Recently I had a chance to visit Xirrus in their offices in Thousand Oaks, California and meet John Merrill, the Director of Marketing and Dirk Gates the CEO. Dirk is legendary in tech as he was the president and later CEO of Xircom, the company which made those PCMCIA cards which allowed a laptop to connect to a network and modem. The company was later sold to Intel and Dirk stayed on at Intel for a number of years and later left to found this company.
I had a chance to have a tour of the company and see their Wall of Wonder or WoW where they do testing of access points. I also learned about how the company is growing, what new products are coming out and we even took apart some product and went through the components.
Dirk explains that most companies in the space don't innovate in the access point space, they spend more of their effort developing software. And the chip vendors they tell me focus on chips which are focused on the low-end of market or consumers.
This was the opportunity Gates saw as he founded the company. He noticed that cell towers have multiple radios arranged in a radial fashion with directional antennas and wondered why APs did not. He decided to leverage ideas which worked in the cellular world to build a next generation access point with better performance and coverage. Up to 24 radios can be in an access point allowing a high capacity, high density solution which allows rapid deployment.
Merrill thinks this solution is the only one which allows the replacement of wires in an organization.
I hope you enjoy these videos.
John Merrill gives us a tour of Xirrus HQ
Dirk Gates explains the reason he founded the company and the next enterprise network upgrade cycle
Xirrus WiFi Array Deconstructed