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Cisco Adds Central WLAN Management To Ethernet Switch

Cisco Wednesday announced a new module for its Catalyst 6500 Ethernet switch that performs many of the functions of wireless switches offered by startups such as Aruba Wireless Networks and Airespace.

The module, dubbed the Wireless LAN Services Module, was hailed by the company in a Web conference as the first enterprise-class integrated wireless-Ethernet switch.

"It allows seamless management of what otherwise would be two separate domains, said Larry Birenbaum, senior vice president of Cisco's Ethernet access group. "It is the capstone of our SWAN announcement a year ago."

That integration differentiates its approach, based on its Structured Wireless Aware Network (SWAN) vision, from that of wireless switches provided by other vendors, Birenbaum said.

Cisco also unveiled a new version of its Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) to support the module. The new version adds the ability to not just detect rogue access points but also to suppress them. It also provides out-of-the-box, centralized access point deployment.

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