Enabling High-Performance for Apple iPads in the Enterprise

Enterprises are looking at leveraging Apple iPads in a big way. Enterprises face several issues while trying to optimize the gadget for enterprise mobility applications. This whitepaper addresses some of these challenges.

1) iPad Unleashed in Your Enterprise

Apple iPad is more than a great way to experience the web, photos and videos. The #1 reason U.S. consumers would use a tablet device such as Apple iPad is working on the go, according to a recent Zogby International poll.
People are demanding mobile devices that blend consumer and enterprise functionality. Information workers and their employers are seeing the clear value of iPad for work-related activities. More than half of Fortune 500 companies bought iPads in the first few months of their availability. It won’t take long before a smart phone and an iPad are many workers’ constant companions, leaving the hefty laptop grounded.
A leading luxury car maker is piloting the use of iPads. Salespeople can grab the latest details on a car and run credit checks from the showroom floor. A premier U.S. bank is using iPads to approve multi-million wire transfers. Medical professionals use iPads to view patients’ medical images, health records and access key medical applications. IT managers use iPads to remotely manage and monitor business-critical systems from anywhere. And without a doubt, universities are filled with students and professions using iPads as an integral part of everyday learning and life.
Enterprise IT organizations need to prepare for the wave of iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices arriving on the shores of the corporate wireless network. The mobile enterprise is indisputably here, and the pace of enterprise adoption will only accelerate. Laptops outsell desktops. Smart phones are everywhere. Forty-three percent of enterprise workers use wireless networks, according to Gartner, and that number is expected to rise to 58 percent by 2014.

2) Challenges of deploying iPad in the Enterprise

Choosing a wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that will meet the needs of mobile users for the next decade is critical. With mobile devices fast becoming must-haves for business, IT must ensure that their WLAN infrastructure is ready to meet new demands for performance, integration, scalability, security and mobility at the lowest total cost of ownership.
There are five key challenges in an enterprise deployment of iPads:
1. Scalable performance: Wi-Fi performance is particularly important for iPad because Wi-Fi is the only way to connect. There is no wired Ethernet port to fall back on if WLAN performance is unsatisfying. Designing a high-density wireless LAN means taking into account that the performance implications of having many iPads, tablets, smart phones and other Wi-Fi clients in a small area.
2. Ease of integration: iPads use 802.11n technology, and IT needs to ensure that these high-performance devices will not adversely affect the performance of clients using legacy Wi-Fi technology.  To maximize its benefits, iPad performance needs to be guaranteed in the presence of legacy Wi-Fi technology. Appropriate measures should be taken to prevent performance degradation on the existing set of wireless devices and applications, and overall network performance.
3. Strong security. How does enterprise IT ensure that iPad users have convenient access while ensuring that sensitive corporate data is protected? iPad was designed for the consumer, but IT must ensure that it can mitigate the risk of data loss or network compromise to meet growing set of compliance requirements.
4. Mobility with ease: Users expect seamless mobility when using iPad or any other mobile device. IT must ensure that users can move across the campus without breaking their connection so that productivity will be unimpeded.
5. Maximizing battery life: iPad gets about six hours (in practice) to ten hours (in theory) of battery life. IT must ensure that network infrastructure is designed to improve the available battery life on iPads to improve end user experience and productivity.
Thousands of organizations around the world have deployed Aruba’s products to meet their campus wireless LAN, branch networking and remote networking needs. Aruba Networks meets the five biggest challenges of deploying iPads into an enterprise-class environment. To verify, Aruba performed extensive testing of iPad on Aruba wireless LANs to verify enterprise-scale performance, integration, security, mobility, and battery life. In all cases, iPad passed with flying colors. We tested iPad connectivity in an Aruba network using a lab network that consisted of one Aruba Mobility Controller 651-9 and two Aruba AP-105s. We used the Aruba corporate network in our Sunnyvale, CA headquarters to test connectivity, performance, security, roaming and usability.
By Aruba Networks
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