Designing and Deploying 802.11n Wireless Networks

Designing and Deploying 802.11n Wireless Networks

Hardback Networking Technology Series

By (author) Jim Geier

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  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Format: Hardback | 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 191mm x 234mm x 36mm | 1,021g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Indianapolis
  • ISBN 10: 1587058898
  • ISBN 13: 9781587058899
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, charts
  • Sales rank: 751,698

Product description

Gain a practical understanding of the underlying concepts of the 802.11n standard and the methodologies for completing a successful wireless network installation Practical, start-to-finish guidance for successful deployment of 802.11n wireless LANs With the ratification of the 802.11n wireless LAN standard, thousands of companies are moving rapidly toward implementation. However, 802.11n is very different from legacy 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless standards, and successful deployment requires new knowledge and techniques. In this book, leading wireless expert Jim Geier systematically presents all the information and guidance that network architects, engineers, administrators, and managers need to maximize the performance and business value of new 802.11n networks. Drawing on extensive experience with real-world 802.11n deployments, Geier guides you through the entire project lifecycle: planning, design, installation, testing, monitoring, and support. Each phase of wireless LAN deployment is organized into clearly defined steps, and multiple case studies and hands-on exercises show how to apply each technique. You'll find practical guidance for deploying in enterprises without existing wireless infrastructure, as well as migrating from legacy 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g networks. For convenient reference, Geier also provides an extensive, up-to-date wireless networking glossary. Jim Geier founded Wireless-Nets, Ltd., and serves as its principal consultant. His 25 years of experience include analysis, design, implementation, installation, and support of wireless network-based solutions for cities, enterprises, airports, manufacturers, warehouses, hospitals, and other facilities worldwide. He is author of more than a dozen books, including Wireless Networks - First Step and Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs (Cisco Press) and Implementing 802.1X Security Solutions. He has been active with the IEEE 802.11 Working Group developing international wireless LAN standards, and chaired the IEEE International Conference on Wireless LAN Implementation. * Understanding 802.11n MAC, physical layer, and related standards * Designing 802.11n wireless networks for diverse scenarios: considering architecture, range, performance, roaming, and RF issues* Migrating from 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.1 1g wireless networks * Choosing the right tools and equipment, and using them effectively* Planning effectively: scoping projects; creating work breakdown structures; organizing teams, schedules, and budgets; defining requirements, and more * Securing WLANs via encryption, authentication, rogue access point detection, RF shielding, and polices* Performing site surveys and identifying optimum access point locations* Installing and configuring wireless LANs: planning, staging, deployment, documentation, and more* Systematic testing to improve signal coverage, performance, and security* Managing wireless LANs: help desk support, network monitoring, maintenance, engineering, configuration management, security, tools, and more* Troubleshooting 802.11n networks: identifying issues with connectivity, performance, and more

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Author information

Jim Geier is the founder and principal consultant of Wireless-Nets, Ltd., an independent consulting firm assisting organizations with the development and deployment of wireless networks. His 25 years of experience includes the planning, analysis, design, implementation, installation, and support of numerous wireless network-based solutions for enterprises, municipalities, hospitals, universities, airports, warehouses, and product manufacturers worldwide. Jim is the author of more than a dozen books, including Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs (Cisco Press), Wireless Networks: First Step (Cisco Press), Implementing 802.1X Security Solutions (Wiley), and Network Reengineering (McGraw-Hill). He is the author of numerous tutorials and other publications and has developed and instructed dozens of training courses on wireless networking topics. Jim has been active within the Wi-Fi Alliance, responsible for certifying interoperability of 802.11 (Wi-Fi) wireless LANs. He has also been active with the IEEE 802.11 Working Group, responsible for developing international standards for wireless LANs. He served as Chairman of the IEEE Computer Society, Dayton Section, and Chairman of the IEEE International Conference on Wireless LAN Implementation. Jim's education includes a Bachelor's and Master's degree in electrical engineering, with emphasis in wireless communications.

Back cover copy

Gain a practical understanding of the underlying concepts of the 802.11n standard and the methodologies for completing a successful wireless network installation Practical, start-to-finish guidance for successful deployment of 802.11n wireless LANs With the ratification of the 802.11n wireless LAN standard, thousands of companies are moving rapidly toward implementation. However, 802.11n is very different from legacy 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless standards, and successful deployment requires new knowledge and techniques. In this book, leading wireless expert Jim Geier systematically presents all the information and guidance that network architects, engineers, administrators, and managers need to maximize the performance and business value of new 802.11n networks. Drawing on extensive experience with real-world 802.11n deployments, Geier guides you through the entire project lifecycle: planning, design, installation, testing, monitoring, and support. Each phase of wireless LAN deployment is organized into clearly defined steps, and multiple case studies and hands-on exercises show how to apply each technique. You'll find practical guidance for deploying in enterprises without existing wireless infrastructure, as well as migrating from legacy 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g networks. For convenient reference, Geier also provides an extensive, up-to-date wireless networking glossary. Jim Geier founded Wireless-Nets, Ltd., and serves as its principal consultant. His 25 years of experience include analysis, design, implementation, installation, and support of wireless network-based solutions for cities, enterprises, airports, manufacturers, warehouses, hospitals, and other facilities worldwide. He is author of more than a dozen books, including Wireless Networks - First Step and Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs (Cisco Press) and Implementing 802.1X Security Solutions. He has been active with the IEEE 802.11 Working Group developing international wireless LAN standards, and chaired the IEEE International Conference on Wireless LAN Implementation. Understanding 802.11n MAC, physical layer, and related standards Designing 802.11n wireless networks for diverse scenarios: considering architecture, range, performance, roaming, and RF issues Migrating from 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless networks Choosing the right tools and equipment, and using them effectively Planning effectively: scoping projects; creating work breakdown structures; organizing teams, schedules, and budgets; defining requirements, and more Securing WLANs via encryption, authentication, rogue access point detection, RF shielding, and polices Performing site surveys and identifying optimum access point locations Installing and configuring wireless LANs: planning, staging, deployment, documentation, and more Systematic testing to improve signal coverage, performance, and security Managing wireless LANs: help desk support, network monitoring, maintenance, engineering, configuration management, security, tools, and more Troubleshooting 802.11n networks: identifying issues with connectivity, performance, and more

Table of contents

Introduction xxv Part I Fundamental Concepts Chapter 1 Introduction to Wireless LANs 1 Wireless LAN Markets and Applications 1 Retail 2 Warehousing 3 Healthcare 4 Hospitality 9 Voice over WLAN 9 Video Surveillance 11 Home and Small Office 12 General Enterprise Systems 13 Location-Aware Wireless Applications 13 Benefits of Wireless Networks 15 Mobility 15 Installation in Difficult-to-Wire Areas 16 Increased Reliability 17 Reduced Installation Time 17 Long-Term Cost Savings 17 Productivity Gain Is the Answer 18 Wireless Network Technologies 19 IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) 20 Initial 802.11 20 802.11a 21 802.11b 21 802.11g 22 802.11n 23 Comparison of 802.11 Standards 24 Wi-Fi Certification 24 Other Wireless Network Technologies 26 IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX) 26 IEEE 802.15 (Bluetooth) 30 IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee) 32 Certified Wireless USB 33 Wireless LANs: A Historical Perspective 34 The Early Days 34 Initial 802.11 Standardization 35 802.11n Standardization 36 Chapter 2 Radio Wave Fundamentals 39 Radio Wave Attributes 39 Amplitude 40 Frequency 40 Phase 41 RF System Components 41 RF Transceiver 41 RF Modulation 43 Amplitude Shift-Keying 43 Frequency Shift-Keying 44 Phase Shift-Keying 45 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation 45 Spread Spectrum 45 Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing 48 RF Signal Propagation 48 Attenuation 48 Free Space Loss 49 Physical Obstacles 50 Multipath Propagation 51 Noise and Signal-to-Noise Ratio 51 RF Mathematics 53 Converting Units 53 Chapter 3 Wireless LAN Types and Components 55 Types of Wireless LANs 55 Ad Hoc Wireless LANs 55 Infrastructure Wireless LANs 57 Mesh Wireless Networks 59 Wireless LAN Components 62 Client Devices 62 Client Radio 63 Industry Standard Architecture 65 Peripheral Component Interconnect 66 Mini-PCI 66 PC Card 66 ExpressCard 67 CompactFlash 67 Universal Serial Bus 67 Access Points 68 Autonomous Access Points 68 Controller-Based Access Points 69 Wi-Fi Routers 69 Mesh Nodes 72 Antennas 72 RF Amplifiers 74 Repeaters 75 Bridges 75 Network Infrastructure Components 77 Network Distribution Systems 77 Switches 77 Optical Fiber 79 Power over Ethernet 79 Application Connectivity Software 82 Terminal Emulation 82 Browser-Based Approaches 83 Direct Database Interfaces 84 Wireless Middleware 84 Chapter 4 Wireless LAN Implications 87 Security Vulnerabilities 87 Passive Monitoring 88 Unauthorized Access 91 Denial of Service 95 Radio Signal Interference 97 Microwave Oven Interference 99 Cordless Phone Interference 101 Bluetooth Interference 103 Neighboring Wireless LAN Interference 105 Impacts of Multipath Propagation 108 Roaming Issues 109 Battery Limitations 110 Interoperability Problems 111 Installation Issues 112 Part II The 802.11 Standard Chapter 5 Introduction to IEEE 802.11 and Related Standards 115 The Importance of Standards 115 Types of Standards 115 Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers 117 Benefits of the 802.11 Standard 117 Appliance Interoperability 118 Fast Product Development 119 Stable Future Migration 119 Price Reductions 119 Avoiding Silos 119 The IEEE 802 LAN Standards Family 120 802.11 MAC Sublayer 121 802.11 Physical Layer 123 IEEE 802.2 123 Unacknowledged Connectionless Service 124 Connection-Oriented Service 125 Continuous ARQ 126 Stop-and-Wait ARQ 127 Acknowledged Connectionless Service 128 IEEE 802.11 Features 129 Station Services 130 Authentication 130 Deauthentication 131 Privacy 131 Distribution System Services 131 Association 131 Disassociation 131 Distribution 131 Integration 132 Reassociation 132 Station States and Corresponding Frame Types 132 Chapter 6 IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control (MAC) Layer 135 Primary 802.11 MAC Layer Functions 135 Data Delivery 136 Medium Access 137 Distributed Coordination Function 138 Hybrid Coordination Function 139 Error Recovery 140 Data Frame Acknowledgments 140 Dynamic Rate Switching 141 Data Frame Aggregation 142 MSDU Aggregation 143 MPDU Aggregation 143 Data Frame Fragmentation 143 Encryption 145 Wired Equivalent Privacy 145 Temporal Key Integrity Protocol 146 Advanced Encryption Standard 146 Multicasting 147 Connectivity 148 Scanning for Networks 149 Authentication 151 Open System Authentication 151 Shared Key Authentication 152 IEEE 802.1X Port-Based Authentication 153 Association 154 Reassociation 155 Timing and Synchronization 156 Short IFS 156 PCF IFS 157 DCF IFS 157 Extended IFS 157 RTS/CTS 158 Power Management 159 802.11 MAC Frame Structures 160 Protocol Version Field 160 Type Field 161 Subtype Field 161 To DS Field 161 From DS Field 161 More Frag Field 161 Retry Field 163 Power Management Field 163 More Data Field 164 Protected Frame Field 164 Order Field 164 Duration/ID Field 164 Address 1, 2, 3, and 4 Fields 164 Sequence Control Field 165 QoS Control Field 166 HT Control Field 166 Frame Body Field 166 Frame Check Sequence Field 166 MAC Frame Types 166 Management Frames 167 Association Request Frame 167 Association Response Frame 167 Reassociation Request Frame 167 Reassociation Response Frame 167 Probe Request Frame 168 Probe Response Frame 168 Beacon Frame 168 ATIM Frame 170 Disassociation Frame 170 Authentication Frame 170 Deauthentication Frame 170 Action Frame 170 Action No ACK Frame 171 Management Frame Body Contents 171 Control Frames 172 Control Wrapper Frame 172 Block ACK Request Frame 172 Block ACK Frame 172 Power-Save Poll Frame 173 Request-to-Send Frame 173 Clear-to-Send Frame 173 Acknowledgment Frame 173 Contention-Free End Frame 173 CF End + CF ACK Frame 173 Data Frames 174 Interoperability 174 Chapter 7 IEEE 802.11 Physical Layers 177 802.11 Physical Layer Architecture 177 PLCP Sublayer 177 PMD Sublayer 178 802.11 Physical Layer Functions 179 Carrier-Sense Function 179 Transmit Function 179 Receive Function 180 Legacy 802.11 Physical Layers 180 Frequency-Hopping Spread-Spectrum PHY 180 Direct-Sequence Spread-Spectrum PHY 182 Infrared PHY 185 Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing PHY (802.11a) 185 High-Rate Direct-Sequence Spread-Spectrum PHY (802.11b) 188 Extended-Rate PHY (802.11g) 190 HT-OFDM (802.11n) 190 MIMO Concepts 190 Transmit Beamforming 190 Spatial Multiplexing 191 Channel Bonding 193 802.11n Modulation 194 Interoperability 198 Part III Wireless Network Design Chapter 8 Planning a Wireless LAN Deployment 201 Project Management Principles 202 Wireless LAN Deployment Planning Steps 204 Step 1: Defining the Project Scope 204 Project Charter 204 Assumptions 204 Constraints 205 Step 2: Developing the Work Breakdown Structure 206 Requirements Definition Phase 206 Design Phase 207 Implementation Phase 209 Operations and Maintenance Phase 211 Step 3: Identifying Staffing 214 Step 4: Creating a Schedule 217 Step 5: Developing a Budget 218 Preliminary Requirements and Design 218 Hardware and Software Costs 219 Deployment Services Costs 221 Ongoing Operations and Maintenance Costs 223 Step 6: Evaluating Risks 225 Step 7: Analyzing Feasibility 227 Costs 228 Benefits 228 Impacts on Users 229 Impacts on Existing Systems 229 Making the Decision to Proceed 229 Executing the Project 232 The Kick-Off Meeting 232 Periodic Activities 233 Evaluating the Outcome of the Project 233 Chapter 9 Defining Requirements for a Wireless LAN 237 Requirements Attributes 238 Requirements Definition Steps 238 Step 1: Gathering Information 239 Interviewing Users 239 Interviewing IT Staff 240 Reviewing the Existing Infrastructure and Systems 240 Step 2: Analyzing Requirements 241 Application Requirements 241 Client Device Requirements 243 Signal Coverage Requirements 244 Utilization Requirements 246 Mobility Requirements 248 Continuous Movement 248 Portable Access 249 Stationary Access 249 Security Requirements 250 Sensitivity of Information and Systems 250 Organization Security Policies 251 Network Access Privileges 251 Existing Security Mechanisms 252 Scalability Requirements 253 Existing Network Infrastructure Requirements 254 Integration Requirements 255 Environmental Requirements 256 Building Construction and Obstacles 256 Floor Plans 256 Temperature and Humidity 256 Durability 257 Aesthetic Requirements 258 Step 3: Documenting Requirements 259 Step 4: Obtaining Requirements Approval 260 Chapter 10 System Architecture Considerations 263 Architectural Considerations 264 Wireless Access Networks 264 Autonomous Access Point Architecture 265 Controller-Based Access Point Architecture 267 Mesh Network Architecture 269 Ad Hoc Architecture 270 2.4 GHz Versus 5 GHz 272 Geographical Location Considerations 272 Performance Considerations 272 Existing Client Device Considerations 273 Facility Size Considerations 273 Radio Signal Interference Considerations 273 Hybrid Frequency Band Considerations 274 Common Infrastructure Considerations 274 Migration Considerations 276 Redundancy Considerations 277 Controller Redundancy 277 Access Point Redundancy 279 Distribution Systems 282 Switch Considerations 282 PoE Considerations 282 Voice over WLAN Systems 284 Single-Site Architecture 284 Multisite WAN with Centralized Call Processing 285 Multisite WAN with Distributed Call Processing 287 Application Connectivity 289 Terminal Emulation Considerations 289 Browser-Based Connectivity Considerations 292 Direct Database Considerations 293 Wireless Middleware Considerations 294 Chapter 11 Range, Performance, and Roaming Considerations 299 Range Versus Performance 299 Range Considerations 300 Signal Coverage Requirements 300 Radio Frequency Bands 301 Transmit Power Settings 302 Transmission Channel Settings 303 Data Rate Settings 304 Antennas 306 Amplifiers 307 Repeaters 308 Physical Obstacles 309 Radio Signal Interference 309 Performance Considerations 311 Throughput Versus Data Rate 312 Radio Frequency Bands 313 Transmit Power Settings 313 Transmission Channel Settings 314 Data Rate Settings 315 Antennas 315 Amplifiers 316 Radio Signal Interference 316 Channel Width Settings 316 Signal Coverage 317 Fragmentation Settings 317 RTS/CTS Settings 318 Bandwidth Control Mechanisms 319 Microcell Deployment Strategies 319 Roaming Considerations 321 Roaming Levels 322 Access Point Roaming 322 Subnet Roaming 323 Wireless ISP Roaming 324 Wireless IP Phone Roaming 324 Mobility Settings 325 Chapter 12 Radio Frequency Considerations 327 Frequency Band Selection 327 2.4-GHz Frequency Band 327 5-GHz Frequency Band 328 Transmission Channel Settings 328 Manual Channel Settings 328 Single-Level Facilities 329 Multilevel Facilities 330 Adaptive Channel Settings 332 Difficult-to-Cover Areas 333 Signal Coverage in Elevators 333 Signal Coverage in Stairwells 336 Signal Coverage in Parking Areas 336 Radio Signal Interference Reduction 337 Chapter 13 Security Considerations 339 Security Elements 339 Encryption 340 Authentication 342 EAP Methods 342 Authentication Servers 344 Guest Access 345 Rogue Access Point Detection 346 RF Shielding 347 Wireless Security Polices 349 Part IV Wireless Network Installation and Testing Chapter 14 Test Tools 353 Tool Considerations 353 Spectrum Analyzers 354 Real-Time Fast Fourier Transform 354 FFT Duty Cycle 356 Swept Spectrogram 357 Active Devices 357 Recording Spectrum Data 358 Signal Coverage Testers 358 Heat Maps 358 Positioning 360 Passive Versus Active Modes 361 Simulation 361 Free Signal Coverage Tester: NetStumbler 361 Wireless Protocol Analyzers 362 Filtering Frames 363 Recording Traces 363 Free Protocol Analyzer: WireShark 364 Chapter 15 Performing a Wireless Site Survey 367 Wireless Site Survey Considerations 368 Reviewing Requirements 369 Selecting Site Survey Tools 370 Obtaining Floor Diagrams 371 Inspecting the Facility 372 Assessing the Existing Network Infrastructure 372 Communications Rooms 372 Switches and Power over Ethernet 373 WAN 373 Identifying Potential Radio Signal Interference 373 Defining Signal Values for Acceptable Signal Coverage 376 Minimum Received Signal Strength 376 Minimum SNR 376 Uplink Versus Downlink Signal Values 377 Identifying Optimum Access Point Antenna Installation Locations 379 Propagation Testing 379 Test Access Point Configuration 379 Antenna Considerations 379 Identifying Test Locations 380 Measuring Test Signals 381 Assessing Propagation Test Results 382 Cell Overlap Considerations 383 Annotate Access Point Antenna Installation Locations 384 Writing an RF Site Survey Report 385 Chapter 16 Installing and Configuring a Wireless LAN 387 Wireless LAN Installation Considerations 387 Planning the Installation 388 Developing an Installation Plan 388 Points of Contact 388 Safety Tips 389 Installation Procedures 389 Required Facility Changes 390 Tools 390 Reference to Design Documentation 390 Schedule 390 Resources 391 Budget 391 Risks 391 Coordinating the Installation 391 Staging the Components 392 Installing Ethernet Switches and Cabling 393 Installing Access Points 394 Mounting Practices 394 Antenna Alignment 395 Configuration Setting Access 396 Firmware 396 Access Point Configuration Settings 396 802.11n Enable 396 SSID 396 DTIM Interval 397 Beacon Interval 397 Radio Frequency Bands 398 Transmit Power 398 Transmission Channel 399 Data Rates 399 Antenna Diversity 399 Channel Width 401 Fragmentation Threshold 401 RTS/CTS Threshold 402 Testing the Installation 402 Documenting the Installation 403 Chapter 17 Testing a Wireless LAN 405 Wireless LAN Testing Considerations 405 Signal Coverage Testing 406 Wireless Site Survey Coverage Testing 406 As-Installed Coverage Testing 407 Consider Beacon Rates 407 Performance Testing 408 Association Tests 408 Registration Tests 409 Network Connection Tests 409 Authentication Tests 410 Application Connection Tests 410 Application Tests 410 Load Tests 411 In-Motion Testing 412 Security Vulnerability Testing 413 Security Settings Verification 413 Penetration Testing 414 Private-Side Testing 414 Public-Side Testing 414 Acceptance/Verification Testing 415 Simulation Testing 416 Prototype Testing 417 Pilot Testing 418 Test Documentation 419 Part V Operational Support Considerations Chapter 18 Managing a Wireless LAN 421 Operational Support Considerations 421 Help Desk 422 Connection Problems 422 Poor Signal Coverage 423 Poor Performance 423 System Status 423 Additional Considerations 423 Network Monitoring 424 Performance Monitoring 424 Access Point Monitoring 424 Configuration Monitoring 425 Security Policy Management 425 Installation Control Policies 425 Monitoring Policies 425 Periodic Testing Policies 426 Maintenance 426 Inoperative Access Points 426 Poor Performance 426 Poor Signal Coverage 426 Broken Hardware 427 Firmware Updates 427 Signal Coverage Verification 427 Access Point Inspections 428 Troubleshooting 428 Sparing 428 Engineering 428 Advanced Problem Resolution 429 Coverage Expansion 429 Capacity Increases 429 Firmware Review 429 Technology Upgrades 430 Design Review 430 Configuration Management 430 Change-Control Processes 430 Security Management 431 Review Existing Security Policies 432 Review the System Architecture 432 Review Management Tools and Procedures 432 Interview Users 433 Verify Configurations of Wireless Devices 433 Investigate Physical Installations of Access Points 433 Identify Rogue Access Points 433 Perform Penetration Tests 434 Analyze Security Gaps 434 Recommend Improvements 434 Trouble Ticket Coordination 435 Help Desk Group 435 Desktop Support Group 436 Network Support Group 436 Preparing for the Transfer to Operational Mode 436 Chapter 19 Troubleshooting a Wireless LAN 439 Troubleshooting Methodology 439 Identify the Problem 439 Identify the Underlying Cause of the Problem 440 Fix the Problem 440 Connection Problems 440 Insufficient Signal Coverage 441 Radio Signal Interference 442 Access Point Failure 442 Incompatible Client Radio 442 Faulty Firmware 443 Incorrect Client Radio Configuration 443 Performance Problems 444 Insufficient Signal Coverage 444 Radio Signal Interference 444 Faulty Firmware 445 Nonoptimal Client Radio Configuration 445 Nonoptimal Access Point Configuration 445 Misaligned Antennas 446 High Utilization 447 Chapter 20 Preparing Operational Support Staff 449 Support Staff Considerations 449 Availability of Existing Staff 450 Experience Requirements 450 Education and Training Requirements 451 Vendor-Neutral Training 451 Vendor-Specific Training 452 College Education 452 Certifications 452 Staffing Sources 453 Glossary 455 9781587058899, TOC, 5/7/10