By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2004-01-05 Print this article Print

The Airespace products unrivaled RF (radio frequency) features set the platform apart in the increasingly crowded wireless switching marketplace. The Airewave Director control plane software provides radio scanning abilities for the Airewave 1200 and 1200R access points during normal operation. The 802.11 specification requires access points to have a quiet period after a broadcast, allowing other devices to use the network. Airewave Director uses this quiet period to switch to monitoring mode, enabling access points to covertly scan the airwaves for rogues, known devices and interference.

In tests, Airewave Director identified channel interference, then automatically adjusted channel and signal strength settings to optimize coverage and reliability. Using ACS, we identified a neighbors access point on 802.11b channel 11, then marked the unit as "known." Airewave Director then automatically reconfigured the channel distribution on our test access points to minimize interference on channel 11.

The systems monitoring function provides effective intrusion protection against unknown access points or ad hoc networks. When a possible rogue is discovered, the access points attempt to join the rogue network to see if they can find their way back to the WLAN Switch over the wired network. This provides predictive analysis of the rogues threat.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for eWEEK.com, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at agarcia@eweek.com.

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