Cisco releases first Airespace-influenced product

The vendor has released a wireless monitoring appliance as part of a bid to offer simpler and less expensive centralised Wi-Fi management for ‘carpeted’ offices.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  July 6, 2005

The vendor has released a wireless monitoring appliance as part of a bid to offer simpler and less expensive centralised Wi-Fi management for ‘carpeted’ offices. The networking giant claims the 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance is the industry’s first location solution that simultaneously tracks thousands of devices from directly within the WLAN infrastructure. Cisco says its traditional wireless customers have been manufacturers, retailers, universities or other organisations that ran very large, mission-critical networks. These companies had the staffing necessary for managing large and sophisticated networks. However, the vendor says there is now burgeoning interest in wireless networks from ‘carpeted’ offices and other environments where wireless is a convenience and enhances employee productivity but is not mission-critical. “Wi-Fi networks are now so ubiquitous in hotels, coffee shops, airports and other locations that the typical employee is getting used to it and wants the convenience of wireless at work,” says David Leonard, former chief executive officer of Airespace and now co-general manager of the Cisco Wireless Networking business unit. “Above all else, these wireless networks need to be easy to run, since typically these companies have limited staff, resources and budget to dedicate to a secondary wireless network. This is where Airespace steps in. Airespace has created a series of wireless LAN controllers that serve as the management hubs for wireless networks. Combined with Airespace's software, these controllers make it very easy to run wireless LANs. We like to think of it as ‘wireless for mortals’,” he explains. Cisco will release a string of Airespace technology based products over the next year, starting with the recently released Cisco Wireless Location Appliance 2700. The 2700 can track wireless clients within a wireless LAN network. The device can find any 802.11-enabled device, as well as any item equipped with 802.11 active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.

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