Colubris has added a mesh back-up option to its latest product release.
The Wi-Fi vendor is best known for public hotspot equipment but has revamped its business line with the addition of "local mesh" - a wireless back-up for the wired part of the network.
"The distributed intelligence in our system just lacked a few elements to come together as an ideal platform for enterprise," said the company's sales head Chris Koeneman.
Colubris local mesh protocol (LMP) is the most distinctive part of the package of announcements, allowing two access points with dual radios to re-provision and re-route traffic in the event of a problem. The announcement also includes the MSC 5100 controller for smaller offices, and an application aimed at receptionists, to make guest access easy to set-up.
"We've not gone into outdoor mesh or WiMax backhaul," said Koeneman. "There's a big market for that, but this segment doesn't need full-blown mesh. We're seeing people using it in large open indoor spaces where it's not convenient to cable up."
LMP, which Colubris calls "mini-mesh" internally, is based on the widely used WDS point-to-point Wi-Fi protocol, and gives dual-radio access points a self-healing back-up link. It is a low-cost tool that should be easy to introduce, and is only intended for a limited number of mesh hops. The WDS extensions are proprietary to Colubris, and likely to stay that way, said Koeneman: "We don't need another standard mesh protocol."
The compact wireless controller and the guest management application are both applications of Colubris' experience in hotspot equipment, said Koeneman. "Our service provider stuff is very leverageable in the enterprise." Contractors and consultants need to be handled much like visitors to a hotspot.
The MSC 5100 is a smaller version of Colubris' existing 5200 and 5500 boxes, and includes automated discovery and configuration of access points, for a price Colubris claims is 45 percent less than competing products. The LMP is included in the new version of the Colubris operating system, COS v5.