Bluesocket has produced a new version of its wireless security controller while Aruba has tweaked its software to handle voice better.
Two years ago, Bluesocket led the way in wireless security gateways - basically a firewall that separates off the wireless part of the network - but since the arrival of more advance wireless switches (from the likes of Trapeze, Aruba, and Airespace), the company has concentrated on security and management - with some success.
Version 5.1 of the BlueSecure Controller lets the twin radios in the company's access points to continuously cycle between data traffic and RF monitoring. The controller therefore has a constantly changing picture of what is going on. As an example, new algorithms can detect that activity on a given channel that indicates interference from some other radio source. The controller can then change the channel assignment of that access point.
Another algorithm helps the controller balance the number of clients on a given access point, causing some to re-associate with a neighboring access point. Another new feature is support for 802.11i key caching for mobile clients, such as wireless VoIP phone users.
The initial user authentication is stored and reused as the phone moves from one access point to another, instead of a time-consuming re-authentication with each move.
The BlueView management software, Version 2.2, now uses techniques to locate each wireless device and plot its location on a floor plan, accurate within 20 feet.
The company has incorporated Check Point's Integrity Clientless Security software into BlueSecure 5.1. Check Point technology can be used on wireless laptops or handhelds without having to download a client program. Only if the devices meet the security policies are they allowed to complete their connection to the WLAN.
The new software release is available now, as is the new version of BlueView, which still costs about $10,000.
Aruba Wireless Networks, meanwhile, is making several changes to improve VoIP support on its WLAN access points and controllers - by tweaking security settings.
The controller already runs a firewall that can inspect each wireless packet. The firewall can now "see" the specifics of several voice protocols: session initiation protocol (SIP), Cisco's Skinny Client Control Protocol, and protocols from wireless VOIP vendors Spectralink and Vocera.
The new software release can collect information about voice packets to identify the number of calls on a given access point and then deflect new calls to another access point, if available. This load balancing preserves adequate bandwidth for each call. Also new is the software's ability to identify a user device as voice-capable and then limit it to accessing, for example, only the SIP PBX.
Another change minimises the chance of calls being disrupted, by stopping Aruba access points from taking time out to do RF scanning while a call is in progress. Version 2.5 of the controller software is scheduled to be available later this month.