N+I - Interop highlights WLAN services

Von Bob Francis

The newly renamed Interop show opens this week with companies such as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and Meru Networks beefing up their WLAN products and increasing security features on their wares. The show?s bulky NetWorld+Interop moniker is shortened to emphasize ?interoperability between infrastructure, devices, applications, and people,? an event official said. That emphasis is reflected in the WLAN product rollouts planned by network vendors.

Network heavyweight Cisco Systems will announce new wireless-enabled integrated-services routers designed to deliver secure concurrent services for broadband access for SMBs, enterprise branch offices, and teleworkers. Cisco will also add WLAN, advanced security, and management services for the entire Cisco integrated-services router line.

The new Cisco 1800 series and Cisco 800 series integrated-services router models provide concurrent services including secure IEEE 802.11 WLAN capabilities. The new Cisco fixed-configuration integrated-services routers are also now available as wireless models. Wireless interface cards are now available for the Cisco modular integrated-services routers: the Cisco 1841 router, the Cisco 2800 series routers, and the Cisco 3800 series routers.

?What we?re really seeing is not just wireless LAN products hitting the market, but the explosion of the remote-access market, and companies are adding those features to their products,? said Joel Conover, a principal analyst at Current Analysis.

Also adding new features to its WLAN portfolio, Meru Networks will announce a new line of products designed for high-density data and VoIP applications on a WLAN.

Meru?s Radio Switches are designed for applications requiring the delivery of simultaneous high bandwidth to places such as stock exchange trading floors. The line includes the four-radio RS-4000, eight-radio RS-8000, and 12-radio RS-12000, all available with a built-in omnidirectional antenna. When deployed with a Meru Controller, multiple Radio Switches coordinate with each other to create up to 12 Virtual Cells of coverage.

Security will also be a focus of new products at the show. Juniper Networks will announce its Enterprise Infranet Architectural Framework, a way of designing SSL VPN networks with increased security features. ?We believe this network design will encompass delivery, use, and threat control across the network,? said David Flynn, vice president of security products at Juniper.

The components of Juniper Networks? architecture will not ship until the third quarter. They will consist of an Enterprise Infranet Controller, an Enterprise Infranet Enforcer, and an Enterprise Infranet Agent.

?Security has become a prime concern of corporate IT managers, so it only makes sense that we?re seeing more security features being built in to these new products,? Current Analysis? Conover said.