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Foundry makes wireless play

Foundry makes wireless play

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If it wasn’t already clear that wireless networking is making its way into the enterprise market, the latest announcement by Foundry Networks should seal the deal.

The networking company has detailed a multi-pronged strategy to bring wireless networking to its enterprise customers. The strategy, unlike many others forged by startups, will see Foundry adapt its existing wired switches to support wireless networking.

In Australia, it will come to market through local partners like ASI Solutions and global services players including Unisys and Siemens.

“Customers are telling us that wireless is becoming more mainstream and they are now willing to start adopting it into the enterprise environment,” Foundry enterprise product marketing manager, Philip Kwan, said.

“We made a decision not to get into the [wireless] marketplace too early because customers were holding back to let standards solidify, particularly in security. They are now ready to implement in pockets and gain confidence in the technology.”

The first phase of the Foundry plan includes wireless access points (APs) that support all current flavours of the 802.11 protocol. Dubbed IronPointT 200, the new access points can be used as lightweight APs, which connect back to a wireless switch for intelligence, or as standard APs that feature built-in security.

The second phase of the strategy is to update the company’s existing wiring closet switch, FastIron, vice-president and general manager of Foundry’s enterprise business unit, Ken Cheng, said.

“Wireless switches today are light on networking capability,” he said. “They are missing traditional Layer 2 and Layer 3 features.”

Cheng also listed the lack of Gigabit Ethernet, trunking, virtual LANs, and routing as drawbacks to new wireless switches from other companies.

The final phase of Foundry’s strategy is to upgrade its BigIron chassis product early next year.


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