Vernier Electrifies WLANs
Vernier Networks Inc. is pushing the ability to power wireless LAN access points over Ethernet cable as a crucial factor for enterprises looking to cut the costs of 802.11 network rollouts.
The startup today launched the new 6500p, a centralized security and management box that can support both the 48 volt AC "Power over Ethernet" (POE) standard (802.3af) and the "flipped polarity" version preferred by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).
The 802.3af standard works with existing Ethernet cables to deliver around 12 watts of continuous power, more than enough to power most access points. Each port on the 6500p can also be configured to support Cisco standard system.
Doug Klein, CTO for Vernier, says POE makes sense for enterprise networks where access points are installed in the ceiling or other hard-to-reach places, and where it is tricky to install a regular power cable. "It costs $500 to $1,000 per access point to run power into the ceiling [with a traditional power system]," he claims. /p> In other words, it might cost a company as much to run power into the ceiling as it actually costs to buy an access point.
Abner Germanow, wireless LAN research manager at IDC, reckons that POE will become part of the standard feature set for WLAN management boxes -- including 802.11 switches -- over time.
"You'll see more of this in 2003," he says.
WLAN switch vendors like AirFlow Networks, Aruba Networks Inc., and Vivato Inc. have already announced support for the standardized version of POE in their products.
Vernier was named in the latest edition of the Wireless Oracle as one the wireless security startups set to thrive (see Security Startups Thrive).
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung Editor’s note: Neither Light Reading nor Unstrung is affiliated with Oracle Corporation
(nor with the Ruislip Snorkelling Club)