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The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola, Inc. has launched a robust 802.11n planning tool suite featuring predictive networking capabilities-Motorola's 11n LANPlanner. The award winning software suite - now in its 11th edition - has been enhanced to simulate the performance of 802.11n products like Motorola's AP-7131, the industry's first tri-radio 802.11n access point (AP).
The new generation of WLAN technology - 11n - is widely considered as a key enabler for enterprises to transition from wired networking to an all-wireless enterprise. However, as enterprises start to deploy 11n technology in their network, they face several challenges not previously encountered with legacy standards. The new LANPlanner migration wizard provides predictive RF modeling for the AP-7131 and other 11n access points, which is essential for taking the guesswork out of WLAN design and development for enterprises deploying homogeneous or mixed 11n networks. In addition, customers deploying intrusion prevention systems will be able to predict sensor coverage for the AP-7131's built-in sensor radio for secure 802.11n deployments.
LANPlanner is one of the industry's most widely used and comprehensive predictive design and verification suites for enterprise wireless LANs (WLANs). A majority of enterprise WLAN planning tools require physical site surveys to develop a detailed performance map, which takes significantly more time and resources to complete.
Motorola's approach allows network managers to plan the wireless network from their own office by importing the AutoCAD drawings of their building, answering a few questions and letting Motorola's patented LANPlanner suite analyze and predict the performance. Once the 11n network is installed a network manager can then leverage LANPlanner's site survey capabilities to measure network performance and detect issues that may impact the wireless user experience such as changes to the building environment or wireless access points (APs) that support more employees than originally planned.
"Motorola's LANPlanner is an exceptional product with its unique ability to do true 3D predictive modelling, providing the ability to intelligently plan and deploy an enterprise-class wireless network with minimized onsite support," said Mark McGregor, managing director of CBO Australia. "We use LANPlanner as an integral part of our design plans for our customers and have found that by using the suite's predictive capability we can cut our resource requirements in half when planning an enterprise WLAN in a high-rise building."
From a recent enterprise WLAN survey commissioned by Motorola, four out of 10 respondents said they are planning to deploy 11n technology by February 2009. With growing interest in 11n technology, enterprises face several new challenges. For example, 11n products utilize two or more spatial streams instead of one - Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO). This inclusion of MIMO technology means that 11n performance is enhanced by multipath whereas legacy devices typically faced a performance loss in the presence of multipath. These unique factors combined with enterprises' wireless network requirements should be taken into consideration during the initial planning stage of an 11n deployment.
Motorola has added new capabilities to LANPlanner, including an advanced network migration wizard that addresses the three most popular 11n deployment scenarios. The new building/new deployment scenario provides predicted performance based on installing 11n network in a clean slate environment. The "rip and replace" deployment scenario provides predicted performance based on replacing legacy APs with new 11n APs in an existing enterprise WLAN. The mixed deployment scenario provides predicted performance of mixed 11n and legacy networks in the same environment. This is the typical deployment scenario for enterprises that are rolling-out 11n in stages.
"Motorola's 11n LANPlanner delivers site-specific predictive capability for 11n," said Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager of Enterprise WLAN, Motorola Enterprise Mobility business. "Competing solutions do not predict site-specific performance, requiring actual survey measurements in the environment. In most cases enterprises are spread out across multiple buildings as well as geographic locations, 11n LANPlanner intelligently predicts site-specific performance prior to deploying the first 11n-based AP, which saves the IT department time and resources."
Motorola's 11n LANPlanner will be available in the third quarter of 2008.