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Wireless Rumors

The security consolidation rumor-mill is at it again, this time renewing the notion that Airespace is about to be purchased by Cisco. I made some calls, and it seems like this is a rumor that's at the very least ahead of the facts--while they wrapped everything in standard "We can't confirm anything" language, I didn't get the impression that a purchase is happening in the next couple of weeks.

Don't get me wrong--an Airespace buyout makes some sense from Cisco's perspective. They've certainly shown no reluctance to buy good technology (Procket, anyone?) and some of the things Airespace has done would mesh nicely into Cisco's Network Admissions Control (NAC) framework for network security. From the Airespace point of view, a purchase would make sense in terms of rewarding investors and employees, though they would certainly pay for the rewards in reduced independence and increased organizational overhead.

Airespace has a number of reseller deals with major networking vendors, and the rumored deal for Airespace to play a major role in Microsoft's new internal network has certainly increased the chatter factor about the company. I think it would be a shame to see Airespace sell out this early; they--along with Aruba and Trapeze--have helped push wireless networking security and performance much faster and farther than it would have gone had everything been left to the companies who's major stakes are in the wired network world. The time for consolidation and payoff is coming, but I hope it's later, rather than sooner.