Home Networking Aerohive promises Wi-Fi scalability

Aerohive is "the next generation mobility network company," ANZ country manager Peter Davison told iTWire.

That claim is based on the company's controllerless Wi-Fi architecture that makes the system "linearly scalable," he said.

This design means a network can scale from around five access points to thousands, with no bottleneck or single point of failure.

Other advantages include a simple bill of materials, and customers do not need to work out in advance how powerful a controller is required. Instead, the choices are along the lines of whether the AP is to be used indoors or outdoors, or whether router functionality is required.

The Aerohive access points are controlled from a management console that can run in Aerohive's cloud, on the customer's hardware, or on an in-house appliance. Even if there is a console outage, the network keeps running, Mr Davison pointed out.

Capabilities include policy-based access and application control. For example, marketing staff may be given unrestricted access to Facebook and Twitter, while the bandwidth available to these services may be severely limited for sales staff to help keep their minds on the job.

Aerohive is targeting organisations that are looking to migrate to 802.11ac networks, as well as greenfields sites. "We're up to 50% less expensive than the opposition," claimed Mr Davison, with access points starting at $699.

Existing Australian customers include MLC and other well-known schools, and the NSE SES (across 274 sites). The company also has local customers in the legal and healthcare sectors, he said.

Page 2: Home customers; 'aggressive growth'.

Aerohive is even selling to owners of large houses (typically in the $5-10 million range) that want excellent Wi-Fi coverage combined with ease of configuration and management.

For a small business looking for a step up from consumer-grade networking, Aerohive has several advantages, including built-in Bonjour support (important for Apple users), the ability to provide users with individual pre-shared keys, and guest access with login via Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts.

It even includes a light version of the Euclid marketing analytics software (the full product is available on subscription) which can be used to measure passing traffic, returning visits, dwell time and more, based on the presence of mobile devices.

"It's all built into the solution," Mr Davison told iTWire.

"We've got a solution for almost every angle," he said, pointing to large overseas clients such as Deloitte (UK), the largest assisted-living company in North America, and the largest independent bank in the US.

He said Aerohive was close to taking the number three position, and expected to achieve that rank globally and in Australia by the end of 2014.

The company's "aggressive growth plans" see it challenging for the number two spot during 2015, and the local operation is expanding its sales force and engineering capability accordingly.


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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.


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