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Legra's Crypto Coming Out

Wireless LAN switch hopeful Legra Systems Inc. today announced that its products are now generally available, and it also gave more clues about the security aspects of its products.

The firm is claiming that its hardware is the only box to handle cryptography at the switch-level with dedicated processors. "Our approach is different from everyone else's," says Paul DeBeasi, VP of product management and marketing. "We developed our own [cryptography] chip from scratch." DeBeasi says that Legra decided to take this approach because, with new security implementations like WPA (WiFi Protected Access), "the cryptography [performance] becomes the new bottleneck." DeBeasi says that because of the additional silicon the Legra system can support up to 60 802.11b (11 Mbit/s over 2.4 GHz) access points or 12 a or g nodes (54 Mbit/s over 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz respectively) running at full speed with cryptography on.

In the main, the details of Legra's product offering haven't changed since the company first spoke to Unstrung back in April (see Legra: The Perfect Prescription?). Like many other startups, the Burlington, Mass., firm is taking a distributed approach to wireless LAN networking with a switch that sits in the wiring closet or data center and can manage and secure Legra's stripped-down access points (see Legra: The Perfect Prescription?).

Originally, Legra talked up the remote connection capabilities of its switch, emphasizing the fact that its access points and switch didn't need to be directly connected in order to communicate. But since April, rivals Airespace Inc. and Aruba Wireless Networks have both added similar capabilities to their offerings (see Airespace Adds an Appliance and Aruba's Mini-Switch).

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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