IT teams today are asked to manage and support a lot.
Monitoring who’s on the network and what devices or applications they’re using. Troubleshooting WiFi performance problems and fixing them in real-time. Pushing out updates and patches to hundreds of access points. Managing and supporting multi-vendor systems, reporting miles of WLAN data, and finally keeping everyone and everything compliant.
Large scale wireless deployments come with many obstacles, and one of the most difficult to overcome is how you manage the above examples after the system has been implemented?
Unlike networks of old, today’s wireless or RF environments are alive. They’re dynamic, and this inherent factor means IT needs to have complete visibility and control over every different part of the system.
This is where a WiFi management solution comes in to play.
The basic concept of WiFi management is to provide IT teams with the ability to manage all of the users and devices on their entire network from one centralized interface or dashboard.
It allows IT operations to concentrate their efforts more effectively on proactively optimizing network performance, while at the same time avoiding problems before they have a chance to happen.
However, before you choose a WiFi management solution you need to make sure it can support the right mission-critical functions.
To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a short list of 5 qualities every WiFi management solution needs to have before you make your decision.
Bandwidth is a hot commodity in every RF environment, and without proper management of it, mission-critical applications can take a back-seat to things like YouTube. The right solution will have the ability to create and enforce bandwidth shaping policies that throttles the amount of available bandwidth based on the user, time, device, location and even application.
Adaptive Radio Management
We like to say wireless networks are alive, meaning their dynamic, and because of this your network management solution should be dynamic. It’s critical for performance and troubleshooting that you can monitor RF coverage maps in real-time.
Do you remember when you had to configure your access points individually? Seems like a nightmare because it was. Now you can configure a single management platform and then send that configuration out to all of your access points. Additionally, growing your network has been simplified as well, with the ability to add access points to your network and having them automatically join your wireless network.
Reporting and Compliance
Proper reporting of your WLAN can help you to proactively manage the overall health and performance of your network as well as in some cases be necessary for compliance regulations.
It’s important that your WiFi management solution can do the following:
- Historical reporting
- Process logs
- Device level reporting such as usage data and performance data
- Trending metrics
- Network monitoring
- RF Health
- Proactive alerts
The reality today, is that most WLANs are complex systems made up of many different pieces, where in many cases those pieces are from different generations and from different vendors.
You need the ability to have detailed visibility and control no matter what product it is, no matter what generation it is. From legacy WiFi infrastructure to 802.11ac APs, you need a solution that allows you to see and control everything that is connected to your network.