One of the biggest challenges and overlooked areas of a wireless deployment for a school system is figuring out how in the world you’re going to manage the users, devices and the school wireless network after it’s installed.
In the case of a large school district or a campus network, you may have thousands of users connecting to the wireless network at any given time; all from different types of wireless clients, and all with different types of potential client issues. To make matters worse, the Radio Frequency (RF) environment and user patterns are dynamic, if you don’t have the ability to manage them you're help desk will get overrun with calls and your teachers and students will pull their hair out....or contact the school board which is no fun either.
Why is wireless network management software critical? Consider these questions:
- How will you troubleshoot issues with wireless clients or incorrect passwords- which are about 85% of helpdesk calls after the system is installed?
- How will you determine if a wireless problem is the network, the device, or the client?
- If the issue isn’t the client or the device, how will you determine which networking component is the problem? Is it the wireless access point, the switch infrastructure, the cabling components?
- How will you manage wireless traffic patterns and capacity trending on the wireless network so that you can dynamically adjust the wireless network?
- How will you locate a user or a device attached to the network that is violating a security policy (a rogue access point for example)?
- How will you manage the configuration and compliance of the hundreds of access points that are part of the wireless network?
Intimidated yet? You should be. Managing a large scale campus wireless network and all that comes with it is enough to keep any IT Director or Network Administrator up at night. But these are the hard questions that should be answered BEFORE considering a wireless network deployment.
From our experience, wireless network management software is absolutely critical for school systems to help manage configuration, troubleshooting, security, reporting and usage statistics.
Of course, part of the wireless network design process includes mapping out these types of wireless network management discussions so feel free to contact us or comment below if you have any questions. If you’d like some direction, you can also download or free wireless network design guide, it will get you started on the right path.