Everyone Knows Distributed Wi-Fi Networks are the Most Reliable. Here’s Why.

Why a distributed Wi-Fi network is a reliable Wi-Fi network 
Humans are dependent, maybe even addicted to our mobile devices. When we are without connectivity for even a few minutes, life comes to a grinding halt and we feel the pain. In today’s mobile world, we expect connectivity and therefore reliability is king. This isn’t opinion. The numbers back me up.
Last year, ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) conducted a study into the reliance of mobile devices within the working environment. The survey results show that 87% of people find mobile devices critical or very important to business productivity. Limited and expensive cellular data contracts have created even greater demands for Wi-Fi mobility. This demonstrates not only how everyone relies on mobile devices, but by not having a reliable architecture, impact on business will occur. 
The key indicator of today’s business system is the reliability and uptime of the network, and only distributed network systems the deliver required reliability, scalability, fault-tolerance, and transparency.
The key to reliability therefore lies in a distributed environment.
The key purpose of distributed systems can be represented by resource sharing, openness, concurrency, scalability, fault-tolerance, and transparency 
– George Coulouris in 1994.  
The distributed system is one in which components located at the networked devices communicate and coordinate their actions only by passing messages. This leads to the best characteristics of distributed systems, concurrency of the components (devices), and independence from the component failures. 
The key goals of a distributed system include:
Transparency: Achieving the image of a single system image without concealing the details of the location, access, migration, concurrency, failure, relocation, persistence, and resources to the users.
Openness: Making the network easier to configure and modify.
Reliability: Compared to a single system, a distributed system should be highly capable of being secure, consistent, and have a high capability of masking errors.
Performance: Compared to other models, distributed models are expected to give a much-wanted boost to performance.
Scalability: Distributed systems should be scalable with respect to geography, administration, or size.
Cost effective
On top of these technological advantages, distributed systems also proved to be the most cost efficient.
Distribution of decision-making and control to each business site is essential for two reasons. 
1- First, local site managers need the flexibility to manage and monitor the network at their site without being dependent on network connectivity and bandwidth back to a central, off-site device. 
2- Second, from a scalability perspective, a distributed network architecture avoids unnecessary data transmissions back to a central device. Distributed network architectures give the local sites the information and tools to manage local network decisions autonomously, thereby enhancing the scalability of the system and making it highly tolerant of network failures and bandwidth shortages.
Scalability
Preparing for the future will help protect your network investment, and keep mobile employees productive.
You may find different definitions of a scalable network, but the common understanding is that a scalable network can be easily and gracefully expanded as demand for capacity increases in the future. To scale the network is to grow the network.
Distributed systems operate effectively and efficiently at many different scales, ranging from a small sales office with one wireless access point to large enterprises with multiple locations and buildings. 
Sometimes we call this ‘scale out’, or horizontal scalability, and it is expected that adding more nodes provides linear growth. 
When you design a network you design for the current needs, but you also design with future needs in mind. If demand increases in your network by for example 40% over the next 12 months, you should not need to redesign the network. Instead you should be able to just add more edge devices without reengineering or sacrificing the performance.
Economics of mobility systems
Distributed systems are able to easily expand and add capacity in small increments, with redundancy that supports the system to work without any compromise, even if individual devices fail. 
Remember that 87 percent of people that find mobile devices critical or very important to business productivity? They will continue to be productive.

Humans are dependent, maybe even addicted to our mobile devices. When we are without connectivity for even a few minutes, life comes to a grinding halt and we feel the pain. In today’s mobile world, we expect connectivity, and therefore reliability is king. This isn’t opinion. The numbers back me up.

Last year, ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) conducted a study into the reliance of mobile devices within the working environment. The survey results show that 87% of people find mobile devices critical or very important to business productivity. Limited and expensive cellular data contracts have created even greater demand for Wi-Fi mobility. As a result, when the architecture supporting these mobile devices is unreliable, there will be an impact on business.

Critical to today’s business system is the reliability and uptime of the network, and only distributed network systems deliver the required reliability, scalability, fault-tolerance, and transparency.

The key purpose of distributed systems can be represented by resource sharing, openness, concurrency, scalability, fault-tolerance, and transparency – George Coulouris in 1994.  

The distributed system is one in which components located at the networked devices communicate and coordinate their actions only by passing messages. This leads to the best characteristics of distributed systems, concurrency of the components (devices), and independence from the component failures. 

The key goals of a distributed system include:

  • Transparency: Achieving the image of a single system image without concealing the details of the location, access, migration, concurrency, failure, relocation, persistence, and resources to the users.
  • Openness: Making the network easier to configure and modify.
  • Reliability: Compared to a single system, a distributed system should be highly capable of being secure, consistent, and have a high capability of masking errors.
  • Performance: Compared to other models, distributed models are expected to give a much-wanted boost to performance.
  • Scalability: Distributed systems should be scalable with respect to geography, administration, or size.

Cost effective

On top of these technological advantages, distributed systems also proved to be the most cost efficient. Distribution of decision-making and control to each business site is essential for two reasons. 

  • First, local site managers need the flexibility to manage and monitor the network at their site without being dependent on network connectivity and bandwidth back to a central, off-site device. 
  • Second, from a scalability perspective, a distributed network architecture avoids unnecessary data transmissions back to a central device. Distributed network architectures give the local sites the information and tools to manage local network decisions autonomously, thereby enhancing the scalability of the system and making it highly tolerant of network failures and bandwidth shortages.

Scalability

Preparing for the future will help protect your network investment, and keep mobile employees productive.

You may find different definitions of a scalable network, but the common understanding is that a scalable network can be easily and gracefully expanded as demand for capacity increases in the future. To scale the network is to grow the network.

Distributed systems operate effectively and efficiently at many different scales, ranging from a small sales office with one wireless access point to large enterprises with multiple locations and buildings. Sometimes we call this ‘scale out’, or horizontal scalability, and it is expected that adding more nodes provides linear growth. 

When you design a network you design for the current needs, but you also design with future needs in mind. If demand increases in your network by for example 40% over the next 12 months, you should not need to redesign the network. Instead you should be able to just add more edge devices without reengineering or sacrificing the performance.

Economics of mobility systems

Distributed systems are able to easily expand and add capacity in small increments, with redundancy that supports the system to work without any compromise, even if individual devices fail. 

Remember that 87 percent of people who find mobile devices critical or very important to business productivity? They will continue to be productive.

Metka is a Product Marketing Manager at Aerohive. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in IT industry and delivering training programs.

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