Collubris networks Sales Director, Ross Chiswell, offers guidance on how resellers can get the most out of wireless infrastructure.
ISSUE 1 Incorrect Radio Frequency design of WLAN - i.e. WLAN designed for signal coverage, not bandwidth delivery.
ADVICE Understand what the WLAN has to deliver from an application, type of user and device perspective then design the WLAN accordingly. Use professional survey tools (not NetStumbler) and get some professional training like CWNP [vendor neutral wireless LAN training and certification] so you can understand this technology space.
ISSUE 2 Product deployed does not support fast roaming (sub-50m) for Voice (VoWi-Fi or VoWLAN) in a secure way.
ADVICE Make sure the product offered supports secure (WPA2/AES) voice roaming.
ISSUE 3 Resellers often forget that WLAN remains a shared infrastructure that is used for a range of applications, by different devices and users with different priorities to the organisation.
ADVICEIt is vital to ensure the product recommended is able to support different levels of wireless security, QoS and bandwidth allocation over multiple SSIDs. That way it can be tailored to suit a customer's specific requirements not the vendor's feature set, because it is about how it (the WLAN) delivers services to that organisation.
ISSUE 4 Can the product scale without a forklift upgrade to support the type of mobile applications 802.11n is going to allow?
ADVICE Understand that the bandwidth 802.11n is going to deliver will mean centralised Wireless LAN switch vendors are going to have to significantly increase the processing power of their switches to cope and avoid becoming a bottle neck. This is going to cost more money and customers do not like surprises.
ISSUE 5 Selling mobility solutions with best-of-breed technology rather than taking a single-vendor approach.
ADVICE Mobility solutions as stated above often have to fulfill a range of different business requirements. This could involve Wi-Fi handsets, WLAN infrastructure, Wi-Fi tags, switches, PoE, IP PABX, application interfaces, access control, authentication, captive portal server, and content filter. The best product in each of these spaces is not available from one vendor.
ISSUE 6 What about mobile guest access or visitors from other offices?
ADVICE Once you introduce mobility into an organisation it will start to spread. Therefore, the WLAN needs away to allow for visitor access without a lot of IT department involvement once it has been set up.