Every company needs sound wireless capabilities to operate successfully. But it's not always as simple as some may think. There's a lot to consider when designing your wireless infrastructure. The last thing you want is business users not being able to perform their jobs effectively and becoming disgruntled. Below are some tips to avoid common mistakes and to help ensure your wireless infrastructure can support the demanding needs of the business.
Tips to Ensure a Successful Wireless Project
1. Understand that all Wi-Fi is not created equal
Everyone's wireless footprint is going to end up slightly different. Don't let someone try to put you in a predesigned box. With light research you can find the perfect wireless balance to fit your needs whether dense-user offices, high density of low density warehouses or distribution centers, stadiums or amphitheaters, or outdoor areas, etc.
2. Pre-design is critical to stay within your budget and not throw money away
The biggest mistake that can be made is not having a clear design before any hardware is purchased. You don't want to overdesign and overspend, or under design and spend poorly at the last second in an attempt to correct a project. Often the cause for under design is attention to coverage OR capacity and not both. For example, warehouses are likely to be using handhelds to transmit over clear text, so the focus can be on coverage and security. Offices often have many different types of users and workloads shift throughout the day so special attention should be taken to identify density and capacity usage areas such as conference rooms and collaborative workspaces. Stadiums have their own special configuration policy that controls the air and allows users better wireless and cellular connectivity. It is critical to consider the minimum needs and requirements of each specific environment and balance the design to meet your users' needs. Licensing is another great example when planning for design, traffic, and budget in the same conversation. Controller licensing determines failover path and cost of licenses overall.
3. Know your users' expectations and your management team's expectations both now and 3-5 years from now
Having to make changes to a project can lead to overspending on implementation costs, project drag out, poor rollout, poor user experience, and expensive add-on situations. By fleshing out all of the expectations and defined them in advance, you can design to meet and exceed the needs of the users, enabling IT to focus on supporting the business and not on supporting the technology. Establish a list of needs and wants first. Much like buying a house, once you're in the discovery phase and comparing brands or features, it will be quick and easy to step through what you were looking for in the first place.
Would you like to read the rest of Dan's tips? Download his whitepaper, 6 Tips to Ensure a Successful Wireless Project!
By Dan Allen, Architect