HP Readies Wireless Access Point For Small Enterprises - InformationWeek

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HP Readies Wireless Access Point For Small Enterprises

The new ProCurve hardware includes authentication for granting network access, and either Advanced Encryption Standard or Temporal Key Integrity Protocol for encryption of wireless traffic.

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday said it plans to release next month its first wireless access point for small enterprises under the ProCurve brand.

The ProCurve Wireless Access Point 10ag ships with a simple Web-managed interface that enables the device to be configured in minutes, HP said. The hardware, however, cannot be configured through HP's Mobility Manager software, which is used to deploy, manage and monitor access points on a ProCurve wireless local area network.

The ProCurve WAP can communicate with devices using 802.11a, b, and g wireless connections. The new device can be wall-mounted or placed on a flat surface, and has the option of being powered by power over Ethernet (PoE), which provides more location flexibility. PoE technology is a system that transmits electrical power, along with data, to remote devices over standard twisted-pair cable in an Ethernet network.

For security, the new hardware includes authentication for granting network access, and either Advanced Encryption Standard or Temporal Key Integrity Protocol for encryption of wireless traffic. In addition, the device supports up to eight service set identifiers. SSID is a code attached to all packets on a wireless network to identify all data as part of that network. Devices attempting to communication with a WAP must share its SSID.

In addition to the new hardware, HP plans to ship in January version 2 of ProCurve Mobility Manager, which is a plug-in module to ProCurve Manager Plus. PMM 2 provides a single-screen dashboard for monitoring access point activity. ProCurve Manager Plus is a Windows-based network management platform for configuring, updating, monitoring, and troubleshooting ProCurve devices on a wired or wireless network.

Pricing for ProCurve WAP 10ag was not disclosed. Pricing for Mobility Manager 2.0 starts $1,999 for a 50-device license.

HP in the beginning of the year unveiled a strategy of providing products to build ProCurve networks that dynamically adapt to the changing needs of users, applications, and organizations. The goals are to make the network simpler, increase workers' productivity, and fortify security. Not unlike its biggest competitor Cisco, HP is focusing heavily on software that manages and secures networks.

In September, HP broadened the product line for big business by introducing its first high-performance network core switch to sell alongside its edge switches. ProCurve's 8212zl isn't revolutionary, but it has the necessary components to get considered as an alternative to Cisco's offerings, experts say.

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