The company's Mobility System Software 5.0 includes WLAN security from AirDefense and integrated management and configuration.
Trapeze Networks has begun shipping a new version of the operating software for its Mobility System, an update that the company says significantly upgrades security, voice operations and management features. The Mobility System Software 5.0 is available now for existing customers, and will be available to new customers within a month.
According to Dan Simone, vice president and chief technology officer for Trapeze, headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., the security upgrades include integration with a package from AirDefense that includes intrusion prevention for wireless networks.
"Its the most secure wireless LAN solution available today," Simone said. He said the fully integrated AirDefense solution allows Trapeze to provide a low-cost but effective means of protecting wireless networks.
"This solution delivers today over 230 attack analyses," Simone said, "so we support over 200 attack sites versus Cisco which has 24 and Aruba with 40."
Simone said Trapeze uses common devices for access points and sensors. He said that the devices can be installed on the network, and then assigned to be access points or sensors as needed. Unlike with other solutions, he said, in some cases the devices can be used for both functions at the same time, although he said doing so can reduce their effectiveness.
"We have also integrated all of the management and configuration. You can configure one time and manage from a single console," he said. He said the company has also added automatic alarm correlation and notification, so you can monitor and act upon security alarms from a single console.
In addition to boosting security, Trapeze says the new software adds greatly to the support for high-quality voice operations using a standards-based approach. Simone said those improvements provide what he called "toll-quality" voice over WLAN (wireless LAN) capabilities. He also said QOS (quality-of-service) improvements, handset power saving and improvements to load balancing have been added.
Trapeze Networks partners with Nortel Networks over mesh networking. Click here to read more.
Trapeze has improved its RingMaster management software and integrated it with the IDS (intrusion detection system) capability. "This provides networkwide fault correlation and isolation, and a comprehensive dashboard that gives instant view of network health," Simone said.
"Its progress for Trapeze," said Joel Conover, research director for enterprise networks and security for Current Analysis, in Sterling, Va."Where theyre going with this is what the wireless industry needs to do," he said.
Conover said hes most impressed with the improvements that Trapeze has made in handling voice traffic. "Theyve added a half-dozen pre-standard-based features for better quality. There are power management features, features to help handsets roam better, full support for 802.11e, which is multimedia extensions, and quality of service," he said.
"I would identify Trapeze as one of the most focused vendors on VoWLAN [voice-over-WLAN] support," Conover said. While Cisco Systems claims some similar capabilities, its not the same, he said. "Trapeze is right up on the cutting edge, and theyre using as many early draft standards as they can, while Cisco is doing it using proprietary mechanisms and leveraging relationships with other large companies like Nokia."
Conover noted that one thing that makes a big difference are the improvements to RingMaster. "Their RingMaster tool was sorely lacking in good monitoring capabilities so theyve revamped their monitoring," he said. He also said that while the improvements in security were very important, the technology and the nature of threats are rapidly evolving. He said trusted systems will be introduced shortly, and that will change things. "The type of threat that exists today will go away," he said.
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Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.
He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.