Your window into the wireless world

Wireless is in reality just another service in the IT department's portfolio, but it is one that fundamentally alters the way individuals work-and ultimately perform. It provides companies with convenience, timeliness of information, and an increased ability to transact business, making it an essential part of any company's future plans. John Foster, C&C Technology, delivers some tips to help guide your wireless customers.

1. Make a case for your application. When introducing a wireless network, consideration must be given to the type of applications that are required. Once this has been determined, you can establish the type of infrastructure needed across which to run the applications.

2. Security does not mean one size fits all. There is no rule to say security measures should be used in isolation from each other. Often, the most effective security perimeters have a number of protective layers that act as a hard shell to protect the sensitive information inside.

3. Make sure you're on the right platform. Choosing the network platform to meet the needs of your business requires careful consideration. Other layers of the IT service that will operate over it also have to be contemplated or risk introducing a network that is not compatible with other aspects of your business.

4. Don't become one of the "heard". You can prevent eavesdropping by implementing a robust security network. Use encryption to prevent an eavesdropper from understanding any intercepted transmissions and use strong authentication to prevent unauthorised network access.

5. Synch or swim? For wireless networks that use a real-time architecture, additional costs are incurred when repeat downloads of the same information are required. By adopting a synchronisation approach, much of these added costs can be offset.
6. Ready and reliable. You can increase reliability of access by ensuring that the most appropriate network is deployed. If, for example, your business is located in a heavily built-up area, the wireless architecture would need to offer the greatest range and bandwidth to increase the quality of the connection. The location of access points can also prove a critical factor.

7. Requirements come as standard. You need to consider the requirements of your business when deciding the type of standard to introduce. Whilst many standards are similar in the way they operate there are key differences. Certain standards, for example, offer increased bandwidth; others offer slower speeds but enhanced security.

8. Put your trust in "untrust". Instead of spending significant time debating Wireless LAN infrastructure security, you can consider using Wireless LAN technology as an untrusted source, much like the public Internet. Other components can then be used to provide the security features such as encryption, server-based computing and endpoint security.

9. Put management framework in the picture. When introducing a wireless network it is imperative that a management framework is set in place for access points and mobile devices.

10. Roam wasn't built in a day. Any decision made regarding introducing wireless solutions must consider roaming. Accessibility is still hindered by a lack of roaming, for example, it is not currently possible to roam between wireless ISPs (WISP) networks or between a WISP and a corporate hotspot.  Roaming between technology types such as Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, GSM and 3G will become essential to enable true mobility.

John Foster is Operations Director, C&C Technology. C&C Technology takes a holistic view of access strategy and defines three major areas that are critical to the successful development and implementation, including Access Infrastructure, Network Infrastructure, and Application Infrastructure.

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