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Tools promise to route, switch combo networks

Posted: 01 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:loring wirbel? nexthop technologies? legra? multiprotocol label switching? wlan software?

When NextHop Technologies Inc. acquired the WLAN software assets of Legra two years ago, it promised to include WLAN switching in its switching and routing software for OEMs and enterprise customers. Now, NextHop has integrated wireless-controller and wireless-access-point modules from Legra with GateD software for L2 switching, L3 routing and multiprotocol label switching in its UNS 4.0 Dynamic Network Architecture.

Bob Schoettle, VP of product marketing, said the same a la carte philosophy that drove NextHop's routing and switching software for wireline networks will hold for integrated mixes of wireline and wireless. Components within UNS 4.0 DNA can be offered in portable, modular fashion across silicon and RTOS kernel environments.

One simple network management protocol management environment with a Web-based user interface can be used to control the Wi-Fi switch. For RF planning and mapping of Wi-Fi access points, NextHop has worked with partner Wireless Valley on graphical planning tools integrated directly into the UNS 4.0 environment.

Voice-over-WLAN is supported with sub-50ms roaming between access points. That will ease the in-building portability of dual-mode handsets that support both digital cellular and Wi-Fi operation, Schoettle said.

Encryption methods include WEP, WPA and WPA2, with a separate virtual LAN created for each security type. Authentication methods support local EAP termination and full external Radius authentication. The software scales to eight WLAN controllers per domain, 48 access points per switch, 512 stations per switch, 14,000 MAC addresses and 4,096 full virtual LANs. All security features integrate with a mixed environment of L2 and L3 wireline Ethernet switching, along with full Wi-Fi switching.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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