A Meru controller is the core of Wireless LAN Virtualization, tightly synchronizing access points to optimize the user experience by avoiding interference and governing all traffic on the network.
Controller Software and Technology
Where other vendors' controllers simply manage access points, a Meru controller also manages clients and controls all air traffic on the network, achieving all this without any proprietary client-side software or compatibility extensions by giving each client a Virtual Port.
The client sees the Virtual Port as its own personal access point, shared with no-one and traveling with it around the network. The Virtual Port is like an Ethernet port, except that no wires are required and each link's precise bandwidth and Quality-of-Service characteristics can be adjusted at will by the system.
Virtualization abstracts resources away from their underlying hardware, sharing them in ways that match user or application requirements. With Meru's virtualization, a controller pools multiple access points that use the same radio channel into one seamless Virtual Cell, the wireless equivalent of a switch backplane, offering enterprises greater flexibility and economies of scale.
The Virtual Cell is then partitioned into Virtual Ports, the wireless equivalents of switch ports, each one personalized to fit a single client device and traveling with that device as it moves through the network. The client sees only one Virtual Port no matter where it goes, eliminating handoffs. Each Virtual Port serves only one client, eliminating contention. Virtual Cells on different channels are stackable for increased capacity or radio-layer redundancy, with the controller load-balancing Virtual Ports between them.
Air Traffic Control is the underlying technology behind Wireless LAN Virtualization. It is so-called because it controls all traffic on a wireless network. Where most other controller-based systems merely manage access points and their downstream traffic, Air Traffic Control also puts the network in charge of upstream transmissions from clients.
The Meru controller's ability to govern upstream traffic enables Airtime Fairness, where each client at a given QoS level are given an equal share of the network's airtime. Performance is predictable. Each client is able to connect at its own maximum data rate, ensuring that capacity is shared fairly among clients of a given type and that legacy devices do not slow down the entire network.
Whether located at a branch office or a datacenter, all Meru controllers run the same System Director operating system. System Director enables the controller and access points to operate as a single unified wireless network.
The base System Director OS implements Air Traffic Control technology along with security features including rogue access point detection and mitigation. Add-on modules support advanced applications including N+1 redundancy, over-the-air security, voice and video services, and mesh capability.