SIDEBAR: 10 Questions to Ask

Implementing an 802.11.n network isn’t a straightforward as it used to be. Gartner’s Tim Zimmerman says network managers should ask themselves these questions before getting started to avoid problems. For more, see the full story here.
1.  Where will the wireless network go? Outside? Only in a conference room? Only in hallways? On an entire floor?

2.  Do you want an all wireless office? If every desk already has a phone line, or if the WLAN is for data only, wireless may not be cost effective. On the other hand, it may pay for itself in rewiring costs if there’s a lot of staff often changing desks.

3.  What kind of network application services will be run? Network management, NAC, wireless intrusion protection? How will you deal with older laptops that don’t have WPA 2 security?

4.  What applications will the network have to bear? Data only? Video streaming? Video security? Answering these questions will determine the network capacity needed and whether traffic needs to be prioritized.

5.  Do you have an existing WLAN? Was it designed for capacity or coverage? You may have to redesign it to meet your needs.

6.  When will you migrate from the a/b/g network?

7.  What devices will connect to the WLAN? Will there be wireless handsets? There is no minimum transmit power for dual mode handsets. Some manufacturers have APs that can dynamically increase transmit power, but can the client transmit back?

8.  How will the WLAN integrate with the wired network?

9.  Will branches be wireless? If so remember solutions that require a controller at every remote office can be expensive.

10. Will you manage the network or outsource it?


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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