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June 2012 Vol. 3, No. 3

Sustaining WLAN performance for video traffic explosion

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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