CCIE Wireless Written topics

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If you look at the CCIE Wireless blueprint you will see tha this blueprint exists of 5 head subjects:

  • 1.00 Plan WLAN installations
  • 2.00 Design WLAN installations
  • 3.00 Implement WLAN Installations
  • 4.00 Operate WLAN installations
  • 5.00 Troubleshoot WLAN issues
Today I studied the first "chapter" and I want to give you guys an overview of what you need to be able to do in order to master this section.

First of all Cisco wants you to be able to know what WLAN standards there are available. You will probably know that at the moment the Wireless standards at the moment are 802.11a, b, g and n.

All of these standards have their own charasteristics like, the Frequency operation (GHz), Bandwidth operation (MHz), Maximum available datarate per stream, Maximum streams allowed, Indoor range and Outdoor range.

What is also very important to know the WLAN organisation and their regulations. For America the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is responsible for governing inter-state communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. For Europe the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) specifies standards used by telecommunications networks operating within 56 European countries. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) specifies industry standards for power, consumer electronics, and computers, including computer communications.

When a customer needs a new WLAN we need to be able to understand the requirements and translate those into a fully working solution. For example ... if a customer needs wirless coverage (as cheap as possible) in a large building with many floors and rooms ... we need to have the insight of what standard we are going to use and where the accesspoints need to be placed in order to get the most out of the solution ... ofcourse loads of other things are important like management etc. etc.

With determining the above we also need to have a guidline of the policies and constrains. We need to have security in place and determine who can access what. What is the security strengts used and why? Who can change these settings and so determine who is the owner, administrator of this network. What will the risks be and what are the threads? What users can access what WLAN and what access rights do they have? If the secutity policy is in place who will audit, test and repeat this process in order to improve security? All of these things are important just to keep your network safe from outside, but also inside intruders. Havin a WLAN is like driving a truck without any instructions. You will probably be able to drive but what happens once you are driving without taking the proper precausion and knowing what you are doing and having the appropriate safety precausions ... can lead to a disaster.

In order to come up with a good plan we need to have the abillity to identify missing information... Lets take the example that we used before and buikd on that. The custoner that needed wirless coverage (as cheap as possible) in a large building with many floors and rooms ... but this customer does not have a layout of the floors, building and rooms ... I know this is a silly example ... but this is information you definitly need! Another thing is to know where things can be that can influence the behaviour of our future WLAN.

Knowing how a WLAN behaves itself in various enviroments is very important!

Conducting a site survey and preparing this site survey is a good foundation for the things I just mentioned. FLoorplans, Accesspoint locations, number of accesspoints needed, Standardisation of equipment and configurations (for simplefied management) and documentation are things that all need to be mastered.

When a customer ask us to modify/audit/look at the existing WLAN infrastructure we need to be able to determine if everything is correct in terms of security, regulations, and other aspects. If these things are not ok, we need to be able to change this arround according the rules.

WLANS are usually deployed in an existing L2/L3 network infrastructure. We need to be able to determine if this network infrastructure is good enough to implement the desired WLAN network. A good example is if we want to implement VOIP across the WLAN, we need to know if and where we can implement QOS in order to make everything work in a smooth way.

This was the first "chapter" explained of the CCIE Wireless Blueprint ... I will soon explain you the second chapter "Design WLAN installations"