Wireless LANs Gain Backbone Flexibility - InformationWeek

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4/21/2008
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Wireless LANs Gain Backbone Flexibility

Has your business been bitten by the wireless bug? Would you like to swap out your wired backbone connections for wireless ones? Well, the time has come when such choices are possible.

Has your business been bitten by the wireless bug? Would you like to swap out your wired backbone connections for wireless ones? Well, the time has come when such choices are possible.Because of the flexibility that mobility offers, small and medium enterprises are relying on wireless connections more and more. Many companies have a slew of wireless workers, and some would like to move to all-wireless networks. Four-year-old Ruckus Wireless is trying to make such changes possible, with the announcement of its SmartMesh technology.

Reliability is a key issue if a company moves to an all wireless network. SmartMesh is based on intelligent beam steering technology that monitors and controls the form and direction of Wi-Fi signals. If any type of interference arises (too many users, distance, obstructions), the system adapts automatically. Because SmartMesh minimizes neighbor node interference within the mesh, the company says its products deliver higher performance (and therefore are less expensive to deploy) than competitors systems. The Ruckus solution supports 802.11n as well as lower speed Wi-Fi networks.

Ruckus was a late entry to the wireless LAN marketplace, so the company will have difficulty carving out a niche with established vendors, such as Cisco and Motorola, and wireless LAN specialist, like Aruba and Trapeze. Because its products have a more modern design, Ruckus may be able to deliver more robust products than its competitors. The company Wi-Fi networks may appeal to certain niches, such as hotels, schools, hospitals, and warehouses. Ruckus is a start up, so purchasing its products represents a risk for small and medium businesses because no one is sure what its future hold. If your company views wireless as its backbone of the future, then it should check out what Ruckus has to offer.

How much of your companys communications now runs over wireless networks? Do you envision replacing some of your wired links with wireless ones? How much interest do you have in wireless mesh networks?

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