Alcatel Makes Aruba Plans

Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) has launched its new line of enterprise wireless LAN products -- from Aruba Wireless Networks -- and started to talk of future plans for joint development with the startup.

Alcatel, which previously partnered with Airespace before that switch startup was snatched up by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), now offers Aruba gear under its OmniAccess brand (see Cisco Completes Airespace Deal).

But beyond the basic boxes, Alcatel is working to more tightly integrate Aruba's wireless LAN functionality into its product line, on both the wired and wireless side.

"Mobility as a concept, from a user's point of view, is independent of the network," says Brian Witt, director of product marketing at Alcatel.

Some of this work will involve building Aruba security capabilities into Alcatel's intrusion detection (IDS) kit. But Alcatel is planning to get some of its DNA into the wireless LAN kit as well.

Notably, the Gallic giant is working on incorporating its AMAP (Alcatel Adjacency Mapping Protocol) for building network topology maps into a wireless LAN controller. This means network managers should be able to view the entire wired and wireless network, and manage security and other functions accordingly for different types of user.

Naturally, Alcatel is by no means the only large vendor riffing on unifying wired and WLAN networks. Since its Airespace acquisition, Cisco has been pushing the concept hard, as has networking rival Enterasys Networks Inc. (NYSE: ETS). (See Trapeze's Partner Mania.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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