Motorola Solutions has launched WiNG 5 WLAN, the next generation architecture for its portfolio of 802.11n wireless LAN access points and controllers.
The architecture of the new system is designed to bypass central wireless controllers and redistribute control and services to the edge of the network to avoid the bottlenecks and system outages that hit most networks.
Speaking at the launch of the architecture in London earlier this month (pictured above), Phil Bolt, VP of wireless broadband engineering and product management at Motorola Solutions, said: ‘With WiNG 5 we are moving from site survivability to service survivability, while still maintaining the quality of service customers require.’
Most WLAN systems route all traffic, quality of service and security through a wireless controller. Adding more access points (APs) will not improve the problems caused by increased traffic. If a wireless controller of wired switch fails on traditional hub and spoke WLAN architecture, then the whole system experiences an outage.
Motorola’s WiNG 5 architecture is designed to get round this problem by building intelligence into the APs and controllers. Each element of the network is aware of all the other components and the APs are smart enough to communicate directly with each other to create more efficient routes for network traffic if they detect a faulty component or one that is overloaded. Shorter direct network paths also provide lower latency.
The APs and controllers are also smart enough to understand the client landscape and radio frequency (RF) environment. They can detect RF interference, coverage gaps and overloaded channels without the need for any additional hardware. If there is a problem, the WiNG 5 SMART RF system makes adjustments to power and channel settings to minimize the impact on voice and video applications.
If the wireless controller is out of action the APs can take over and reroute traffic while seamlessly maintaining full quality of mobile voice, video and data services and security. Controllers are still used to manage, direct and scale the network, but individual transmissions can now take place via the shortest path without having to travel to the centre and back out again.
This intelligent routing helps eliminate bottlenecks on the network and provides more network capacity, according to Motorola. It also builds in network survivability, as the system is self-healing. Motorola’s WLAN access points and controllers also have a 3G card slot that enables backhaul switch-over to an outside network if there is an outage. Users will therefore still be able to use cloud-based applications.
Bolt said: ‘It’s about getting more for less. The system requires less APs, but gives you more throughput and more bandwidth.’
The APs have been designed with higher power and receiver sensitivity, so fewer units are needed to cover a service area. Further cost savings are also achieved as fewer wireless controllers are needed for a given number of APs.
The APs have integrated security and network troubleshooting sensors, so customers do not have to buy additional expensive dedicated sensors. Motorola’s LANPlanner tool models and predicts the optimum 802.11n WLAN layout, so a client’s network can be built with just the right number of APs to provide full, even coverage.
The goal is to provide an agile, flexible system that allows a mix of virtual, local site or remote NOC wireless controller deployments in a single distributed network. Motorola said its 802.11n solution needs to be scaleable to meet unpredictable demand. End users can build up capacity by adding more APs as they need them.
Motorola is supplying a range of four APs to meet various usage needs:
• AP 7131 – an all in one AP that can support several functions with single, dual or tri-radio and 3G card options;
• AP650 - a multi-purpose cost effective AP for HQs or branch offices with single or dual radio;
• AP 6511 - wall plate, designed to work with existing CAT5/6 wiring;
• AP 7181 – a high power outdoor mesh AP.
There are three wireless controllers available:
• The large enterprise/data centre RFS 7000;
• The medium enterprise RFS 6000;
• The small enterprise FRS 4000 AP option.
At the moment only the RFS 4000 wireless controller and AP650 access points are available, but the rest of the portfolio should come on stream by the first quarter of 2011.
The airdefence products available are:
• Airdefence infrastructure management: this programme coordinates infrastructure made by different vendors and allows users to manage all the pieces on a single dashboard.
• Airdefence security and compliance: a network security and compliance programme for various government and industry regulations.
• Airdefence network assurance: troubleshoots and diagnoses issues in the wireless network.