Paul Mah runs through the various options for managing multiple-access point wireless networks, including using thin access points, thick access points, virtual controllers and cloud-based controllers.
"I wrote about building a wireless LAN for your SMB yesterday, where I talked about the need for a dedicated WLAN controller when deploying multiple access points (APs). As promised, I will present a general overview of how different vendors approach the management of multiple Wi-Fi APs today.
As WLAN vendors are constantly pushing the envelope with their products, what I'm detailing below should only be used as an approximate framework for initiating a more detailed discussion with your vendor of choice. It is certainly not meant as a cut-and-dry indication of the various capabilities and limitations of the current WLAN players on the market today."
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