Networking

Wireless broadband offers a legitimate option for remote sites

While wireless broadband services have matured in their availability, speed, and reliability, they still aren't at a level to replace a wired connection. For a remote site, the overall answer is that it would just depend on whether you would choose to install a wireless broadband service.

For a remote site in your enterprise, getting wired connectivity for a VPN or frame-relay link back to your main office may not always be a quick or easy process. Now, we have a new option for connectivity in the situation where we can't get our intended connection at the time we need it.

While wireless broadband services have matured in their availability, speed, and reliability, they still aren't at a level to replace a wired connection. For a remote site, the overall answer is that it would just depend on whether you would choose to install a wireless broadband service. But some scenarios include:

  • The carrier line isn't ready for the foreseeable future. The wireless broadband can be a great stopgap service to get the site running, though potentially on less bandwidth.
  • The wireless broadband service and card can be a backup to the hard line service in the event of a failure. Some routers, such as the Junxion Box series of routers, can be configured to use a specified port as the primary connection (hard line carrier) and, if there is a failure, redirect the connection to the cellular connection.
  • Use only the wireless broadband device and have all connections use a VPN connection for central office connectivity.

Wireless broadband services aren't the right solution for any high-bandwidth tasks. Simpler situations such as a few client PCs running thin-client applications, reasonable Web traffic, and e-mail applications generally perform well in this model.

Unfortunately, the most important consideration for these technologies is coverage. Be sure that coverage is available in the area before deciding to implement. This is an issue that makes it tough to consider this for an enterprise-wide solution if you have multiple small sites in multiple locations. Share your comments here on the use of wireless broadband interfaces.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

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