Wavelink introduces all-in-one Wi-Fi management

Von Ephraim Schwartz
In preparation for the coming tidal wave of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, Wavelink Corp. on Monday introduced Wavelink Managed Security, an integrated platform for the management of IEEE 802.11x networks, devices, and security.

The recent acquisition of AirPrism Inc., announced last week by Wavelink, adds a key device-side management component to the Managed Security offering, according to one industry analyst.

"AirPrism brings in strength on the device side, especially for security which is tightly tied to management of mobile devices," said Stephen Drake, program director at IDC.

AirPrism will give network managers the ability to use a central console to purge data from remote devices based on defined policies. It also adds capacity to lock down devices remotely and to perform backup, recovery, and restoration of data to a central server.

Also included is a feature commonly called checkpoint restart, which offers the ability to restart a download from the point when a connection was lost rather than starting the download over again.

Self-healing capabilities include optimization of communications depending on bandwidth availability and the ability to reconfigure an IP address without user intervention.

The need for centralized management of mobile devices is being driven by the increase in devices enabled with IEEE 802.11x. "As Wi-Fi use proliferates, we are extending management capabilities out to a broader set of devices, laptops, PDAs, handsets, and smart phones," said Eric Hermelee, Wavelink"s vice president of marketing.

Wavelink Managed Security also incorporates the Mobile Manager Authentication Server, a Radius server for wired and wireless authentication.

Hermelee also said that Wavelink is integrating Funk Software Inc."s security client into its product so that administrators can define and enforce polices centrally. Through a licensing agreement with AirMagnet Inc., intrusion detection will also be included.

The AirMagnet system uses sensors deployed in the same general area as the access points which can inspect data packets. The application can also look for denial of service attacks and determine if a device has had many retries and failures in trying to access the network, which is an indication of a rogue device.

The single, central console can push out policies to both the network and to mobile devices, manage and define WPA 2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security policy, and remotely gather intelligence from the network.

According to Drake at IDC, there have always been pure-play mobile security vendors, network management vendors, and device management vendors, but this is one of the first times all of the components have been rolled up into one offering.

WaveLink Managed Security is shipping now. The device management component from its acquisition of AirPrism will be incorporated into the product in the second quarter.

Managed Security starts at US$9,750 and includes 25 wireless network elements and 25 mobile device user licenses. Mobile Manager Authentication Server starts at $1,395 and includes 25 concurrent user licenses.