“So, what’s the big deal?” you tell your fellow school board members. “The principals and administrators think that they can’t get along without Wi-Fi any longer, we only have five school buildings plus the town offices, and I know how a network is put together. I’ll just run down to Best Buy, get some inexpensive APs (access points), string some wire in the drop ceilings, plug it all into our Ethernet, and we’ll be all set.”
This is how many a sad deployment saga begins, with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach to setting up a Wi-Fi network (wireless local area network or WILAN). But we all know how it unfolds: complaints about dead zones, data rates dropping in the cafeteria at noon, network anomalies, and high maintenance as mystery glitches plague the network.
Another more common circumstance might be that everyone just scratches their head and nobody can come up with a way to start at all. Maybe call the Geek Squad, but that doesn’t guarantee an optimal outcome either.
How does an end user client avoid these types of scenarios? Where can they go to help them plan, budget, and reduce their initial setup costs and continuing maintenance costs? Let’s start by putting a little structure into the deployment process.