Wi-Fi experts from Cisco, Aruba, Ekahau, Extreme Networks and Mist Systems talked with Craig Mathias, principal with\u00a0advisory firm\u00a0Farpoint Group, about Wi-Fi performance optimization.\u00a0Based on those interviews, a few best practices for establishing and maintaining optimal WLAN performance clearly jump out.\n\nPerform Wi-Fi needs analysis\nStart with an initial needs analysis, with a careful enumeration of requirements relating to throughput, applications and coverage. Experiment with potential equipment in the production freespace environment to establish a baseline for initial performance expectations and evaluation. Add in the impact of any planned or even anticipated infrastructure additions, new applications and growth in numbers of users and devices.\nSet reasonable Wi-Fi performance expectations\nAssume the availability of no more than 50% of peak specified product throughput given the baseline technology (such as 802.11ac Wave 2), channel bandwidth and assumed client density in any given location.\nBe judicious about Wi-Fi site surveys\nAvoid detailed site surveys except in settings where RF-related challenges are suspected \u2013 hospitals, power plants and facilities with unusual building construction, for example. A sweep with a spectrum analyzer to understand interference and RF propagation behavior is always useful, and occasional exploration with an independent assurance tool is also often valuable as well.\nExplore enterprise Wi-Fi product features\nA massive range of useful functionality is integrated into the management console of enterprise-class Wi-Fi system. Plowing through hundreds of settings and features can take a while, but the time spent learning and using these features offers excellent ROI. Ditto for analytics capabilities as well.\nMonitor Wi-Fi trends over time\nWhile it\u2019s important to work with users directly as even suspect problems appear, it\u2019s equally vital to monitor trends over time. Don\u2019t expect perfection on Day 1. Refinement over time is a much more reasonable expectation and strategy.