The concept of wireless client on-boarding was a hot topic at Wireless Field Day 5. We had 3 AP vendors showing off their variations of how to bring clients onto the network securely: Aerohive, Motorola and Meru.
Aerohive: Client Management
Client Support (Beta): iOS and OS X
Motorola Solutions: Secure Access
Client Support: Windows, Ubuntu, OS X, iOS, Android
Meru Networks: Identify Manager
Of all the on-boarding solutions at WFD5, Meru Networks was the only company to say that their solution supports both wired and wireless (although they didn’t go into details on how it achieves this with wired). They show that they can support payment portals, self-service, and even some property management solutions.
Probably one of the more interesting facets of the Meru Identity Manager was their Smart Connect application on windows. While the features here vary by platform, it was nice to see an application that didn’t need Admin rights to configure an SSID. While the demo didn’t feature Smart Connect, it was interesting to see how they dealt with complex configurations on windows platforms. While they admit the method varies by platform, having a provisioning application is an interesting choice for provisioning.
Pros: Wired + Wireless support, PMS integration,
Client Support: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS
Of all the solutions, I would want to see more of the Meru solution for a couple of reasons. First, it supports both wired and wireless. It can integrate into 3rd party solutions and there may be some special sauce for some of the platforms that looks intriguing. From a technical perspective, the Cloudpath solution baked into the Motorola looks pretty awesome from fully featured point of view. The biggest limitation with Aerohive’s solution is that it only works with Aerohive. That’s not a bad thing, but unless you are an Aerohive shop, it’s probably not something you would be interested in. For those who do run Aerohive, this may be the Bees Knees so to speak.
Full Disclosure: I attended all of these presentation as a delegate to Wireless Field Day 5. Aerohive has previously provided me gear to evaluate and Motorola was nice enough to provide me with an AP during this event. While I have received APs, shirts and other swag from these vendors as part of the Wireless Field Day event, there is no obligation from me to provide feedback on their products or positive reviews of their products. I do at my will, and write my honest thoughts and feelings.
Update: It was brought to my attention that Motorola’s Secure Access solution supports Wired clients as well. Although I didn’t remember that being brought up during WFD5. Special thanks to Colin Lowenberg @colo for bringing this to my attention.