The Tuesday webcast will also demonstrate Ciscos application visibility and control (AVC) over wireless LANs. This software, which identifies specific applications based on deep packet inspection compared to a catalog of application signatures, has been around for years as part of Ciscos popular ISR routers and other products, especially to optimize relatively slower, shared resources like WAN links. This code is now being embedded on the Cisco WLAN controllers and given yet another Cisco acronym, NBAR, for Network Based Application Recognition.
By being able to see specific applications on the Wi-Fi links, the controller can then apply pre-determined policies to manage and optimize them. Voice or video applications, which are sensitive to jitter and latency, might be given priority treatment by the WLAN, for example. Or some applications, such as bandwidth hungry Netflix streaming video might be blocked; other applications might be given a specific bandwidth allocation.
Previously, Ciscos WLAN firmware had some limited ability to identify applications. But the inclusion of AVC will now make this broader, deeper, and more specific, and allow IT to associate more granular controls on specific applications, according to Spain.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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