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Next-Generation WLANs: Version 1.0

It's been 10 years since thousands of IT organizations, frustrated by the limitations of desktop computers and mainframes, concluded that the path to progress lay in client/server computing systems. There

It's been 10 years since thousands of IT organizations, frustrated by the limitations of desktop computers and mainframes, concluded that the path to progress lay in client/server computing systems. It seemed logical that distribution of processing across a high-speed network would let you build more scalable applications and save you money to boot.

I worked in one of those IT organizations, and it didn't take us long to realize that this transition would not be smooth--or inexpensive. We learned that networked computing systems are difficult to engineer, and that compromises needed to be made. It took several years for the technology to mature enough to make client-server computing viable.

PAST IS PRESENT

There are lessons here for IT organizations considering the emerging wireless LAN infrastructure market. Today's dominant technology--the smart access point--is akin to the PC of the early '90s. It's become increasingly powerful, and increasingly difficult to manage. There must be a better way.

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