ReefEdge Beefs Up the WLAN Edge

By Matthew Peretz

December 03, 2001

Updated hardware/software solution distributes security to the network edge - creating scalability, mobility, and ease of management in 802.11b implementations

ReefEdge, Inc. today unveiled an update to the ReefEdge Connect System for WLANs. The new ReefEdge Connect System 2.0 consists of two primary hardware products: the ReefEdge Connect Server, and the ReefEdge Connect Bridges. The solution as a whole is designed to deliver scalable and comprehensive security, subnet mobility, session persistence, and management functionality.

The ReefEdge Connect System v2.0 integrates firewall/VPN functionality, subnet roaming, session persistence, quality of service (QoS), and management capabilities. The company stated that the solution is vendor neutral, supporting devices operating in 802.11a, 802.11b, and Bluetooth modes.

Connect System 2.0 can authenticate all network users protected by secure SSL technology and root-signed certificates. The system can be integrated with existing enterprise authentication servers -- like RADIUS, NT Domain Servers, and Active Directory -- enabling IT managers to maintain a single repository of user credentials, effectively eliminating common database synchronization problems.

Version 2.0 also includes support for unlimited access control groups and for managing individual user and group privileges. Network administrators can even isolate and grant access in a specific area - and limit such access to other corporate assets. This creates close control over both security and QoS issues.

The updated system uses what ReefEdge calls 'Dynamic IPSec' to encrypt connections between mobile devices and the Connect Bridges - this means that the IPSec processing is distributed to the edge of the WLAN - increasing efficiency and scalability of the overall network.

Subnet roaming is supported to maintain session persistence and seamless mobility. QoS is customizable by network admins so that they can limit bandwidth consumption by different users or groups of users - to maximize network availability and efficiency.

The ReefEdge Connect System rounds out its enhanced security and mobility features with simplified network management tools. Initial user-setup is handled by automatic IPSec client configuration. The Web-based management interface also provides SNMP-based integration with other network management tools including HP Openview, Tivoli NetView, and others.

The Connect Bridges come in two flavors: the Connect Bridge 25 for small installations or remote access points, and the Connect Bridge 100, for enterprise environments. The ReefEdge Connect Server 2.0 System starts at around $6,000 and consists of the ReefEdge Connect Server (for centralized management), and the ReefEdge Connect Bridges, which implement the security, QoS, and mobility features at the edge of the network.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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