The company announced the first products based on software acquired from Legra

February 14, 2005

3 Min Read

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. –– NextHop Technologies Inc., the definitive source for network software solutions, today announced its strategy for delivering a series of wireless local area network (WLAN) software solutions to the networking industry, and also introduced the first products that will ship as part of that strategy.

The NextHop Dynamic Network Architecture (DNA) integrates solutions for Layer 2 switching, Layer 3 routing, MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching), and WLAN management and control. NextHop's new WLAN solution is composed of two elements, the NextHop Wireless Controller Software (WCS) and the NextHop Wireless Access Point Software (WAPS). In the first release, the NextHop WCS resides on an industry standard PC platform running Linux and provides centralized management and control of a wireless network. The NextHop WAPS can reside on any of several access point (AP) reference hardware designs in current production.

NextHop is the first company to provide a merchant WLAN software solution addressing the needs of the enterprise customer. Equipment vendors, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and original design manufacturers (ODM) companies can now put NextHop’s WLAN software solutions onto industry standard hardware platforms – and ship enterprise class WLAN products in less than three months.

“With all of the recent news about consolidation, many have missed the very clear trend towards open WLAN platforms and systems – something so clearly evident in NextHop’s extension of their core business into wireless,” said Craig J. Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm, Farpoint Group. “NextHop has a really interesting approach with long-term ramifications for the WLAN industry.”

NextHop also announced a strategy for offering higher capacity, more scalable versions of its WLAN software – integrated with switching chips from the leading silicon manufacturers. This will allow equipment manufacturers to build a family of devices that can provide WLAN connectivity from a small 20-person office – all the way up to a campus of several thousand people.

The first solution is targeted at the needs of the small to medium sized office (20 to 200 people) – which requires the management of two to 20 access points in an integrated fashion. The WCS software provides security, authentication, mobility, QoS (Quality of Service), RF (radio frequency) control, and centralized management for WLAN (802.11) access points. The WAPS software supports 802.11 a/b/g and is linked to the centralized management software in the controller.

“The NextHop WLAN software provides a secure, easily managed wireless LAN environment for an enterprise,” said Dennis Tsu, vice president, marketing at NextHop. “Security and manageability remain the biggest concerns of enterprises adopting wireless LAN technology, and our solution addresses those concerns.”

NextHop is extending its partnership strategy with a variety of hardware and software companies in the WLAN networking market – to complement its WLAN solutions. NextHop’s AP software today runs on a standard Atheros-based AP reference design.NextHop will be announcing specific silicon and ODM partners for its higher capacity WLAN controller solution. NextHop is also partnering with other software companies for WLAN radio planning and WLAN network management tools and integration.

Pricing and Availability

NextHop WLAN products are available for shipment in Q1 ’05. Pricing for these products is based on an up-front license fee, an annual subscription fee for software maintenance, and a per-unit royalty, and is available under NDA from NextHop.

NextHop Technologies Inc.

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