These days just having wifi isn’t good enough, you have to have “good” and “reliable” wifi. It’s almost become universally expected to have top-notch wifi performance at all times, no matter where you are, no matter what the device. Half the battle is creating a robust network, the other half is continuously optimizing your network for the best possible performance. This can be easier said than done, especially in an increasingly mobile, app-centric world.
Optimization means you are constantly testing and refining your network, not necessarily the entire WLAN but more likely piece by piece. Testing is critical to keeping your wireless network performing at it’s peak as well as avoiding or minimizing potential issues. After all, testing allows you to discover new tactics and better insights into your network that will lead you to exceptional growth.
So when things go wrong and your wifi performance isn’t keeping up with the demand where can you turn?
Fortunately, there are a few tests out there you can run to optimize your wifi performance. So, to help you understand your options and get into the routine of always testing your WLAN, here is a list of 3 specific tests you can try to create a better performance for both your end users and yourself.
Application Performance Testing
There’s really no getting around it, most of the tools that we use today to “troubleshoot” or diagnose our networks are outdated. The most frustrating part is just how limited these tools have become, performing only “is it on” type tests, referring to computers that are tethered to a wall.
So what happens when you introduce mobile devices?
Imagine you’re supporting mobile devices that are running critical applications and they’ve stopped working properly, on top of that now your users are starting to complain that the “wifi is bad”. Here’s where it gets tricky, because we’re dealing with mobile it’s hard to know what the issues is. Is it with the application, the wireless, the device, the bandwidth, the switching or just good old fashioned user error? This is where application performance testing can be a powerful solution. With application performance testing you can simulate exactly what your users are experiencing, then benchmark that performance against how it should be performing. This is really the tip of the iceberg with application performance testing, you can find out more from our recent blog post, “Unique Answer to Solving Your Wifi Performance Problems for Good”.
Mobility Readiness Assessments
Secure Mobility is here and it’s not going anywhere, in fact it’s just the opposite. Today most, if not all businesses and organizations have some type of wireless LAN and most certainly wired networking in place. However, is your current set-up what you need to properly support your end users and applications? Do you have the right wireless access points installed with the right AP layout? Do you have the right switch infrastructure in place so that your wired infrastructure doesn’t bottleneck your wireless users? How do these new mobile devices and apps affect your wired network performance, especially when they are competing against your business critical applications? A mobility assessment analyzes all of your wireless networking as well as your wired infrastructure and performance management to prepare not only for today but for tomorrow as well.
We don’t just call it mobility we call it “Secure Mobility” because you can’t have mobility without proper security. With mobility comes new security challenges and risks, this comes in large part from allowing users to connect from anywhere, at anytime on devices that you don’t own. There are some requirements in place like HIPPA and PCI to enforce some minimum security standards but the real challenge is protecting your sensitive information from misuse or even theft. To do so requires complete visibility, a security assessment will allow you to take a detailed look at your network and find out exactly what kinds of activities are taking place, identifying any risks you may have.
Here’s the interesting thing: proper security (i.e. shutting down bandwidth sucking file sharing apps) can actually lead to much greater performance. Many times customers think they’ve got a wireless performance issue, but what they actually have are security issues creating havoc on their wireless network. Once your risks have been identified a proper security solution can be created to give you the correct security posture that improves the performance for your ever increasing, mobile environment.
Although each wireless and wired network is different, they all have the same goal; delivering the best wifi performance possible to it’s end users, both reliably and securely. With today’s environments becoming more complex and more challenging, it’s more important than ever to continuously test and monitor your network. With the amount of users, devices and applications involved we think it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
For almost a decade at SecurEdge we’ve been helping enterprise level businesses and organizations of all kinds to design, build and optimize their wireless networks and infrastructure in order to support their specific processes and goals. If you have any questions we’d love to help, simply get in touch with us here.