Wireless LAN Controllers – CompTIA Network+ N10-006 – 1.2

If you have a wireless network of any significant size, then you probably have a wireless LAN controller. In this video, you’ll learn how wireless LAN controllers are used to configure and manage our wireless networks.

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We have so many mobile devices these days that use wireless networks that we’ve almost become accustomed to expecting that there will be a wireless network wherever we happen to go. In your organization you certainly have more than one access point if it’s more than just you in a single room. You probably have them not only on the floor, but maybe in different buildings.

And in very large organizations they could be even at different locations. You might have tens or even hundreds of access points that you have to manage and take care of. And of course, all of these access points have to be administered. You may need to make configuration changes on those.

For the access policy there might be security settings or just the basic configuration of the access point itself. This network should also be seamless and invisible to the users. They should simply connect to the wireless network, and the wireless network should be able to provide them with access to the network wherever they happen to go.

If you’re one of these organizations with tens or hundreds of access points, then you probably also have a wireless LAN controller. This is usually software that’s loaded on one of your servers, or it’s an appliance like this one that centralizes the management of these access points. Some people call this a single pane of glass. I go to one screen and I can see everything happening with my wireless access points.

This also makes it very easy to deploy access points. You don’t have to do any special configuration. You simply plug the access point into the network, and the wireless controller takes it from there and allows you to configure everything from this central point.

The access controller can also access statistics and performance information, so you’ll know exactly how well your wireless network is running. And if you do need to make a change or configure something different across all of your access points, you can do it in one place on a single wireless controller. And that wireless controller will then push that configuration change to all of your access points.

Of course, what good is a management device if you can’t run reports? And so most wireless controllers have some type of reporting mechanism inside, so that you can get long-term information about how well your wireless network is running. These are usually systems that are proprietary.

The manufacturer of the access point has created a wireless LAN controller that is specific for those access points. So generally those two things will match. But obviously, if you have many different access points, a wireless LAN controller is going to be an important part of your network management.