When implementing a WLAN, the concepts generally associated with network
management come into a whole new light.With a traditional wired LAN, most
network management can be done through configuration of switches, routers,
and the layout of the physical cable plant. Monitoring takes place through management
tools that watch the network through the devices and statistics or network-
related information can be gathered through these tools.
In a WLAN, it has been difficult to port these types of management tools and
procedures over to a whole new network infrastructure. Most of the existing tools
are not designed to handle WLANs, and the tools that are designed for WLANs
are not necessarily designed to interface well with existing network tools.This has
led to difficulty in WLANs being adopted into corporate environments where network
management is a critical and necessary part of daily operations.
As the wireless technologies improve, more and more tools are available to
help integrate WLANs into an existing wired LAN infrastructure. Obviously, one
of these tools is the subject of this book, the Cisco Wireless-Aware LAN.This
concept is covered later in this chapter and throughout the remainder of the
book.The important point to remember is that wireless technologies evolve almost daily and as time goes on, the integration of WLANs and wired LANs
will become easier to administer and control.