Cisco is partnering with Cognio to minimise the quantity of radio interference around WLAN equipment.

The company is offering Cognio's Spectrum Expert for WiFi, a tool for studying interference around a wireless LAN, to complement its own Wireless Control System. Together, the tools are intended to help enterprises lay out wireless LANs and take care of rogue wireless gear and interference from a variety of sources, including non-WiFi devices such as microwave ovens. Cognio's product is available now through Cisco's regular sales channels.

Interference and security are two key issues for enterprises that want to set up comprehensive wireless LANs for demanding new applications, namely VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol). Cognio is one of many specialist companies that offer tools for working out those issues. Cisco, which is betting big on the spread of WiFi from vertical industries to general businesses, wants to make sure its networks deliver a good experience.

The Spectrum Expert is a CardBus device that plugs into a Windows notebook and works with software to detect and identify interfering devices and help a technician locate the device. Wireless LAN security systems from AirMagnet, Fluke Networks and WildPackets use Cognio technology. Cisco's Wireless Control System is a server-based application for planning, designing, monitoring and managing wireless LANs. It can support thousands of access points around an enterprise and carry out tasks including user tracking and security monitoring, according to Cisco.