It has become increasingly clear to corporations that their networks can’t handle the many devices that employees are bringing into their offices. And this iPad has more elements that could make it a hit in the enterprise, such as a higher-resolution screen for video.


Apple’s newest iPad has some new elements that could make it a (bigger) hit in the enterprise, such as a higher-resolution screen for video conferencing and presentations as well as taking dictation. But it has become increasingly clear to corporations that their networks can’t handle the iPad or, really, most of the devices employees are bringing into their walls.

We have done a lot of coverage on how iPads have made inroads into the enterprise, with 64 percent of mobile workers now carrying a tablet, and that will rise to nearly 80 percent within the next six months, according the Mobile Workforce Report (you can see the iPad breakdown below). In general, the number of mobile devices coming into corporate networks has grown to 3.5 devices, up from 2.7 in 2011, according to the same report, which was released earlier this week.

So many devices, such a static network

But the problem with iPads and mobile devices in general is that they move, and so your network resources have to move too. Or at least adapt to ensure that when someone has an impromptu meeting by the water cooler, there is enough network capacity to serve those devices. Before, when people computed and connected from their desks, it was much easier to predict where the network needed to have the most capacity.

Much like the networking trends happening inside the data center or out on the cellular networks, where scale and flexibility are becoming essential ingredients, the networks inside companies are due for their own tune-up, driven in part by devices like the iPad. As our computing has become more mobile and varied depending on the device, the once-staid world of networking has had to adapt — everywhere. The best explanation so far of this trend comes from Pradeep Sindhu, the director, vice chairman of the board and CTO of Juniper. In an interview with Om last year, Sindhu said:

The nature of traffic today is increasingly dynamic. And so the old ways of addressing and building networks, with very statically provisioned technologies, like circuit switching, is essentially dead. So you have to rethink this architecturally. Point number two is that I believe that the traffic is going to get a lot more stochastic in nature. In other words, unpredictable, both with respect to any given circuit and with respect to the sources and destination the amount of usage will continue to explode and they will get more and more dynamic and unpredictable.

Companies also have to figure out how to revamp their corporate device policies to ensure data is kept secure. Aruba, a wireless equipment firm, offers this slide to explain all the considerations an enterprise must think about.

The iPad and the big enterprise networking shift

As the new iPad launches with better screens and better video conferencing and presentation capabilities, those responsible for corporate networks are a wee bit concerned. Depending on whom you ask, some are very concerned. Brocade, which on Tuesday launched a series of products that makes corporate networks programmable and flexible, polled 120 IT managers and found that about half are worried in some way about anticipate traffic changes thanks to the coming iPad.

And even if the iPad isn’t mentioned by name, the trend of bringing in consumer devices to the network is leading to opportunities not just for firms making tablets such as Apple but also those on the back end charged with building and securing corporate networks. Companies like Brocade, Aruba, Cisco and others are watching today’s launch and hoping it drives a few more CIOs to ring up their salesmen.

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  1. > But the problem with iPads and mobile devices in general is that they move, and so your network resources have to move too.

    To the ‘clued in’ CIO’s the Hybrid Cloud is your friend ;)

    1. Huh, hybrid cloud *may* work for app, but it doesn’t magically add more local network bandwidth for a facetime user standing next to the water cooler connected to your wifi network going through your network infrastructure and hogging all precious bandwidth leading up to your upstream network provider.

      1. kowsik you sound like an IT mgr luddite….get more bandwidth clown ;)

      2. Steve Ardire, more bandwidth isn’t always available, or if it is, it is often over-priced due to psuedo-monopolies. We don’t all live in Chattanooga or Kansas City or Japan (i.e., places that have affordable high speed internet service).

      3. No kidding Steve. While kowsik sounds like an IT mgr luddite, you meanwhile seem to be busy “Shaping serendipity by interrogating reality to identify, elucidate, illuminate the connective patterns for success.” huh!


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    3. Some of us just aren’t geared to accommodate complete Wi-Fi access so if people are operating outside an access point then they should re-locate and find one.

  2. I’m not sure what the difference is between an iPad and a laptop running wireless. The last 3 places I worked, the IT group has been migrating away from hardwire to save installation and maintenance costs. Most folks are using laptops unless they are running high end design tools. And even many of those folks are on laptops. What does it matter if I bring a laptop or iPad into the conference room, beyond how the IT group manages the security?

    1. Stacey Higginbotham Steve K Wednesday, March 7, 2012

      Steve, because I might bring an iPad or phone with me while I get a snack at the vending machine or to visit a colleague, whereas I am far less likely to do that with my laptop. There’s a reason I used impromptu in my example :)

    2. Or I might be streaming Pandora to my iphone, working on my laptop and watching live weather stream on my ipad…

      1. With your attention distracted by Pandora, and LiveWeatherStream, I hope your work is rote. Please spare me the claim of multi-tasking; there is too much empirical evidence it is not conducive to quality work.

    3. More likely people will use a laptop at their desk while still having a tablet and a phone with them as they walk around…so the number of networked devices per person, is on the rise.

      1. Bingo.

        In the case of mobile devices, you are also talking about:
        1. At least one additional device beyond the laptop. Many college CIOs are now telling us 4 to 6 devices per student.

        2. Increased network use in general, but also repetitive application tasks such as syncing your email to your phone, tablet, and laptop.

        3. While neither 1 & 2 are a big deal at a small scale, these additions add up to consume lots of RF as the number of users increases. Consider the quality of the WLAN at the last conference you attended. RF is a shared medium which means a wireless first environment will (often) need a better WLAN than what went into the conference room in the first place. The last consideration beyond the device security bits is to upgrade the wired network to deal with higher speed WLANs. The good news is that in some cases you can get away with a smaller wired network than what you had before.

        Disclosure: I work for Juniper Networks and we have a few horses in this race.

    4. Steve, because iPads hog network resources and consume 10 times the bandwidth as your laptop, that’s why! And they only transmit at 10 Mw. Gino G

  3. Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection and commented:
    BYOD anyone?

  4. Bernard Gutnick Thursday, March 8, 2012

    The high resolution screen has nothing to do with video. It’s the ultimate Microsoft killer. It enables better PC virtualization capabilities. Very smart to make the resolution of remote documents even better no matter the size.

  5. >rising to nearly 80 percent within the next six months…
    This # is from iPass who see’s 1/10 or less of travelling traffic, that coupled with the fact that companies that use iPass are already blowing $ out the door (Ticker ipas) leads be to find this number very questionable.

  6. Perhaps it’s nitpicking, but regardless, the Brocade survey you cite as indicating finding that “about half [of IT managers] are worried in some way about the coming iPad” doesn’t indicate that at all.

    Problem is, to get to 50% you have to include the 33% who say they “expect traffic to increase” and then apparently leap to the conclusion that the expectation of increased traffic equates to “worry”, whereas that is not at all a logical conclusion. All 33% could be completely unconcerned either because of their existing network capacities or existing abilities to increase capacities as needed.

    The only clear conclusion to me is that 17% are “unsure but expect it will be difficult to manage”, which hardly seems like a crisis – unless, of course, the survey sponsor’s products are developed to serve that ostensible need and they feel compelled to make the figures fit.

    1. Stacey Higginbotham Dave Thursday, March 8, 2012

      Dave, that’s true and I’ll adjust that wording. That’s why I didn’t rest the whole story on Brocade or even the iPad, because it is a symptom of an overall shift.

      1. I realize that, which is why I labelled it ‘nitpicking’ :)

  7. Jonathan Heuer Thursday, March 8, 2012

    BYOD is here to stay. Indeed, how long will it be before new hires are asked by IT if they even need a device at all? This a paradigm shift in which the personal devices space (smartphones) collides with the corporate device space (desktops and laptops)- at the intersection is the iPad (I mean, the tablet space, if people start buying something besides Apple), which probably suffices for 70-80% of white collar computing needs today, maybe more.

  8. Four Enterprise Implications of the New iPad – Forbes http://onforb.es/z1M7ra

    and in reply to esteemed ‘Guest’ on Wed, March 7 2012 what do I care that you don’t understand what I do….. my consulting clients sure do …Cheers ;)

    1. Happy for you Steve. As they say – others do while consultants talk. Perfect for sending links to others articles, making oneself look more erudite. Sweet!

      1. Guest you’re not only boring but a pussy to boot ;)

    2. Do you clients have anything to do with the reason your foul mouthed ?

  9. I can’t believe you’d actually suggest giving execs higher access priority. Insulating execs from the problems that their employees suffer everyday is a mistake. When an exec can’t connect up at a meeting or gets an important email late, then you’ll see continuing improvements to infrastructure. Otherwise, their worldview is going to be “I don’t understand what everyone’s complaining about; I never have any problems.”

    1. Good point.

    2. “Let them eat cake!”

    3. I was thinking exactly the same point, why would you give execs priority over customer facing staff? Any successful business would want to be able to serve your customers as the first priority and then the rest can share the rest between themselves. Again symptomatic of IT trying to drive corporate strategy without actually understanding the business and what drives your revenue (ex-IT manager now managing front line operations).

      1. Peter O’Rourke Dave Friday, March 9, 2012

        I often suggest that everyone in an organisation ought to share the same “rubbish” service… That way no one is under any illusions about what really happens at the coal face.

  10. Sharon Carbine Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Steve Ardire, you need an attitude adjustment / paradigm shift. Calling a contributor uncomplimentary names makes you look bad NOT the person you derided.

    1. Sharon please mind your own business and stop with your drivel

      1. Steve Ardire, I do NOT take orders from you. I will contribute whenever I want to. Furthermore, my comments are NOT “drivel.” Your response to me reinforced the validity of my initial comments.

    2. It’s ok, Sharon, Steve is an “advisor”. Presumably that implies that he doesn’t “do” or “know” just advises startups. I wonder how many get further that startups?

      1. James you and Sharon should get a room together and have a bang of a time ;)

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