WLAN a Complete Wired Infrastructure Replacement?

Unanswered Question
Jun 18th, 2007

I have a customer who keeps drilling us on going entirely wireless. While we keep talking about shared RF spectrum, shared bandwidth, etc they remain unconvinced.

Can anyone point me at information on Cisco.com that talks about this?

I have this problem too.
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scottmac Mon, 06/18/2007 - 15:47

I don't think you'll find any "hard" discussion or recommendation on this, for the same reason you won't find any literature saying how dangerous it is to jump off the Sears Tower in Chicago without a parachute.

Common sense, for as rare as it seems to be these days, should be the rule.

With possible, but rare, exceptions;

* wired is faster, 100Mbps vs ~22 for wireless @full speed

* more efficient; wireless requires "chipping" ... encoding, extra bits, and redundent information for reliability to be as good as it is, and some will tell you it is not especially reliable .. it's variable with the operating environment

* Wired networks tend to be more secure and harder to interfere with. Wired networks tend to permit better physical security.

* Wired networks tend to interoperate better between vendors - for example, search these forums for Intel wireless NICS & chipsets working with Cisco APs, especially with Cisco protocols (there were problems for "a while")

* Structured cabling can handle more than just data networking. Modern cabling systems (Cat{anything}) can transport video, audio, data (ala Ethernet), serial (sync or async), connect terminals (ASCII, 525x, 327x, induatrial ...) that's what "structured cabling" is all about. Try sending analog RGB over 802.11.

The continuing list is long, very long; way longer than Cisco gives for forum space per post.

Wireless definately has it's place and can be a real money-saver and convenience.

Wireless is "not ready for prime time" as far as an infrastructure replacement ... *especially* in an uncontrolled / unlicensed environment.

Good Luck

Scott

Rob Huffman Tue, 06/19/2007 - 05:50

Hey Scott,

Loved this answer! Your "common sense" breakdown of this discussion is very compelling. 5 points from Calgary :)

Excellent work as always!

Rob

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