It also leverages these efficiencies for savings in operational expenditures since, without the right tools, OpEx can easily outpace CapEx within five years. To deliver OpEx advantages, network architecture must use distributed intelligence to address either the cost of repairs or the cost of downtime to an organization.
For instance, now that access points themselves are smart enough to be virtual LAN (VLAN)-aware, it is not necessary to re-engineer the network's VLANs in order to add them in. Moreover, access points that distribute intelligence throughout the network greatly facilitate remote troubleshooting and advanced self-healing. Such features help deliver optimal 802.11n performance, since WLAN architecture that's not smart enough to fix itself when problems arise drives up support costs. The only alternative is to send technicians on-site for each intervention, which can be very expensive for distributed organizations.
In short, the future of wireless network architecture relies on distributed intelligence that meets the performance demands of the new wireless world without compromising security or QoS. The advantages of the centralized hub-and-spoke architecture helped bring more cost-effective 802.11b/g solutions to organizations. But with increased network traffic creating bottlenecks at the controller and an unreliable user experience, the industry is clearly moving toward a more distributed model to reap the full benefits of what 802.11n has to offer.
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