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Upgrades and documentations



Implementing a network is most of the time easier than upgrading a network. When you implement a network, it is a new network where users are not connected. When you are planning an upgrade, the network is active.

There are three types of upgrades:
Phased upgrades are done in phases, per floor or building block. In this case there is a moment that you manage two type of access points or maybe even two types of vendors at once. This can affect roaming for example.

Forklift upgrades are done overnight or over the weekend. It needs more man power, because you upgrade the whole network at once. You replace all the access points, so users cannot connect any more. You need to pick a moment that has the least impact or accept this impact of not able to work wirelessly. The problem with this is that the day after a lot of incidents can be raised when something is not working properly.

Modular or software upgrades are using the existing access points. Cisco for example has modular that can upgrade an 802.11n access point to an 802.11ac access point. Software upgrades are done because of bug fixes or new features on the access points. There are vendors where an upgrade has not that much impact, but most of the time the access point needs to be rebooted and sometimes this is done all at once.

After upgrades you need to collect evidence that the network still performs. You can do this with throughput tests, coverage tests, roaming tests, latency tests, jitter tests, security tests and compatibility tests. The important thing is whether everything is still working as it worked before the update. Clients should be able to connect and access all the resources.

During a project, there needs documentations created for protecting your company and the customer.
Scope of Work (SOW) is a document that defines what is included and what is not included within the project.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a document signed by the people who are involved binding them to secrecy related to organizational practices plans, products, and processes.
Hold Harmless is a document between the two parties that releases one or both parties from possible legal actions based on accidents and damage.
Network Diagrams
Site Survey Deliverables are documents where the access points need to be deployed, floorplans with the heat maps and other outputs.
Bill of Materials (BoM) is a document with the hardware and software licenses list that needs to be purchased for this implementation.
Network Design Acceptance Criteria are the requirements that must be met to have a properly implemented WLAN. Those criteria can be used during the validation phase.