Aerohive Networks has announced a new controller-less 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi access point, the AP230, utilising the company's cloud-based management structure.
Coming in at a price point lower than the competition, the 802.11ac WiFi standard is on the wish list of many business according to Aerohive, and for good reason.
The speed offered by 802.11ac connections is substantially faster than the previous 802.11n; 802.11ac can theoretically achieve just under 7Gbps (although 1-1.5Gbps is a more realistic estimation) compared to the 802.11n max speed of 600Mbps.
The biggest obstacle for businesses now is cost. Not only are the access points (APs) expensive, a new WiFi standard could mean retooling your entire wireless infrastructure.
"Only 20 percent of respondents in a recent survey indicated that they were in the process of deploying 802.11ac," says Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG.
"However, the majority (72 percent) are planning to, actively investigating or are interested in the move to the latest standard ... solutions that don't strain the budget and can be seamlessly deployed amongst existing wireless investments will be key to accelerating adoption."
Aerohive hopes to offer a reasonable entry point into 802.11ac connectivity with its new access point, the AP230.
Aerohive's AP230 currently has a list price of US$799; compare this to many high-performance 802.11n access points that come in at over $1,000.
However, the initial cost of the AP is not the only concern when wireless activity monitoring and control are taken into account.
Aerohive's AP230 is an enterprise-grade access point with two radio (3x3) three stream MIMO 802.11ac/n.Aerohive's AP230 is an enterprise-grade access point with two radio (3x3) three stream MIMO 802.11ac/n.
The AP230 is a controller-less access point, meaning there is no need to change out your current backend infrastructure with 802.11ac compatible controllers.
Additionally, AeroHive's AP is powered through Power over Ethernet (PoE), meaning there is no need to upgrade your power infrastructure to PoE+.
"We conducted a speed test of the new 802.11ac AP at our school library," says Kevin O'Malley, CIO of St. Andrew's Episcopal School - one of AeroHive's beta testers.
"Students connecting to the 802.11ac were able to download a large file in less than seven minutes, as compared to 35 minutes for students using the 802.11n Wi-Fi cards.
"Those testing 802.11g cards weren't even able to spend the two hours necessary."
The AP230 is a 3x3, three stream access point, so it takes full advantage of the speed offered by 802.11ac, but in the end, the biggest limitation is most likely the devices using the wireless connection as there are currently no phones or tablets that support three stream wireless.
For more information on AeroHive's AP230 visit www.aerohive.com.