Firetide's (www.firetide.com) WLAN Controller is designed to enable network–wide management and control of a company's access points from a single interface. The product intends to address a growing convergence trend, where a single integrator—be it security or IT—provides the entire spectrum of networking services to an enterprise, ranging from from IP video surveillance to Wi–Fiaccess for employees and guests.
Firetide says WLAN Controller enables its channel partners to meet requirements for WLAN management capabilities and ubiquitous coverage, even in areas where access points cannot be hardwired. Wireless mesh backhaul combined with client access managed from a single interface is designed toallow areas without existing infrastructure (such as parking garages, elevators, and outdoor spaces) to be covered so that workers, visitors or residents never disconnect from the network.
"Wireless LAN in a business environment has to provide a reliable and secure connection while being easy to manage," says Abner Germanow, director of enterprise networks at IDC. "Mesh networks are growing in popularity for businesses that need to create temporary networks, deploy quickly, or extend connectivity to places where cable cannot reach."
Building on its experience with wireless mesh backhaul, Firetide designed its access solution to distribute intelligence at the edge, resulting in a minimal amount of bandwidth taken up by critical management traffic to the centralized controller.
For enterprise deployments, Firetide WLAN Controller provides radio power management, Wi–Fi coverage mapping and gap analysis, policy anduser management, AAA functionality, mobility, and security features.
Integrated DHCP authentication services, plug–and–play access point configuration, and zero–touch management, says Firetide, target small footprints with limited onsite IT staff, as well as distributed environments where access points can span buildings, campuses, or entire cities.