Avaya is joining the growing list of networking vendors that now offers cloud-based management for wired and wireless networking. On October 5, Avaya officially announced its Avaya Cloud Networking Platform that provides network deployment and management features.
The promise of the new platform is that it provides a centralized cloud portal from which a distributed wired and wireless network can be controlled. The Cloud Networking Platform architecture also includes a hardware element in the form of the new WLAN 9100 series, which are cloud managed wireless access points.
"As the demand for unified access solutions continues to grow, the burden of managing and securing networks has become nearly untenable - especially at a time when there’s pressure to reduce IT budgets and resources," Jean Turgeon, Chief Technologist at Avaya Networking, said in a statement. "The Avaya Cloud Networking Platform provides the much-needed relief with a highly-secure, cost-effective solution that fits any size business."
The Avaya Cloud Networking Platform is set to become available in November, though the initial release will only be able to support wireless control. Avaya has pledged to add support for wired networking control in a subsequent release that will debut at an undetermined point in the near future.
The idea of managing wireless access in the cloud is neither new nor unique in the industry. Networking giant Cisco System acquired cloud WiFi vendor Meraki for $1.2 billion in 2012 and has been steadily expanding its cloud-managed approach since. In fact, Cisco executives often point to the Cisco Meraki cloud-managed networking business as one of the top performers in the company.
Fortinet is also active in the cloud-managed networking space, thanks to its 2015 acquisition of Meru for $44 million. Meru has an XPress cloud-managed Wi-Fi system that competes against Cisco Meraki. Aruba, which was acquired by HPE for $2.7 billion in 2015, is also active in the cloud-managed WLAN space.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist