Optical/IP Networks

ReefEdge Makes Switch

Wireless LAN appliance vendor ReefEdge Inc. today made its first push into the 802.11 switch market, with a new box for branch offices.

The raison d'etre of the ReefSwitch 25 is that it eases management of 802.11 networks spread over multiple sites, the vendor claims. ReefEdge's switch concept is actually a bit different from those of such switch vendors as Airespace Inc. and Aruba Wireless Networks. The firm envisages a switch at the very edge (the Outer Limits, even) of the network, being controlled and managed by either of its new ReefSwitch 200A or 300 appliances. This architecture makes it a lot cheaper than other branch-office 802.11 switches, the company reckons, at only $1,000 a pop.

The ReefSwitch 25 is also designed to link to third-party access points or operate as a standalone 802.11 access point. ReefEdge says that it has incorporated support for third-party APs – such as Cisco's Aironet boxes – on the switch's WiseOS software, so that users can have some control over channel allocation and other RF management of the third-party prods.

The ReefSwitch concept is another sign that the wireless LAN gateway/appliance and WLAN switch sectors are converging into one large security and management play. Airespace has also recently introduced an appliance, and Aruba already has its WiFiMux branch office switch/appliance.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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