Everything You Need to Know About a Wireless Assessment

Written by Michael McNamee Michael McNamee | January 1, 2019 | Read Time: 4 mins

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Everything You Need to Know About a Wireless Assessment Video Transcription:

One of the many professional services offerings we provide here at SecurEdge Networks is a wireless assessment. To understand the benefits of this service I would like to walk you through what it is, why it is needed, how the service works and what you get from the service.

Let’s start with what is a wireless assessment…

A wireless assessment is an analysis of your current wireless installation that looks at specific environmental, architectural and configuration factors that impact the performance and functionality of your system.

The wireless assessment looks at the following items:

  • First, we review the RF coverage and capacity design and how access points are distributed throughout your environment.
  • We also look into the RF environment and what is happening around and within it that can affect wireless performance.
  • The physical installation including the mounting and orientation of the access points and antennas plays a role in performance and will require review.
  • Your cabling infrastructure that supports the access point backhaul to the network is critical to performance and also merits an inspection.
  • We will request an overview of your switching infrastructure that handles the traffic from the access points and clients onto the network.
  • The WLAN design and configuration that administers the system will be looked at. This includes the channel arrangement, power settings, data rates, number of broadcast SSIDs and other factors that have an impact on the performance of the system.
  • We also consider integrated components; NAC or AAA services, as well as network services like DHCP and DNS that are critical to the support of optimally performing Wi-Fi.

Why is it needed? Your first question is most likely going to be why do you need a wireless assessment?

  • Without looking holistically at the system as a sum total including all connected parts you cannot get a complete picture of how the system interoperates and how specific components affect the performance of the system.
  • The wireless assessment is necessary because it will uncover specific configurations or components that are affecting the performance of the system and will provide insight into what is required to remediate them to improve the overall health of the system.

How does the engagement work? What is involved in the wireless assessment service?

  • A SecurEdge assessment engineer will work with you to gather as much information about your current system configuration, end to end, as is possible.
  • A site visit will be scheduled in which the assessment engineer will visit the site or sites that the system is deployed in.
  • During the site visit the assessment engineer will need access to areas where the access points are deployed to verify installation method, alignment and orientation. The engineer will also need access to switch closets to verify connectivity of the APs and proper termination of AP connections.
  • The assessment engineer will also need access to the configuration of the WLAN system (controller or virtual controller, network management system, etc.) to look at how the system is configured to operate and if best practices are being followed.
  • During the site visit the assessment engineer will run analysis software to capture performance information about the WLAN system and to identify potential areas having performance challenges. This process can also include an RF site survey of the environment to provide a detailed view of the actual RF coverage of the system. This is not always needed so it is something that is discussed during the scope planning of the assessment since it can potentially add unnecessary cost to the engagement.

What is the result? What do you get? Finally, what do you get out of the wireless assessment?

  • At the conclusion of the wireless assessment the assessment engineer and your account executive will deliver to you the reports that were gathered during the engagement which will include the wireless assessment report which is an overall summary of the assessment.
  • The wireless assessment report will provide a list of the findings that the assessment engineer found to be of concern with the wireless system. These findings will be itemized individually and will be noted with what was specifically of concern.
  • The wireless assessment report will also provide a list of recommendations for remediating the items that were of concern from the findings section of the report. The recommendations will be very specific about what changes are needed, why they are needed and how they will improve the performance of the system.

Our end goal is to identify any areas where your wireless network can be improved and as a result resolve any ongoing performance issues you have been having with it. The wireless assessment service has helped many of our customers achieve better Wi-Fi performance and even extend the life of their existing wireless systems. Let us know how we can help you with our wireless assessment service.

 End transcription.

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