Interop: Motorola Predicts End Of Wired Enterprise Networks - InformationWeek

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Interop: Motorola Predicts End Of Wired Enterprise Networks

Deploying and running a wireless network would cost $232,000 the first year, while a similar wired network would cost $3.8 million, one company exec suggests.

Motorola says the advantages of a wireless LAN are sure to motivate enterprises in time to cut their wired networks.

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Kathy Paladino, president of enterprise mobility at Motorola, told attendees of the Interop conference in Las Vegas that emerging standards, such as 802.11n, will usher in wired-like speed, reliability, and security to wireless networks. Add to that the cost savings, and tossing the wired network becomes a compelling proposition.

"The question today is not why to cut the wires, but when," Paladino said in the keynote Wednesday.

In terms of cost, wired networks are 10 times more expensive than wireless LANs to deploy and maintain. Assuming a company was starting from scratch, deploying and running a wireless network would cost $232,000 the first year, while a similar wired network would cost $3.8 million, Paladino said.

"The technology is ready, and the time is now to make the shift," she said.

Many companies today are running wired and wireless networks together. In time, however, investment on the wireless side will increase as use of the wired network by employees decreases. Already, job postings for mobile architects are increasing, Paladino said. "It's becoming the job to have."

During a question and answer session following the keynote, Paladino addressed Motorola's plan to split itself into two separate companies. The decision was announced in March and would lead to a separate company for Motorola's handset business.

Paladino said the move was good for her division, because the handset operation was a consumer business that drew resources away from the company's corporate business. "What it will do is let us focus on serving customers," she said of the split, which is expected to be completed next year.

Preceding Paladino's keynote was one given by David DeWalt, president and chief executive of security company McAfee. DeWalt said security firms have been successful in stopping massive virus attacks that use to raise havoc among hundreds of companies, but cybercriminals were still working overtime to crack corporate networks and get inside consumer PCs to steal passwords and other personal information.

From 2006 to 2007, there was a 67% increase in malware sightings, amounting to 372 detections a day by the end of last year. This year, the number of detections is expected to double to 750 a day, DeWalt said.

Expected to add to the problem is the growing number of mobile devices, such as smartphones, that are coming online. Those devices are expected to be the next big target of cybercriminals.

In helping companies deal with current and future risks, McAfee has taken a "best-of-suite" approach in which it makes multiple security components, such as antivirus, anti-spam, network access control, and intrusion-detection systems, and manages them through a central console, which can also support other vendors' software, DeWalt said. McAfee is applying the same strategy to security appliances, combining Web threat protection, prevention of denial-of-service attacks, URL filtering, messaging protection, and more in one piece of hardware.

The same strategy is being followed by McAfee rivals Symantec and Trend Micro.

One of McAfee's fastest-growing products, in terms of sales, is security services offered over the Internet, DeWalt said. The software-as-a-service model is being embraced mostly by small companies, with midsize companies starting to show interest.

The last keynote of Interop was given by Surya Kant, president of Tata Consultancy Services in North America. The international company, which is based in India, currently has 111,000 employees, and plans to hire 35,000 more this year, Kant said.

With more than half its business coming from the United States, Tata is looking for local talent. In March, Tata opened a North American software delivery center in the Cincinnati area. The company plans to hire a thousand employees for the facility within a couple of years, Kant said.

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