We are today witnessing the coalescence of multiple technology breakthroughs into products that herald a fundamental shift in where and how we work:
* High-speed 802.11n wireless LANs and portable computing platforms make it feasible to deploy an all-wireless workplace free from the constraints of wired Ethernet access ports;
* Multi-core processors and hardware-based encryption accelerators make possible high-throughout wireless LAN access points and controllers capable of handling the volumes of encrypted traffic, and the wide range of applications, expected in an all-wireless workplace;
* Energy efficient semiconductors and power supplies make possible products that perform more functions but consume less energy than previous alternatives;
* Infrastructure-based controls and Quality of Service can deliver the reliability and determinism required by a broad range of applications, from computer connectivity to telephony and streaming video;
* Identity-based security with central encryption, strong authentication, and access control policies enable roaming users to be correctly identified, regardless of where or how they access the network, thereby enhancing mobility in ways not possible using legacy security mechanisms.
What lies before us is a workplace in which users have greater mobility to choose where they work, copper cabling takes a backseat to Wi-Fi as the primary access method, and information technology (IT) infrastructure does more but uses less power. “All-wireless” as used in this context is a metaphor for a workplace that affords secure mobility to its users. That workplace could be in a traditional office or campus, at home, or on the road.
Our newfound mobility will have profound environmental, economic, human, and social effects. Sustainability (in terms of energy and resource consumption), user efficiency and productivity, space/architectural/urban planning, and the total cost of network/facility ownership will all be impacted. Additionally, unfettered mobility will result in a wide range of new applications and jobs - perhaps even whole new categories of employment - not previously anticipated or conceivable.
The objective of The Green Island News is to discuss the technology and companies behind this sea change, and to explore the micro- through macro-level impact of the all-wireless workplace. The scope is very broad, the topics very wide. The perspective will be one of an industry insider looking outwards, and hopefully will cast a different light on the subject than one finds in the popular press.
If you're interested in research on Green Island-related topics, please consider participation in The Green Island Project. For details please see www.arubanetworks.com/company/green_island.php.