Wired versus Wireless: Are we ready to cut the cord?

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I recently wrote about about the readiness of wireless for enterprise networks, saying that even with .11n, most companies shouldn't yet jump to a 100% wireless office. Josh Stephens over at Solar Winds disagrees, saying we're ready to cut the cord and go all wireless.
Any thoughts out there from people who've actually tried it? Time after time, cost and compatibility issues have always cropped up with people I've interviewed, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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I would agree that wireless isn’t quite ready for all uses. If you have highly sensitive data, it’s never a good idea to send it over the air via a radio – that’s never as secure as sending it via wires.

WLANs are also just not as fast as wires. .11n is pretty quick – just as good as 10/100 ethernet if you’ve got everything setup correctly – but it’s not as fast as gigabit ethernet. Not a big deal if you’re just browsing the web, but it does really matter if you’re moving large files around the LAN.

My expeience is that in some buildings it just doesn’t work properly.

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  • Denny Cherry
    I would say this falls into the it-depends category. Some business may be ok in an all wireless environment. However companies like print shops where the graphics artists actually need 1 Gig lines to their desks probably don't want to try opening that 10 Gig photoshop file over a shared ~100 Meg wireless link.
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  • r3boot
    i agree with MrDenny it falls on the "it depends category" bec. it all depends on the needs of company.
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  • Darkstar911
    Wireless networks are more vulnerable to DOS attacks than wired. They could be easliy misconfigured and leave security holes in the networks.
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  • Michael Morisy
    Thanks for all the feedback. But do any of you actually use an all-wireless environment? I definitely understand there's a lot of factors that affect the decision, but I've run into very few companies that are actually going that route. Is your office 100% wireless? Do you know of any offices? What characteristics allow that?
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  • JoshStephens
    Michael, There are many companies out there that have gone all wireless in all or part of their build outs and are loving it - Microsoft, eBay, Google, Yahoo, and NASA just to name a few... Here are some more details and more on why I think the time as come to cut the cord... The Geek Blog Josh
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  • Maswawan
    There is no such 100% wireless or 100% wired network solution for corporate infrastructure. Both wireless and wired has it owns advantages and disadvantages. We need to combine these two. Wired is better in term of speed ( we have 100G Ethernet coming), security and reliability. Wireless wins in term of flexibility, mobility. I don't believe single solution fits all. If someone suggesting 100% wireless, maybe either he/she is from wireless vendor or putting too much trusts on wireless technology. Just simple example in a small office or company, although all the clients are using wireless, I don't think it is advisable to hook the server directly to wireless cloud. Don't you think ?
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