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CEO wants pure wireless environment, I disagree

By trtjj ·

I am building a new infrastructure in a new building. Construction cost on our new floor has skyrocketed. Our CEO wants to move from a hybrid cabled/wireless solution to just a plain wireless solution to save on cable pulls.

I did not think it would be a wise move. Besides running multiple databases, we will be running
1. 100 users plus 10 consultants.
2. IP telephony (wirelessly it would be SIP phones)
3. Web/ Video conferencing (IP based)
4. We also have a conference center which will be using teleconferencing, video conferencing etc.
5. Documenet management systems.
6. File sharing (PPT, Media files of our conferences).
7. sharepoint portal
8. Meeting management software.
9. Guest VLANs and Guest wireless access.
10. Exchange
11. Remote Access (SSLVPN) for mobile users and RDC to users machines.
12 IPSec VPN to Remote office

How can I convince the CEO that it is not a good idea to just run wireless. I know QoS isn't that great with wireless APs and the issues with channels, saturation and interference. Are there any articles or white papers on this?

I proposed an all cisco environment with 6513, POE, Cat 6 cabling. F5 load balancing over three wan connections, NAC, Cisco wireless AP and WLC, and Cisco phone system.

Our CEO is comparing us to Starbucks and home networks.

Thanks for any help

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by BFilmFan In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

Aggragate all the bandwidth that will be required and then match that against what wireless can provide would be my first suggestion.

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Bandwidth isn't the only overhead

by jdclyde In reply to Bandwidth

a system that is running wireless is also running another program to make your connectivity.

On Ethernet you have about 25% overhead on the 100base network, just to maintain connectivity and communications.

On wireless, you are at HALF of that bandwidth right off the bat, and then WiFi has even more networking overhead to connect to the access points.

Then if you run VPNs for EACH system, you are adding even more overhead as everything has to be encrypted and decrypted on TOP of the existing overhead.

This is going to really hurt the IP phones, working in this soup he wants you to make. Stress this factor.

Show him the price of the Baracuda boxes or similar products you will need to be running to secure this wireless solution and show him how it isn't a cost saver that is worth the hit on performance.

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Depends on scale

by rob mekel In reply to Bandwidth

We just build an new office. Just 17 storeys high.
Cost of cabling vs wireless is 50 vs 77 (10 - 15.4) not included tele-mobile servicepoints as on GSM /GPRS /UMTS.
This is CAT6 cabling (tele/data), QoS for using VoIP for satelite offices) and for the conference rooms (25 with total capacity off 1200 guests) teleconference/videoconference/television/radio and so on.
LAN bandwith is 100 mbs from every connecting point.
Extra costs from wifi over cable is more into security of the LAN as anu other costs. This we didn't calculate as it was clear to us that just the trivial cost WIFI would exceed the cost of cabling.

But level of costs do change rather quickly so be alert to cost dropping on WIFI.


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How good is your relationship with the CEO

by jdmercha In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

You could explain in high technical detail, how so much bandwidth is needed for each application. Then explain how the bandwidth from a wireless access point drops off with distance, so that you will need to saturate the building with acess points to get the needed bandwidth.

Get as technical as you can. Then when the CEO stops you because he doesn't understand the technical stuff say, "That's why you hired me. I understand the technical stuff and I know that a 100% wireless solution is not cost effective in our environment."

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Shared bandwidth

by pgm554 In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

Wireless is shared bandwidth.
So let say you have 100 users and 54 mb of bandwidth (and you don't get 54 because of over head and how good the signal is))so 100 users and 54 (let's be optomistic and give 20mb)so each user gets about 200k of bandwidth.


You can run an office on that-NOT!

Wieless is good for internet ,email,not production.

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All wireless is crazy, but you need to lower your wiring costs

by georgeou In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

I'd say what's needed is a compromise solution. The CEO's position is completely unrealistic and expensive, but your proposal is too expensive.

You can't do a "pure" wireless environment in this situation. The capacity and quality of service just isn't there and that doesn't even factor in the interference issues. A "54 mbps" 5 GHz access point is really a 22 mbps device. A "54 mbps" 2.4 GHz access point is really a 6 mbps device most of the time because it's going to be forced in to 802.11b operation by all the wireless phones. By the way, you can't get good Wi-Fi phones unless it's capable of Spectralink and you have a Spectralink infrastructure. That all costs a lot of money. Then also remember that 6 mbps capacity is shared among ALL the users in range of that Access Point.

The 6513 is an EXTREMELY expensive device, and it forces longer desktop cable runs. You can cut wiring and Cisco switch costs by a factor of 8 simply by spreading out some smaller switches and then uplink them to 24-port 1U gigabit switch via copper (less than 100 meters) or fiber (above 100 meters). This means you spend 8 times less on the smaller Cisco switches and your desktop CAT-5E or CAT-6 cable runs are shortened by a factor of 2-8 times (not to mention more reliable since they?re shorter).

Cisco Wireless APs are reliable but the WLC (Airespace controllers) are very expensive. Aruba?s products are less than ? the cost and they have features like a built in firewall which is missing in Cisco?s offering. This is why Aruba won the Microsoft campus deal.

There are plenty of papers on this but the perspective depends on who?s sponsoring it. My advice is based on years of consulting experience and I?ve designed many cutting edge LAN/WAN/WLANs.

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Here's what i would do...

by akalinowski In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

Explain to the CEO in the most simple manner what impact it would have, security, bandwidth etc.
oh, and dont forget reliability, a wireless network will go down (for random reasons) before a wired one will.
i like to explain bandwidth by comparing it to traffic (being in california, its an easy way to do it)

also i would see who uses more bandwidth in the company and make sure they get wired and lighter users get wireless

hope that helps.

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by jmgarvin In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

A) Remind your CEO you ARE NOT Starbucks or a home network. Typically these networks don't have 110 users at a time on them.

B) Security could be a major issue. Explain that due to security issues with wireless, your data may be stolen (or worse modified).

C) VoIP over wireless = NO! Not only will you have a heck of a time getting everything setup properly, but you won't have enough bandwidth to support your users AND your phones.

D) Try to price cut a little on your envrionment. You don't have to go all Cisco or if you want to choose cheaper equipment. Having multiple switches is nice (you can implement VLANs and such later on), plus you have more room to grow than with the 6513. Have the switches feed into a central source and you should be good to go.

E) If you want to do any packet shaping, wireless will put the kybosh on that. Also load balancing via wireless (depending on your setup) could be difficult at best.

F) While wireless may be useful for you, an all wireless network with 110 employees is crazy. You might end up with less than 50kb/s per employee!

Good luck!

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Just Explain....

by dawgit In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...'s very easy, realy, if you really don't want it, (for you, there it sounds like a really bad idea) just explain that it will be great when all the employes and neighbours will be able to read his/her e-mails, and listen in on his/her phone (VOIP-SIP) calls. Gee, won't that be great. :-)

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Different tactic

by prouthier In reply to CEO wants pure wireless e ...

Like to start off by saying I'm a consultant. Not only do I do technology consulting, but I do business process consulting. Your CEO is looking at this from a dollars and cents point of view. You are not going to convince him by using terms such as bandwidth, output, throughput or any other technical terms. You need to build a business case that outlines the inherent dangers of going completely wireless from a dollars and cents perspective.

Show your CEO articles of how much its cost to recover from a hacked network. Show him articles on how costly it is to wire after the walls have been put up. Not too mention that it reduces the overall worth of his building. Show him soft numbers with regards to a reduction in productivity due to slower speeds and data retrieval. To win over your CEO, you're going to have to show him the costs if he doesn't put in a wired network. Bottom line; You need to scare him financially to get it done!

Also, sometimes it is really hard to get your point across when you are the employee. Sometimes, it is better to go to someone outside of the company to get your point across. If you truly want to help your CEO make the right decisions, you may want to contact a consultant. Unfortunately, your CEO may take his word over yours, but in the long run you will get what you need and the company will be better off for it!

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