Networking & Wireless | News

Software-Configurable APs Support up to 380 Clients Simultaneously

The Meru AP400 is an indoor/outdoor, quad-radio AP thats mode-configurable through software.
The Meru AP400 is an indoor/outdoor, quad-radio AP that's mode-configurable through software.

Meru Networks said it will be shipping a new line of gigabit access points (APs) later in the second half of 2011 that can be configured through the software for different operating modes and that will support up to 380 simultaneous mobile clients.

Meru's AP400 Mobile Edge APs feature 802.11n quad-radios that can be used indoors and outdoors and include USB ports for adding radios specifically for wireless network backhaul capabilities. The company said this line is intended to help wean organizations off of reliance on Ethernet switches.

The AP400 software provides a set of "power tools" to provision, secure, and manage the wireless network for specific purposes. For example, a "WLAN 500" mode can be turned on to optimize the wireless network for maximum capacity, client density, and quality of service.

Mission-critical applications or those requiring highly secure access can have dedicated spectrum allocated for those purposes.

An air traffic service mode enables network analytics, spectrum analysis, and tight wireless network security.

Wireless distribution mode is intended for environments where the wired closet switches are replaced with high-speed wireless. Multiple AP400s can be combined to create a pervasive mobile edge "fabric" that offers all of the spectrum channels over the entire site.

"Enterprises are becoming more mobile by the day. The workforce is no longer attached to their desks accessing applications via a wired connection," said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president and distinguished research fellow at Yankee Group. "Optimizing mobile devices and providing a flexible and reliable network from anywhere will be the next challenge on the IT horizon, forcing enterprises to rethink the way the network edge is designed. Meru is offering enterprises a clear migration path to a new wireless edge with the introduction of the AP400 platform, while enabling much needed cost savings and a more efficient workforce."

Ihab Abu-Hakima, president and CEO of Meru added, "With the number of mobile devices having no wired Ethernet port capability about to exceed those devices with Ethernet ports, the paradigm shift from traditional wired switch LANs to the new mobile edge is coming at the enterprise faster than expected. Enterprises need a migration path and the tools to help them reach the end goal. The AP400 Mobile Edge platform was designed for exactly this transformation; with the added advantage of eliminating businesses' dependence on what we believe are soon to be obsolete, expensive wired switches. By architecting an all-wireless edge based on the AP400, enterprises can address a wide variety of network challenges from managing the accelerating growth in numbers of mobile devices, to optimizing secure mobile application access and performance--all while easing management complexities and significantly reducing their wired LAN costs."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.