Trapeze upgrades WLAN software, unveils new switches

  • John Cox (Network World)
  • 24 March, 2004 08:59

Trapeze Networks Inc. has unveiled two new wireless LAN switches, one targeted for small deployments, the other for large-scale WLANs anchored in the data center.

The company also released a new version of the systems software that runs on the switches, and an improved version of its RingMaster WLAN design and management tool set.

Trapeze original WLAN switch, dubbed Mobility eXchange, is the MX-20, with 20 10/100 Ethernet ports, able to control either the Trapeze thin access points, called Mobility Points, or conventional third-party access points. The switch shipped last year.

The new low-end switch is the MX-8, withi eight 10/100 Ethernet ports, all supporting power-over-Ethernet to eliminate the need to run separate electrical wiring to the access points. The new MX-400 eliminates the direct connections with individual access points. Instead, up to 100 access points connect to the switch over an existing Layer 2 or Layer 3 backbone. The 400 uses redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.

All the switches now run Version 2.0 of Trapeze's Mobility System Software. The previous release only supported access points that were directly attached to the WLAN switch. The new release lets the devices talk to each over the existing backbone at Layer 3. As users move with their client devices, the Trapeze infrastructure not only maintains their IP address, but also preserves security settings, personal firewalls and other user information, according to Dan Simone, vice president of product management for Trapeze, Pleasanton, Calif.

The new 2.0 release of RingMaster, a graphical applicaiton for WLAN planning and administration, can create a 3-D image of a factory floor or office building where a Trapeze net is being deployed. Planners can see radio signal characteristics over multiple floors and their possible impact on WLAN performance.

The MX-8 with Mobility System Software 2.0 is available now, at a list price of US$2,995. The MX-400 will ship by June, priced at US$21,995.