Xirrus Intros a Dual-Radio 802.11ac Access Point

The XR-630 802.11ac features ACExpress and provides cloud-managed, low-cost expansion of the Xirrus 802.11ac portfolio and Xirrus' line of modular XR Arrays. By ChannelPro

Wireless networking manufacturer Xirrus Inc. has rolled out its latest innovation—an access point that features two radios capable of supporting the new 802.11ac standard.

The XR-630 802.11ac access point (AP) features ACExpress, a Xirrus technology that intelligently separates high-speed from lower-speed mobile devices in order to maximize system performance. It provides a cloud-managed, low-cost expansion of the Xirrus 802.11ac portfolio and Xirrus’ line of modular XR Arrays.

“Two years ago, Xirrus introduced its first 802.11ac-ready product, the XR modular Wireless Array,” says Xirrus CEO Shane Buckley. “One year ago, Xirrus introduced its first 802.11ac pre-order program. Now, we are expanding the Xirrus 802.11ac line with a software-programmable, low-cost AP to increase options for SMBs.”

Two-Radio Access Points

According to Xirrus, a significant limitation of traditional two-radio APs is their fixed design, with one 2.4GHz radio and one 5GHz radio. “Because 802.11ac is a 5GHz-only technology, such fixed-configuration products are limited to operating as only half of an 802.11ac AP with just one radio supporting 802.11ac at up to 1.3Gbps rates,” states a Xirrus press release submitted to ChannelPro-SMB. “The second radio on these APs operates in 2.4GHz at up to 225Mbps data rates, severely limiting the total potential performance of the AP.”

SMBs will need to operate more radios in 5GHz (802.11ac) to accommodate client changes, an option the low-cost XR-630 provides with software programmability of each radio.

802.11ac Performance

ACExpress leverages the software-programmable capability of Xirrus APs and arrays to help SMBs benefit from their 802.11ac deployments. “Since Wi-Fi is a shared medium, slower (e.g., 802.11n 5GHz) and faster (e.g., 802.11ac) devices often need to share the same resources,” states Xirrus in its press release. “For example, an 802.11n client operates more than four times slower than an 802.11ac client, and thus will take four times more air time to communicate a given amount of data.”

All Xirrus 802.11ac products, including the XR-630, feature Xirrus Application Control, enabling IT administrators to identify and manage more than 1,200 application types using Layer 7 Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).

Application Control utilizes a distributed approach to controlling applications, placing the classification and policy enforcement engines directly at the edge of the network where bandwidth and security threats can be controlled before the traffic enters and impacts the core network.

XR-630 is available in December. It will carry a MSRP of $1,100.