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Extreme Debuts Wireless Switches

Extreme Networks Monday expanded its portfolio with its first standalone WLAN switches.

Extreme Networks on Monday expanded its wireless portfolio with its first lineup of stand-alone WLAN switches.

Until now, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based networking vendor has offered wireless-enabled versions of its Summit and Alpine LAN switches, which require a direct connection to access points running off them, said Scott Lucas, director of WLAN solutions at Extreme. "Now the access points can sit anywhere in the network," Lucas said.

The new Summit Wireless Mobility family, developed in-house, includes the Summit WM100 and WM1000 WLAN switches, which work with Extreme's Altitude 350 dual-radio access points.

The portfolio's focus on management and ease of use, particularly its incorporation of Extreme's AccessAdapt auto-discovery and provisioning technology, should help reduce implementation time, said Michael Miller, vice president of marketing at Consultrix Technologies, a solution provider based in Ridgeland, Miss.

"It eliminates a lot of the tuning and allows you to do a lot less planning around the exact location of the access point," Miller said. "It trims down the time it takes, and it will be a cleaner install."

The Wireless Mobility lineup also includes support for Access Domains, a feature that allows solution providers to assign support for multiple security profiles to specific access points. For example, access points in public areas might support both highly secure and guest-level users, while access points in private areas might not. This feature could be used to block casual users from gaining wireless access if they wander beyond defined public areas, Lucas said.

The product line also includes AutoCell, technology OEMed from AutoCell Laboratories (founded as Propagate Networks). The RF management technology enables access points to adjust their power levels in accordance with their environment.

The WM100 features four Fast Ethernet ports and supports up to 50 access points. Pricing starts at $16,995. The WM1000 includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports up to 200 access points. Pricing starts at $32,995. Both are slated for availability in July.

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