Just What The Wi-Fi Doctor Ordered: AirMedicBy CWNP On 11/17/2008 - 9 Comments
Well it's about time someone did this. First there was nothing. Then the Cadillac of Laptop-based spectrum analyzers came along: Cognio...to this day, still unrivaled. Then Cisco scarfed up Cognio and the honeymoon between cash-strapped users and a bleeding-edge startup ended... You want Spectrum Analysis, you pay. Not unexpected of course.
Then those same self-funded users turned to the low-end alternative: MetaGeek's Wi-Spy. For 10% of the price of Cisco's Spectrum Expert, you too can have very basic spectrum analysis in the 2.4 GHz band only. What was that? Oh yes, that's right..."you get what you pay for." Rats. If 'basic' and '2.4 GHz-only' will do ya, then you're all set with Wi-Spy. But what if you need more but can't shell out $4k/license? Well, you are just stuck. Grrr.
Enter AirMedic. AirMagnet is known for innovative offerings of course, and they certainly hit the sweet spot with this one. You want to help beta test this puppy? Here's your chance: http://www.airmagnet.com/products/airmedic/
Provided the pricing is aggressive (read: far less than Cisco's Spectrum Expert), I believe it will be hugely successful. If you bundle it with other AirMagnet similar products (both current and forthcoming), I think it would be even more of a hit. Of course, that's just me thinking out loud...
You want to know what worries me? Just about the time our good friends at AirMagnet get this grand new offering on the market, Cisco's likely going to swoop in and buy the whole company. Note: This was previously predicted by 'Yours Truly' here: http://www.cwnp.com/community/articles/consolidation-is-in-the-air
See, now that would worry me because the boys in blue/green (whatever that Cisco color is anyway) have a tendency to hide new acquisitions behind the curtain - quick, fast, and in a hurry. Acquired companies just vanish into thin, blue/green air - poof! I would hope that in such an acquisition that AirMagnet would remain a division, at least for a while, like Linksys - that is, somewhat autonomous. As soon as they've been converted from Autonomous to LWAPP, it's, "so long and thanks for all the fish." - honeymoon over. Why does that matter? Because then Cisco will have both the midrange and high-end spectrum analyzers on the market. I hate monopolies, but what can you do? I digress.
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Shout out: Hey MetaGeek - give us 5 GHz functionality and more features!
Shout out: Wildpackets - Build a spectrum analyzer while there's still time!
Random Thought: Another Spectrum Analysis trend, started by AirDefense (now owned by Motorola) over a year ago is that of using Atheros chipsets in APs to report spectrum information. Meru, Aruba, and others are following suit in their WLAN controllers. Of course it's not anything close to the detail you'll get with Cisco's Spectrum Expert or AirMagnet's AirMedic (which uses an Intel chipset), but hey, it's almost as feature-rich as Wi-Spy while adding 5 GHz.
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OK, where was I? Ah yes, AirMagnet has built a great new offering that every field engineer should have (including me here in the BatCave). Hey Dilip (CWNE #43, Product Manager, Mobile Products, AirMagnet), that's a hint bro. :-P