As increasing numbers of mobile devices join networks, the need to have a common management policy for wired and wireless devices has become increasingly important.
Cisco has had components of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy in place for some time and is now expanding on that vision with new management and policy technologies.
"We've enhanced the BYOD first onboarding step with self-provisioning, so IT can empower users to get their own access," Sylvia Hooks, senior manager, Wireless Solutions at Cisco, explained to InternetNews.com.
The new onboarding capabilities are delivered via the new Identity Services Engine 1.1 (ISE) update, ISE 1.2. Cisco is calling the new self-service feature, "zero touch on-boarding" as the system guides users through the process without the need for IT intervention.
ISE 1.2 can now also integrate with third party mobile device management (MDM) vendors tools including ones from AirWatch, Good Technology and Zenprise. ISE first debuted in April of 2011, providing a new central policy point for networks; enabling administrators to manage access across an enterprise.
Cisco is also boosting its Unified Wireless Network Software to version 7.2 for its wireless controllers. The new update will enable one controller to support as many as 3,000 access points and 30,000 end clients. The system will now also support IPv6 clients as well as IPv4. Hooks noted that though IPv6 is not yet widely deployed, it's important that that policy is in place to help enable IPv6 adoption.
Cisco is now also expanding its Prime management platform to be able to manage both wired and wireless network assets. The new Prime Assurance Manager 1.1 release will provide administrators with a real time view of how application performance looks from an end user perspective.
Cisco Prime debuted in April of 2011 at the same time as ISE. The initial release had separate wired and wireless lifecycle management. That is now set to change with the new Prime Infrastructure 1.1 release.
"Now we're putting it all in one container and the Assurance Manager provides additional functionality," Hooks said.