HP to extend WLAN offerings

Access point, management software on tap from HP

HP ProCurve this week is expected to unveil a wireless access point and management software to enable users to ease deployment and visualization of small networks.

The ProCurve Wireless Access Point 10ag provides IEEE 802.11a and b/g wireless connectivity for small enterprise networks that have little or no IT staff. The access point is intended to enable ease of use and deployment, and low-maintenance operation.

The access point also comes with a lifetime warranty, according to HP.

The new management software is called Mobility Manager 2.0. It serves as the single point for deploying and visualizing HP's wireless access points and overall network.

Mobility Manager 2.0 is an enhancement to HP's ProCurve Manager Plus software, which is a central management station for wired HP ProCurve networks. As such, Mobility Manager 2.0 now allows ProCurve Manager Plus users to design, configure, manage and monitor wired and wireless networks from a central point, HP says.

Mobility Manager 2.0 also enhances the monitoring capabilities of Mobility Manager 1.0, including visualization of radio frequency management, site planning, capabilities for compliance reporting and improved device configuration, HP says.

For example, network designers can now visualize the placement and configuration of their ProCurve access points and radio ports, and its effect on the desired coverage area. This allows users to monitor both managed and unmanaged wireless devices, including possible rogue access points operating within the wireless network, HP says.

HP has been in the WLAN market for several years. The company had a 1.4 percent share of the US$1.3 billion worldwide enterprise WLAN market in 2006, according to Dell'Oro Group. That put HP behind Cisco, Motorola, Aruba, 3Com, Buffalo and Proxim.

The 10ag access point costs US$239 and is scheduled for December 1 availability. The Mobility Manager 2.0 software costs US$2,000 for a 50-device license, US$4,000 for a 100-device license, and US$30,000 for an unrestricted device license. It will be available in January.

HP this week is also expected to roll out a 10Gbps Ethernet module for its 4200 midrange modular edge switch. The module will provide a high-speed uplink to core switches, such as HP ProCurve's recently announced 8212zl switch.

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Jim Duffy

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