The new WLAN controller LANCOM WLC-4100, from LANCOM Systems, provides automated configuration and central management of up to 1,000 WLAN access points in a single device. The standard WLC-4100 supports up to 100 access points; optional licenses extend this to even higher numbers. This scalability is said to make the WLC-4100 an economical and flexible solution for medium-sized to very large wireless LANs.
Automatic configuration, channel selection and monitoring of security
All of the settings are entered just once into a central profile in the WLAN controller, with straightforward Plug & Play. New access points are detected automatically and, once securely identified by digital signature, they are integrated into the network. The configuration settings required for optimised wireless network operations, such as the channel settings and security policies, are automatically transferred to all of the access points. The WLAN controller also constantly monitors the system's function, including background scanning.
802.11n performance, failsafe system resilience, and cross-site wireless LAN management included
Like previous LANCOM WLAN controllers, the LANCOM WLC-4100 is based on smart-controller architecture that enables the separation of management and payload data.
Depending on the application or even the user, LANCOM WLAN controllers can forward the data in different ways; this may be direct bridging to the LAN, separation from the LAN into a dedicated VLAN for WLAN guest accounts, or tunnelling to the controller for Voice-over-WLAN overlay networks. This is an invaluable feature for multi-service environments.
There is another advantage from the break-out of payload data: Even at high data rates, e.g. in 802.11n networks, the WLC-4100 provide maximum performance, minimum latency times, and it enables highly effective load balancing.
Even cross-site wireless networks based on LANCOM access points and WLAN routers located at remote sites can be centrally managed and monitored - a simple IP connection is the only requirement.
A further element of the LANCOM Smart Controller design is its unique high-availability concept. Unlike most WLAN switches and controllers, the WLC-4100 enables its managed access points to continue operating in standalone mode, even if the connection fails. This means that the wireless LAN remains available to its clients. Another option is to collect multiple controllers into a cluster, which provides automatic load balancing.
"The WLC-4100 is the high-performance machine in our range of smart controllers," explains Frank Janssen, WLAN Product Manager at LANCOM Systems. "It's just plain impressive to see how 1,000 access points with 3,000 associated clients are managed, and how a change in configuration activates on all of the access points within seconds."