync/Wi-Fi is no small deal, either. The college has a combined 40,000 Lync users including students, faculty and other staff, who use the app for bandwidth intensive applications like distance learning and connecting directly into the lecture hall. That’s a good chunk of change coming Aruba’s way as a result of this deal.

Aruba has developed a synergistic relationship with Microsoft that is unique within the Wi-Fi space which allows the two companies’ technologies to complement each other and create more than the sum of their parts, according to Kerravala. A key part of this is “Aruba’s ClientMatch, a technology that helps to direct mobile devices to the closest or least congested access point.”

Kerravala explains the relevance and importance of such a technology below:

“[Sticky clients] is a big implication for things like voice and video, where you always want to have the highest quality connection. You don’t want voice quality to degrade because you’re standing right in front of an access point, but your device is still trying to use one that you were connected to before”

Because the WLAN is becoming the primary network for many organizations, the need to tightly integrate the network and bandwidth intensive apps like Lync will only grow, according to Narcisi. If that’s the case, then Aruba and Extreme Networks have a huge head start over the competition.

For Narcisi’s piece at TechTarget, click here.

For the Extreme Networks press Release, click here.

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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