Describing WLAN Components

This topic explains the hierarchy of components that are required to build a WLAN.

WLAN Components

Autonomous Solution

^ Wireless clients y

Lightweight Solution

Autonomous access points

Access points 0

Lightweight access points

Wireless Domain Services (WDS)

Control f

WLAN controller

WLAN Solution Engine (WLSE)

WLAN management ^

Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS)

PoE switches, routers

Network infrastructure

PoE switches, routers


Network services


A WLAN consists of these components:

■ Wireless clients are connected to the network (for example, notebooks).

■ Access points build the WLAN infrastructure.

— Autonomous access points

— Lightweight access points

■ Lightweight access points are configured using WLAN controllers.

■ WLAN management is used to administer and monitor large deployments of WLANs.

■ Network infrastructure is provided by switches and routers to connect access points, controllers, management, and servers.

■ Network services such as DHCP; and Domain Name System (DNS); and authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) are required for both the wireless network and the user.

■ Cisco Aironet bridges operate at the MAC address layer (data link layer).

© 2006 Cisco Systems, Inc. Wireless LANs 6-113

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