Tag Archives: Wall Plate AP

A Six-Pack Of WLAN Industry Developments

Things are always shaking in Wi-Fi Land. New stuff, company goings on, regulatory drama… it’s never boring. Here’s a quick bundle of interesting hits to consider.

  1. Meraki Founders Quit CiscoI’m not only a Meraki user, I’ve been following the company for years under the brim of my analyst’s hat. I delighted when Meraki came out with their MX line, and later when switches joined the lineup. There’s a lot of power in the Meraki magic, so I can’t say I was totally surprised when Cisco bought them for north of a billion dollars. At the same time, I had my concerns. Far be it for anyone not in the loop to speculate on why Meraki’s Founding Three have opted to split, but it does fuel all sorts of speculation depending on your frame of reference.

  2. Xirrus Has Announced a Cloud-Managed 11ac Wallplate AP. This is an industry first (as far as I know) and I hope other vendors follow soon (are you listening, Meraki?)

  3. Meru also has new product offering: Xpress CloudWith 2×2 11ac APs managed via cloud subscription, aimed at SMBs. (Meru ain’t dead, folks.)

  4. Fluke Networks’ Air Magnet Enterprise gets an upgrade.  Quoting my brief: “The new version of AirMagnet Enterprise includes several major security enhancements, new 802.11ac functionality, the industry¹s first “No Wireless or Cellular Zone” capability, new PCI 3.0 compliance features,  and more. Enterprise is already unique with its Automated Health Check and Dynamic Threat Update capabilities, but these new features make it even more powerful, and a crucial solution for organizations that can¹t afford to have wireless security loopholes.” Alas- it’s still an overlay…

  5. Ruckus Ups Their Smart Wi-Fi Game. A laundry list of beefy feature goodness is aimed at improved Wi-FI calling, among other enhancements.

  6. Eero. Interesting promise and premise. We’ll have to see how this one plays out- but promising people that you can solve dead spots in the home without running wires will get attention.

I don’t typically favor scraping press releases into a digest blog, but this mix of topics struck me as a bit profound in showing just how dynamic the Wi-Fi world is at many tiers. Exciting, thought-provoking stuff that can be hard to keep up on.  Don’t blink, things change quick around here!

 

Meru Heats Up The Wall Plate Access Point Space

Yeah- that’s right. There IS a wall plate AP space. And it’s pretty friggin’ cool.

We’ll get to Meru in a bit..

A little more than a year ago, I celebrated Ruckus’ ZoneFlex 7055 wall plate AP announcement right here on this blog. I really like this form factor, as it enables the leveraging of existing network wiring in really cool new ways. As I type this from my hotel at Interop, I have the following view to my immediate left:

Image

 

Though this Teleadapt TA-6200 does have a certain style, it’s also a bit of a relic. I’m guessing it doesn’t see much action on that RJ-45, and if we follow it back to the wall, we can picture a wall plate AP in it’s place- serving up high-speed Wi-Fi while still affording the same seldom-used LAN capability. And, THEhotel wouldn’t have to run any more wire to get there. Sweet. 

I’m aware of wall plate APs from Ruckus, Aruba, Motorola, recently Cisco, and this little gem from out in left field. You have to read the fine print to find the differences, and there very much are differences in capabilities from radio performance to supported features.

Which brings us back to Meru Networks, and the AP122This little guy is the industry’s first dual-band 11ac wall plate AP.

Meru rightfully positions this unit as a trade off- it’s no rocket ship at 2×2, but you get decent performance on standard PoE and a lot of bang for the sub-$600 buck.

Hopefully, other vendors will also up their wall plate AP game and continue with near-commodity pricing on a form factor that can really be transformative on existing cable plants.

The only bummer to the Meru AP122 story? Like everything else in WLAN-land, lack of interoperability means it’s only available to Meru customers.

WSJ Market Watch PR here.