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Enterprise-Class Wireless LANs: Guidelines for A Successful Architecture and Design

Chapter Description

This chapter adopts a "60,000-foot view" of the challenges ahead and asks you to answer some key questions on technical, financial, and program management issues. The chapter also introduces such topics as strategic preparation and planning, architectural considerations, and program management. Upon completion, you will be prepared to describe in strategic terms where you will deploy, how you will deploy, how you will fund and manage your deployment.


This chapter discussed the key architectural, design, and environmental considerations that are required for WLANs. It emphasized the need for the architecture to be a framework as opposed to a blueprint, thus providing flexibility for the designer. You learned about guidelines and recommended practices for defining a robust WLAN architecture, including the following:

  • Determining the goal of the WLAN
  • Defining the scope of your WLAN
  • Developing your timeframe to deploy
  • Considering security requirements and implications early
  • Identifying the types of devices you want to support
  • Establishing an operational support structure and process
  • Adopting a financially responsible and conservative position
  • Confirming the staffing model for building and maintaining the WLAN

This chapter also discussed the most important design considerations that are specific to WLANs. The need and methods for determining the correct client-to-AP ratio were covered as well as the challenges that are created by roaming of stations.

Finally, the environmental considerations that are essential for defining a WLAN architecture and design were highlighted. The impact of the physical environment, nearby radio signals, and local governmental regulations was looked at in addition to recommended practices for managing these challenges.