Light Reading
Are ex-Redback employees making a carrier device, or a WLAN switch for the enterprise?

Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/24/2003
50%
50%

Wireless switch startup Trapeze Networks Inc. had a "small, exclusive gathering to celebrate the creation of Trapeze Networks" in downtown San Jose, Calif., yesterday evening.

The company wasn't planning to announce its product line yet and would only say that "Trapeze Networks will bring the reality of boundless varekai into the boundaries of the LAN." [Ed. note: Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the Sinti and Roma (formerly known as "Gypsies"). It means “what-evah” in ours. Varekai this has to do with wireless telecommunications is anybody's guess.]

However, as Light Reading's sister site, Unstrung, reported last week, several sources indicate that Trapeze will come out swinging with an enterprise-oriented wireless 802.11 LAN "switch" at the Networld+Interop show this spring (see Trapeze's Wireless Bait & Switch).

Trapeze isn't alone in working on a wireless LAN switch. A host of companies are working on this type of device -- including Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) and Aruba Networks Inc. (see Aruba's Switch Pitch). For the record, 802.11 switches don't actually switch traffic at all. Instead, they do for a wireless LAN what The Great Oz did for the Scarecrow -- give it a "brain" that makes it easier to manage and more secure. For more on this hot (spot) technology see Aruba's Switch Pitch.

Significantly, Unstrung's same sources also tell it that Trapeze wasn't always focused on the enterprise. Originally, they say, Trapeze intended to target service providers with a much bigger switch aimed at the public access market. Specifically, they contend that Trapeze originally was touting "a big 802.11 box" aimed at carriers looking to combine public access wireless LAN "hotspots" with their cellular networks. The box was going to implement a subscriber management system (SMS, Redback Networks Inc.’s specialty) that would enable carriers to add and maintain subscriber information and offer different service levels to different customers. This would mean that customers that paid for a higher service level would be entitled to the most available wireless bandwidth.

That product road map wouldn’t be surprising, given the company's heritage, comments Doug Klein CTO, and former CEO of wireless LAN network management software vendor Vernier Networks Inc. (see Vernier Appoints CEO).

"The Trapeze team is a bunch of old Redback guys," says Klein, managing to be both dismissive and ageist at the same time. "They're going to look at things from a carrier perspective."

So why would the company reportedly switch focus to the enterprise? Right product, wrong time, Klein summizes. "Carriers aren't spending any money," he ­snorts. "There's no way they would have got the funding they got [$16 million] with a carrier product."

When Trapeze eventually unveils its product Klein is expecting to see it emphasize performance. "They'll be all about fast silicon and high switching speeds," he predicts. "We guess they'll probably be one of the noisiest [of the WLAN switch startups] in terms of the public speaking."

Like others, Klein also marvels at how much Trapeze appears to be spending in these tough times. "Put it this way, we have a skeleton PR budget," he says. "They have four people just in marcomms [marketing/communications] alone."

News of Trapeze’s switch switcheroo raises as many questions as it answers. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear how far Trapeze was along the path to developing the carrier-class product before changing its mind. Trying to convert a mondo carrier-class device into a smaller enterprise system could have serious implications on price and size (which could end up high and big, respectively). It’s also not known whether Trapeze intends to have things both ways by selling a large product to carriers and a wee-willy-winkie version to enterprises.

The answers to all these and more questions about Trapeze will have to wait until the N+I event in May, where, amidst the gambling and prostitution of Las Vegas, the company intends to make all clear. Until then, we'll just have to glean what information we can about Trapeze, varekai we may find it.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung, special to Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
lightfantastic
50%
50%
lightfantastic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:49:00 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Cirque du Soleil was recently in San Jose, performing their latest production of Varekai.

Trapeze Networks is in San Jose.

CEO trying to be clever with the link between the 2.

-l
Steve Saunders
50%
50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 12:49:00 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
...and I understand that Trapeze attended the same event.

3 degrees of Kevin Bacon.
scooby
50%
50%
scooby,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:48:43 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. This threw me at first; until I realized that the editor actually meant something different.

Having to pay for press coverage at a trade show should really probably be called extortion, but the mistake is understandable...
Deadbeat
50%
50%
Deadbeat,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:48:03 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Sounds like Mr. Jones was a little miffed he either wasn't invited or chose not to attend Trapeze's little event...?

His effort to pen an interesting article was admirable however but perhaps next time he can regale the poor reader with something more informative about what many consider the only exciting area in networking right now--solving the WLAN problem--whoever does of course is going places...
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (5) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed