July 25, 2008 -- Via its Enterprise Mobility business, Motorola has introduced its 11n LANPlanner suite of 802.11n planning tools, featuring "predictive design and verification capabilities" for enterprise wireless LANs (WLANs).
Now in its 11th edition, the software has been enhanced to simulate the performance of 802.11n products such as Motorola's AP-7131, a tri-radio 802.11n access point (AP). The company says the software's new network migration wizard provides predictive RF modeling for the AP-7131 and other 11n access points, taking the guesswork out of WLAN design and development for enterprises deploying homogeneous or mixed 11n networks. In addition, customers deploying intrusion prevention systems can now predict sensor coverage for the AP-7131's built-in sensor radio for secure 802.11n deployments.
Motorola says its approach allows network managers to plan wireless networks by importing the AutoCAD drawings of their buildings and letting the software analyze and predict WLAN performance. Once the 11n network is installed, a network manager can then leverage the software's site survey capabilities to measure network performance and detect issues that may impact the wireless user experience, such as changes to the building environment or wireless access points (APs) that support more employees than originally planned.
In a recent enterprise WLAN survey commissioned by Motorola (www.motorola.com/mot/doc/7/7128_MotDoc.pdf), four out of 10 respondents said they are planning to deploy 11n technology by February 2009. According to the company, with growing interest in 11n technology, enterprises face new challenges; for example, 11n products utilize two or more spatial streams instead of one, i.e. in a Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO) design.
Motorola contends that the inclusion of MIMO technology means that 11n performance is enhanced by multipath, whereas legacy devices typically faced a performance loss in the presence of multipath. These unique factors combined with enterprises' wireless network requirements should be taken into consideration during the initial planning stage of an 11n deployment, maintains the company.
Motorola says its LANPlanner network migration wizard addresses the three most popular 11n deployment scenarios. The new building/new deployment scenario provides predicted performance based on installing 11n network in a clean slate environment. The "rip and replace" deployment scenario provides predicted performance based on replacing legacy APs with new 11n APs in an existing enterprise WLAN. The mixed deployment scenario provides predicted performance of mixed 11n and legacy networks in the same environment. This is the typical deployment scenario for enterprises that are rolling-out 11n in stages.
"Motorola's 11n LANPlanner delivers site-specific predictive capability for 11n," says Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager of Enterprise WLAN, Motorola Enterprise Mobility business. "Competing solutions do not predict site-specific performance, requiring actual survey measurements in the environment. In most cases enterprises are spread out across multiple buildings as well as geographic locations, 11n LANPlanner intelligently predicts site-specific performance prior to deploying the first 11n-based AP, which saves the IT department time and resources."
Motorola's 11n LANPlanner will be available in the third quarter of 2008.
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