Aerohive Announces New 802.11n Portfolio

By Naomi Graychase

April 21, 2008

Aerohive announced today three new enterprise-grade 802.11n access points, as well as enhancements to its existing portfolio.

Aerohive today announced a new portfolio of enterprise-grade 802.11n access points, including the dual-radio HiveAP 320 for indoor use, the metal-chassis dual-radio HiveAP 340 for indoor-industrial use, and the waterproof three-radio HiveAP 380 for outdoor use. All three offer two Gigabit Ethernet ports that provide power-over-Ethernet (PoE) using a patent-pending Smart PoE technology (from Aerohive). The APs in the Aerohive 11n portfolio operate without the use of controllers, resulting in potentially significant cost-savings, and in some cases, greater performance, per deployment.

Last May, the company launched itself and its first product into the marketplace at Interop (this year’s show begins on Sunday), where it won “Best Startup.” Since then, it has been acquiring customers and developing enhancements to its architecture.

“One of the things we talked about when we announced the company was the move to wireless being more ubiquitous, to wireless being required more and more to be mission critical [for the enterprise]. And then the roll out to 11n was on the horizon, so an architecture needs to be high-performance and scaleable,” says Stephen Philip, Senior Director of Marketing at Aerohive.

Philip also says that removing controllers from the network eliminates the bandwidth bottlenecks, latency, and jitter that can result from backhauling traffic through a controller, but, he says, Aerohive’s solution still provides the scalability, resilience, performance, and manageability benefits that come with network controllers.

“Our approach is similar to the original autonomous access points, but we give them intelligence so that they can communicate with one another. A good analogy is the Internet. All the routers in the Internet are smart. They talk to each other. They build the topology and forward all the traffic locally. It’s shared knowledge achieved through dynamic routing. That’s the same model we’ve brought to enterprise wireless LANs,” says Philip.

Rising vertically

Aerohive sees itself as competing with Cisco and Aruba for mid- to large-sized enterprises, with a focus on verticals where high-performance, reliable WLANs are essential, such as health care or manufacturing.

“A lot of the wireless vendors focus a lot on education, but we focus more on the mission critical environments,” says Philip. “Our value proposition is very strong with organizations that are highly distributed, mission critical, or looking to go through the migration from autonomous fat APs to coordinated APs. Because of our architecture, we don’t have to force traffic back through a controller or the WAN network. We don’t  have to deploy redundant controllers.”

Aerohive 802.11n HiveAPs can also be seamlessly deployed along with 802.11a/b/g HiveAPs. Migrating to 802.11n from autonomous (“fat”) access points is also possible.

“If 802.11n HiveAPs are deployed on the same subnet or VLAN as an enterprise's fat access points, network users can roam between the HiveAPs and their old access points, which is not necessarily possible with controller-based 11n deployments,” says Philip.

The new releases

The HiveAP 320 indoor access point ($1,299), which was designed to blend in with standard office ceiling tiles, and the metal-cased HiveAP 340 indoor-industrial access point ($1,499) which is sealed, dustproof, rated to sustain a wide temperature operating range, and designed to be put into the rafters of a warehouse, will be available in July. The waterproof HiveAP 380 outdoor access point ($2,999) will be available Q408.

Aerohive also announced today a series of enhancements to its existing product portfolio, including new operating system software, location tracking using AeroScout, an outdoor a/b/g access point, and a new guest manager solution.

“We have done an integration with a company called AeroScout, who are a leader in the location tracking space, so our APs can be sensors for that system. Location tracking is used extensively in health care and logistics and other spaces where you put these Wi-Fi tags on things like emergency carts and things like critical resources in the hospital where you need to know where it is so you can go and retrieve it,” says Philip.

More information on today’s announcements is available at the Aerohive Web site.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.

Originally published on .

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