Gartner Research

Best Practices for Building NextGen Campus Wired/WLAN Networks

Published: 07 January 2019

ID: G00375190

Analyst(s): Mike Toussaint , Bill Menezes , Andrew Lerner


I&O leaders should look beyond just hardware refresh when building campus networks to account for emerging requirements and the growing impact of IOT devices. This research cuts through marketing hype such as “SD-LAN” with recommendations to future-proof campus network investments.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Unify Management of Both Wired and WLAN Solutions
  • Optimize WLAN Investments by Following Best Practices
    • Document WLAN Use Cases
    • Require Site Surveys
    • 802.11ac Wave 2 Is Good Enough
    • WLAN Refresh Cycles
  • Optimize Wired Investments by Building Good-Enough Campus Switching Fabric
    • Start With Good Enough, Plan for Moderate Growth
    • Two-Tier Core/Access Topology
    • What About POLAN?
    • Interface Recommendations
    • Software, Automation and Management
  • Perform a POC That Verifies Dynamic Device Profiling, Automated Policy and Unified Fabric Management
    • The Refresh Paradox: Hardware Drives Investment, but Differentiation Is in Software
    • POCs Required
    • Looking Forward: Self-Healing/Closed-Loop Automation

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