Intel’s “Cliffside” technology enables a single physical Wi-Fi adapter to function like two independent Wi-Fi adapters.


I don’t know of any software out there, it may exist though, that allows a single Wi-Fi adapter to be able to connect to multiple wireless networks. The only exception to that would be is if the adapter had multiple radios in either the same or different bands.

The other really exciting thing I can see from “Cliffside” is what it can do for us with virtual machines.

Here is a real scenario that “Cliffside” could have helped solve:

A good friend of mine over at Siemens, Scott Hembroff, ran into a bit of a problem that involved the local host needing to be able to connect to the Siemens Wireless network, but yet also be able to connect a running virtual machine on to another Wireless network. This problem could have been solved with some really crafty voodoo magic, but the big hurdle had to do with the security of the other wireless network and how they locked down MAC addresses and Machine ID’s. Basically to solve the problem we ended up using a USB Wireless adapter that we did not let the local host install, we only installed it on the guest. This allowed for the security measures in place on the other Wireless network to not be comprised, but yet allow us to have the physical host exist on two different Wireless networks.

If “Cliffside” had been around when we were tackling this problem, who knows, we might not have even thought twice about what to do. With that being said, it doesn’t look like “Cliffside” in its current advertised feature set from Intel, could have solved the problem, as they are intending the second partition to only be used as a PAN. I get it, but why wouldn’t you go all the way with the ability of true duality?

This is a good starting point, but if our computers are to be fully virtualized or are running more than one virtual machine, we are going to need to be able to connect to more than one wireless network, and the virtual machines are going to have to have be able to do that from one physical/virtual wireless adapter.