The enterprise mobility division of Motorola has announced its new multi-vendor WLAN management solution. The AirDefense Infrastructure Management module joins the other components of the AirDefense product line, including its Network Assurance, Advanced Troubleshooting, and the AirDefense Security and Compliance suite. The new management platform offers command and control features to Motorola's enterprise WLAN products and to its closest competitors' products as well.
The AirDefense suite is in many ways a stand-alone product for Motorola, which acquired AirDefense in 2008. The security solutions were primarily designed as an overlay sensor network running alongside the primary wireless data network. In fact, the only direct impact on the product suite was the move to use Motorola's access points as sensors on the security net. The multi-vendor approach allows AirDefense to keep a bit of independence while becoming part of Motorola's all-encompassing One Point Wireless Suite. This level of vendor-neutrality also gives Motorola a response to other third party management solutions, particularly against the AirWave Wireless management tool, now owned by WLAN competitor Aruba Networks.
At launch, the management solution will offer plug-in support for the WLAN gear of the current market share leaders in the enterprise space: Cisco, Aruba Networks and of course, Motorola. Motorola is quick to point out that this modular approach enables AirDefense to add additional vendors and products based on customer demand without having to release full software updates.
Multi-vendor wireless networks are an all-too-common reality for network administrators. Whether it is a case of switching vendors changing OEM partners, corporate mergers bringing new facilities and disparate infrastructures, or even just a simple matter of a new preference in vendors, an enterprise's WLAN can easily become a hodgepodge of products. A management platform that can provide a centralized level of control across all of these products, while maintaining a consistent configuration and design, will be key to keeping support costs, and your sanity, in check.