Xirrus to Speed Up Wireless with Dual-802.11ac AP

Networking vendor introduces low-cost, cloud-managed dual-radio 802.11ac Wi-Fi AP to support next-generation wireless infrastructure needs.

By Jude Chao | Posted Oct 8, 2013
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Xirrus today announced the latest addition to its 802.11ac wireless networking portfolio: the XR-630 dual-802.11ac radio Wi-Fi access point, which the company is billing as the first of its kind.

There are other two-radio 802.11ac access points, such as the Meru Networks AP832, but none quite like the XR-630, according to Xirrus. The Xirrus XR-630 is the first dual-802.11ac access point that can "operate autonomously without the need of an expensive central controller to manage its operation" thanks to its integrated controller, Bruce Miller, Xirrus VP of product marketing, explained.

The 802.11ac standard is particularly important because of the strain that BYOD, the proliferation of 802.11ac-capable mobile devices, and the increasing demand for applications like video in business environments are placing on wireless networks, Dirk Gates, founder and executive chairman of Xirrus, told me. "802.11ac is poised to be more rapidly adopted than 802.11n was 5+ years ago," he said.

The software-programmable XR-630 features Xirrus's ACExpress technology, which the company says can intelligently group clients together by speed—slower, 802.11n devices versus 802.11ac devices capable of higher speeds, for example—and separate them onto different radios. This intelligent distribution of bandwidth maximizes Wi-Fi performance across all devices, according to a company statement, and "is not possible with traditional fixed APs since each radio only operates on different bands." Both radios in the XR-630 operate exclusively on the 5GHz spectrum. Xirrus is heavily invested in the ACExpress technology, which is supported on all its 802.11ac products.

In addition to ACExpress, the XR-630 also includes Xirrus Application Control, which uses Layer 7 Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to enable the identification and management of more than 1,200 application types. Xirrus Application Control puts classification and policy enforcement at the network edge to contain bandwidth and security threats before the traffic hits and affects the core network. Like other Wave 1 802.11ac devices, the XR-630 will operate at up to 1.3 Gbps, about triple the maximum data speed of 802.11n.

Currently positioned as a "Visionary" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Infrastructure, Xirrus is looking to move on up through expansion of its portfolio. The company provides products to address "basic wireless needs all the way up to ultra high density, all while maintaining the same approach and architecture. This broadening of scope and market presence make Xirrus poised to improve its position as a leader in the industry," Gates said.

The company will make the XR-630 available in December for $1,100.

ENP editor Jude ChaoJude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.

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