Cisco Systems this week plans to unveil a new wireless-aware framework built into its core networking products that includes centralized management of up to 2,500 access points.
"We are working to build a world-class in-building enterprise network, bring new applications like voice into that network and %85 [then] extend that in-building network outdoors," said Bill Rossi, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Wireless Networking Business.
The Cisco Structured Wireless-Aware Network infrastructure enhancements are slated to be available initially on Cisco Aironet 1100 and 1200 Series access points and then migrated to other Cisco IOS platforms, including the Cisco Catalyst 3750, 4500 and 6500 Series switches and Cisco 2600XM and 3700 Series routers, beginning in 2004.
Other components of the framework include an updated CiscoWorks WLAN Solution Engine 3.2, which can manage and monitors up to 2,500 access points from the network core; Cisco Secure Access Control Server for centralized authentication; and Cisco and Cisco-compatible client adapters for RF monitoring and measurement.
The CiscoWorks WLAN Solution Engine 3.2 is slated to be available in July with a list price of $8,495. The Cisco Secure Access Control Server has a list price of $11,995.
Jim Portaro, CTO and co-founder of NeTeam, an enterprise wireless consultant and integrator in Akron, Ohio, said it makes sense for Cisco to tie together pieces from its existing solutions and integrate changes into its core infrastructure. "It's just the next step in Cisco's evolution %85 from the point of them being able to build this into the robustness of their infrastructure," he said. "It's a great thing, and the sooner the better."
Cisco is also introducing the Aironet 1400 Series wireless bridge. At $4,995, the outdoor 802.11a bridge is based on Cisco IOS software and features data rates of about 54 Mbps, the company said.