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Updates on Parade

Ah, summertime -- there's really no better time to spend cloistered in a lab, quietly sweating inside a cotton white coat, upgrading a bunch of enterprise wireless LAN products.

The hermetic heroes this week are AirMagnet Inc., Engim Inc., and Meru Networks Inc., who are offering revisions, respectively, to their security software, system management application, and infrastructure chipset.

Here's the latest:

Signal-to-Noise Engim has updated its chipset, which is aimed at vendors building both standard access points and stripped-down variants intended for use with wireless LAN switches. The startup claims to have tweaked its two-antenna system for better performance. According to Engim's marketing VP Scott Lindsay, it's been designed to cut down on 802.11 signal interference, which should result in stronger, clearer radio signals.

Push-Button Player Voice-over-WLAN (VOWLAN) focused startup Meru has an update to the software that manages its dedicated 802.11 switch-style controller and skinny access points aimed at making life simpler for the wonks that set up the network. The Meru update allows users to select specific application profiles -- like using the system with VOIP phones, or setting up dedicated security policies -- and the software will automatically configure the hardware to match that profile.

Jitterbug AirMagnet is also thinking of VOIP with version 4.0 of their mobile 802.11 network-sniffing software. This prolific startup with a software update every quarter has added tools that can measure the amount of frequency jitter on a wireless LAN to ensure that there isn't too much degradation on voice calls made on the network [ed. note: this sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is].

AirMagnet is also trying to address the other bugbear of the VOWLAN crowd -- fast roaming. VOIP services can be tripped up by how long it takes to transfer voice calls between APs when users move between them. Too slow and you've dropped the call. So the AirMagnet update is intended to let network admins know how fast signals are actually being handed over between APs on their network.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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