Hoy en día, es posible virtualizar el controlador; al ejecutarlo de forma distribuida, los AP inteligentes pueden gestionarse a sí mismos con inteligencia coordinada.

Los controladores WLAN (un servidor o aparato montado en bastidor) trabajan con puntos de acceso (AP) delgados que recuperan su firmware y la configuración desde el controlador WLAN, que ofrece un único punto de gestión para toda la red inalámbrica. También actúa como un cortafuegos para todo el tráfico inalámbrico que se dirige a través del controlador, un punto individual de control y terminación para todo el tráfico inalámbrico.

Hoy en día, es posible virtualizar el controlador, implantarlo y ejecutarlo de forma distribuida en los propios AP con inteligencia coordinada. Los AP inteligentes y avanzados se gestionan como un sistema o clúster único y manejan el control y los planos de reenvío de una manera distribuida y coordinada.

Una solución de gestión unificada y control distribuido elimina el controlador anteriormente requerido de arquitecturas de implementación inalámbrica y ofrece muchas posibles ventajas a las organizaciones y sus departamentos de TI.

Ventajas

  • Lower CAPEX: Controller-based architectures involve high upfront capital expenses. They also involve high licensing and maintenance costs. With a distributed control architecture, CAPEX is reduced as no controller is required.
  • Lower OPEX: No controllers means less equipment to operate and manage providing several OPEX benefits: less rack space, less power and cooling requirements, no maintenance fees (especially for unused backup controllers), and, basically, less equipment to be monitored by the IT department.
  • Increased resiliency: In a centralized controller-based architecture, the controller is a single point of failure for the entire wireless network impacting all wireless traffic when the controller fails. The only way to minimize the impact is to add additional redundant controllers, but this comes at a cost. With a distributed control architecture, that single point of failure does not exist. Indeed, the controller function is no longer centralized but shared by all APs in the domain of management.
  • No traffic bottleneck and decreased latency: The WLAN is expected today to connect bandwidth-hungry and/or latency sensitive applications. Over the years, the technology has improved to provide increasing levels of throughput with IEEE standards 802.11a/b/g/n and now 802.11ac. With the distributed control approach, the traffic is no longer tunneled to centralized equipment but directly bridged into the local Ethernet switch.
  • Better scalability: When the maximum number of APs that a controller can manage is reached, deploying additional APs requires an additional controller. The distributed control architecture offers much better scalability: no controller equipement is needed, regardless of the size of the deployment.
  • Last but not least, the distributed control architecture is certainly the shortest route to the next breakthrough in enterprise wireless technology: cloud Wi-Fi.

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