ReefEdge Spreads the Wireless Fabric over New Products

By Eric Griffith

May 21, 2003

The wireless infrastructure and security provider is introducing its Wireless Services Fabric, a common architecture for its products to help with fast and easy WLAN deployments. Learn more about it at the 80211 Planet Conference & Expo.

ReefEdge, the Fort Lee, NJ based provider of wireless infrastructure, management and security solutions, today unveiled its Wireless Services Fabric (WSF), an architecture it plans to build in new products so they'll work together better and provide for easer use and management.

Sandeep Singhal, CTO at ReefEdge, calls WSF "an amalgamation of services needed to make a mission crucial WLAN a success. We don't want to compete with or replace the new switches." Instead, the products using the Fabric will work with the IT department's existing switches, access points, et al., and can be scaled from one office to large campuses or even multiple geographic locations.

"You can package different services for different sizes," says Singhal.

The WSF would handle a number of network functions, from enforcing security policy to configuring access points to packet processing and more. To get the fabric started, the company is folding it into three newly announced products.

First is the Connect Server 200 (CS200) Wireless Network Concentrator, which in its base configuration is $15,000. It's a centralized network appliance that can manage a large site, combining the functions of a ReefEdge Edge Controller (used to provide roaming and security at the edge of the network where the access points are, by doing packet monitoring) and Connect Server.

Site with a network operations center for several WLAN can use the ReefEdge Multi-Site Manager 100 (MSM100) to take care of sites in different geographic locations using a structured, hierarchal view. Using it, configurations for WLAN equipment can be validated before being pushed out -- and the push out can be timed for specific areas at specific times. Of course, it monitors sites to make sure they're operating optimally. The system will cost $7500 with extra toward licenses required for the number of WLANs monitored.

Finally, the company's AirMonitor is set of tools housed in what looks like a standard access point to keep track of the radio frequency spectrum, detect failures or intrusions. AirMonitor will cost $5,995. The company says one or two of the units per floor of a building can handle the traffic monitoring.

Singhal says that ReefEdge is "working with a number of partners for individual services development" so they can build new security and backend services into the WSF as needed.

The first company to jump on the Fabric is Wavelink Corporation -- its Mobile Manager will be incorporated into the WSF to integrate their products.

"You have to have an open platform for CIOs to solve immediate needs and can grow as needs change," according to Singhal. "We found that the last thing CIOs want is new infrastructure to replace their existing equipment, which locks them into a single vendor. This model works well for those needing flexible deployment."

Curious about swaddling your own WLAN in the Wireless Services Fabric? ReefEdge will be exhibiting in booth ___ at the 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo, June 25-27, 2003 at the World Trade Center Boston in Boston.

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