Administer your WLANs easily with Wireless Network Controllerslick
Wireless Network Controllers are an essential part of a wireless network admin’s life. Having explored how they work to ease network management, it would be good to look into the various available wireless controllers from different major vendors.
But first, a quick recap…
“A Wireless Network Controller is a platform/plane that facilitates remote network control and large scale device management, enabling a collection of access points to work as a single network. It basically simplifies device management by giving an administrator full network visibility in real time, enabling him/her to perform a wide array of proactive network management functions like device configuration, troubleshooting, monitoring, optimization, and pushing firmware updates to your APs – all from a central plane. “- Commercial Wi-Fi – Getting it right [part III]
All caught up? Good. Let’s dive into it!
Here are the top 4 wireless network controllers from popular vendors…
cnMaestro™ is a cloud-based or on-premises software platform for secure, end-to-end network control. cnMaestro wireless network manager simplifies device management by offering full network visibility and zero touch provisioning. One is able to view and perform a full suite of wireless network management functions in real time, optimize system availability, maximize throughput, and meet emerging needs of business and residential customers.
It enables an admin to
-Monitor and view the entire network on a single pane of glass
-Preconfigure supported devices so they will be automatically onboarded when provided with network connectivity
-Manage devices via dedicated dashboards with common and centralized upgrade and device configuration workflows.
UniFi Network Management Controller by Ubiquiti Networks
The UniFi® Network Management Controller is a wireless network controller that facilitates end-to-end network device management across different locations — all controlled from a single interface.
It has been tuned to enable a network admin to
-Simply and quickly commission devices with robust configuration via an Intuitive interface.
-Control and monitor a network either locally, on the go, or via the cloud
Infinity Controller is a software platform to configure and manage Wi-Fi networks based on LigoWave devices. It is an ideal solution for small to medium enterprises to build and manage wireless networks. All essential features are available together with the flexibility to use your own server or to register on LigoWave’s cloud based server.
It allows for a network administrator to;
-Administer centralized configuration to deployed access points from a single pane
-Monitor and manage LigoWave WiFi networks
-Easily setup and maintain access points
-Scale up a WiFi network in a large deployment
The LigoWave Infinity Controller is available as an integrated controller embedded within the access point firmware, as an external software platform for Linux or VM VirtualBox (Supporting Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems) or on the Cloud.
CAPsMAN by Mikrotik
Controlled Access Point system Manager (CAPsMAN) allows centralization of wireless network management and if necessary, data processing. When using the CAPsMAN feature, the network will consist of a number of ‘Controlled Access Points’ (CAP) that provide wireless connectivity and a ‘system Manager’ (CAPsMAN) that manages the configuration of the APs, it also takes care of client authentication and optionally, data forwarding.
When a CAP is controlled by CAPsMAN it only requires the minimum configuration required to allow it to establish connection with CAPsMAN. Functions that were conventionally executed by an AP (like access control, client authentication) are now executed by CAPsMAN. The CAP device now only has to provide the wireless link layer encryption/decryption.
CAPsMAN is available as a feature on any RouterOS device from v6.11.
* CAP device should have at least Level4 RouterOS license – https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:CAPsMAN