Extreme Networks enters wireless space

With wireless technologies continuing to yield the highest growth rates in the networking space, an increasing number of vendors, including Nortel Networks and Extreme, are rolling out wireless solutions.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  May 25, 2003

With wireless technologies continuing to yield the highest growth rates in the networking space, an increasing number of vendors are rolling out wireless solutions. Recent weeks have seen Nortel Networks introduce wireless access points, adapters and clients, while Extreme Networks is also looking to boost its revenues by introducing its Summit 300-48 switch and Altitude 300 access ports.

And as the wireless space becomes increasingly crowded, vendors are keen to distinguish their wireless offerings from those of their rivals. As such, Extreme Networks claims its wireless solution delivers easier and broader management of wired and wireless networks, as well introducing Power over Ethernet capabilities and extended Layer 3 functionalities to the wireless segment.

“We are going to be providing a single platform that can cater to wireless and wired users and also enables us to provide Power over Ethernet in the same product,” says Emad Makiya, general manager, Extreme Networks, Middle East & North Africa.

“We’re extending Layer 3 capabilities into wireless [networking], providing virtual local area networks (VLANs), IP filtering schemes and Quality of Service (QoS) for wireless users,” he adds.

In addition, Extreme has also removed many of the management functions from the access point themselves, instead installing them within the access switch to provide enhanced security features and easier management and configuration for network administrators.

“We are shifting the intelligence from the access point to the switch, so we are making it [the wireless network] easy to manage, troubleshoot and deploy, yet very secure and at a very cost effective price,” claims Makiya.

By removing the functionality from the access ports and centralising them within the switch, it is far easier for users to manage and monitor the multiple access points that they may deploy and also to identify any potential problems within the wireless network.

“One of Extreme’s key values is the concept of extending policy and user management on the wired local area network (LAN) to the wireless environment in a seamless manner,” says Joel Conover, principal analyst, Current Analysis.

“Another is the concept of centralised access point intelligence, providing customers with an easy way of deploying, monitoring, maintaining and upgrading tens of hundreds of access points without the security threat of a stand alone intelligent access point,” he continues.

The networking vendor is also equipping its wireless solutions with a host of security standards and features such as Access intrusion detection, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), 802.1x authentication, and Mac address authentication and lock down. Furthermore, the management technology will be able to identify and locate any rogue access points that are hooked up to the network.

“We will be managing and monitoring security for the wireless network, and if anybody plugs in wireless access points we will have intrusion detection security enabled to locate them,” explains Makiya.

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