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Microsoft Dumps Cisco for WiFi

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the change-in-the-ground-level dept.

Wireless Networking 25

A reader writes: "While Cisco is still runs the world of routers, apparently they have ended up on the short end of the stick when it comes to WiFi. Aruba Wireless Networks announced today that Microsoft has selected them over Cisco and would be "integrating Windows wireless clients" software with the Aruba gear. This could impact everyone that uses wireless with Windows. Aruba's Access Points aren't your traditional AP since they offload most of the functionality to a back end controller thus making for very low cost APs. They have even released their AP boot code on Source Forge so that anyone with a controller can convert their APs to Aruba APs. It also should be noted that Cisco, after realizing their wireless equipment wasn't up to par, tried to buy the deal by first by first approaching Aruba and then after being rebuffed bought their competitor Airespace for $450M in desperation and still lost."

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25 comments

Cisco (3, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802308)

I was convinced after the big Cisco 6509 series, there would never be another need for more wired cisco networking hardware.

With the exception of the san switches MDS line, I feel everything else released after the 6509 are surpluses. Literally released to fill marketing needs.

Re:Cisco (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802402)

without exception, all of Cisco's products after their first router have been released only to fill marketing needs.
Best edge switches (meaning various dsl or POTS requirements) - Cisco.

Best switches for multicast? - Baystack/Passport (Nortel).

Best Routing switches? - Crossbeam.

Best switches for security? - Crossbeam running Checkpoint Interspect, OR Alteon/Passport(think baystack!) running Checkpoint FW-1.

Best routers (bar none) Nokia IPSO appliances. With or without checkpoint you won't find a better router for LAN envirenments.

Best switches for general purpose use (no need for multicast) - Foundry.

Best switches for TLS (Think MPLS) - Foundry.

Add to that, Cisco is not a develpment company - it is an embracing company - it aquires technology and brands it with it's own name, but never has leveraged the aquired technology to be seemlessly managed.

Re:Cisco (1)

Big Jason (1556) | more than 8 years ago | (#12830395)

We just bought some Cisco MDS switches to replace our off-lease Brocades. Big mistake. We're having all sorts of problems with our tape SAN because the Cisco doesn't support first gen LTO drives. We have to upgrade to Gen2 or 3 LTO to "fix" the problem.

WINWAP (4, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802417)

Why does WinModem come to mind?

Re:WINWAP (3, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803422)

Because MS now gets to promote x86 system configurations for which Linux (and OS X) will not have drivers.

So there you have the Windows future: Proprietary lock-in through MS partnerships with peripheral makers.

Re:WINWAP (1)

rsax (603351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12810227)

So there you have the Windows future: Proprietary lock-in through MS partnerships with peripheral makers.

Hasn't this also been their past and present?

Cisco hates to lose (5, Insightful)

Alcemenes (460409) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802432)

Cisco does not like to lose and they hate being wrong even more but overall I think they're a good company. I like working with their hardware although the price tag is very steep and in a lot of cases a less expensive product serves the purpose just as well or better. I can think of one instance in particular where a custom Linux firewall was replaced with a Cisco 2621 router with the firewall feature set loaded because the Linux firewall didn't meet the organizations security standards. As it turns out those standards meant the firewall had to be a Cisco product, period. I have also seen situations where Cisco tech support blamed my Linux router as the reason for a VPN tunnel failing on a misconfigured PIX firewall. I wasn't really surprised by any of this but it also doesn't surprise me that Microsoft chose someone else over Cisco. Does anyone else find it ironic that a monolithic software company with obnoxious licensing snubs a monolithic hardware company with equally insane licensing? I implement both Cisco and Microsoft products for my customers but the hoops you have to jump through sometimes just to make sure your licenses are on the up and up are ridiculous.

Re:Cisco hates to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12804036)

I would rather use a netgear than a cisco product. After watching my friend work for them after college for 5 years and being stymied in bringing better security to wifi in a personal crusade only to have them adopt a similiar approach a few years after he left I can see nothing but a petty political machine at the heart of that company.

I'd hate to be Airspace... (3, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802512)

I'd hate to be Airespace, the company Cisco bought in "desperation". Those guys are going to have a lot of corporate support, 'eh? Or maybe just layoffs.

Re:I'd hate to be Airspace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12805712)

RTFA... it's just the MICROSOFT CAMPUS... jeez

Re:I'd hate to be Airspace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12805769)

Yeah, just the microsoft campus in 60 countries.

WiFi will Kill Cisco (4, Interesting)

routerwhore (552333) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802533)

Cisco will never really be good at wifi since it canabalizes their core business of forcing customers to guy their 6500s every couple of years and put in additional capacity that they don't need. One great example of this is that to have any wireless functionality on a 6500, you must upgrade your supervisor module to the latest Sup 720. With 90% profit margains they are runing a pretty good scam. I imagine it won't last forever. They will have a wake-up call soon much like IBM did.

Brings me to this question (0, Offtopic)

wifitek (675392) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802621)

Im looking for a linux enterprise router with all the bells and 2.6 kernel. I would like to try my hand at load balancing. Any Ideas?

Just Microsoft IT (1)

dago (25724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802706)

It seems like it's just for internal WLAN network, nothing more. Apparently, from the press release, MS has been running Aruba since '99, so it's more a status quo than a ground breaking news.

Re:Just Microsoft IT (1)

dago (25724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802734)

... and the title is even misleading, as they didn't dumped cisco, only stayed with aruba.

Re:Just Microsoft IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802806)

Try reading the article next time before you start blathering.

Re:Just Microsoft IT (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802753)

That is a bit short sighted since their measley "internal WLAN" network is bigger then most WLAN networks in the world. Also, they have been running Cisco since '99, not Aruba. Aruba is only like 3 years old.

Is this really a shock? (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803521)

This creates another class of hardware akin to the winmodem. The result is that this model becomes popular and controller emulation software is only made for the most popular desktop platform... MICROSOFT windows. This is just another way of exploiting a monopoly.

Re:Is this really a shock? (2, Interesting)

routerwhore (552333) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804166)

It doesn't work that way with Wifi. It just means that stuff like roaming and QoS over wireless are going to work with Aruba first and the rest of the world will catch up. This has nothing to do with Winmodems (that analogy doesn't even make sense) and 802.11 is still a standard for any platform.

Re:Is this really a shock? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12809834)

The other manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon to compete, replacing on-device controllers with software based controllers.

This has nothing to do with a platform getting the latest features first, that is beside the point. This is about replacing hardware with software that emulates the functionality. The result is a crippled device that is useless without platform dependent software. Exactly how is this different from winmodems and other windevices that do the same thing?

Sic semper tyranis (3, Insightful)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803623)

Either you move with the times or you lose.

Cisco seems to have underestimated their market share influence in technology.

Rightfully so, innovation will win every time (something which should give the open source community some hope, I suppose)... sometimes it is a slow process.

I think Cisco is starting that road, and in a decade may wind up in the same spot as Novell... unless they can come up with their own innovations!

Cheers :)

Re:Sic semper tyranis (1)

onallama (515297) | more than 8 years ago | (#12886980)

Cisco seems to have underestimated their market share influence in technology.

ITYM they've overestimated their influence -- it's no longer the dot.com era when they and Sun ruled the world.

Re:Sic semper tyranis (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12886991)

By their I meant the other companies, not Cisco :) ... I realize, now, that my comment was ambiguous... how embarassing! :">

Re:Sic semper tyranis (1)

onallama (515297) | more than 8 years ago | (#12887035)

Ah, of course. I just read it the other way, and that was what stuck in my head; now that I know what was intended, it makes perfect sense. :-)

Aruba runs Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12804484)

Aruba's controllers and APs run Linux (embedded and hidden from the user though).. wonder if MS will make them convert to Windows Server 2003? :)
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