Trapeze plans to welcome Wi-Fi guests

Stave off the iPhone threat.

Wi-Fi switch maker Trapeze has launched a stand-alone system to allow businesses to manage up to 10,000 visitors on their wireless network -- just in time to handle a surge in portable Wi-Fi devices

"The idea of a guest provisioning tool is not new," said Michael Coci, director of technical marketing at Trapeze. "SmartPass is more scalable because it's a stand-alone server rather than sitting on a switch." By comparison, solutions from other vendors including Aruba and Cisco often require individual switches to be updated with user databases, and have been limited to small numbers of users.

Managing guest access has become even more important with the proliferation of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices including dual-mode phones such as the Apple iPhone (wrongly blamed for crashing Duke University's network in July) and other devices such as the Wi-Fi iPod (announced this week). Three million mobile Internet devices will ship in 2008, growing to 90 million units in 2012, according Stan Schatt, vice president of Network Research at ABI Research: "Not all of these devices will necessarily support IEEE 802.11i security standards, and they won't necessarily all support endpoint secure clients. That means it will be critical that these devices have limited access to corporate networking resources."

The SmartPass software (make sure not to miss out the "P"!) costs US$595 for a version which supports 40 clients, and US$1,395 for a version that supports up to 10,000. It runs on Windows and has been developed from a previous release, GuestPass, which was a free download. "We continued to receive product enhancement requests, for example, full RADIUS capabilities, and bulk-user creation, so the idea was to add everything the customer base was asking for, and charge a nominal price for it. GuestPass costs less than the price of an access point."

The GuestPass system can be accessed on a web page, by administrative staff including receptionists, said Coci, offloading the task from network administrators.

For this particular part of the Wi-Fi puzzle, Trapeze probably has a bigger competitor in Colubris, a vendor which initially sold to Wi-Fi hotspot providers with an enterprise product, and added a Visitor Management Tool derived from its hotspot experience late in 2006.

While Colubris' enterprise switches are newer and less proven than Trapeze's, its visitor management product has features very similar to Trapeze's SmartPass. "Our solution is also built on a centralized database and provides very high levels of scalability, security and reliability," said Carl Blume, director of product marketing at Colubris. "It has a track record of interoperability - we've serviced 30 million users."

Colubris's product can support up to a thousand different receptionists in a distributed enterprise, said Blume.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Judge

Techworld.com

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?