As myriad startups launch WLAN switching solutions, one new company is taking a slightly different route with a routed IP architecture.
Chantry Networks Inc. this week will unveil BeaconWorks, a line that includes the BeaconMaster controller and BeaconPoint access points.
In a Chantry wireless LAN, network management is centered at the BeaconMaster rather than the access points, as is the case in switching architectures from companies such as Aruba Wireless Networks Inc., Symbol Technologies Inc., Extreme Networks Inc. and Trapeze Networks Inc. But Chantrys network is easier to scale, according to officials at the Boston company.
"The routed network can grow dynamically," said Peter Vickers, CEO of Chantry. "Its targeted for large-scale wireless LAN deployment."
A BeaconMaster controller can manage more than 100 access points. It aggregates them into what appears to the rest of the network as individual, centrally managed IP subnets. The system has a feature called Virtual Network Services, which lets a company create virtual WLANs with separate billing policies, security schemes and address spaces within a single physical WLAN. The access points can sit anywhere on the network.
"We have ... 288 buildings and more than 23,000 active Ethernet ports," said Jason Rhoades, director of network and communication services at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., which plans to grow its WLAN. "With the Chantry system, we can keep the existing architecture in place and keep it all over our existing IP network."
BeaconWorks will be generally available at the start of next quarter, officials said. Pricing will depend on the size of deployment, but BeaconPoint access points will be priced at less than $1,000, and BeaconMaster will cost $20,000 to $35,000.