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Sustaining WLAN performance for video traffic explosion
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of June 2012 Vol. 3, No. 3
Mobile video streaming is the stuff of nightmares for wireless LAN (WLAN) managers. It is extremely sensitive to poor WLAN performance, and it voraciously consumes bandwidth. Worse, it never stops growing. "The last time I had a chance to look, YouTube accounted for 20% of the traffic on our network, which is pretty significant given that everything else is in the single-digit range," said John Turner, director of networks and systems for Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. And that wireless video explosion is not just recreational; it's also due to enterprise collaboration and other business processes. According to Cisco Systems' Visual Networking Index, video now accounts for more than 50% of total mobile traffic, and it will exceed 70% by 2016. Mobile service providers are feeling the pain today, but enterprises will feel the pain tomorrow. Much of this mobile video will hit enterprise WLAN performance hard. "If you're doing a poor job of designing the network and are not following best practices, you have two problems ...
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Features in this issue
New cloud-managed wireless LAN services have many users wondering whether Wi-Fi management as a service is dependable. Wireless expert Lisa Phifer goes on a myth-busting mission.
When building a more complex WLAN for mobile devices is not a viable choice, there are a few enterprise cellular options that can extend coverage.
Ad hoc network creation is rising due to personal wi-fi hotspots from smartphones and computers. Addressing its impact on your WLAN is key to overcoming potential interference.
News in this issue
Mobile video streaming can disrupt WLAN performance, so engineers are re-architecting networks and taking precautions to handle video traffic.