Vernier Upgrades WLAN Security App

Vernier's WLAN application supports more users and offers new controls.

Vernier Networks Inc. will introduce next week updated wireless LAN security and management software, which controls all the appliances on a network from one central location and supports more users than previous versions.

Version 4.0 of the Vernier software can manage up to 10,000 users per domain, said officials at the Mountain View, Calif., company.

The software includes a policy enforcement engine and several new controls that make a WLAN easier to manage, especially in cases where a company has remote offices. It includes a data reporting and mining engine. Beta testers said Version 4.0 improves on its predecessors in terms of ease of use.

"The old software was organized from an engineering perspective, so things were somewhat hidden, and the structure was a tad Spartan," said Mike Shisko, director of IT at Hitachi Consulting Corp., in Dallas. "The new version solves most of that. Things are grouped together in ways that make more sense, and what youre doing is displayed in a way that makes sense—you can actually see how the redirects and policies are being processed."

Hitachi Consulting has 15 offices, but only its headquarters has an IT staff, so centralized management is also a key feature, Shisko said.

Version 4.0 offers user-based service-level agreements, meaning an IT manager can control bandwidth access on a per-user or per-group level.

On the security side, the software provides pirate alerts, media access control address spoofing detection, rogue access point prevention and worm containment.

The Vernier system delivers the software along with a combination of company hardware: the CS6500 Control Server and the AM6500 Access Manager. In addition, the company sells the IS 6500 Integrated System for smaller companies that dont need several access managers.

Customers said that while the software requires Verniers hardware, it is still a more cost-effective solution than many of the WLAN switching startups offer, while still supporting myriad brands of access points. "Its less expensive for us to add [Vernier software] than to replace all our Ethernet switches," Shisko said.

Version 4.0 is available now.