In today's podcast we talk to Dirk Gates, CEO of Xirrus, who tells us about the new XR Wireless Array, the first modular switch for high performance networks.

Hosted by Janine E. Mooney, No Strings Attached - Your Wireless Broadcast, is Wireless Design and Development's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest wireless technology, components, and design issues for the wireless design engineering community.



Right-click to download the podcast

Here is another link ot the podcast in case the playback button is not working: DirkGates-Xirrus

About the Author
Dirk Gates brings more than 15 years of executive management experience to Xirrus, as well as a track record of success evolving a high-tech startup into a world class, publicly traded company. Having founded Xircom, Inc. in 1988 on the premise of delivering Ethernet connectivity to mobile computers, he attracted venture funding from Greylock, grew the company to 2,000 employees, achieved revenues of $500M and a market cap in excess of $2B. During his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Mr. Gates led Xircom into the wireless arena through partnerships and acquisitions that positioned the company to deliver mobility solutions based on IEEE 802.11, GPRS and Bluetooth technologies. He subsequently negotiated the sale of Xircom to Intel Corporation in March of 2001. Mr. Gates holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Here is a recent press release on Xirrus's efforts

Xirrus launched the XR-series Wireless Arrays, the first modular, chassis-based wireless switch portfolio - providing unmatched performance and modularity to protect network investments as devices proliferate and wireless performance needs grow. Along with the XR-series Wireless Arrays, Xirrus has released version 6.0 of the Xirrus Management System (XMS), further enhancing the security, troubleshooting, and manageability of the solution.

Xirrus remains focused on delivering the highest-performing solutions to organizations that increasingly depend on wireless to transform their businesses. The new XR-series significantly raises the bar for wireless networks with a number of industry firsts:

• 1st radio upgradeable platform
- Scale by adding radios to the Wireless Array chassis
- Scale without having to add Arrays to the network
• 1st software upgradeable performance
- Upgrade radios from 54Mbps to 300Mbps to 450Mbps
• 1st multi-state radio platform delivering
- 2.4GHz and 5GHz capability on every radio
• 1st 32 -radio platform
- Support up to 16 internal plus 16 external radios per Array
• 1st 802.11ac/11ad-ready platform
- Upgrade Arrays as new wireless technologies become available

At a time when wireless devices, mobile applications, and data volumes are growing exponentially, Xirrus is breaking new ground, giving organizations the highest wireless device density, supporting hundreds of Wi-Fi device users per Array; highest wireless capacity, with each Array providing multi-gigabit wireless bandwidth; and the broadest Wi-Fi coverage in the industry at 4X the coverage of competing products.

"During the past decade, Wi-Fi has seen tremendous acceptance in the market," said Michael King, Research Director at Gartner. "Wi-Fi-enabled devices will grow from less than 1 billion units in 2010 to more than 3 billion in 2015. This growth has been driven by notebook PCs and, more recently, tablets and smartphones. The expectations of wireless connectivity continue to grow, as workers in remote offices visit the headquarters, and where newer employees look at wired connectivity not only as legacy, but even archaic, technology.""*

When it comes to operation-critical wireless networking, no company does it better than Xirrus. The Array-based architecture delivers a level of wireless security, performance, and reliability as good as, or better than, wired networks. Compared to conventional thin APs and controllers, the wireless Arrays integrate from 4 to 16 internal radios, a high-gain directional antenna system, multi-gigabit switch/controller, firewall, and threat sensor into a single access device that can support an additional 16 remote radios from the same chassis. This innovative architecture provides 4X the coverage and up to 8X the bandwidth and capacity of the conventional thin AP architectures. That means fewer devices, cables, switch ports, and maintenance expenses, all while delivering flawless and secure wireless access under the most demanding circumstances.

"With the explosive growth in mobile devices entering the enterprise, IT teams need to get serious about deploying a wireless infrastructure than can deal with the volumes of devices and data traffic that are overwhelming networks today," said Dirk Gates, Founder and CEO of Xirrus. "Legacy wireless architectures cannot accommodate the expectations customers have for fast, scalable, and trusted wireless connectivity. It's time for a radical rethinking of how to support the wireless enterprise - both to meet surging demand now, and to assure enterprises that it's no longer a rip-and-replace scenario, but a scale-and-upgrade scenario, that can guide their wireless growth and expansion strategies."

Xirrus Management System Upgrades
To simplify deployment and maximize the performance of XR-Series Wireless Arrays, the Xirrus Management System (XMS) provides wireless-network lifecycle management for configuration and policy management, performance monitoring and reporting, security monitoring, troubleshooting, and ongoing maintenance. Its flexible deployment options enable IT or communications personnel to specify on-premises appliances, on-premises software, or cloud-based managed-service-provider deployment. Some of the new features in version 6.0 of XMS include:

• Device identification - Policy enforcements, analytics, and reporting based on device types
• Remote packet-capture - Spectrum and performance analysis with dedicated radio sniffer
• Enhanced IDS/IPS functionality - More signatures and stronger threat management
• Legacy AP management (via .11 MIB) - Compatibility during network refreshes
• Form factor flexibility - Available as an appliance or VM

Product Availability
The 8-slot XR-4000 Wireless Array Chassis and XMS 6.0 release are available immediately. The 16-slot XR-6000 Chassis will be available in December. Pricing varies according to the number of Arrays, number of radios per Array, radio bandwidths (300Mbps and 450Mbps 802.11n), and chassis configuration. This flexible, configuration-based pricing provides investment protection, allowing enterprises to gear their investment to current network requirements while allowing full upgradability to meet higher performance and coverage requirements at a later date.