Wireless for redundancy

For more IT articles and tips specific to small and midsized businesses, visit SearchSMB.com.

Effort spent to make the network redundant is almost exclusively devoted to servers and the backbone. Primarily, this is because when those two components

    Requires Free Membership to View

fail, a large number of individuals are inconvenienced. Another reason is that there's never been a really good solution for making an individual laptop or desktop redundant, no matter how important the user is. These devices often have a single NIC and the cable can only go to one place. If that switch dies, there's no easy or automated way to move that physical cable into another switch. Dual NICs are cost prohibitive in many instances, and simply not an option in most of the laptop hardware.

However, almost everyone overlooks redundancy to the desktop as a benefit of typical wireless deployments. That is, most administrators realize that if a WAP fails, it is fairly simple to engineer the network so that other nearby WAPs can assume the load of the failed WAP, perhaps resulting in a degradation of service, but not an outage. However, no engineers I'm aware of have convinced their managers to deploy wireless specifically because of this inherent redundancy. As you know, the justification for wireless is always mobility and occasionally reduced cost by eliminating cable plants in new offices.

The point is, if you have a set of VIPs who need their network connectivity to be on, you can eliminate a point of failure by using wireless technology instead of traditional wired Ethernet.

While WAPs are already reasonably priced compared to wired Ethernet ports, expect the next version of WAPs to be designed and priced for dense coverage. That is, vendors will be selling WAPs that are cheaper, but that interact better (often dynamically adjusting their radios based on the neighbors they detect) and are intended to be used in groups.

Tom Lancaster, CCIE# 8829 CNX# 1105, is a consultant with 15 years experience in the networking industry, and co-author of several books on networking, most recently, CCSPTM: Secure PIX and Secure VPN Study Guide published by Sybex.

This was first published in November 2004

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.