Network equipment maker D-Link has extended its unified wireless solution to include a wireless controller, two wireless access points (AP) and managed switches with built-in wireless controllers. D-Link says the new products are designed to help businesses easily deploy, manage and secure a complete wireless network.
The new products are:
A wireless controller is typically needed to manage and coordinate multiple APs - expected to be an increasingly common scenario given the explosion of Wi-Fi devices and bolstered by the BYOD (Bring Your Own devices) phenomenon. Such a deployment scenario is also known as a "thin access point," though some vendors tout alternative solutions such as the use of a thick access point, virtual controllers and cloud-based management. You can read more on this topic in Managing Multiple Wi-Fi Access Points.
On the importance of AP management, Mark Prowten, vice president, Enterprise and Channel Sales, D-Link North America, in a prepared statement observed how centralized management is "critical to saving precious time and money and ensuring overall ROI."
According to D-Link, the DWC-1000 Unified Wireless Controller manages up to six APs, and is upgradable to 24APs. To scale further, the DWC-1000 can also operate in a cluster of four controllers to manage up to 96 APs. This essentially means D-Link's solution can scale beyond the needs of even the largest small and mid-sized businesses.
Aside from the ability to automatically detect and configure new RF channels and basic features like fast roaming between APs, the DWC-1000 will also automatically perform regular analysis of surrounding radio frequencies to keep radio channels in an optimal state. Wireless Intrusion Detection System and Wireless Intrusion Prevention System capabilities are also built-in, while VPN, router and firewall licenses are optional and enable advanced features such as remote access connectivity and secure site-to-site tunneling.
Both the DWL-6600AP and DWL-3600AP support PoE and integrate with the DWC-1000 Wireless Controller and DWS-3160 series of Wireless Managed Switches. Finally, the DWS-3160-24TC and DWS-3160-24PC Universal Wireless Managed Switches basically incorporate a wireless controller with L2+ managed switching. They can support up to 48 APs each, or up to 192 APs in a switch cluster. It also incorporate advanced capabilities, including captive portal, 802.1X authentication and rogue access point detection.
The DWC-1000 is priced at $799.99, the DWL-6600AP and DWL-3600AP are priced at $549.99 and $349.99, respectively, and the DWS-3160-24TC and DWS-3160-24PC are priced at $2,241.99 and $4,013.99. D-Link's new portfolio of wireless solutions will be available worldwide in April.