Planning for a Wireless Solution

…a guest post from Ahmad Nassiri

A thorough and careful plan for deploying a wireless network goes a long way, saving time and resources in fixing a poorly planned solution.

The impact of poor design can be significant on the operation and support team and it tarnishes user experience in the long run.

Planning for a Wireless Solution

Enterprise wireless networks must meet the challenges of bandwidth-hungry applications, wired infrastructure limitations and constant need for the users to be connected.

Proper planning ensures delivery of a resilient and scalable wireless solution, as well as optimal user experience through availability, performance and security.

While focusing on the business applications, on premise vs cloud, end-user devices, coverage and capacity etc. it is very important not to forget the rest of the network infrastructure. Specially the one directly supporting the wireless solution, the wired network!

The performance of a wireless network is dependent on the underlying wired network infrastructure.

Utilizing the services of outdated wired network will negatively impact the wireless solution. It is safe to assume new sites are built with the latest infrastructure and to some extent wireless friendly but what if the solution is deployed to an existing site. Have you heard of the statement, “we are investing in deployment of a wireless solution and not wired”? Educating clients and providing intelligent reasoning should be included as part of the planning phase.

It is highly important to audit the existing wired network and the RF (Radio Frequency) environment to confirm suitability for the support of the wireless solution. If required, update/upgrade where possible, be it the cabling infrastructure, network switches, PoE capabilities and the internet link. This should form part of a business case for a well-planned wired and wireless network.

While the current trend is all about cloud and above, have we forgotten the internet is predominately connected through cables deep below the seas!

Planning ensures selection of the right products for the right environment while focusing on the requirements.

For e.g. selection and placement of access points/antennas for an office space as compared to a warehouse is very different. Since the RF travels over the air each environment has its own way of handling it. Every material that the RF energy must travel through affects the signal in one form or the other. Factors like RF absorption, reflection, refraction and diffraction play a significant role in RF propagation and must be studied separately for each environment.

Wireless is an unbound medium and due to this very nature of it, it is more susceptible to interference. Radio frequency interference could be from non-wireless devices as well as from other wireless/neighbor networks. Getting the foundation right will help in minimizing the interference factor if not eradicating it completely.

A careful wireless solution plan, cognizant with the business goals will result in overall productivity, enabling users to be ‘connected’ and ‘roam’ on whatever wireless enabled device they are using.