Wireless Vendors Tout Security, VoIP At Interop

Vendors are looking to expand enterprise WLAN rollouts and shine a spotlight on the VoIP and security features of their latest wares.
The first, based on technology from Symantec, enables on-demand network access control features that can block guest wireless users from using the corporate network if their laptops aren’t compliant with corporate security features.

The system pushes out a software agent to guest devices that try to gain access, and the agent scans the client for policy compliance. If it is already infected or not up-to-date on antivirus settings and operating system patches, the system can deny access or send the endpoint to a quarantined VLAN for remediation, said Ashok Saraf, director of product marketing at Trapeze, Pleasanton, Calif.

Trapeze last week also announced support for Microsoft’s Network Access Protection (NAP) technology, which will be featured in the upcoming Windows Vista operating system, he said.

In addition, Trapeze has added GuestTunneling, a feature that establishes secure tunnels for guest users to access the Internet without granting any access to corporate resources. Trapeze also plans to demonstrate seamless mobility between a Wi-Fi and cellular network, a capability the company unveiled last week in partnership with mobility appliance startup DiVitas Networks. The companies have tested the handoff interoperability with Windows Mobile 05-based dual-mode handsets.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Aruba and AirMagnet, meanwhile, have teamed to integrate Aruba’s WLAN platform with troubleshooting and analysis software from AirMagnet. While running on Aruba’s platform, the AirMagnet analyzer can operate in passive or active mode. In passive mode, the tool monitors realtime data directly from Aruba’s WLAN controllers and access points. In active mode, the analyzer controls individual access points so users can troubleshoot problems.

On the wireless handset front, SpectraLink is announcing interoperability of its wireless VoIP phones with wireless networking gear from Meru and the Asterisk open-source IP telephony platform. Enterprise adoption of voice over WLAN is gaining strong traction, said Geri Mitchell-Brown, Wi-Fi stragist at the Boulder, Colo.-based company.

“The No. 1 thing that enterprises need to consider is to think about adding voice and the effects on the network before they do it,” Mitchell-Brown said. “Voice has inherently different characteristics, and something as simple as the coverage area of the WLAN can be different for voice vs. data.”

Other differences that need to be explored in VoWLAN deployments impact security policies, quality of service and RF characteristics, she added.