Backgrounder for policy discussions on wireless
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Backgrounder for Policy Discussions on Wireless. Terry Gray Director, Networks & Distributed Computing Scott Mah Director, Communication Technologies February 2004. Outline. Generalities Technology Issues Policy Issues Funding Issues Bandwidth Issues. Wireless is.

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Backgrounder for policy discussions on wireless l.jpg

Backgrounder for Policy Discussions on Wireless

Terry Gray

Director, Networks & Distributed Computing

Scott Mah

Director, Communication Technologies

February 2004

Outline l.jpg

  • Generalities

  • Technology Issues

  • Policy Issues

  • Funding Issues

  • Bandwidth Issues

Wireless is l.jpg
Wireless is...

  • Addictive (users love it)

  • Seductive (appears to be cheaper/easier than it is)

  • Expensive to scale to an enterprise-class solution

  • Encouraging enclaves, balkanization

  • Rapidly changing technology

  • Hard to control

  • Hard to secure

  • Either parasitic upon, or synergistic with, overall campus network infrastructure

  • Best seen as needing to parallel history of deployment of Internet at the UW

  • Becoming mission-critical

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Key Issues

  • Central vs Departmental wifi coexistence

  • Technical standards

  • Unauthorized access points

  • Security policies (protecting others)

  • Access control policies (who can use?)

  • Funding and accounting policies

  • Rented space, student-owned equipment

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Technology Issues

  • Standards

    • IEEE 802.11a, b, e, f, g, h, i (and more!)

    • IEEE 802.1x, LEAP, PEAP, TLS, TTLS

  • Monitoring, management

  • RF propagation, interference, pwr mgt

  • Security, access control

  • Performance, QoS

  • Availability, Reliability

  • Convergence

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Impact of VOIP over Wireless

  • Separate backbone?

  • Campus-wide roaming?

  • Quality/Reliability expectations?

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Policy Issues

  • Access control

  • Departmental/private nodes

  • Who, if not C&C under U-TAC policy direction, owns/controls RF spectrum?

  • Who defines standards and minimum security and coexistence policies?

  • Who enforces standards & minimum security and coexistence policies?

  • How will an extensible, scalable and sustainable model be established

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Central vs. Departmental Tensions

  • C&C not out front (we’d say not able to be :-)

  • Inconsistent access policies (private enclaves)

  • Inconsistent or non-existent security provisions

  • Inconsistent or incompatible technology

  • Inconsistent upgrade & maintenance policies

  • 24-7 management

  • Integration with central network infrastructure

  • Integration with central authentication infrastructure

  • Risks to central net infrastructure and nearby hosts

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Private Wireless Nodes on the Campus Net

  • Rationale:

    • Central service not available

    • Central wireless service too expensive (can plug cheap wireless access point into campus net)

    • Central service sometimes more inconvenient for visitors

    • Central service is an attractive nuisance

    • Very special research requirements

    • Special security requirements

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Funding Issues

  • Central, departmental, subscription (voluntary or mandatory), STF...

  • One-time ‘Capital’ always easier to find than operating $$

  • Recharge strategies incent rogue systems

  • Dealing with rogue access points dramatically increases operational costs and security dangers/costs

  • Department & STF deployments drive costs they don’t pay (‘coping and cleanup is an unfunded mandate’)

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Cost Factors

  • Degree of convergence

    • wired and/vs. wifi data vs. wifi telephony

  • Security & access control

  • Technology immaturity, churn

  • Management & accounting features (exact parallel to routers and e-net switches etc, but harder!)

  • User support

  • Scaling (+ and - economies of scale)

  • Sustainability

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Essential Capital Cost Elements

  • Physical facilities (e.g. power, cooling, pathways, equipment space and antenna space)

  • Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

  • Dedicated subnets for wireless (wired Ethernets to WAPs, switches, routers, security boxes, etc.)

  • Access point management system

  • Authentication system

  • Authentication management system

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Operational Cost Elements

  • UW Staff

    • Design

    • HW Installation and SW Configuration/updating

    • Monitoring and reporting

    • Troubleshooting

    • Security incident handling (harder w/wireless)

    • User Support

    • Sustaining underlying ‘wired’ net. infrastructure

  • Vendor

    • Maintenance & Upgrades (firmware, SW and HW)

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Case Study: MGH (a new and very well wired facility)

  • Size: 99,000 ASF

  • Classrooms: 27 + 12

  • Floors: 4

  • Access Points: 36

  • Initial Cost: $94,000

  • Initial Cost per Classroom: $2,500

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Bandwidth Consequences

  • Wireless implies many more computers, PDAs, hybrid cell/802.11 devices, etc.

  • Steady growth (or maybe even spike, esp. with ‘net generation’ students) in network devices

  • Bandwidth needs track:

    • users

    • usage

    • apps and objects

    • capacity

  • Wireless capacity constrains types of apps (for now)

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Performance Comparison [fromearly 2002;Gig Ethernet can now exceed 900 Mbps ]


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Network Device Growth

Note: Most dips reflect lower summer use; last one is a measurement anomaly

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Outcomes to Avoid

  • Unrealistic security expectations

  • Department wireless deployments that...

    • Confuse users re: who supports what

    • Interfere with or destabilize campus network

    • Create extra threats to others

    • Balkanize net services w/conflicting policies

    • Drive U-wide costs no one is underwriting

  • Non-scalable or non-sustainable models