Veriwave's WaveDeploy Raises the Bar on WLAN Assessment - Page 2

By Lisa Phifer

May 18, 2010

The Fine Print

Despite these benefits, WaveDeploy has a few limitations. For starters, large volume client "what if" testing won't be convenient until WaveDeploy WiFi hardware is released. First-generation WaveDeploy WiFi will only simulate SISO clients; a second-generation MIMO unit will be produced later this year.

Additionally, WaveDeploy is a measurement tool, not a predictive planner. Floor plans are just drawings; a configurable "radius of influence" determines how far each measurement is used for interpolation. If no measurement was taken close to a spot, it appears as a void on the heatmap. Furthermore, because WaveDeploy does not consider the impact of building materials, interpolated results around the corner from a sampled spot could be off.

Finally, WaveDeploy surveys can be repeated to validate fixes or verify expected SLAs. But WaveDeploy is not a continuous measurement or service assurance system; it cannot alert you to changes or automatically adjust your WLAN. But as Mathias suggested, "It's not hard to see management or assurance tools (and sensors) incorporating this functionality over time."

See for Yourself

Veriwave is releasing WaveDeploy Basic as a free download at Basic can be installed on a Windows laptop to measure three metrics (RSSI, interference, and TCP throughput) for any local Wi-Fi adapter. This free program cannot measure other kinds of clients or applications, but it can still be useful -- and give potential customers a feel for WaveDeploy.

Simultaneously, Veriwave is also releasing WaveDeploy Pro ($4,995). Pro can take all profiled application measurements using traffic sent through up to 10 client devices. This commercial version can be used to certify vendor products, efficiently validate deployed performance, assess new client/application impact, and document detected problems.

Later this summer, Veriwave plans to ship WaveDeploy Expert, capable of measuring traffic sent through up to 300 client devices (live and/or simulated by WaveDeploy WiFi). Price depends on number of WaveDeploy WiFi units. Expert will offer added benefits to larger enterprises and integrators that need to perform "what if" analysis on larger, complex, mission-critical WLANs.

Lisa Phifer owns Core Competence, a consulting firm focused on business use of emerging network and security technologies. Lisa began her career by measuring proprietary wired network performance way back in 1981. She has been involved in the design, implementation, and testing of wireless network products and services since 1996.

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