Speed isn't the only thing that is helping to propel wireless networking forward; intelligence is playing a major role as well. That's where wireless networking startup Mist fits in with its self-learning model for WLAN.
On Feb. 28, Mist announced that it had raised $46 million in a Series C round of funding. The new round was led by Kleiner Perkins and included the participation of Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), NTT DOCOMO Ventures and Dimension Data. Total funding to date for Mist now stands at $88 million.
"Mist is leading the AI-driven IT space with the world’s first self-learning Wireless LAN, which automates wireless operations, minimizes costs and provides unprecedented insight into mobile user experiences," Sujai Hajela, CEO and co-founder of Mist, stated.
The core technological innovation behind Mist is the company's artificial intelligence (AI) engine called Marvis. Marvis helps organizations to set up wireless operations, and it provides an integrated help desk capability. According to Mist, Marvis also helps to monitor service levels for wireless networks, proactively giving operator recommendation on how to fix or avoid problems.
The Mist management plane is all cloud-based, providing an as-a-service approach to running a wireless network.
While AI and cloud-based management are important, without physical wireless access points, there is no connectivity. That's why Mist has its own portfolio of hardware access points, including its AP61, which provides both outdoor Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. The Mist AP41 and AP21 are both indoor access points. All of the Mist access points provide 802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi.
Among Mist's partners is Verizon Enterprise Solutions, which makes use of Mist's technology to enable its software-defined wireless LAN (SD-WLAN) offering.
"Our enterprise users are increasingly using wireless LANs, yet innovation around management of WLANs has not kept pace," Vickie Lonker, vice president, product management and development at Verizon, stated. "SD-WLAN leverages the advanced intelligence and machine learning offered through Mist Systems’ platform to improve network management and operations while controlling costs. It is the next step in our overall SDN strategy."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.