Scope and Objective Wireless local area networks (WLANs) have the potential to improve the flexibility, productivity, and the quality of work life of an enterprise (Sage Research Staff, 2001).
Berean Institute is a typical two year college with about a staff of sixty eight employees and 250 students per semester. Berean teaches cosmetology, barbering and the latest software and hardware technology, which is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Berean currently has two locations in the Philadelphia area and using a Local Area Network (LAN).
Berean! |s existing network infrastructure is wire line, and uses a T 1. Remote users access the network through a dial-up modem pool.
Berean! |s wire line network model severely limits the accessibility and effectiveness of the Berean network. For example, employees in Berean facilities are unable to access the network easily from meetings, the cafeteria, or anywhere other than their offices. In addition, the effectiveness of remote users is limited by the slow speed of present-day dial-up modem connections. The following introductory sections describe the problem to be investigated and the goal to be achieved. The introduction also provides an analysis of the relevance and significance of the research and a discussion of barriers and issues related to achieving the goal. In addition, the approach and resources to be used in accomplishing the goal are discussed.
Finally, a brief summary is provided. Problem Statement and Goal The propose research will address a problem confronting many two year institutions in the present-day (i. e. how to best plan, design, and implement WLAN technologies).
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While WLAN technologies offer the benefits of mobility, reduced installation time, and decreased cost, many challenges must be met by institutions deploying them (Geier, 2005).
These issues are related to security, speed, interoperability, and equipment selection, ease of use, reliability, signal interference, installation, and health risks.
In addressing the problem, the proposed research will use the case study method to examine the plan, design, and implementation of WLAN technologies at Berean. At present, the non-wireless local area network (LAN) technologies employed by Berean include 10/100 Based Ethernet at each desktop. Ethernet ports at the desktop are switch connected to an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) T 1 backbone. Berean! |s one remote facility connects to the network using switched Frame Relay services along with Internet Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. These technologies are of limited effectiveness in connecting employees while at work and at home via Berean network. Berean! |s infrastructure does not allow employees on the move to leverage the time they spend at meetings, in the cafeteria, and the other location to catch up on e-mail, retrieve information, or perform other work related activities (Sage Research Staff, 2005).
For example, the way Microsoft employees interact at work was dramatically affected by the company! |s installation of IEEE 802. 11 b WLANs (Orenstein, 2001).
Microsoft employees no longer attend virtual meetings using desktop videoconferencing. Instead, they go to real meetings and bring their offices with them (i. e. laptops with WLAN connectivity).
In addition, the cost and time required to install and operate wire line networks in two year institution facilities to support automation is often excessive. For example, the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a WLAN in the typical small office is 15 percent lower than the TCO for a wired LAN (Blackwell, 2005).
The spread between wired and wireless LAN TCO is likely to be greater for LANs installed in medium size institutions. Wireless LAN technologies would seem to be more appropriate in this environment since LAN cabling is frequently removed or relocated in reaction to changing institution process requirements. The limitation of wire line networks also extends into Berean employees residences. Remote users connect to the Berean network using dial-up connections with a maximum data rate of 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) downstream and 33.
Party Plates Company has established the need for a new proposal with wireless technology. Team B will research some marketing tools that will assist Party Plates in meeting their goals of advancement in sales and certain goals. This proposal will focus on wireless technology that will be beneficial to the party plate business. Team B will also provide the pros and cons to these wireless ...
6 Kbps upstream. This remote access solution does not provide telecommuters and other less frequent work-at-home users the benefits of high speed access to corporate applications from small home / home office (SOHO) venues. The goal of this research is to provide Berean a model for deploying secure WLAN technologies in their college and employee residences. The model will be developed from a case study of WLAN projects to be implemented at Berean.
WLANs are beginning to replace traditional wired LANs as the preferred approach to the! SS last ten feet!” of enterprise network environments (Hannon, 2005).
In fact, more than 50 percent of institutions have plans to purchase and install WLAN systems. The release of high data rate and Ethernet-equivalent WLAN technologies is primarily responsible for this trend (Intel Staff, 2005).
Low cost, high speed, provide institutions the flexibility to wireless ly transfer large data files, access the Internet, support wireless videoconferencing, and rapidly reconfigure sites.
Existing WLAN technologies include infrared, ultra high frequency (UHF) narrow band, and spread-spectrum. Most WLAN systems used spread-spectrum, which is a wide band radio frequency (RF) technique that uses the entire allotted spectrum in a shared manner as opposed to dividing it into discrete pieces as with UHF narrow band. The IEEE 802. 11 family of standards, which are based on Ethernet technology, employ spread-spectrum solutions.
In addition, Bluetooth, a short-range wireless standard, provides up to 720 Kbps data transfer in 2. 4 GHz band. Institutions deploying these high rate WLAN technologies must be aware of possible interference between IEEE 802. 11, Bluetooth, and other 2. 4 GHz devices sharing the same bandwidth (Brew in, 2005).
Planning Phase The planning phase of the model will seek to identify and prioritize wireless technologies and applications that will provide the greatest return on investment to a medium institution (Whitten, Bentley, & Dit tman, 2001).
... In a network environment, authorized user may access data and information stored on other computers on the network. The capability of providing access to data and ... large geographic area. * Wireless WANs and LANs (WLAN & WWAN) are the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN. Networks may be classified according ...
Activities performed architecture, and evaluating business areas. The second or analysis phase of the model will study current institutions networks and define the user requirements and priorities for the WLAN. This phase is made up of three basic activities: surveying project feasibility, analyzing current infrastructures, and defining and prioritizing user requirements. Project Approach Methodology This project will follow the phases and sub-phases as set fort in the Analysis and Design stages of the Systems Development Life Cycle. Client / Project team communication plan will be interviews, phone calls and email communication with client. There will also be weekly team meetings which allow a centralized collaborative effort and the software used; Ms Project, MS Office and Visio.
Feasibility Study Economic Feasibility Berean Institute has limited resources and budgetary constraints, which is why they cannot afford an expensive wireless network, but the main goal ofthe wireless network is to achieve a high level of connectivity. Total benefits of implementing the WLAN technology offer the benefits of mobility, reduced installation time, and decreased cost. Many colleges are finding that wireless LANs save on costs, especially in networking new or renovated buildings. For example, the University of Southern Mississippi installed 300 access point Wireless Network Wep">wireless access points rather than rewire buildings on campus. The school is only paying approximately $9, 000 per building for wireless, rather than $75, 000 per building for a wired system (Jim Geier).
The savings comes not just from less wiring but also the corresponding reduction in installation labor.
Some tangible benefits from this Cost/Benefits Analysis:” X Return on Investment (ROI) is 8%”X 33% decrease in operating cost”X 25% increase in employee productivity Technical Feasibility Mobility: The mobile user or student can move from classroom to classroom with their WLAN-enabled computer and still access the Internet, file servers, library resources, and so forth. This mobility can extend to conference rooms or study rooms used by faculty or students in the course of their planning and study. Installation speed and simplicity: The use of wireless in older buildings can save considerable money and challenges posed by retrofitting to support networking. The wired LAN infrastructure can be minimized and used to support the necessary VLAN connections and Access Points in the classrooms. Installation flexibility: Flexibility is offered in both the networking of dedicated computer labs and the use of mobile computer labs. This can allow any classroom to become a computer lab, as needed, with the use of computer carts.
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The primary requirement for a mobile lab situation is a computer ‘drop’ to which the access point on the mobile cart can be attached. Reduced cost of ownership: While mid- to high-end Access Points are not inexpensive, the overall investment in the wireless infrastructure is, in the long run, less expensive than retrofitting cables into old buildings. And by not having fixed positions, rooms can be adapted for different uses in the future without writing off the cost of the wiring; this is especially true of computer labs where the number of drops would be substantial. Scalability: The wireless LAN could start off small, perhaps with a mobile computer lab, and then grow in size and complexity as needed and when funds become available. Likewise, devices like Access Points can be upgraded when the instructional needs and infrastructure dictate. The cost of current Access Points can be migrated to other locations when new equipment is purchased.
This especially applies to computer labs. Live Emulation Testing Communication Machinery Corporation (CMC) of Santa Barbara, Calif. , (Eric Griffith, 2005) has expanded the capabilities of its Emulation Engine Wi-Fi network testing product by adding a new version that supports user scalability testing under 802. 11 g networks. Other versions of the product support 802. 11 a or 11 b networks only.
11 g support is only found in the new dual-band version for 802. 11 a / g /b. It won’t run the three types simultaneously, only one at a time. The Emulation Engine hardware is the size of a standard access point with dual dipole antenna on the back.
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Dave Swan, the vice president of sales and marketing at CMC, describes the product’s emulation simply as being ‘seen as 64 laptops with 802. 11 NICs.’ The company calls each of these faux users — each seen as if with a full MAC address, IP address, etc. — as a virtual station, or v STA. Swan sees three types of end-users that would want or need to do emulation testing: developers and network engineers that design products, deployment users such as system integrators, and the enterprise support side, such as IT managers and the like. This WLAN stress tester is controlled by connecting it to a PC via Ethernet. The interface is access by running a Telnet session or via a Web browser.
The generation of the v STA ‘users’ is all done at the radio level. The Emulation Engine can do internal tests, by asking the vSTAs to send iterated pings, or externally — when coupled with a traffic generator such as NetIQ’s Chariot, IP data traffic can be to forwarded to the vSTAs, so the access point and switches on the WLAN will see 64 streams of generated traffic. Installation As with any other project, the planning of a WLAN installation involves establishing a schedule and assigning resources. For example, you may need two installers working over a period of six weeks to install 150 access points and only one installer for a couple days for a smaller network with five access points. You ” ll also need to accomplish some up front coordination to ensure that the installation is completed on schedule.
The access points will tie back to switches via Ethernet; therefore, you need to communicate with the people responsible for supporting the existing Ethernet systems if they already exist. Each access point requires a 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps Ethernet connection, depending on the design of the WLAN. In addition, it will likely be safer and optimum in terms of performance to separate the access points from the rest of the corporate network via a router or virtual LAN (VLAN).
Just be sure to discuss all of this with the support staff for effective integration into the existing system. When considering the installation schedule, think about the time of installation.
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The best approach is to install access points and the distribution system during operational downtime’s. For example, don’t attempt going full speed ahead with an installation in retail stores in November or December because of the holiday-related activities. Also avoid installations in office complexes during the daytime when there are lots of people milling around. In larger facilities, you ” ll likely come across locked doors leading to locations where you need to install access points or cabling. As a result, coordinate access to these locked rooms before getting too far along. It’s best to actually have a phone number (preferably a cell phone) of someone who can get you into rooms at the last minute if necessary.
Documentation Our documentation includes requirements, specification, architectural and detailed design documents. In using system documentation, we identified and documented system configuration, functions, and capabilities of the wireless network. We have created documentation for network administrators, and users. The documentation for the network administrator shows them how to troubleshoot the wireless network and configure new locations. Training Training for the end user requires no user interaction at all in most cases; users will be automatically placed on the correct network.
However, the network administrators will attend intense training to implement and support the WLAN. Support Berean Institute has hired an outsource company to support our wireless network for a two year contract. However, the network administrators will serve as immediate back back-up when problems.