Support for 802.11ac
Thanks for your feedback. I will follow up with some of you personally.
Chris Preston commented
I'd like to see am update on this. We have the UTM and are looking at options for deploying wireless, and already we have a number of 802.11ac capable phones and laptops. Lack of support for AC could eliminate Sophos/Astaro as a candidate as AC support will likely become imperative during the expected deployment lifetime (almost certainly sooner over later).
I believe we are already starting to see a wide adoption of 802.11ac equipment with offerings from Cisco, Meraki, and Ubiquiti. I believe in those three you have everything represented from Enterprise, to small business, to prosumer. While the vendor's for the consumer equipment (Wireless Cards and Chipsets) are still catching up, you are starting to see some adoption in mainstream devices such as the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Apple laptops.
I know at one of the sites I manage with an Astaro/Sophos the manager is all about new technology and we were finally upgrading the consumer access points to more enterprise grade. Because Astaro/Sophos didn't have an ac offering we purchased and deployed Ubiquiti ac units (this is also due to cost since their ac units are half price the Sophos AP50, but he also has a new Apple laptop and wanted the ac capability).
So, in short I believe the market is there for the purchase of ac units if the price point competes with the other current offerings.
When companies (like yourself) stop asking about when we think we will need it, and just give it to us so our hardware we already HAVE will work with it. Get building.
Kevin Salisbury commented
1. Well, I see you have been reading arguments like this one that say we should forget all about 802.11ac;
Everytime there is a new wireless technology, we always see this argument - and it's always flawed. It rings hollow to me. To the author's argument - much of the routing and access point equipment is consumer grade and is junk. But isn't it always? All it illustrates to me is that the market is wide open for more quality 802.11ac enterprise quality wireless network hardware vendors. If the right equipment is available it changes everything.
To your "market adoption" question - I only know what we are doing. Yes, we have some apple and samsung devices with 802.11ac support, and our upcoming new PC and mobile devices will be required to have it. But all of that capability is meaningless if we do not have a secure wireless 802.11ac backbone to support it.
It is not just us. Many of your customers are currently evaluating their wireless infrastructure and planning for the future right now. They are reading articles like this one from Network Computing;
Which to me means that hardware vendors offering excellent 802.11ac/n support right now are going to quickly gain market share. This is because many enterprises with older generation equipment are looking to integrate and manage their wireless networks completely using 802.11ac.
So what are your competitors doing? Let's see;
Quite a few offerings right now in general, but not a lot appear to be enterprise grade yet;
If Dell is to be believed, they beat Cisco in performance for both 802.11ac and N;
So yes we are looking at what Dell can do for us since Cisco can't seem to deliver yet and our good friends at SOPHOS are evidently planning to wait three years for 802.11ac market saturation to be 100% before they offer support...
Simple answer is; when hardware vendors start building the equipment to support it.
Your looking at a situation where AP vendors are waiting for laptop vendors to build complaint laptops, and laptop vendors are waiting for AP vendors to build compliant APs.
The longer you guys sit around waiting for someone else to do something, the longer it's going to take.
So if you want to stay ahead of the curve I suggest you start looking at this asap,
devices are currently being deployed. Can't wait to see Sophos' devices!
Kevin Salisbury commented
Competitors are already starting to offer this. As we add more tablets as primary endpoint devices (replacing desktops) we are going to need more total wireless bandwidth than is currently available with current Sophos offerings (currently multiple AP50's handle all our needs). Proper 802.11ac support (perhaps with 10GB copper or multiple 1GB copper inputs?) is imperative.