ADTRAN Virtual Wireless LAN Unifies All Users

Network Virtualization — By on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Another Industry First: vWLAN Supports Users From Third Party Access Points and Wired Ports

ADTRAN, Inc., a leading provider of converged access and unified business solutions, today announced that its virtual wireless LAN (vWLAN) solution can control and manage users entering the network from any wireless access point (AP) or a wired port. This new ability, provided by a software upgrade to the ADTRAN Bluesocket access point, enables the network to manage these connections as part of a seamless vWLAN network. ADTRAN customers are using this new capability to unify the process of providing connectivity to wired users without relying on a separate piece of hardware. In addition, ADTRAN customers now have a migration path from older APs. vWLAN is the only solution that can control users entering the network from a third party access point.

vWLAN is an innovative approach in enterprise wireless networking in which the data is distributed and the control is centralized on a virtual hypervisor. There is no costly single-purpose physical hardware controller that imposes scale limitations as all scaling is done in software. ADTRAN extended this approach so that the role assigned to a user applies whether that user enters the network from an ADTRAN Bluesocket access point, wired port, or third party access point. All users can be addressed with the same set of policies that are controlled through vWLAN. Authentication and specific access to services are consistent irrespective of access method. This unique capability is generally available with ADTRAN’s latest release of vWLAN.

“Bluesocket offers turn-key wired security and client control alongside scalable wireless networking, and does it without requiring new network hardware which is a key capital and operational cost benefit,” said Lee Badman, independent wireless industry analyst. “The APs do double duty for both wireless access and unified wired and wireless security management in a framework that provides client authentication flexibility, system resiliency and a scalable architecture. I do like the simplicity and capability that comes with ‘single pane of glass’ administration of both wired and wireless client environments.”

“Gone are the days of sending every packet to a centralized controller appliance, whether it is required at each branch office or is tunneling everything back and forth through the WAN connection,” said Tim Zimmerman, research director at Gartner. “As the wired and wireless access layers continue to converge, the role of the WLAN controller platform is optional.”

“Rather than require our customers to undergo a forklift upgrade of their network to realize the benefits that a vWLAN offers, ADTRAN’s solution enables them to keep their existing network access points intact,” said Patrick Foy, vice president of engineering, Bluesocket Business Group, ADTRAN. “ADTRAN’s vWLAN strategy is to scale and innovate without adding expensive hardware. This software-based approach will create a fundamental shift in how quickly the market can transition their networks and leverage the benefits of virtualization.”

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