• United States

Vendor trio develops self-adjusting WLAN

Dec 03, 20032 mins

Latest Cisco news.

Vendor trio develops self-adjusting WLAN

By John Cox

Network World Fusion, 12/02/03

A trio of wireless LAN vendors say they are “actively collaborating” to offer enterprise users a self-adjusting WLAN infrastructure.

The product mix, available now, makes use of low-priced access points from Netgear, a management and security gateway, or controller, from Bluesocket, and Propagate Networks’ software that lets WLAN clients and access points automatically adjust radio signals, channels and other configurations to minimize interference and maximize bandwidth.

In effect, the vendors are trying to create a centralized WLAN infrastructure without forcing customers to deploy an array of WLAN switches, while undercutting the premium prices charged by the enterprise access point leader, Cisco.

Netgear and Bluesocket have licensed the Propagate software, which will run on their hardware, says Propagate founder Paul Callahan.

Bluesocket, like rival ReefEdge and WLAN switch vendor Chantry, will also write to the AutoCell API. This will enable Bluesocket management applications can to issue directives to AutoCell, such as “don’t let the access point associate with clients connecting below 1M bit/sec.” AutoCell devices then negotiate among themselves, applying the directives in setting up the WLAN’s radio environment.

Netgear has, and remains, focused on its traditional small and midsize company market. But the trio seems to think at least some number of larger organizations will find Netgear suitable for a range of deployments. Netgear Chairman Patrick Lo has made it clear that the company’s wireless designs are focused on sites with up to 250 users.

Netgear has been aggressive in rolling out 802.11g products that boast roughly between four and five times the throughput of 11b products while using the same 2.4 GHz radio band. The company has aimed to constantly improve security, most recently by quickly certifying its WLAN gear to support the Wi-Fi Protected Access specification.

Coupling Netgear’s ProSafe line with centralized management and security from Bluesocket, might make network executives more willing to embrace a less costly alternative to Cisco, Proxim and Symbol, which together hold the lion’s share of the enterprise access point market. Bluesocket’s gateways collect a large group of access points, and let administrators secure, configure, and manage them.

To read this story in full, please go to: