Bluesocket's Big Beast

Wireless LAN vendor ships core network gateway and strikes double partnership deals

December 4, 2003

2 Min Read
Bluesocket's Big Beast

In a move to satiate the ever-more rapacious demands of large enterprise wireless LANs, Bluesocket Inc. yesterday shipped its biggest box yet -- the WG 5000 Wireless Gateway (see Bluesocket Ships Gateway).

The wireless vendor also publicized a pact with Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) and Propagate Networks Inc. to co-develop a product line that combines Bluesocket gateways with Netgear access points equipped with Propagate’s self-organizing RF software.

Both initiatives extend Bluesocket’s portfolio and position it to compete for more enterprise wireless LAN business, especially because the company -- which doesn’t sell access points -- has thus far not offered RF management capabilities.

The WG 5000 is a bigger version of the WG 4000 announced in May 2003 (see Bluesocket Ships WLAN Gear) and carries all the same security, policy management, and roaming tasks, says Bluesocket chief technology officer Dave Juitt. At $24,995, on a cost-per-user basis Bluesocket claims it is the most economical wireless LAN security and management device available today.

The gateway itself offers 1-Gbit/s unencrypted and 400-Mbit/s encrypted throughput with two 10/100/1000-Mbit/s interfaces and optional 1000Base-SX fiber interfaces -- which is enough horsepower to support 500 concurrent IPSec encrypted tunnels, or 1,000 unencrypted users, says Juitt.

Deployed in the core or distribution layer of the network, the WG 5000 could be described as an “overlay architecture” for wireless LANs, in that it works with installed access points and switches.

“It extends our architecture story and gives people flexibility to conform to their existing network topology,” claims Juitt. “The 5000 brings the policy processing and enforcement into the core. It’ll get stacked right next to the [Cisco] Catalyst switch. We have the smaller WG 2000s for the closet.”

No timeline is available for the project with Netgear and Propagate. However, for more detail on how Propagate's RF software works see Propagate Looks to Clear the Air; and for information on Netgear’s enterprise ambitions check out Netgear Addresses Small Biz and Netgear Puts Intel NPUs in APs.

— Gabriel Brown, Research Analyst, Unstrung

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