Symbol claims switchmakers aren't making switches, are violating standards: It's not as compelling a title as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but Peter Judge argues that Symbol and WLAN switchmakers are having an interesting terminology conversation that could affect eventually hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. Judge's article at Techworld should be studied in depth--I read it a couple of times because of the level of detail, but the executive summary:
Symbol says it makes switches, others make bridge managers. Sure, but the bridge managers work just fine. Symbol tries to make the argument that Airespace, Aruba, and Trapeze are making AP management consoles, but it doesn't hold water, and it shouldn't be Symbol's selling point. Airespace, for instance, can dynamically adjust power output on their APs based on traffic patterns; can support multiple-switch failover; and other features that go far behind pure management.
Symbol says the switchmakers violate standards by mapping multiple ESSIDs (network names) to BSSIDs (AP MAC addresses). Unfortunately, Judge points out that that difference has or is eroding for the switch vendors.
Symbol says 802.11e doesn't allow monitoring and AP service on the same devices. Airespace, for one, uses the silicon to handle both simultaneously, instead of switching into a probing mode. Symbol doesn't offer this feature; other WLAN switch vendors suggest install extra access points.
Most interestingly, Judge writes that Symbol owns half the switch market's revenue, which seems extraordinary, but must be an outgrowth of their veteran status as a WLAN builder for warehouses and other information and logistics processing industries.