Business/E-Business
Commentary
7/27/2010
02:44 PM
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Aerohive Networks Eases Management of Wi-Fi Networks

Aerohive Networks, whose focus is on wireless LAN equipment, enhanced its HiveManager management system, so network technicians can examine the health of each client system more easily. Another improvement was intelligent, automated responses to network problemspots.

Aerohive Networks, whose focus is on wireless LAN equipment, enhanced its HiveManager management system, so network technicians can examine the health of each client system more easily. Another improvement was intelligent, automated responses to network problemspots.The new release features Wi-Fi Client Health Score summaries, designed to replace typical, complex usage statistics with simpler green, yellow or red aggregate lines. In addition, the product's Service Level Agreement function identifies problem connections and automatically addresses them without requiring administrator intervention. HiveManager 3.5 also provides historical reports to help companies ensure that their networks are properly deployed. The new features are available as free upgrades to existing customers.

Aerohive's approach to deploying wireless LANs is a bit different from the traditional use of a smart central controller and dumb access points. The company distributed controller intelligence through a meshed network of access points, each with its own IP address. These devices cooperatively work together, accomplishing tasks previously done by separate controllers. By eliminating the controller, the company has tried to reduce the overall cost of Wi-Fi deployments. For very small networks, this approach may cost more than alternatives, but it becomes more attractive as networks become larger and more complex.

Founded in 2006, the vendor has raised $47.5 million through a few rounds of venture capital funding. The company has had some success in the education market but has mixed results in convincing small and medium sized businesses to purchase its products. Moving forward, the company finds itself in a precarious position. The network equipment market is entering a new phase where corporations are trying to consolidate their equipment. Not only are they lumping their wired and wireless network devices together, but they are also merging their LAN, storage, and server systems, Because businesses are searching for vendors who can supply all of the needed pieces, the future of niche vendors, such as Aerohive has become tenuous.

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