Aruba announces beta trials of centralised 802.11i network

Aruba kicks off trials of a secure, centrally managed 802.11i Wi-Fi installation

Wireless network specialist Aruba is conducting field trials of what it claims is the first centralised installation of a secure wireless network based on the recently ratified 802.11i standard.

The 802.11i standard is designed to give wireless networking a boost as previous security measures, such as Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), were easily broken by hackers, leaving many security-conscious IT managers wary about wireless networking. The most significant feature of the 802.11i standard is Advanced Encryption Standard, a strong encryption standard supporting 128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit keys.

Aruba has chosen to centralise the network's encryption process in a dedicated "encryption engine" rather than in individual access points -- as is the usual method. This means the company's customers will have more freedom in using existing access points.

Merwyn Andrade, chief technology officer at Aruba and a contributor to the IEEE 802.11i specification, said that like other wireless vendors Aruba uses "off-the-shelf" radio components, which means it is easier and faster to deliver complicated services from a dedicated centralised box rather than waiting for component manufacturers to begin shipping equipment and drivers that support the new technology.

"We implement these functions in a central programmable controller and switching system that provides services to multiple access points. This provides investment protection to our customers as well as giving us a time-to-market advantage with new features such as 802.11i -- since we don't need to wait for our radio suppliers to release new drivers," said Andrade.

CNET News.com's Richard Shim contributed to this report.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All