Home > Wireless security > A tale of the two WLAN controllers, do we need to be chasing our tail for the WLAN security?

A tale of the two WLAN controllers, do we need to be chasing our tail for the WLAN security?

January 31st, 2012

Right when the Wi-Fi access and security management are moving towards the controller-less architecture, another interesting architecture seems to have evolved at the other extreme. This architecture seems to be advocating not one, but two WLAN controllers in tandem – and that too from two different vendors. And, some optional (additional?) security management servers on top of the tandem. You think I am kidding? Then check this announcement from Aruba Networks, which is a leading controller-based WLAN vendor: http://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/by-application/byod-services-on-your-existing-wi-fi/. The stated business case seems to be to put a band-aid on the Cisco WLAN’s (another leading controller-based WLAN vendor) insufficient security features.

In this case, the tandem is only for BYOD security, but as a matter of fact there are many more security gaps that will still remain to be addressed even after the twin tandem controllers are deployed. Would we need a third WLAN controller in the tandem to fill the remaining security gap, and who might provide that? Or, is it just easier to deploy a controller-less comprehensive WIPS solution (and that too with the onsite or cloud option) and secure the Cisco WLAN once and for all. Just a practical thought.

Hemant Chaskar

Hemant Chaskar is Vice President for Technology and Innovation at AirTight. He oversees R&D, product strategy, and intellectual property.Hemant has more than 15 years of experience in the networking, wireless, and security industry and holds several patents in these areas.


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  1. Jack Silvera
    February 18th, 2012 at 13:25 | #1

    I found this company called Tanaza (http://www.tanaza.com) that looks like is doing a cloud based Wi-Fi controller compatible with multiple different AP vendors like Netgear, D-link, Ubiquiti, TP-links. It looks a very interesting solution. Has anybody tried it out? I’m interested in learning if they offer a secure solution. They claim it’s all encrypted and secure.

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