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CommsDesign 13th May 2003
Vernier Networks Inc. has added power-over-Ethernet capabilities to its line of security and management systems for IEEE 802.11-based wireless LANs. The new capabilities, based on the IEEE's 802.3af draft standard, will cut WLAN deployment costs, according to this story from CommsDesign
"The biggest headache [IT departments face] is the management and locating of access points," said Dominic Wilde, senior product-marketing manager with Vernier Networks (Mountain View, Calif.). Calling it "one of the major costs of deployment," he put the price at $400 to $1,000 an access point, "though $400 is more typical."
"Both of these are built on our previous versions of the boxes, which were designed from scratch for PoE [power-over-Ethernet]," Wilde said, "but we waited until the [802.3af] standard was close to finalized before implementing it." The draft standard is expected to be finalized in the next few months, he said.
With PoE, Wilde said, Vernier can better manage the constantly changing office environment and handle network faults. "We now allow the APs to be managed remotely to initiate functions such as power cycling [for when the access point hangs up], power shutdown [when parts of a network are not in use] and rapid setup and reconfiguration," said Wilde. Power backup is also provided, assuming the boxes are tied to the main wiring closet.
The boxes can deliver up to 15 watts over 48-volt rails and supply up to 12 APs, "enough power to drive combo 802.11a/b APs," said Wilde. "Some implementations only deliver 6 W for 802.11b, but 802.11a requires 8 W. The combination requires at least 11 W," he said.