Easy Guest Provisioning

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2004-11-29 Print this article Print

LucidLink also includes a guest authorization tool that lets an office manager or receptionist grant temporary access to visitors, enrolling them with two clicks for a specified length of time and removing them with one. The new version allows for unlimited flexibility in setting expiration and reauthorization dates, according to officials.

"That prevents a waxy buildup on our network," Sheridan said.

WLAN switching companies have grown aware of the need for easy guest provisioning tools. Trapeze Networks Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., released a Java-based application earlier this month. Airespace, meanwhile, is planning to offer "on the fly" account provisioning early next year, according to officials at the San Jose, Calif., company.

For its part, Aruba is planning to include guest provisioning forms and automatic account expiration in the next release of its AirOS WLAN management software, which is due next month.

Aruba is also addressing the security needs of large enterprises that support a variety of users and want to keep them separate from one another. AirOS Version 2.3 lets the WLAN switch centrally manage authentication from multiple RADIUS servers on a network, said officials at Aruba, in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The new version of AirOS also includes new tools for optimizing radio signals on WLANs. Besides providing dynamic radio-frequency propagation, the software includes a color-coded "heat map" that lets the IT administrator see changes in real time. The colors change as the system calibrates necessary changes.

AirOS Version 2.3 will include a more nuanced dynamic power control system than previous versions, officials said. If one access point fails, an adjacent one will pick up the slack with minimum system interference. Maintaining awareness of nearby access points is key in Arubas new grid architecture, which comprises densely deployed, inexpensive access points.

"This is an enhanced version of the transmit power algorithm," said Keerti Melkote, co-founder of Aruba. "If one access point fails, the access point adjacent to it will increase the power level, but now it does it in such a way that its not bothering the other [access points]."

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