WLAN Startups Upgrade Software, Hardware

Two small enterprise WLAN vendors release significant upgrades following last week's announcement that Cisco Systems is acquiring a third competitor, Airespace.
Two small WLAN software and equipment vendors countered last week's announcement that Cisco Systems was buying competitor Airespace by rolling out significant upgrades to their enterprise-class wireless networking offerings.

Aruba Wireless Networks unveiled a new "grid point" for its recently-announced grid architecture for enterprise WLANs. Aruba described its new Aruba 70 as the first hybrid wired/wireless grid point. The grid point supports 802.11a/b/g and has two Ethernet and one USB port, the company said in a statement.

Aruba also announced new security and management capabilities that are part of its upgraded Aruba AirOS 2.3 Those capabilities include 802.1X VPN support. Besides the widely-used IPSEC for VPNs, Aruba's new capability integrates 802.1X, a wireless security standard that was ratified in 2004. In addition, the company announced live site surveying capabilities.

The Aruba 70 is available now for $595. The other capabilities are part of a free upgrade of the Aruba AirOS 2.3.

Trapeze Networks said that its upgraded RingMaster now includes wizard-based configuration tools, automatic configuration verification and increased change management capabilities. In addition, the upgraded RingMaster now includes a "dashboard" for monitoring WLAN conditions, according to the vendor.

The upgraded RingMaster is available now starting at $1,995.

Aruba and Trapeze, along with Airespace and a handful of other so-called startups, have been challenging Cisco Systems, which dominates in the enterprise WLAN space, by offering centrally managed enterprise WLAN systems. However, last week, Cisco announced that it is acquiring Airespace.

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