2007 - The year of NAC?

The year 2006 was the year of the emergence of NAC as a viable option for enterprises and SMB's.  But what kept it from being as widely deployed as everyone thought it would be?  Here are a few reasons:

  • NAC really only became widely known as a viable product in late 2005 and early 2006.  So many organizations simply did not have budget for a NAC project, no matter how good it looked.
  • Many people know about the product but were waiting to see what Microsoft or Cisco were going to do because they already had these two vendors' products widely distributed in their infrastructures.
  • Many wanted to see if a good standard would be adopted (being tried by the Trusted Network Connect subgroup of the Trusted Computing Group)
  • Though in 2006 many people learned in theory what NAC was, they often did not know exactly what NAC could do for them and how they should deploy it.  There were simply too many questions (pre-admission, post-admission, agent or agentless, contractors only or for all employees, infrastructure deployment or devices) and so many vendors offering different answers.
There are still some issues with the questions above.  Personally, I would like to see more "cleaning of the bits" combined with a post-admission model that allows instant access, but the best deployment  option more often comes down to the environment where the NAC solution will be deployed, so I think flexibility is still a good play for NAC vendors.

But as the market matures and the products start getting weeded out, I think you will see NAC becoming a bigger and more widely deployed product in 2007.


Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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