Commercial Wi-Fi – Getting it right [part III]lick
First of all, Happy New Year!
Alright! So, where were we? When we started off, the aim was to get it right when deploying commercial Wi-Fi. Well, it’s still is the aim…nothing has changed.
Previously, on this series…
First, we looked at 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard which supports high capacity data rates from multiple devices simultaneously, without degrading the access point’s performance. We then looked at meshing technology, which enables wireless access points to share information with each other wirelessly, making it easy to scale up your wireless network. Find more details about 802.11ac and meshing here and here respectively.
And now, the final piece!
Wireless networks are susceptible to a wide array of issues, and need constant management in terms of Monitoring, Configuration, Troubleshooting, Optimization and Upgrades. In a large deployment, managing wireless networks can be quite tasking if you have zero visibility of your network. Consider this…
You have multiple sites up and running and your clients can freely roam without difficulty. You’re getting calls here and there about connectivity issues, which is normal…most WISPs get those after all, right? A quick dash to the affected area will sort that out. You soon realize that you can’t keep up with quick dashes to attend to issues and have to hire more support techies to help out. As much as you now have your dash and sort game figured out, you realize that you are relying on customer complaints to attend to issues. You have zero visibility over your network, making it hard for you to monitor and manage it. Every complaint call from your customer is a surprise. Woe unto you if you seem not to know the issue firsthand. Beef!
Say, you’ve identified a new site that you want to conquer, before your competition gets there. You want to rapidly deploy 50 access points which prove to be a nightmare to configure, so you call in for help from fellow techies. It takes you a while to have them all configured to your standards, but you have it done all the same. During deployment, you realize that one of your aides decided to be experimental with your gear and configuration, and now you need to dash to the site to reconfigure and re-calibrate your AP. Stress!
It’s time to change the game, and save time and resources. It’s time to know your network, attend to issues proactively, and scale up smart! How?
Wireless Network Controllers.
So, what is it?
It’s a super-speed human thing that dashes to your network sites to sort issues…
Okay…you got me.
Seriously though, Wireless Network Controllers facilitate 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.
Wireless Network Controllers can take various forms; it can be an On-Premise hardware appliance, Virtualized software, Cloud based, or Access Point based [in-built]. A simple yet effective example of a wireless network controller in action would be when you want to rapidly scale up your wireless network. In a case where you have 50 access points, you don’t have to configure each AP individually. All you have to do is define the access point profile/parameters -Access info [SSIDs and passwords], addressing, AP name, security, roaming, meshing, QoS – in the controller. Once done, just plug the access points into the controller, which will then automatically find and configure the access points.
Even more, if you want to make changes in configuration to the deployed APs, e.g. push security and firmware updates, you can do all that centrally from a single pane, instead of visiting each AP site. From the same pane, you can also monitor your wireless network for performance, and quickly respond to issues that may arise even before your clients notice. That’s so ninja, ain’t it?
What does this translate to?
-Effective network management; Full visibility into your network, enabling you to proactively handle emerging needs and issues.
-A robust network; An optimized network that is always available to meet business needs. That’s customer satisfaction and client retention. Repeat business is key!
-A smart scalable network supporting rapid deployments with minimal resources.
The IoT [Internet of Things] is here and is evolving fast! Everything is communicating with everything. It would be difficult to manage your network with limited visibility. It’s about time the cart went behind the horse. Be in control. Stay on top of Things in the IoT. Ensure that you have a Wireless Network Controller for your commercial Wi-Fi projects.
You’re all set now. You may go ahead and confidently start your commercial Wi-Fi project. Need any help?
Do contact us for deeper insight into this technology. We are not box movers; We are solution providers.
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