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Your customers may need new PCs—and an infrastructure update—to fully take advantage of Windows 11

October 12, 2021

Your customers may need new PCs—and an infrastructure update—to fully take advantage of Windows 11
In June, Microsoft announced Windows 11 will be available to Windows 10 users as a free upgrade starting October 5, and through new purchase hardware from OEM vendors.
 
With this announcement of new features, enhanced security and overall refined user experience, Windows 11 also brings some very detailed minimum system requirements.
For starters, the new OS requires Secure Boot (enabled in the BIOS) and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 to function as a security measure. Additionally, Windows 11 requires 2 or more CPU cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC), plus at least 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB storage and a DirectX-compatible GPU. 
 
Where’s the Windows 11 opportunity for Cisco partners?
Besides the projection of new PC and laptop purchases in the coming months, partners should consider the impacts of Windows 11 on their customers’ wired and wireless network infrastructure planning.

For example, new PCs and laptops will most likely include new networking capabilities like Wi-Fi 6 and multigigabit adapters. Without the infrastructure to support these new technologies, customers won’t be able to experience the benefits.
 
“Demand is at an all-time high for businesses to keep up with technology,” says Dan Stewart, Business Transformation Center (BTC) engineer at Ingram Micro. “The way we consume data and other information has changed. The input and output for data is being used differently. As a result, businesses need infrastructure that can keep up with their workloads. The Windows 11 update presents an excellent opportunity for channel partners to discuss not just possible PC updates but network refreshes and other hardware updates that will be required to capitalize on these computer performance and user experience gains.”
 
Cisco’s Catalyst and Meraki wireless and switching portfolios are built around Wi-Fi 6 and multigigabit ethernet to support these client performance demands. Catalyst and Meraki Wi-Fi 6 access points will support mixed client environments. Still, customers gain several additional benefits using Cisco and Meraki gear, such as target-wake-time for improved battery life, improved performance, greater wireless efficiency, and enhanced security with WPA3.
 
Switches and access points go hand in hand
When upgrading customers to new high-performance Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs), it’s crucial to also look at their switching infrastructure to ensure it can support the bandwidth and power these APs crave. Enter, Cisco Multigigabit Technology and Universal Power over Ethernet (UPoE). These switches can run 1/2.5/5/10 Gbps speeds from the same copper network cable (Cat6 preferred) using UPoE to power the APs.
 
There’s a prime network infrastructure refresh opportunity on the horizon through the new Windows 11 launch. Preparing your customers’ networks with critical wired and wireless infrastructure upgrades will help your clients capitalize on all the new feature, performance and user experience improvements the new OS offers.
 
To learn more about Windows 11 and Wi-Fi 6, contact the Ingram Micro BTC.