New Trapeze WLAN Switch Targets SMBs

By pricing the new Mobility Exchange MXR-2 wireless switch at less than $1,000, Trapeze is making the "fat vs. thin" WLAN architecture debate irrelevant, said Dan Simone, vice president of product management at Trapeze, Pleasanton, Calif.

"Up to now, the discussion has been about how big of a network you have to have before you need a switch," Simone said. "With this price point, we're saying that question isn't relevant."

Trapeze espouses thin WLAN architecture, which centralizes network intelligence on a WLAN switch paired with stripped-down access points instead of building the intelligence into stand-alone access points.

The new MXR-2 supports up to three access points and can be configured at a company's branch offices remotely via Trapeze switches at its headquarters. The new switch also supports local authentication of wireless users and offers resiliency features that enable it to continue to operate if the WAN link goes down.

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Until now, Trapeze's WLAN switch portfolio bottomed out at its MX-8, which supports up to eight access points and carries a list price of $2,995. "It gives us the ability to go out for remote offices where you can't justify a full infrastructure," said Sam Coyl, mobile solutions architecture at IntelliMark IT Business Solutions, a Trapeze channel partner in Coppell, Texas. "It gives us the opportunity to build solutions that cover the entire enterprise, not just the [headquarters]," he said. Coyl said Trapeze's MXR-2 would also appeal to smaller customers as more SMBs build wireless into their networking strategies.

"Especially with the lower price point, ease of management and enterprise features, it will definitely give [Trapeze] the ability to penetrate lower-end markets that are harder to get into," Coyl said. Slated to ship this quarter, the Trapeze MXR-2 will carry a list price of $995.