Wireless networking has grown in both scope and complexity over the past 5 years or so. Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are required to support programs like BYOD, guest Wi-Fi access, and a growing number of connected devices (yes, this includes the IoT). The problem for most IT teams is, how do you effectively manage your WLAN (especially when you’re a small team)?
Two of the biggest challenges for many business owners regarding their WLAN are:
- Time – Wireless is only a part of your overall responsibilities, mission-critical, but still only a fraction of what you’re tasked to support. It can be very difficult to keep up with the demand.
- Experience/Skill Set – Again, wireless networks are complex. It takes many years of specific experience as well as the right certifications to fully understand and deploy the correct WLAN design. You might not know who to work with, the features needed to deploy a reliable wireless network, as well as the tools required to maintain optimal wifi performance levels.
If you’re struggling to manage your wireless system, there are a couple options that could make everything a lot easier.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to do.
Deploy a Wireless Network Management System
Having real-time visibility of your entire wireless LAN is critical when it comes to managing its health, security and performance.
A wireless network management system will collect data from across your entire network and from that data display vital insights, all from a centralized dashboard.
This allows you and your team to manage your network more efficiently as well as more proactively, speeding up troubleshooting and even fixing potential problems before they start.
Your IT team needs real-time visibility into the following:
- signal coverage - a “heat map” of the RF signal being provided by your access points throughout your facility. Like we’ve said before, your wireless network is dynamic, things change constantly throughout the day.
- device connections - provides you with current information on client devices and data they are accessing, how healthy the connection is, and the APs they are utilizing.
- device locations - A triangulation of access points that allows you to locate a client device within the business campus.
Your NMS should adapt with you as your WLAN scales. For instance, if your business installs new APs, your network management system should seamlessly adjust as necessary.
With a wireless network management system in place, you can now configure one AP and push it out to the rest--a lot easier than doing each one separately, right?
Leveraging the data or analytics being generated on your network is critical to keeping your WLAN running at the required performance levels. With the right network management system, you can gain access to the following types of reports:
- Usage data and performance data for differing devices
- Historical reporting
- RF health
- Process logs
- Proactive Alerts.
If your IT department is relatively small, or maybe you’re just worried your expertise isn’t where it needs to be on all fronts, partnering with a wireless services provider that is equipped with the ability to help you manage your wireless system may be the option you were looking for.
This doesn’t mean they’ll have full control; you can pick and choose which portions you deem necessary for them to assist you with.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing either, it could be project to project or nuts to bolts, the choice is up to you and whatever your needs are.
Adding managed services provides your team with 5 benefits:
- Improved security and compliance
- Timely firmware and software updates
- Faster troubleshooting
- Proper hardware upgrades and WLAN planning
- Better visibility and management of your wireless network
Managed services are scalable to your needs, so there is no one size fits all for every company, again, you can pick and choose what is right for you.
Watch the quick (less than 2 minutes) video below to learn why your wireless network is so unreliable.
The demand for always-on, always available, anywhere Wi-Fi access has created many new challenges for every industry.
Your network requires 24/7 device management and a network security posture that protects everyone’s data at all times.
At the end of the day, these challenges are here, they’re real, and only becoming more complex to manage, especially for SMBs.
Integrating a wireless network management system needs to be a serious consideration today, no questions asked--you’ll thank us in the long run.
Managed services offer a great solution to bolster your existing IT capabilities with an experienced partner, or if you need it, to completely run your wireless needs. The best part it’s completely up to you as to how much or little you need.
With the flexibility and intelligence of cloud-based tools and real-time analytics, managed services ensures that your business always has the best performance, reliability and security available today.
At SecurEdge, we provide the platform to simplify networking and deliver a reliable, robust, and secure wireless system-–it’s all we do. If you have any questions or would like to discuss an upcoming project, please contact us here.