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The Better WLAN

Frank Bulk replies: Airespace currently doesn't offer much scalability, but with Cisco Systems' acquisition of the vendor, I feel the problem will be addressed.

Airespace's N+1 functionality is best optimized if you preconfigure the access points with the primary, secondary and tertiary switches. But unless you require failover times no greater than 20 seconds, you can leave the system unconfigured; the APs will seek out the first available switch, probably in less than a minute.

Both ACS (Airespace Control System) and Aruba's master-local design have pros and cons, but we gave Airespace the nod because we believe its design offers more enterprise deployment and management flexibility than Aruba's.

Multiple factors went into our security score, and because of rounding, a few small items prevented Aruba from tying with Airespace. We consider integration of a firewall in a WLAN switch an extra; enterprise network security administrators are likely to use their existing firewall rather than depend on a WLAN solution. But smaller shops could benefit.

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