7 Keys To Better Enterprise WiFi

Follow these best practices to ensure optimal enterprise WLAN performance.

Managing a poorly designed and maintained wireless WLAN is a frustrating and time-consuming task. Employees get irritated, work processes suffer, and there’s an overall sense of dissatisfaction company-wide when WiFi performance is poor. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Enterprise-class wireless hardware and software has the ability to perform as advertised as long as you follow some best practice guidelines.

In this slideshow, we’re going to look at seven keys to building a WiFi network that will be a joy to use and manage. At a high level, there are two broad categories that the keys fall under. The first is choosing the right equipment. The second category deals with the proper design and upkeep based on business need and the airspace landscape.

As you read through the slides, keep in mind that enterprise WLANs are vastly different in their design, implementation and optimization compared to wired equipment. Because data is transmitted over radio waves, the network must be regularly monitored for any physical changes, network congestion, and newly introduced interference that can significantly impact performance.

Most enterprise-capable WLAN architectures offer built-in intelligence to help mitigate any changes to the airspace by automatically changing channel frequency and transmit power settings. While this helps, it only gets you so far. If you truly want to squeeze the most performance out of a WLAN, administrators have to dig a bit deeper. Putting in the extra time and effort to properly understand exactly how a wireless access point (AP) operates in a particular environment is what makes the difference between an average and excellent performing WLAN.

Learn more about wireless infrastructure and supporting the mobile enterprise in the Wireless & Mobility Track at Interop Las Vegas this spring. May 2-6. Don't miss out -- Register now!

(Image: lcs813/iStockPhoto)

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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