Wi-Fi Takes a Turn for the Innovative at Interop

Wireless mobility has gone mainstream. On the shrinking show-floor of Interop Las
Vegas 2009, bigger, badder hardware has taken a back seat to innovative software and
deployment strategies: virtualization, cloud computing, and mobile applications.
Enterprise networking is becoming less about plumbing and more about business process
enablement-on-site and off.

Wireless plays a starring role in this transformation, as enterprises and SMBs invest
more extensively and exclusively in Wi-Fi for network access. But just cutting the cord
is no longer big news at Interop. The wireless vendors making the biggest splash this
week are those focused on mobilizing workforces on a broader scale, at lower cost.

Consider Interop’s annual battle for Best of Show. Across the board, judges searched
for products that enabled new business models, were easier to manage, and could do a lot
more for less. For wireless mobile, it came down to three finalists: Cisco, Aruba, and
Rhomobile.

Rhomobile: Overcoming cross-platform barriers

If you haven’t heard of Rhomobile, you’re not alone. While this young company didn’t
win the mobile wireless category, it did take home Best Startup by tackling an onerous
mobility challenge in a simple, but elegant way.

From a small table-top at the rear of the show floor, Director of Business Development
Cam Kramlich demonstrated RhoHub by creating very basic cross-platform mobile
applications in real-time. RhoHub brings cloud computing to mobile application
development, using the company’s Rhodes Mobile Application Framework as a platform.

RhoHub is a hosted development environment for creating HTML or Ruby applications that
are compiled to run natively on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, iPhone, and Symbian
devices. The real magic is generating those OS-specific executables from a single source
using the Rhodes framework, but Rhomobile didn’t stop there.

With RhoHub, they made that framework easy to trial and deploy. Developers code using
a Web portal to edit auto-generated XML stubs. Mobile users then visit a URL on a RhoSync
server to download new apps over the air. According to Kramlich, this self-provisioning
is possible for all five supported platforms, but prevented from downloading to iPhones
to comply with Apple SDK licensing.

Read more about Cisco and other Wi-Fi heavyweights at Wi-Fi Planet.

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