Convergence is the theme as NextHop's software-only Wi-Fi solution lets other vendors embed wireless networking into their products.
NextHop's software-only approach to Wi-Fi requires their customers to purchase the hardware and perform the necessary integration to bring a finished product to market. The market leaders in enterprise Wi-Fi, who tie up ninety-five-plus percent of the market, will not have much interest in this product, relegating it to those who target the SMB/SME market.
Ancillary features such as site planning, location services, and wireless IDS/IPS are not likely to find their way into NextHop's core code base, but that doesn't mean that NextHop's customers can't work with other partners to fill those gaps as customer require them.
NextHop's architectural approach suggests a controller-less future by inserting their code into existing network devices, such as switches, very similar to what HP has done with their ProCurve 5300xl and Cisco with their Catalyst 3750G. Leaning on D-Link and 3COM will eke out only a minor market share, which means that if NextHop wants to grow they'll want to make themselves attractive to a leading Ethernet switch vendor or a Wi-Fi vendor that is looking to move toward a distributed system. Frank Bulk NWC Contributing Editor
NextHop Technologies has an interesting offer: take their software-only Wi-Fi networking and access point control platform and embed it the networking box of your choice.
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.