Home > CCNP, ONT > ONT – Wireless introduction

ONT – Wireless introduction

After spending few weeks watching-reading-writing QoS, I’m using the magic stick that would take me to another land, the land of Wireless.

Wireless is everywhere today: Your laptop, netbook, mobile phone and even some features in your car or kitchen appliance. You cannot hide from it and in a business environment, you should suspiciously embrace it.

The historical problems of wireless in the business environment (yes, sound lame but it is part of the exam) are:

  • Netbooks connectivity and security
  • Creating seamless connectivity capability for different devices
  • Unlicensed RF bands
  • Security
  • Management

This post will cover some of the answers that the industry and Cisco specifically, designed and implemented in the wireless technology. I will cover more answers in future posts but if you feel that I missed something or want to ask about any of the problems\solutions, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to come with an answer.

Cisco’s areas of focus for wireless are:
Clients – the ability for a user to communicate on different devices across the network.
Mobility – the ability to stay mobile in different areas. When a device is moved to a new location within the network or when  user walk around the office with his mobile device.
Unification – unifying the services on wireless systems.
Management – detect weak areas, change settings as required. Make the service quality better using a centralized management tool that can monitor coverage across the network and respond to problems on the fly.
Advanced Services – example: cell phones that become WiFi as you get in the coverage area. The user does not change anything, the device pick-up the WiFi signal and the company save cellular costs.

Cisco wireless networks have two major modules: Autonomous and Lightweight.

Autonomous Access Point is kind of All-in-One solution:
Adds data\management at WAP
Each WAP translates between wired and wireless
Statistics maintained in advanced WAPs
Managed by CiscoWorks WLSE (don’t worry, I’ll get there in a moment)

Lightweight Access Point main features are:
Uses a “Split MAC” architecture between WAP and controller
Centrally managed and deployed
Managed by Cisco WCS (yes, I’ll explain this one too)

What are those two names I mentioned above?

CiscoWorks WLSE (Wireless LAN Solution Engine) works with autonomous WAPs. It provides centralized configuration and reporting capabilities which makes the network “self-handling”.
WLSE – up to 2500 APs
WLSE Express – up to 100 APs

Cisco WCS (Wireless Control System) works with lightweight WAPs. It can add Cisco’s patented location system to the wireless mix and accurate within 10 meters. WCS is a base\location software that run on Windows or Red Hat servers (which makes it more flexible).
Cisco 2700 location appliance adds historical reporting of location information.

To be continued

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