WAN (Wireless Area Network Explained)

What is WAN?

Hello Blog This article will explain Wireless Area network and it’s layout. There are many types of WAN topologies such as star topologies, fully meshed and partially meshed. These topologies are based on WAN types such as we discussed above. In this document we are going to discuss and differentiate between two different topology which uses frame relay method for connection. For this assignment we have selected two mostly use topology for WAN Star and Fully Mashed. As we all know it is important to have the best topology to get maximum performance form network. There are two main types of WAN popular Today both of them would be explained in following section.

1.     Hub and spoke

In hub a spoke Network there is a centralized site and all other sites are connected to it. For sites to send traffic to another site, it must go through the centralized data center first. It is a central network administration which has control over all sites. Thus the biggest disadvantage is if the central site goes down then the entire network will be down. Below image shows the construction of hub and spoke network.

2.   Mesh Network

“A mesh network is a type of topology used in network design which employs one of two connection arrangements, full mesh topology or partial mesh topology. In the full mesh topology, each node is connected directly to each of the others. In the partial mesh topology, nodes are connected to only some, not all, of the other nodes.” Note that these definitions mention no dependency on any time parameter—nothing is necessarily dynamic in a mesh. With a full-mesh topology, each host has at least two connections to other hosts, and the fault tolerance is about as good as it’s going to get! A single link failure will not prevent one host from reaching another, as shown in the following illustration where one link has been removed.  Even though the more direct path from Host A to Host B is down, the two hosts can still communicate, as they still have a path to each other. Obviously, if multiple links go down, we could have trouble! Below image shows the mesh up wan network.

How to know Which is the best?

Here to know which is the best let’s assume we are designing a network for a chain of retail chain. For the WAN design for the four retail shops we have decided to chose a fully meshed topology based on the following reasons:


With new emerging technology in the internet network such as MPLS which is a relatively new technology; a fully meshed can be now cheaper. Even with link failure there would be other routes that traffic can flow, thus allowing business to operate when there are failure. Quick recovery is then possible with a fully mesh network.

“One of the biggest benefits offered by MPLS is that you don’t have to worry about PVCs—nor do you have to pay for them. The pricing structure of a MPLS circuit is similar to an Internet circuit; you just pay for the access loop as well as a connection fee. Once connected, you have a fully meshed IP network between all remote sites”

Reference: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-6058602.html


We have also considered the importance of the development of the new generation of the web which is Web2.0; the importance of web2.0 to businesses.

As the nature of the business is a retail shop thus to be effective and flexible to the new trends in the web and ecommerce; the company has to make sure that the network is highly available at all time for consumers dealing on ecommerce. With web2.0; social community on the web; the society are active participants which influence the perception of businesses.

As for this network is for a retail shop we think a fully meshed will allow the business to be flexible and fast to response to customer requirement At any moment it would be unacceptable for the network to be down, else it would mean lost of money and the worst unhappy customer which can affect the image of RETAILSHOP.COM.


With the new development in web technology there are many factors that is changing the traffic flow in the network. Traffic flow varies from voice, video , data and much more. There is a need now for businesses to deployed VoIP and due these types of traffic branches need access to multiple branches and thus a fully meshed would be better to support all the real time heavy traffic.

Reference : http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/frame/2007/0226wan2.html



A fully meshed network would also provide load balancing over the network when the traffic is so heavy the flow of traffic can be sent over multiple links in this way the network would be robust and there are also uncertainty in future traffic if the network is designed for, it must be able to cope with future traffic if the company expand.


One of the disadvantages of fully meshed is the cost but for a retail shop with only four branches it would not be that expensive compare with 10 branches. Even if in the future the company expand then it can easily form a partial meshed network with these shops to act like a backbone to other future branches. Thus is would be ideal for future growth of the business as there are plenty room to add new branches to the existing network.

The picture show the map which can be used for future planning. The existing branches as backbone for other future shops.


15 responses to “WAN (Wireless Area Network Explained)

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