Why is it that all the furniture in Sweden looks like it was obtained during a raid on IKEA and that, everywhere, you are offered meatballs?

Even at the launch of ProCurve’s newly acquired Colubris WLAN technology in Stockholm, meatballs figured heavily (literally) in many conversations. So, what’s special about – no, not the meatballs – the Colubris, sorry ProCurve, technology? Well, at first base it follows the time-honoured tradition (of the past five years) of managing the wireless network from a centralised controller. Then, instead of feeding dumb APs (a la Trapeze, Aruba, Meru etc) it power active APs that work with the central controllers to provide obvious scalability advantages over the totally centralised alternative.

So why did the others not think of this? Well, of course they did, but they saw a security issue, a la Fat APs, in that when they get nicked, there’s lots of juicy information on them to be extracted. But not in this case, according to Colubris’, sorry, ProCurve’s Carl Blume, Worldwide Director of Mobility Solutions who states that the AP plays very dead indeed when disconnected from its power source (AKA Ethernet cable). Of course, most of the other solutions were originally designed pre-PoE ratification so maybe that’s where the really problem lay.

Carl Blume (who despite being American actually likes walking, which is a great sign) told me that, internally, Colubris (not ProCurve) had tested with their new 802.11n APs and achieved up to 270Mbps on a 1:1 connection, not far shy of the theoretical 300Mbps limit of the .11n technology. Given that, for example, the alleged 54Mbps max throughput of the .11g standard actually was more like 24Mbps, this sounds like something of an achievement.

But ours IS to wonder why, so at Broadband-Testing we’ll be putting the Colubris, sorry ProCurve, solution to the test in the next few weeks. Watch this space for the Bluming truth.

And here’s the real issue. Will a WLAN technology that finally (perhaps) does perform at modern LAN speeds (100Mbps+) be seen as a wired replacement technology and not just in the branch office? I welcome your thoughts on this one.

I also note that Meru is claiming a first in the WLAN area with virtual AP technology that for a reason I personally cannot ascertain, is different to that presented by the likes of Symbol (now Motorola) years ago. Answers on a virtual postcard at the back of the virtual room please…

Finally, with Trapeze having been acquired earlier this year, now Colubris, and with Juniper still needing WLAN technology it looks like it’s a straight scrap as to who they acquire between Meru and Aruba? Unless someone out there knows something different…