Wi-Fi Network Design Fundamentals for the “You Have How Many Devices?” World

Speakers: Chris Dawe

Level: Fundamental, Hands-on (BYOD for attendees)

Excerpt: Wi-Fi Network Design Fundamentals provides an introduction to the knowledge, tools, and pitfalls of designing a Wi-Fi network to accommodate dense deployments of client devices.

Description: So your users have a device in each hand and one in the bag, and you want to build a Wi-Fi network that will handle it?

In this session, we will provide an overview of the knowledge and techniques used to design and build Wi-Fi networks that hold up under load, and explore why some networks don’t. We will discuss the general performance characteristics and gotchas of Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, demystify the marketing of Wi-Fi equipment and demonstrate how vendor marketing can undermine good network design. We will outline a design process that accounts for the characteristics of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, wireless client specifications, airtime requirements and their impact on network performance, which in turn will allow us to forecast the equipment requirements for a network. We will touch on critical but less obvious infrastructure requirements for Wi-Fi networks, including power, network cabling, and switch capacity. Finally, we will join attendee client systems to an instructor-built network and demonstrate the principles discussed above by attempting to overwhelm the network with traffic and cause its collapse.

About the speakers

Chris Dawe – Principal Systems Engineer – Wheelwrights, LLC (Twitter: @ctdawe)

Chris is a consultant focused on MacOS, iOS, and networking. He handles a wide variety of work, including customer assessment, system design, deployment, and support. When not working, Chris dabbles in American history, cooks in a kitchen containing an unreasonably large collection of seasonings, and appreciates both whiskey and whisky. Chris lives with Emily in Seattle, Washington.

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