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AirMagnet Brings 802.11n To Enterprise WLAN Monitoring

Wireless management and security vendor AirMagnet has unleashed the latest incarnation of their AirMagnet Enterprise product.  Along with software enhancements, the product line now features 802.11n hardware sensors to scan the airwaves for security, configuration and interference issues on enterprise WLAN deployments.The software upgrade is free for existing customers with support agreements. Upgrade pricing is available on the new hardware.
On the hardware front, AirMagnet offers two 802.11n wireless sensors, those with or without RF spectrum analyzers. Essentially a purpose-built access point, the sensors are designed to be deployed as an overlay to the WLAN, scanning for potential performance problems and security threats.  
Along with the new hardware, a significant number of enhancements have been rolled into the AirMagnet software. Along with forty new security and performance alarms, AirMagnet Enterprise now eases 802.11n deployments, with a slew of optimization and wireless visibility tools to ensure that actual network performance matches expectations. The latest version also features a policy sandbox. While building or updating the security policies, administrators can test and review the impact of these policies before applying them.  
AirMagnet, now under new parent Fluke Networks, remains one of the few third party WLAN security and performance solutions, but faces a WIPS market that has consolidated and is finding new attention from the WLAN infrastructure vendors themselves. AirDefense, for example, is now part of Motorola's enterprise WLAN solution. Cisco and Meru have joined the fray, with Cisco's Mobility Services Engine offering an advanced WIPS product, and Meru delivering a WLAN "neighborhood watch" through their Service Assurance Manager solution.
While none of these competitive offerings have the depth or track record of AirMagnet Enterprise, the first party solutions have the advantage of tighter integration with the WLAN itself. Enterprises seeking to push their wireless networks beyond convenient access and into mission critical components of their architecture will have to wade through the feature sets of their vendor and third party solutions to determine the best fit for their management and compliance needs.