Motorola Solutions Inc. has announced its new 802.11ac access point series -- the AP 8232, AP 8222 and AP 8263 -- for both indoor and outdoor deployments.
The new access points ship with an upgraded version of Motorola's wireless LAN software -- WiNG 5.5 -- which helps the access point infrastructure exploit shorter network paths for Quality of Service and application prioritization, said Chris Hinsz, product line manager for Motorola. Motorola will be showing the new products and software at Interop 2013.
"We know that [the 802.11.ac standard] is going to bring changes to the market, it's going to change the way people will use wireless," he said. "We made changes with our [WiNG software] to enable that."
The upgraded WiNG 5.5 software enables Motorola access points to provide real-time content caching for improved Web browsing and mobile application performance, Hinsz said.
By caching content associated with bandwidth-intensive applications -- like video and streaming media – Motorola's access points can reduce those applications put on the WAN, Hinsz said.
As traffic becomes more sophisticated, enterprises will need the content caching functionality that Motorola now has on its new access points, said Andre Kindness, senior analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.
"WAN-like wireless LANs will need to perform Layer 4 to 7 acceleration as wireless becomes the primary way to connect, and more intensive traffic -- like video and VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] moves off wired into the air, he said in an email interview. "Traffic will need to be controlled and serviced like it is done on the WAN today."
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The AP 8232 is a modular device, allowing users to upgrade their access points as future modules support new features and functionality. All three new access points will also be backward-compatible with 802.11n technology.
For hotel and retailer customers who want access points that blend in with their surroundings, the new AP 8222 has an internal antenna and a dual radio, Hinsz said. "The last thing some customers want is something big and obvious on the wall. The goal of the [AP 8222] is to melt away, and not draw attention to itself."
The tri-radio, fixed configuration AP 8263 is for outdoor environments and supports wireless intrusion prevention and location sensing.
"It really becomes a question for the customer of what is of value to them, and what is important to their installation," Hinsz said.
The three new access points fortified with WiNG 5.5 can be managed from a single dashboard for IT, available on Motorola's NX-9500 controller.
"We have added an expanded view of where 11.ac is within the environment," he said. "IT can't have a view into just the wireless infrastructure anymore, but also the applications and security that is enabled with 11.ac. There isn't something specific to the [standard] that requires a management shift; it's the growth of that network that requires a larger view plane than IT needed before."