Wireless Access Points
Access points are fundamental element of any wireless network; they offer a standard for connectivity - a, b/g, b/g/n/ac to connect to PC's, laptops, PDA's, mobiles, Wi-Fi phones, Wi-Fi Cameras & Wi-Fi CCTV camera etc. Each access point can serve multiple users within a defined network area; as people move beyond the range of one access point, they are automatically handed over to the next one. Various types of Wireless Access Points available in the market – Single radio, dual radio, external antennas, internal antennas, a, b/g, b/g/n/ac technologies, support for mesh networking, stand alone, controller based access points and support for multiple services.
Depending on the evaluating solution, one should emphasize on AP management type- is it controller based, cloud based on controller less. Controller less means AP's can be directly managed and requires additional software for centralized management.
Environmental conditions play vital role while choosing the right Access point for your premise. Both indoor and outdoor Access points offer integrated Omni-directional antenna or external directional (30, 90, 180, Omni degree) antenna options to deliver 100% coverage.
Latest generation of wireless standards includes 802.11 ac wave 2 and wave 1 (2x2/3x3) Access Points. However, 802.11n is still a popular choice for cost effective requirements.
Most access points provider direct power connection or PoE/PoE+ options. Therefore, it is important to check the power requirement of an AP, does it require PoE, PoE+ etc, verify if your existing switches will support them or not.
Intelligent Access Point should support layer 2 and 3 roaming, spectrum analysis, auto-RF, device fingerprint, and various radio modes such as mesh, point to point etc.
Unlike any other device, security is paramount for wireless solutions as well. It is desired to have WIDS/WIPS, mac filter, rouge AP detection, RADIUS support on the access points itself if they are controller less or these features should be available on controller for other APs.
Wireless Controller & Management
Wireless Controllers help reduce overall operational work by simplifying & reducing network deployment, operations, and management. Mostly Wireless controllers are physical devices that are rack mountable allows quick configuration of multiple AP's from one pane. The controller provides lightweight AP (Intelligence less AP) its configuration and also functions as a switch for all the wireless traffic other than consolidating management for the entire wireless network in one place.
WLAN controllers also perform few additional functions such as wireless intrusion prevention system, VPN connectivity & basic firewall services other than centralized management & switching wireless traffic.
AP's which have local intelligence does not depend on WLAN controller appliances for any of these services, but for single point management only. Thus, reduces dependency from wireless controllers at all in the solution.
With the advancement in technology, wireless solutions are available in two variants, controller based and controller less solution. With controller less, now multiple AP's can still be managed from one interface without the addition of a physical rack-mounted controller.
Aggregate throughput and maximum Access Point support are important parameters to consider while choosing the right wireless controller for your enterprise.
Latest generation of wireless standards includes 802.11 ac wave 2 and wave 1 (2x2/3x3) Access Points support on the controllers. However, 802.11n is still a popular choice for cost effective requirements.
Layer 2 & 3 roaming, Spectrum Analysis, auto-RF, hotspot, WMM and Fast roaming are key requirements for any modern wireless deployment.
Wireless Solution must support security features such as WIPS/WIDS, Rouge AP detection/Mitigation, mac filtering, Application filter and Integrated/ External RAIDUS support to deliver client security.
Controller should support clustering technology to deliver Access Point and Client state full switchover to deliver highly resilient wireless solution.
Making a resilient and scalable enterprise wireless network can be a lot of work. Whether you are making a campus wireless network to enabling a building with wi-fi access, you will find everything you need right here. At TechPillar.com's Wireless category we have covered all the enterprise Wi-Fi/Wireless OEMs, a list that includes top brands such as Dell, Avaya, Cisco, Extreme network, Aerohive, Huawei, Ruckus, Alcatel-Lucent, and Aruba. These brands have become trusted over time because of their expertise in a wide variety of wireless products catering to small branch offices, large campuses, multistory buildings and much more.
Within this long list of brands, you'll be able to find wireless products for all your Wi-Fi requirements, like Indoor Access Points, Outdoor Access points, Access points with external antenna, Access points with internal antenna, Walljack Access points, Access points with Dual Radio, Quad Radio, Single Radio, Tri Radio. Wireless controllers which can be deployed on cloud, Local wireless controller and more. If you're building an enterprise wireless network, you'll want to be sure you have the proper components to make a resilient and scalable architecture including right APs, power budget, right RF planning, resilient wireless controllers, secure wireless network, right authentication methodology and all.