What is a wireless LAN controller and who has taken it to the cloud?

colibri serviceThe main function of a traditional wireless LAN controller (WLC ) is to configure wireless access points (AP) that connect to it locally.

However, due to the technological characteristics of a wireless area network (or Wi-Fi as it is commonly known), the traditionally used Wi-Fi network architecture and the manufacturers’ commercial strategies, a WLC carries out or can carry out many other functions, which can be grouped into the following categories:

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Eduardo Tejedor: Telecommunications Engineer, Teldat V.P. Strategic Marketing

Final step of convergence: ALL IP

voip solutions The increasing convergence of voice and data has been going on for many years. The shift towards Voice over IP (VoIP) has already started!

In some countries such as Germany, there has been going on a discussion about when to decommission the public ISDN networks. The end of ISDN and analog telephone connections is approaching. In Germany all current landline connections will be shifted to IP based connections by the end of 2018. All data, whether voice, email or video, will be exclusively transmitted by the Internet Protocol IP.

Impacts

Having only one technology for all telecommunication networks requires some essential changes. Network providers take advantage from the benefit of a simpler and more cost-effective network structure. Numerous companies have enjoyed (and still do) the advantages of ISDN services, such as X.25, FTAM, CAPI or OFT. Nevertheless, let’s do not forget the most basical part of telephony which is without any doubt the voice quality. ISDN offers an excellent voice quality and of course no one who has already enjoyed a very high quality wants to move a step back. As a consequence the voice quality of VoIP has to be the same as of ISDN (at lease more or less) and a solution has to be found in order to ensure the quality.

Voice Quality – Quality of Service (QoS)

Quality of Service is the magic word and guarantees exceptional voice quality when you use Voice over IP technology. Professional routing solutions always provide QoS functionalities which give, for instance, voice traffic a higher priority for making sure that there is always sufficient bandwidth for voice applications. It classifies the streams of data and a sophisticated traffic management gives preference to voice data over e-mail data within a VPN tunnel. This results in exceptional voice quality even when bandwidth usage is at its highest. In order to provide maximum security, a professional integrated IPSec implementation uses preshared keys as well as certificates.

Conclusion

Voice quality is only one challenge to cope with when the final shift to ALL IP will happen but it is certainly one of the most fundamental requirements for anybody picking up the phone. The strict separation between the competence areas data and voice is history and ALL-IP will be no longer a vision of the future. In this current transition phase, it is absolutely necessary to have a strong partner with multidimensional know-how because ALL IP not only brings two worlds together but merges them. Teldat is in an excellent position because two of the manufacturer’s core competences are data and voice. Therefore Teldat is a strong partner to have when entering the new world of ALL IP.

Heidi Eggerstedt: Heidi Eggerstedt is part of the bintec-elmeg's Marketing Department. Within this department she is responsible for Marketing Documentation and Translations

Wireless LAN – correctly installed in companies

wireless lan controllerBy now wireless LAN is not just a “nice to have“ gimmick anymore but an essential part of IT in companies. Depending on the industry or sector, the availability of a wireless LAN network is now often integrated as part of the workflows, besides the usual office applications. Availability and security of the wireless LAN for these applications rank among business-critical parts of the infrastructure.

Faulty installations or unprofessional solutions can risk security in companies or interrupt accustomed workflows.

What makes the difference in detail?

The network should be constantly monitored by a wireless LAN controller. A wireless LAN controller alerts each failure of an access point. By means of a wireless LAN controller the administrator can document performance and availability of the network at any time and also indentify problems on time.

Professional access points constantly scan their environment and therefore detect threats or attacks. The scanning process of the environment is automatically carried out in the background without any interruption of data transmission. Some highly advanced solutions don’t even need an external, separate access point for monitoring.

A WIDS (Wireless Intrusion Detection System) detects any threat at an early stage and informs the network administrator via email alerts or reports via a SNMP trap to a network management system. If a so-called rogue access point is detected, the approximate location of the attack will be determined which facilitates removing the rogue access point. The integrated WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Protection System) detects password cracking attacks of clients or sending of inadmissible frames which would reduce the performance of the wireless LAN. Such attacks will be fended off and ignored, suspicious clients will be quarantined.

Professional load balancing: Wireless LAN client

Professional load balancing includes several technical processes which all together make sure that each wireless LAN client is always connected to the optimal access point and therefore can work optimally. This kind of load balancing ensures for example that a wireless LAN client trying to connect to an access point which serves already many clients will be rejected and will be connected to an access point with less data load. If an access point provides two radio modules and sends data in 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency, band steering makes sure that the wireless LAN client preferably uses the more powerful 5 GHz frequency. Further protocols such as airtime fairness and the integrated bandwidth limitation enable the optimized usage of the medium air. All together these technical measures ensure in big installations that a vast number of clients can be provided with wireless LAN.

Teldat’s wireless LAN concept has been proven to be the perfect solution for congresses and major events, as well as other scenarios. Our Wireless LAN hardward and software covers all the essential issues, mentioned above.

Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager

Connecting branches via VPN

Router cloud para oficinasSmooth-running backup solution via LTE

The requirements for connecting branches or company subsidiaries are not only a technical issue but are also substantially driven by costs. In order to keep up in a global environment chain, operators have to keep their costs low and ensure lean, fast processes. This means basically that branches and subsidiaries have to be managed and administrated centrally. An elementary part is the IT infrastructure connecting all users within the network securely, economically and without great effort.

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Bernd Buettner:

EUTC Annual Conference

smart grid router enterpriseTogether with some Teldat colleagues I recently attended the annual conference of EUTC (European Utilities Telecom Council), which brought together some of the main actors in the development of the Electric Grid, not only from Europe, but from all over the world.

The Grid is evolving at a huge pace to be able to cope with the enormous transformations that are taking place both in generation and consumption of electricity. The sessions provided much insight into how these changes are affecting the Electric Grid and what will need to be done in order to adapt to them.

The grid: electrical generation and consumption

Electrical generation is quickly becoming distributed through the development of new electrical plants (mostly renewables). In addition to having to control more generation points, the complexity greatly increases due to the variable output of many of these new plants.

As for electrical consumption, the Grid needs to cope with important upcoming challenges, such as the use of electric vehicles, which demand very large amounts of power while they charge. When correctly managed, the batteries on these vehicles could also serve as backup power in certain scenarios. Some consumers also use solar power to reduce their electricity consumption during the daytime. These are only some examples of the large changes in electricity consumption that are developing. Taking into account and adapting to this fast changing environment is vital to maintain the reliability of the Electrical Grid.

Teldat´s presentation at EUTC

The Conference sessions explored the innovations that are being applied in the Smart Grid in order to maintain and increase its reliability in the face of the increased complexity that is developing.

Various Conference sessions by all actors involved in Smart Grid deployments explored how to adapt and upgrade the Smart Grid’s communication network (the “Smart” part of the Grid) in order to cope with the new scenarios. The solutions that were studied included the transition from legacy SCADA networks to modern packet-based solutions. Current deployments were reviewed and new possibilities were proposed in order to ensure that the Electric Grid can remain stable and secure. In fact security was one of the main issues analyzed, given that the Electric Grid has become part of the critical infrastructure in developed nations, which rely on it for the wellbeing and everyday needs of their citizens. Sessions did not forget to explore how to make the whole Grid interconnect while blocking outside attacks which could compromise its integrity.

My presentation focused on the challenges and opportunities faced when bringing network connectivity to the outer parts of the electrical network: the smaller secondary substations. At these locations the DSO (Distribution System Operator) companies typically cannot provide network connectivity using their own infrastructure and must rely on public networks or deploy new networks in order to assure proper connectivity. Teldat can offer a solution for these cases based on its successful Regesta-PRO ER router line.

Daniel Alvarez Wise:
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