The Wall Street Journal reports Cisco and Airespace have agreed on terms: The deal, first indicated by News.com days ago, values Airespace at $450 million. The company makes a switched wireless LAN product line that leaves radio frequency intelligence in the access point and moves intelligence into the switch. Cisco's product line has smart APs which track the user AP by AP instead of across a switch. Cisco confirmed the deal with a press release this afternoon.
The deal will allow Airespace to solve a major problem affecting WLAN switch vendors, only partially solved by them introducing their own Layer 2 switches: dealing with the bottlenecks of pumping traffic across their centralized switches from increasingly speedy and loaded WLANs. With Cisco's expertise in the increasingly common 10 Gbps Ethernet switches and backbones, this should allow Airespace to more easily extend their intelligence without bogging down networks.
This becomes especially important when networks speed to 100 or even 400 Mbps on the edges. With just one or two gigabyte Ethernet ports on a switch, it doesn't matter how smart you are: you just run out of room.
Airespace has a reported total of $58 million of investment dollars, making a nice return on the deal. [Thanks to Frank B. for the Cisco press link.]