Give Me a Home Where The Wireless Roams...

Controller-based wireless networks really changed the face of wireless networking. Overflowing with features, one of the cornerstone highlights was the roaming capability. Simply put, the wireless access points can hand off your wireless call from one to another as you move across your campus.

  • Sep 16, 2011
  • Rick

You're engaged in a high-margin deal, Cisco wireless phone in hand, and you're in the middle of moving between meetings. Just as you leave the conference room, the customer begins cutting out... and then the call drops and goes dead.

Your planner is at your desk, you don't have the customer's phone number, and your boss is expecting you in his office for an update in 30 seconds. Someone in IT is going to get an earful. Years ago, this was the reality in many cases. How has it changed?

The controller is the brain

Controller-based wireless networks really changed the face of wireless networking. Overflowing with features, one of the cornerstone highlights was the roaming capability. Simply put, the wireless access points can hand off your wireless call from one to another as you move across your campus. Why?

Because the controller is the brain behind it all, and the wireless network is a single entity. In the past, the brains were resident in each AP and created little islands of access. This is no longer the case. Now, all are one and moving across your campus is a seamless string of handoffs. As easy as you moving something from your right hand to your left.

Imagine if your right hand had a brain of its own, as did your left. Imagine the arguments on who got used more, who was superior, and the competitions for dominance. Now imagine trying to convince them to work for you and work together. This illustrates legacy wireless. All things considered though, how important is roaming to you?

The importance of roaming

Often we'll chat with customers who will say something like, "I want to be able to be on my laptop in my office and then move it to the conference room. I need roaming." Do you really? Well, unless you intend to be using your laptop as you walk down the hallways, then no.

Your laptop will associate with a local AP in the conference room when it's set up again. No roaming needed. Or, is crossing into a room across the hall an example of roaming? Not hardly. Chances are you will still be associated with the same AP. Really, it comes down to how your network is set up and how you intend to have your users access it.

Roaming as a feature

Needed or not, Cisco provides roaming as a feature in their wireless controllers. So now imagine that same high margin phone call. Imagine sealing the deal between meetings, and getting to your boss's office on time to report your successful sale, and again proving to him or her how valuable you are to the organization.

Success in business requires the tools and infrastructure to back it up, and the confidence that what you buy will do the job. If this sounds like something you are interested in investigating or if you'd like to chat about upgrading your current wireless offering, contact us anytime!


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