Colubris launches new intelligent WiFi access equipment and management system for Enterprise WLANs and public hotspot networks

January 20, 2004

3 Min Read

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Colubris Networks, a global provider of intelligent wireless LAN (WLAN) access equipment, today announced a new generation of products - paired with an integrated management platform - that enable enterprises, universities, government agencies and hotspot service providers to deliver secure wireless access without requiring WLAN switches or a separate, overlay network.

In a separate announcement, Colubris Networks unveiled details about the Wireless Extension Architecture for secure WLAN networks (www.colubris.com/en/news/press_releases).

The new intelligent access devices include the CN3200 and CN320 for public hotspot networks, the CN1250 and CN1220 for enterprise networks, and the Colubris Networks Management System (CNMS), a central management console for configuring, monitoring and troubleshooting a network of intelligent WLAN access equipment for both markets. Representing the industry's most comprehensive feature set, the new devices include software selectable a/b/g radio, U/L plenum rated enclosure, subnet roaming, power over Ethernet support, and the industry's first implementation of Virtual Access Point (AP) technology.

The new access devices build on over two years of field experience delivering highly secure WLAN solutions, adding powerful VLAN-based security features and support for Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) and 802.11i security standards. The new equipment and complementary management system give businesses, universities and government agencies - including remote and departmental offices, telecommunications carriers and wireless ISPs - even more compelling turnkey Wi-Fi systems that are secure, flexible, scalable and cost-effective to deploy.

STSN, the worldwide leader in secure broadband services for business travelers, has certified and will be using Colubris Networks intelligent access points as a component of the STSN wireless network for deployment in hotels and conference centers worldwide. "The hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing markets for Wi-Fi deployments, with some of the most unique security and network configuration needs," said Brett Molen, CTO and co-founder of STSN. "Colubris Networks provides us with a robust access point that meets our demanding specifications for security and reliability that allows STSN to meet the needs of both our hotel partners and mobile corporate users."

Wireless Extension Architecture Superior to WLAN Switch-Based Overlay Architecture

Colubris Networks products support the "Wireless Extension Architecture," which uses intelligent access devices and a central management system to give mobile users the same secure, scalable, cost-effective network services that are accessible to users of the wired network. The extension architecture can be installed for approximately one-third less cost than the more complex and intrusive WLAN switch-based overlay architecture. When intelligent access devices are combined with a wireless network management system, users receive the centralized control and manageability associated with the overlay architecture - but without any of the proprietary hardware, administrative complexity, or higher capital and operational costs.

The Colubris Networks approach provides greater scalability, lower cost, ease of management, higher interoperability, and security management that is integrated with the existing network infrastructure. It also offers advantages in geographically distributed organizations, because it can be implemented in a network of sites of varying scale, from small branch offices to large headquarters buildings, while consolidating the entire infrastructure under a central management system - all without requiring costly switches that replicate many of the functions already performed by installed Ethernet LAN switches. Refer to Colubris Networks' white paper (www.colubris.com/en/support/whitepapers) for a full comparison of the two architectures.

According to Peter Jarich, senior analyst for wireless infrastructure at U.S. market research firm Current Analysis, "Costs are a key concern for operators looking to deploy PWLAN services. By leveraging an infrastructure sharing model using Virtual APs, operators can create an elegant and cost-effective solution for applications requiring access to multiple services. Carrying this forward to the use of integrated hotspot controllers like the CN3200 with satellite WLAN access devices such as the CN320 keeps costs down. However, surprisingly, the ultimate value may be for the enterprise which needs to juggle multiple internal clients with differing access and security needs."

Colubris Networks Inc.

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