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My Favorite AP now has Multiple Personalities

David Coleman Director, Wireless Networking at the Office of the CTO Published 25 Mar 2021

A little over one year ago, I wrote a blog about “My Favorite New Wi-Fi Access Point.” I know that I sound like a total Wi-Fi geek when I say this; however, “I still have a favorite access point, the AP305C.” As shown in Figure 1, the AP305C and AP305CX are enterprise-grade, indoor APs based on a new Wi-Fi 6 system-on-a-chip (SoC) design. You have your choice of models with either integrated or external antennas. Both the AP305C and the AP305CX showcase an aesthetic design. The AP can fit the palm of your hand and is smaller than a one-dollar bill.

 a man holding an extreme ap next to a dollar bill

Figure 1

The AP305C/CX access points are Extreme’s first 2×2:2 access points using Wi-Fi 6 technology and Dual 5 GHz capabilities. These 2×2:2 APs continue the Extreme tradition of software-selectable radios (SSRs) capable of dual 5 GHz connectivity for indoor and industrial environments. The radio that has SSR functionality can operate as either a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz radio. As a result, a dual-radio AP can either offer 2.4 GHz/5 GHz coverage or provide coverage on two different 5 GHz channels

But I have new exciting news about the AP305C/CX access pointsà they now have multiple personalities! We might consider a human being with multiple personalities to be strange; however, when an AP has multiple personas, it provides flexibility for our customers!  So, I am happy to announce that effective March 22nd, new models of the AP305C and AP305CX, have transformed to Universal Wireless Access Points. As shown in Figure 2, a Universal Wireless AP allows our customers, partners, and distributors to order one AP model yet deploy it with multiple personas. The AP can be natively managed via the cloud or on-premises via a controller. The multiple personas of a Universal Wireless AP provide a single hardware form factor with a flexible selection of operating systems (OS) and, most importantly, a consistent user experience.

a Universal Wireless AP allows our customers, partners, and distributors to order one AP model yet deploy it with multiple personasFigure 2

By default, the AP305C/CX universal APs use the Cloud IQ Engine OS to be managed natively by  ExtremeCloud™ IQ. But you also have the flexibility to instead use the WiNG 7 OS Campus with the Extreme Campus Controller, or the WiNG 7 Distributed OS with WiNG 7 NX Controllers.

Customers have the flexibility to select the OS at start-up or a later stage. Either way, the universal wireless AP will assume the features/capabilities of the selected OS.  As shown in Figure 3, the AP305C/CX universal APs are effortlessly provisioned using ExtremeCloud™ IQ. You can choose to have the APs managed directly to the cloud, which means the AP305C/CX access points will continue to use the Cloud IQ Engine OS and persona.

the AP305C/CX universal APs are effortlessly provisioned using ExtremeCloud™ IQ

Figure 3

However, if you choose to manage the APs locally, they will instead transition to controller-based management.

locally managed APs will use the WiNG OS

Figure 4

When first booted, the AP305C/CX automatically connects to ExtremeCloud IQ to find its persona.  As shown in Figure 4, locally managed APs will use the WiNG OS. After connecting to the cloud, the AP boots into WING OS and then uses on-premises discovery options to transition the connection to the correct controller (Extreme Campus Controller or WiNG NX controller).

And of course, these APs are also priced for the mass-market. These enterprise-grade access points are ideal for budget-conscious enterprises who do not want to sacrifice performance. Are you ready for the Universal Wireless AP305C/CX APs to be your new favorite access points? Contact your Extreme Networks representative right away so that we can get an AP305C in the palm of your hand —one hardware platform with multiple-persona flexibility. In the meantime, be on the lookout very soon for more models of Universal Wireless Access Points from Extreme Networks.

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