Product Information

Wireless Site Management

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May 10, 2005
Website:

http://www.ca.com

Price

$15,000 per Manager, including a 100 user agent pack; additional agents are $1,500 per 100 user pack

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    This is a feature-rich, high performance product.

  • Weaknesses:

    Spotty support and a bit pricey.

  • Verdict:

    As you would expect from Computer Associates this is a high-end management suite with great visualisation tools.

Computer Associates' Wireless Site Management 4.0 is a fully featured WLAN security and management suite. The software is mainly aimed at larger organizations, but it could be implemented for any company running a wireless network.

The requirements for the software are not hefty. The software can be installed on any professional-level Microsoft operating system, including Windows XP Pro. However, the software does require Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or 2000 to be installed.

The installation was a bit confusing, but only because our SQL server was not correctly configured. After fixing the problems with MS SQL server, the software installed without any more problems.

Use of the software after installation was easy with the included documentation, although the documentation on the installation could have been better.

Online documentation was lacking, but 24-hour phone support is available.

What the interface lacks in visual quality it makes up for in features. After access point detection, the software will provide a visual location layout. This makes it easy to locate rogue devices and access points on the network. These access zones also allow administrators to enforce location-based access to wireless users.

Not only does the software recognize rogue devices and access points, it will allow administrators to control security settings on one or all of the access points. The different security schemes available are Classic WEP, Advanced WEP, 802.1X, and two WPA modes.

WSM takes over the task of managing WEP keys – the software generates, distributes and rotates keys around the WLAN according to central policies.

Also, MAC address access control lists can be configured as well as the user name and password for the access point itself.

Overall, after the system is in place, it can be used to completely secure a WLAN as well as manage the wireless traffic with load balancing.

WSM would be a great addition to any large network running wireless, especially if it already has CA management suite components.

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