Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

I Was Wrong

OK, so they got me. Only a couple of days ago I called up Airespace, then wrote here that any merger was a way off. Little did I know that the "way" was about 48 hours long.

Now that the merger has been announced, what is it likely to mean for customers (and potential customers) of the Airespace wireless networking system? The answer is going to depend on exactly what Cisco sees as valuable in the Airespace aquisition. Cisco has proven, in the way it handled the Linksys merger, that it's capable of allowing a company to continue to do business and trade on its own name while gradually becoming more thoroughly tied to the Cisco way of networking. Of course, they've also proven through purchases like Procket that a company can be swallowed by the big green networking company with nary a burp to mark its passing. So which is Airespace likely to be?

I suspect that the final result will be the Airespace line of Cisco wireless switches and access points. As I wrote in my earlier post, Airespace has wireless security technology that should be a super fit for Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) vision of network security. Depending on exactly how they play it, Airespace can add tools ranging from sharply improved wireless monitoring to robust user authentication and authorization to Cisco's device-oriented view of the network.

Of course, the merger marks a real opportunity for companies like Aruba and Trapeze, who can try to fill the OEM void that will be left by Airespace's marriage to Cisco. It will be interesting to see which of the remaining wireless switch companies will be the most aggressive in going after Airespace partners. As for me, I think I'll head back to the lab, and leave the rumor-wrangling to others...