Foundry forges wireless products

Foundry Networks has joined the wireless networking throng, having satisfied itself that the latest Wi-Fi standards address enterprise customers' authentication and security concerns.

Foundry Networks has joined the wireless networking throng, having satisfied itself that the latest Wi-Fi standards address enterprise customers’ authentication and security concerns.

Sydney-based regional director Gordon Vick says the company’s first wireless products will be access points with built-in security that support all current flavours of the 802.11 protocol: a, b, and g. They’ll be available in early October, for about $1600.

Vick says the company next plans to upgrade its wiring closet switch to handle authentication, so wireless networks can be deployed with “thin” access points.

Whether to deploy “thin” or fully functional access points is something of a holy war among networking vendors, according to Vick.

“We can see good reasons for both.”

If authentication is on the switch, management is simplified, he says.

He concedes Foundry is comparatively late to market, but says that means the company’s not encumbered by the need to support proprietary protocols.

“We deliberately hold products till standards are solidified.”

One standard its access point will exploit is taking their power over ethernet. Another, which will make its way into future products, is the abilility to hand off a connection from one access point to another as the user moves in and out of range.

Vick says future networks will consist of a wired core of access points and servers, with most users connecting wirelessly.

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