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Cisco Press
The Business Case for Enterprise-Class Wireless LANs / Edition 1

The Business Case for Enterprise-Class Wireless LANs / Edition 1


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A comprehensive guide to analyzing the business rationale for WLANs

  • Evaluate the business rationale behind the deployment of WLANs, including return on investment (ROI), net present value, payback period, and total cost of ownership
  • Develop a robust execution plan to deploy and operate the WLAN
  • Understand the high-level technical issues of deploying and managing your WLAN from a business decision-maker’s perspective
  • Maximize the positive impact of supplementary and complementary services such as voice, video, and guest WLAN access
  • Identify potential security threats and develop strategies to mitigate attacks
  • Learn methodological and technical best practices from WLAN deployment case studies featuring real-world, enterprise-class businesses and institutions
  • Gather information easily by referring to quick reference sheets and appendixes covering an antenna overview, a high-level sample project plan, checklists, and flowcharts

Businesses today are increasingly adopting wireless LANs (WLANs) as a primary data transport mechanism. To determine when and how to effectively deploy WLANs, business managers, project managers, and IT executives need a clear, holistic evaluation of the business benefits and risks behind this complex technology solution.

The Business Case for Enterprise-Class Wireless LANs helps you make the right decisions by explaining the business value and cost of investing in a WLAN—from security and architecture to deployment and application. Using a lifecycle perspective, this guide covers the value proposition, cost justification, and alignment of security, design, and operational components within the business.

Written in an approachable style, The Business Case for Enterprise-Class Wireless LANs provides a baseline analysis of WLAN technologies for a large-scale deployment and includes concise real-world case studies with checklists and flowcharts that you can adapt for your needs. By recognizing the obstacles and advantages of implementing a WLAN from a strategic and justified business perspective, you can apply the economic benefits to your organization and ensure a timely and efficient deployment of your organization’s WLAN.

This volume is in the Network Business Series offered by Cisco Press®. Books in this series provide IT executives, decision makers, and networking professionals with pertinent information about today’s most important technologies and business strategies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587201257
Publisher: Cisco Press
Publication date: 06/02/2006
Series: Network Business
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 456
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

H. David Castaneda is a senior technical member in the Cisco Systems® Advisory Services group, where he is responsible for consulting with customers for advanced technologies and providing knowledge and leadership for industry best practices. Prior to his current role, David was the architect and technical lead for Cisco® internal WLAN strategy and deployment.

Oisin Mac Alasdair is an IT program manager in the Cisco Systems Intelligent Network Solutions group. As part of the Cisco IT wireless architecture team, he held the position of global program manager for deployment of infrastructure and currently is the lead program manager.

Christopher A. L. Vinckier is an engagement manager in the Cisco Systems Advisory Services group. He focuses on helping customers solve the perennial problems of business technology alignment, adoption, and absorption. He has advised several of the largest Fortune 500 customers for Cisco on the strategic, operational, and financial benefits of IP-based infrastructure solutions.

Table of Contents

Part I_ The Fundamentals of Wireless LAN Strategic Planning

Chapter 1 Introduction to Wireless LAN Technologies

Value of Mobility

OSI Layers and WLANs

Layer 1: Physical Layer

Layer 2: Data Link Layer

Layer 3: Network Layer

Layer 4: Transport Layer

Layer 5: Session Layer

Layer 6: Presentation Layer

Layer 7: Application Layer

A Brief History of WLANs

How Wireless Networks Function

WLAN Modes

WLAN Technologies

WLAN Radio Communications

Different WLAN Standards



Chapter 2 Business Considerations

Aligning Technology Solutions with Business Considerations

Economic Considerations

Step 1: Understand Your Organizational Ecosystem

Step 2: Define the Problem That You Are Trying to Solve

Step 3: Break the Problem Down

Step 4: Define WLAN-Enabled Solution

The Role of Infrastructure

Pros and Cons of the Wired Versus Wireless World

Effect on Cost and Spending


Measuring the Business Value of Deploying Wireless

Total Cost of Ownership

Value of Ownership

Cost-Justification Analysis


Chapter 3 Preparation and Planning

Solutions Lifecycle


Breadth and Scope of Deployment

Deployment Funding Strategies


Project Stakeholders


Impact on Application Portfolio

Scalable Architecture

Security Strategy

Define High-Level Program Plan


Chapter 4 Supplementary and Complementary Services


WLAN Voice Devices

WLAN Voice Implementation Challenges


Types of Video Traffic

WLAN Video Implementation Challenges

Guest Networking

Business Rationale for Enabling Guest Networking

Components of Guest Networking

Guest Networking Implementation Considerations

WLAN Location Services

Business Rationale for WLAN Location Services

Components of WLAN Location Services

WLAN Location Services Implementation Considerations


Additional Resources

Part II Wireless LAN Architecture, Design, and Deploym

Chapter 5 Guidelines for a Successful Architecture and Design

Architectural Considerations

WLAN Expectations

Key Components for an Effective WLAN Architecture

Design Considerations

Client-to-AP Ratio


Environmental Considerations

Physical Attributes of the Surroundings

RF Environment

Local Governmental Regulations


Chapter 6 Wireless LAN Deployment Considerations

In-House Deployment Versus Outsourced Deployment

Internal Staff

Outsourced Resources

Architectural Milestones

Solutions Architecture

Security Posture

Deployment Dependencies

Change Management Process

Put the Supporting Infrastructure in Place

Provision AAA Capabilities

Define Security Standards and Policies

Put the Support Plan in Place

Put the Communication Plan in Place

Address Regulatory Issues


Managing the Infrastructure

Managing the Clients


Deploying the WLAN

Pre-Deployment Tasks

Managing the Deployment

WLAN Controller Configuration

WLAN Controller Installation

Deployment Checklist


Deployment Methodology and Project Planning





Chapter 7 Security and Wireless LANs

Wireless Security in Your Enterprise

Thinking Securely

Different Security Models

WLAN Security Threats


Rogue APs

Denial of Service Attack

Wireless Security Mitigation Techniques




EAP Types

Building a Secure WLAN

Trusted Versus Untrusted Wireless Networks

Define a Clear Security Posture

Define a Clear WLAN Security Policy

Secure Your APs


Physically Secure the Office Space

Communicate with Your Users

Secure Wireless at Home

Determine How to Support and Secure Mobile Devices

Determine How to Support and Secure Clients

Detect Rogue APs

Respond to Detected Rogue APs

Consider Using Intrusion Detection Systems


Chapter 8 Management Strategies for Wireless LANs

Solutions Lifecycle

Management Strategies

In-House WLAN Management

Outsource WLAN Management


Fault Management

Configuration Management

Accounting Management

Performance Management

Security Management

Where FCAPS Fails

Comparing Centralized and Distributed Management

WLAN Management

RF Management

Host Management

Client Management

Challenges Unique to WLAN Management

Dynamic Nature of the Transport Medium

Mobility of Endpoints

Intermittent Connectivity of Mobile Endpoints

Diverse Nature of Wireless Endpoints

Security Settings Management

Third-Party Wireless Software

Centralized Self-Service Model


Manual Process

WLAN Reporting and Alerting

Standard/Systematic Reports



Management Tools

Vendor-Specific WLAN Management Tools

Third-Party WLAN Management Tools

Common Network Management Platforms

Common Network Management Protocols

Internally Developed Tools


Part III Wireless LAN Deployment Case Stud

Chapter 9 Enterprise Case Study

Business Model

Defining the Business Case

The Strategic Value

Technology Considerations

Architecture Principles

Network Management

Client Management

Service and Support

Enhanced Services

Wireless Voice Services

Wireless Guest Networking


Deployment and Implementation

Site Survey


Access Point Configuration


Distribution of Wireless Network Cards and Instructions

Ongoing Project Management and Process

Business Benefits of the Solution

What the Future Holds

Modular Architecture: Centralized and Autonomous APs

Enhanced Security

Location-Based Services

Outdoor Wireless



Chapter 10Healthcare Case Study

Business Model

Defining the Business Case

The Strategic Value

Technology Considerations

Architectural Principles

WLAN Design

Network Management


Project Management and Process

Deployment and Implementation

Site Survey

What the Future Holds

Tracking and Telemetry

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)


Chapter 11 Manufacturing Case Study

Business Model

Technology Considerations





What the Future Holds

Guest Access

Voice over IP

Rogue Access Point Detection


Chapter 12 Education Case Study

Business Model

Architectural Principles


802.11 Wireless Networking Standards

Access Point Settings

Signal Strength, Antennas, and Outdoor Coverage

Radio Cell Architecture

Global Naming Standards

Wireless Equipment

Network Management

Service and Support

Tier 1: Information Services

Tier 2: Element IT and Learning and Environment Department

Tier 3: Network and Communication Services

Client Management

Security and Rogue AP Detection

Deployment and Implementation

Deployment Phases

Site Survey


Access Point Configuration


Ongoing Project Management and Process


Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Sort Out Support Up Front

Build a Solid and Well-Tested Architecture

Understand Your Users

Establish a Web Portal

Integrate the Solution into Existing Business Processes

Measuring the Benefits

What the Future Holds


Part IV Appendi

Appendix A Wireless LAN Standards Reference

Appendix B Wireless LAN Security References

Appendix C Example Project Plan for an Enterprise-Class WLAN Deployment



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