802.11 (Wi-Fi) Networking Handbook
Chapter 9: Wireless LANs in the Enterprise
by Neil Reid and Ron Seide
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from McGraw-Hill, copyright 2003. For more information or to order the book, click here.
In this chapter, we define enterprise WLAN deployments, making, at the functional level, a distinction between enterprise deployments and small office/home office (SOHO) deployments. We discuss the approach an enterprise typically takes when deploying a WLAN. We also outline the steps enterprise IS professionals should take to maximize the likelihood of a successful initial deployment, including a physical assessment of the facilities in which wireless is to be deployed (the site survey) and the capacity planning needed to provide the enterprise-level performance demanded by users. Given that in the enterprise an existing wired LAN already exists, we discuss how IS professionals best can integrate Wi-Fi into this overall infrastructure, where wireless adds a vital mobility element to a network and where it might be a replacement or alternative to more traditional wires. We also discuss how you can best leverage existing network management tools and practices from the wired world to most expediently bring a similar level of management to the WLAN.
A theme throughout this chapter is that 802.11 equipment should be considered a highly integrated network element, rather than simply tacked onto a LAN, whether the network is in the home office or resides within a large enterprise.
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