There is a common thread that binds the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) world together, and that is wireless connectivity. WiFi equipment vendor Xirrus today announced its new XD4 hardware in a bid to help enable IoT with high density modular access points.
The new XD4 does not replace any existing Xirrus array, though the new device does have some similarities.
"Although the XD4 has 4 radios, similar to the XR-2000 series platform with 4 radios, the XD4 offers distinctly different value for a different target segment," Bruce Miller, VP of product marketing, told Enterprise Networking Planet. "The XD4 are 802.11ac Wave 1-based products and deliver the industry’s best price/performance for high density needs, while the High Density Modular Access Points target the customers who want to invest in a platform today that future proofs the network across technologies."
Miller emphasized that the existing XR Access Points are an integral part of the Xirrus portfolio. He noted that the XR series includes dual radio 802.11n and 802.11ac Wave 1 products that will continue to address customer needs for low density.
One of the key technologies in the XD4 is the acXpress feature, which is able to identify slow clients that could potentially impact overall performance. Miller explained that with device fingerprinting technology, the controllers in each access point will recognize the device type/speed/standards supported and group the devices on a separate radio.
"By not mixing faster and slower clients on the same radio, we can achieve greater overall throughput by not holding back faster clients while the slower clients are transmitting," Miller said. "With acXpress, each client will perform to the maximum of their capabilities without being slowed down by a mixed client environment."
Miller added that since the XD4 has 4 radios, Xirrus can essentially create four different groups of similar speed clients.
Channel interference is always a concern for the wireless spectrum, and to that end the XD4 will have the same interference mitigation functionality as the existing Xirrus multiple radio High Density Modular APs.
"Customers have been using the XR platforms in various usage scenarios and we have overcome the channel interference issues," Miller said. "Also, with most of the devices starting to support 5GHz, we have a lot more non overlapping channels that we can use. "
Going a step further, when it comes to security, Xirrus is able to dedicate a radio for 24x7 spectrum scanning/attack monitoring. Miller said that the monitor radio provides information for IPS/IDS functionality.
"We can also physically segregate the traffic on uplinks by creating a different network for protected IoT traffic," Miller said. "We see such implementations in retail, where customers want credit card transactions to traverse a different network without riding the same common communication network."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.