Four main design requirements for WLAN solution are:
- Scalability To achieve the scalability, WLAN must be configured in a variety of topologies to meet the needs of specific applications and end users. WLAN has to be easily reconfigured from peer-to-peer networks for a small group of users to vast infrastructure networks of thousands of users that can roam across the areas. Speed and distance are also paramount factors in scalability of a WLAN. When organization grows, more users will get connected to the network. In addition, it is very likely that we need more bandwidth for transferring of larger files, streaming audio/video, and faster speed for real-time conferencing. Distance range can also be a factor in the scalability of the WLAN. New deployment of access points is demanded if the area of office is physically expanded.
- Manageability To achieve the manageability of WLAN, network should be effectively managed; otherwise the benefits that brought by WLAN will quickly diminish and become more of a cost burden than savings. Effective and robust WLAN management software gives network administrators the ability to maximize the performance of network, and to make the WLAN as secure as possible. For example, WLAN management software can monitor every access point in the network from time to time, giving an instant feedback so that the network administrator can immediately adjust the WLAN connection and mitigate the network load.
- Interoperability To achieve the interoperability for WLAN solution, the underlying heterogeneous components should be able to be integrated. The interoperability depends on technology choice and on the specific manufacturer’s implementation. If different manufacturers using the same technology and implementation for their own products, typically the interchange of adapters and access points is allowed. While designing a WLAN, it should be compliant with existing network infrastructure and configuration software, to order to make upgrades easier for system integrators in future.
- Availability To achieve the possible availability, decent processes should be implemented for all aspects of the network, such as software, hardware, security, applications and networking. Availability can be maintained through the proper design of security and network management. In addition, certain automated features can be utilized to reduce errors triggered by human, and to prevent potential failures and minimize the downtime.