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Motorola Shifts WLAN Intelligence To Network Edge

WiNG 5 LAN 802.11n network architecture boosts quality of service by avoiding controller bottlenecks and enabling IT managers to manage the network from central locations.

In its latest effort to spread Wi-Fi throughout the IT enterprise, Motorola Solutions this week unveiled its WiNG 5 LAN, the latest in its series of 802.11n access points (APs) and controllers. The new iteration, in which versatility is the common denominator, distributes intelligence and network services to the edge of enterprise networks.

WiNG 5 has new features aimed at helping users keep up with the proliferation of voice, video, and data applications while providing a high quality of service and transmitting traffic along optimal paths to avoid controller bottlenecks. The key breakthrough of WiNG 5 is the wholesale move of intelligence to the edge of the 802.11n network, often bypassing controllers, and enabling IT managers to easily control the network from central locations.

Motorola said WiNG 5 can address a single distributed network and scale it to thousands of access points -- all with central policy management. Zero-configuration installation capability means that the network does not require VLAN re-architecting of the wired network.

"Ensuring a consistent, high QoS for enterprise-class voice and video applications requires a resilient WLAN infrastructure that can quickly adapt to changes in [radio frequency] conditions, data traffic patterns, or security policies," said Motorola's Bob Sanders.

As befits 802.11n network technology and Motorola's addition to it, new applications using WiNG 5 require fewer wireless controllers because APs cover more area and have built-in sensors for Wireless Intrusion Protection System and network assurance.

At a launch event in Boston, Motorola showcased a user who, it said, has done due diligence on the new network and is planning to spend millions on it to upgrade an existing Motorola 802.11n WLAN. Joe Griffin, CTO of the Keller Independent School District in Texas said WiNG 5 is expected to "further strengthen our networks and continue to reduce our IT maintenance expenses."

Griffin noted that students are increasingly bringing their own wireless devices to school grounds and he indicated their devices will be able to easily interface with the WiNG 5 network when it is completed.

The movement toward placing more intelligence on the edge of networks appears to be growing, although most 802.11n suppliers still locate their main network intelligence in controllers at the center of networks.

WiNG 5 is already available on some existing Motorola WLAN products including the firm's RFS 4000 integrated wireless services controller and the AP 650 access point. Additional controllers and access points will offer WiNG early next year.

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