Cisco is to start offering a complete home-working system that allows network administrators to enforce corporate security policy on remote systems.
The OfficeExtend package will be available in May, and includes a dual-band 802.11n router for home use and two network modules, a 500-user module for enterprises and a small business version for 50 to 500 users for IT managers.
"The proliferation of smart mobile devices, the adoption of cloud services, and even government regulation are all changing the concept of the workplace, and many employees have the expectation and need to work from home," said Ray Smets, vice president and general manager of the wireless networking business unit at Cisco.
"The Cisco OfficeExtend solution addresses the need for organisations to provide simple, highly secure wireless access to company resources for teleworkers at home or in the office."
The home unit Aironet 600 Series access point is a dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n router with four Ethernet ports costing $419.
The 5GHz band is used to provide a secure connection to corporate servers and the 2.4GHz stream is available to other internet users in the house.
On the enterprise side, the OfficeExtend package uses a Catalyst 6500 Series wireless services module capable of running corporate services including videoconferencing to 500 users simultaneously.
For teams of 50 to 500 users companies can use a Cisco 2500 Series wireless controller or software for the Cisco ISR G2 Services-Ready Engine.
"This may not be one of flashier releases of late but I really think this is useful for what enterprises are looking for," Rohit Mehra, IDC's director of enterprise communications infrastructure, told V3.co.uk.
"It provides security from an IT infrastructure perspective, creating a VPN-like secure corporate tunnel. For the first time for Cisco, it is allowing IT to extend from the enterprise network all the way to the home."
Mehra also pointed out that Cisco had used a very simple set-up procedure for the home user. Most teleworkers are not technical specialists and having something simple to set up would reduce support calls and ensure a secure, functioning connection.
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