More flexible WLAN topology choices, increased system scalability, and additions to RF management capabilities
Trapeze Networks today announced major additions to its award-winning Mobility System that provide IT with the most flexible and scalable deployment options available to build a secure, service-rich, and operationally efficient WLAN. With the new hardware and software, Trapeze provides the complete set of tools needed to deploy a distributed or centralized WLAN and makes system capabilities, rather than topology, the focal point for customers selecting a WLAN architecture.
“The deployment flexibility, secure mobility, identity-based network services, and low operational costs that Trapeze delivers persuaded our company to standardize on the Trapeze Mobility System as our WLAN infrastructure provider,” said Logitech chief technology officer Pierre-Olivier Monnier. “With the Trapeze Mobility System, we can deploy WLANs of different sizes and topologies as they make sense in our various locations, yet deliver a consistent user experience and common IT capabilities.”
The new Mobility System Software 2.0 allows IT to position the Mobility Exchanges (WLAN switches) and Mobility Points (access points) anywhere in the network. IT can choose to directly connect the two devices or use the existing wired network to link them. The system also provides stronger support for third-party APs, including powering them via standard Power over Ethernet (PoE) and modeling their RF patterns in a given customer’s environment. All existing Mobility Exchanges and Mobility Points can support the new system functionality.
Trapeze is also expanding its line of Mobility Exchanges to include the MX-8, ideal for smaller deployments or remote offices, and a data-center oriented version, the MX-400, for centralized deployments. Rounding out the Mobility System enhancements is RingMaster 2.0 which delivers 3D planning and management capabilities that allow IT to plan a building rather than just single floors at a time.
“Successful enterprise-class wireless LAN deployments often involve a range of products to meet application requirements from network edge to network core,” said Craig J. Mathias, a principal with the wireless advisory firm Farpoint Group. “Trapeze’s new Mobility Exchanges and Mobility System 2.0 software add capabilities and features essential to scaling WLANs from small to large installations.”
While all WLAN systems purport to enable mobility, only the Trapeze Mobility System delivers secure roaming over any network topology without forcing IT to change the wired backbone configuration. The system provides wireless access to customers’ existing wired networks, preserving all their network engineering such as VLAN/subnet structure and filters. It integrates with authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) servers to provide services based on user identity, called Identity-Based Networking, which lets IT centralize policies for network access, traffic prioritization, and mobility services that persist wherever users roam. The Trapeze Mobility System remains the easiest WLAN to plan and run and therefore offers the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.
Trapeze 2.0 Mobility System Software supports any WLAN configuration model desired including centralized deployments with the Mobility Exchange in a data center or distributed deployments with Mobility Exchanges in the wiring closets. The Mobility Exchanges support direct or indirect connections to Mobility Points and third-party APs. Trapeze enables IT to retain their existing investment in third-party APs, supporting a broad set of services including planning and integration, RF modeling, channel and power management, security, and PoE.
Exchange family of switches
The MX-8 supports eight 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports, providing PoE to both Mobility Points and third-party APs. IT can aggregate any combination of UTP ports on the MX-8 to provide high-bandwidth uplinks into the wired network. The MX-8 is available with either a single or redundant power supplies. An MX-8 can manage configurations for up to eight Mobility Points.
The MX-400 is designed for deployment in the data center and can control Mobility Points or third-party APs over existing wired infrastructure. The four Gigabit Ethernet ports can be aggregated to create a high-bandwidth backbone link, and the MX-400 can manage configurations for up to 100 Mobility Points. It accommodates redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.
The MX-20, shipping since 2003, provides 20 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports and two gigabit interface connectors (GBICs). With the Mobility System Software 2.0, the MX-20 can now manage configurations for up to 40 Mobility Points and can be deployed in a centralized or distributed fashion depending on the user’s needs.
All Trapeze Mobility Exchanges support the same topology independence and can sit anywhere in the network. They also share the same architectural features, including Identity-Based Networking, secure roaming for clients, dynamic support for users’ private groups, strong mutual authentication and encryption, voice support, rogue detection, and RF management. They also provide key AAA offload features such as running the Extensible Authentication Protocols (EAP) and encryption key management.
RingMaster 2.0 with 3D Awareness
RingMaster 2.0 adds 3D awareness to this full-featured tool suite that enables IT managers to perform pre- and post- deployment planning, configuration, verification, management and optimization of the WLAN infrastructure. No other WLAN system tool recognizes and defines building attenuation factors, so no other tool can pinpoint the optimal location for access points or user or rogue AP location. In addition, RingMaster remains the only WLAN tool that ties modeling to deployment, allowing a user to plan and then configure and deploy hundreds of Mobility Points in a single step. Now with 3D awareness, RingMaster allows IT the ability to plan an entire building rather than just a floor, and the built-in library of measured attenuation factors ensures that RingMaster understands how RF will flow through the particular environment.
Pricing and Availability
The MX-8 and Mobility System Software 2.0 are both shipping now in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The MX-400 will ship next quarter. The MX-8 has a US list price of $2,995, and the MX-400 list price will be $21,995. The new starter kit price starts at $6,995 which includes one MX-8, four dual radio Mobility Points that support 802.11a/b/g and a RingMaster license. The new Mobility Point pricing is $549 for a dual radio Mobility Point and $449 for a single radio Mobility Point. Updates to the Mobility System Software are free for customers with SafetyNet™ service.