Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Wi-Fi APs from Aruba

Aruba Networks announced a new line of 802.11a/b/g access points that can be upgraded over-the-network to enable 802.11n dual-radio operation. The new access points allow enterprises, schools, universities, hospitals, and other institutions to prepare today for a future migration to 802.11n without incurring the cost of an immediate upgrade.

The new AP-124ABG and AP-125ABG Access Points can be used for wireless access, intrusion-detection monitoring, secure enterprise mesh or remote access point applications. The mode of operation is determined by network-downloadable software, which eliminates the expense of physically accessing the devices to re-purpose or update them. Full 802.11n performance is delivered using existing 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), precluding the need for an expensive PoE upgrade.

"The exact timing of the migration to 802.11n varies by user based on their application requirements, the availability of 802.11n clients, and budget," said Michael King, Research Director at Gartner, Inc. "Since WLAN infrastructure purchases must address both current and future requirements, enabling a flexible approach to 802.11n roll out will meet the needs of a wide range of organizations including those that haven't yet nailed down the timeline for implementing 802.11n."

Aruba's new dual-radio AP-124ABG and AP-25ABG Access Point family is based on the newest generation RF chips and high-performance MIPS CPUs with hardware-accelerated cryptographic processing. Featuring 3x3 Multiple-In Multiple-Out (MIMO) operation, the access points include automatic Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) management that supports 802.3af, 802.3at, and PoE +. The access points will operate in 3x3 MIMO mode using a single 802.3af PoE injector over a single Ethernet cable. A local 5VDC power source is provided for non-PoE applications.

Unique to this family of products, a Trusted Protection Module (TPM) manages security credentials to protect access points installed in unsecured areas. The TPM specification was defined by the TPM subgroup of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) for the secure generation and storage of cryptographic keys, and is widely implemented on devices for which high security is essential.

The new access points will be managed by Aruba's vendor-neutral AirWave Wireless Management Suite. AirWave is a leading tool for centrally managing large, multi-vendor wireless LAN, mesh, and WiMAX networks. One of the key benefits of the tool is its ability to simplify technology migrations by integrating both legacy and new infrastructure under a single management console.

"The new access points address two primary customer concerns: how to prepare for 802.11n when the budget to make a full conversion is not available, and how to support 802.11n without replacing existing infrastructure such as 802.3af PoE," said David Munro, Aruba's head of controller platforms. "We believe we have accomplished both objectives with the AP-124ABG and AP-125ABG, and anticipate that the products will be especially attractive to customers such as school districts that are going through a wireless LAN refresh cycle now with an eye on their networking needs one or two years down the line. The new access points should meet today's budget constraints, while paving the way for a future upgrade without a forklift replacement."

The new access points will be shipping early this summer, and will be introduced at Interop Las Vegas, April 29, May 1, booth 1262, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

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