Aerohive enables accelerated adoption of 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi

New AP230 reduces obstacles to 802.11ac adoption by delivering a competitive price/performance and functionality, and removing the need to up upgrade power infrastructure, backend network devices or controller appliances

Aerohive enables accelerated adoption of 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi

Aerohive Networks has unveiled a new 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi access point (AP). Announced today (8 April 2014), the new AP230 offers breakthrough price/performance for 802.11ac and existing 802.11n networks with enterprise features in an economical package, according to the company. 

The AP230 is a dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point offering high-performance 3x3 three spatial stream MIMO, starting at $799 US list and is available now.

The AP230 enables Gigabit Wi-Fi in every enterprise office to transform business operations regardless of location, every retail outlet to improve the shopping experience, every classroom to enable new learning experiences, and every healthcare clinic to improve patient care and care collaboration.

802.11ac is the latest standard for the Wi-Fi industry, offering an increase in data rates to beyond one Gigabit per second, the fastest yet in Wi-Fi history. This new specification provides greater capacity, improved RF management, and overall improved performance over the current standard of 802.11n.

AP230’s design sets a new price/performance standard for 802.11ac APs. By combining the latest in 3x3, three-stream 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi technology and advanced security and control together into an economical package, it allows organisations to deploy fully featured 802.11ac into every part of the network infrastructure – from corporate headquarters to remote branches and outlets to every classroom.

With the continued influx of Wi-Fi devices on their network, enterprises need high capacity pervasive coverage. However, enterprise IT departments have only sparingly deployed 802.11ac, held back by cost limitations and new power requirements of 802.11ac products, as well as a reluctance to invest in the time and resources necessary to re-architect their wireless infrastructure.

Price performance

At a US list price of $799 for a three-stream AP, the AP230 sets a new price and performance standard for 802.11ac  – in most cases, less than competitors’ high-end three-stream 802.11n APs. For customers who are considering two-stream 802.11n APs this price point gives the option of moving to 802.11ac at only a modest price premium, Aerohive asserts. 

Compared with competitors’ 802.11ac offerings, the AP230 is as little as half the list price of many comparable three-stream APs and even less than the list price of two-stream APs. This is made possible by leveraging the latest available chip sets and Aerohive’s hardware design innovations.

Use existing power infrastructure

The AP230 delivers full functionality with existing Power over Ethernet (PoE) infrastructure, allowing it to be smoothly integrated with customers’ networks without requiring a costly and disruptive switching or power upgrade. 

This eliminates a major IT concern and roadblock to implementing an all-802.11ac network. Many organisations have existing PoE infrastructures based on the 802.3af PoE standard. Competitors’ solutions often require an infrastructure upgrade to higher power PoE+ to support full functionality with their 802.11ac access points.

The AP230 allows organisations to get the most from their IT budget by removing ALL requirements to upgrade backend network devices or controller appliances. The AP230 is part of Aerohive’s Cooperative Control architecture and does NOT require the purchase of any controller appliance of any kind.

Distributed architecture

Aerohive’s distributed intelligence architecture enables out-of-the box Application Visibility and Control.  The AP230 extends these capabilities to 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi. 

The onslaught of mobile clients in the enterprise has forced organisations to manage network traffic at an application level to ensure high quality of service for mission-critical applications and to maximise user productivity. 

Managing applications on every user’s device at 802.11ac (Gigabit Wi-Fi) data rates causes performance challenges on legacy network architectures – most currently installed controllers cannot support this functionality. 

Aerohive’s distributed architecture allows application visibility and control on every device without overwhelming any single part of the network. The end result is more reliable mobile application experience for end users.

Test case

“As beta testers for the new AP230, we are impressed and incredibly surprised by the speed and performance of Aerohive's AP 230,” said Kevin O'Malley, chief information officer, St. Andrew's Episcopal School. “We conducted a speed test of the new 802.11ac AP at our school library. Students connecting to the 802.11ac were able to download a large file in less than seven minutes, as compared to 35 minutes for students using the 802.11n Wi-Fi cards.

“Those testing 802.11g cards weren't even able to spend the two hours necessary. As a school, being able to tightly integrate technology with academics is key - being able to take advantage of the latest and greatest speed-boosting Wi-Fi advances in the industry at an affordable price point has been monumental for us.”

“Only 20% of respondents in a recent survey indicated that they were in the process of deploying 802.11ac,” stated Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG. “However, the majority (72%) are planning to, actively investigating or are interested in the move to the latest standard.

“Enterprises also reported this change was being driven by the need for improved performance, supporting new apps/workloads and better coverage/availability. Solutions that don’t strain the budget and can be seamlessly deployed amongst existing wireless investments will be key to accelerating adoption,” said Laliberte.

“Every organisation is dealing with the onslaught of mobility – more devices, more robust applications, more users, in more locations,” said David Greene, chief marketing officer, Aerohive Networks. “With this announcement, enterprises are empowered to take advantage full advantage of the 802.11ac and the best advances in Wi-Fi. 

“Just as 802.11n transformed the Wi-Fi landscape, the performance and visibility requirements of 802.11ac will do the same as it exposes the scalability, performance, and functionality shortcomings of Wi-Fi controllers. This is a great opportunity for our customers and for Aerohive’s business.”

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