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2 key BYOD WLAN must haves for a successful enterprise deployment


Help meet the BYOD challenge through smart radio management & scalability


If you peer into any meeting being held in a conference room in your building, you will most likely see people using many different mobile devices. Perhaps a video conference is taking place on a big screen, and some folks in the meeting room are following along on their notebooks. Others might be quickly checking work emails on their smartphones, while another is accessing a corporate app on her tablet to discuss a data point. In short, your wireless network has to deal with different traffic that requires different support—and all these different types of traffic are moving simultaneously. This is not just limited to enterprises. Introducing mobile technology in schools, healthcare administration and financial industries are equally swept by this wave of bring your own device (BYOD) .


Traditionally, wireless LANs (WLANs) were introduced in companies in limited areas. Perhaps it is the same in your company. You installed WLANs in common areas, such as conference rooms, and you were able to predict and provision adequate capacity because only authorized employees could use the WLAN with company-issued devices. Legacy WLANs were  designed with one device to one user in mind. However, the consumerization of IT has changed all that. And it's putting a strain on the network.


BYOD  holds the promise of increasing worker productivity and even fostering employee retention, but it also brings along a plethora of challenging tasks for your network manager. If you allow BYOD at work, you probably can’t dictate the types of devices employees bring to the office. Your network has to scale and be able to support multiple device operating systems, as well as support the differing radio frequency capabilities of the devices. The network must also deliver applications that were probably not around when your WLAN was first installed, such as rich media and voice over IP (VoIP).


Radio resource management: critical for smartphones and tablets

Independent research company Nemertes reports companies are provisioning 73.5 percent of the WLAN capacity growth specifically for smartphones and tablets. In his issue paper “Networking for the BYOD Enterprise,” (publish date February 2013) Nemertes research analyst Philip Clarke writes: "As more companies deploy collaboration and IP telephony apps such as Microsoft Lync or Skype, they expect half of their mobile WLAN capacity will be consumed by voice and the other half by miscellaneous apps."

To meet the demands of BYOD and capacity-hungry apps, companies are adding intelligent access points (APs) to their networks. These APs can help optimize capacity and latency through applications such as Quality of Service (QoS), airtime fairness, and radio resource management (RRM).


Radio resource management.png


RRM is an ideal WLAN capability to support BYOD devices, because it automatically monitors and tunes the performance of your WLAN and adjusts to the frequently changing radio frequency (RF) conditions present in your environment. RF conditions change quickly, especially when other devices sharing the same frequency band are in use. RRM automatically assigns and tunes the transmission power levels and RF channels on APs to optimize the system-wide performance and reliability of your WLAN.


Access Point load balancing.png


Scalability is paramount to sustain BYOD deployments

Scalability of the network is a critical need within enterprises and one of the mains reasons new distributed architectures are mushrooming. The ability to support both centralized and distributed forwarding delivers flexible deployment options to optimize traffic flow, reduce latency, and increase WLAN scalability. BYOD opens up the flood gates; this challenge is even more exasperated with users carrying around more than one device. The WLAN has to scale with demand and be able to support 1000s of APs to provide adequate coverage for mobile device access 


According to the Nemertes report: "The WLAN industry's trend of pushing intelligence to the edge is great for companies who need to expand their throughput." Nemertes suggests companies should investigate the value of modular AP and/or controller chassis to support the forthcoming IEEE 802.11ac standard, which will support theoretical Gigabit speeds.


So consider technologies like radio resource management, band steering and auto load balancing APs, and highly scalable underlying WLAN network to provide optimal experience for BYOD users especially since these mobile devices have fewer antennas and lower power transmitters.


What is your most critical WLAN requirement when planning BYOD deployment?



>> Download BYOD in healthcare white paper to learn about securely enabling mobile technology for physician, nurses and patients.


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In the recent article you are discussing about BYOD. I am about to follow BYOD. I am on the way of discussing of Network Operations Center through the blog. 

With all the discussion around the need and benefit for BYOD, I thought this article was interesting in that it high-lights some of the risks that need to be considered when merging.  these devices are not like a carpenters hammer (as some have alluded.  Unlike the hammer which has a simple job and can change from personal to professional contexts quite easily, your smart phone can carry a lot of your personal baggage and care must be taken to ensure that baggage does not unintentionally intrude into your professional life.

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