Aruba Networks this week will introduce a network architecture called The Mobile Edge, which is designed to extend corporate WLANs beyond the office campus.
"It allows you to run your wireless LAN over the Internet," said Keerti Melkote, co-founder and vice president of product management and marketing at Aruba, in Sunnyvale, Calif. "What we are trying to do is bring the network to the user no matter where the user is."
The Mobile Edge includes two new access points, due next month, that are designed for remote use. The AP-41, which has a single 802.11a or 802.11b/g radio, costs $195. The AP-65, a dual-radio access point that can serve as a transmitter and an air monitor simultaneously, costs $495.
When plugged in, both the AP-41 and the AP-65 can automatically build IP Security tunnels to an Aruba controller at the corporate headquarters, downloading security policies and configurations directly from the switch.
However, encryption keys are stored at the switch to mitigate security risks in case an access point is stolen.
Aruba introduced a personal access point concept earlier this year with a software upgrade pack, but the new access points are designed from the ground up to work remotely, Melkote said.
Aruba also is looking to help customers who want to use the remote access points to connect to their corporate PBX for VOIP (voice over IP) calls. Along with the access points, the company is introducing call admission control capabilities for its system, which ensures that no single access point is clogged with voice calls. The company is working on multiple agreements with companies that make PBX hardware, Melkote said.
Aruba also has teamed up with security software maker Funk Software Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., on a security technology called xSec.
Designed to unify wired and wireless security under a single framework, xSec is a Layer 2 protocol that incorporates 802.1x and link-layer encryption using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). It incorporates FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard)-validated encryption algorithms and the encryption of Layer 2 header information, including MAC (media access control) addresses, Melkote said.
Pricing for an xSec software module for ArubaOS starts at $1,000. It is available now.