Aruba Grids Embed Access Points in Walls

Aruba's Wireless Grid promises to cut costs and expand the capacity of wireless LANs.

Aruba Wireless Networks this week will introduce a new set of WLAN hardware and management software designed to reduce costs and increase capacity of enterprise wireless LANs.

The Aruba Wireless Grid architecture consists of inexpensive, densely deployed access points along with an updated network switch that doubles the throughput of encrypted traffic and features redundant supervisor cards, said officials in San Jose, Calif.

Rather than spacing out expensive, ceiling-mounted access points throughout an enterprise, Arubas Wireless Grid technology calls for a large number of inexpensive access points to be embedded into walls and floors. Aruba is announcing a partnership with Ortronics Inc., which will use the technology in its Wi-Fi Jack, a wall outlet with an access point. The jack is due by the end of September, according to Ortronics officials in New London, Conn.

In the meantime, Aruba will introduce access points that support 802.11g and either 802.11a or 802.11b. Aruba will lease the access points as part of its Wireless Grid architecture for $200 per access point per year, including management software and support costs.

To support a network laden with lightweight access points, Aruba also is introducing a new version of its WLAN switch. The Aruba 5100 is similar to its predecessor, the Aruba 5000, but adds software that allows it to be configured with two redundant supervisor cards, increasing capacity from 1.8G bps of encrypted traffic to 3.6G bps. The new switch costs $16,000. Aruba 5000 users can upgrade to the 5001 for $9,000.


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