Is Wireless Cloud Networking The Answer To Your WiFi Problems?
Providing reliable and secure enterprise WiFi access has been keeping network administrators awake at night for more than a decade. Access points keep failing, the signal drops without warning, interference from other devices in the office sporadically affects performance, WLAN drivers continually need updating, and that’s before we even consider the security implications of having WiFi access points broadcasting their existence to the outside world.
But times are changing; wireless has seen the biggest step change in the technology of all the networking protocols over the past five years or so. The introduction of cloud management solutions from companies like AeroHive, along with new networking standards such as 802.11AX, mean that WiFi networks are faster and more reliable than ever before.
What is wireless cloud networking?
The concept of wireless cloud networking first appeared in 2012 when companies such as AeroHive began using a more distributed cloud-based approach to creating and managing large numbers of Wireless Access Points (WAPs). The wireless cloud networking management approach allows network administrators to centrally configure, secure and manage individual WAPs, which enable seamless handoff from each WAP device, allowing users to move around a building freely without losing network connectivity.
This central cloud controller also allows network administrators to manage devices from a single location, reducing the amount of time required on site and increasing network availability. Individual WAPs can be rebooted, reconfigured, updated or taken offline without an engineer having to be on site. This single pane of glass also increases network visibility, allowing administrators to spot potential bottlenecks and fix them before end users are affected. This has even greater benefits for larger locations that have distributed networks, with the amount of hardware required to manage the network significantly reduced compared to using traditional WLAN controllers.
The changing LANscape
This step change in technology means that we are now at a stage where centrally managed wireless networks are able to compete with traditional wired Ethernet networks for speed and reliability. But should you make the change over? The answer depends on the size and complexity of your network. Certainly, for larger distributed enterprises, a cloud-based approach makes sense, the central management of the console will improve both reliability and security while reducing admin costs.
Many educational establishments will also benefit from having a centrally managed wireless network. Most schools and colleges don’t have enough expertise in-house to manage a large WiFi deployment, which results in patchy performance and compromised security. By handing this over to an experienced wireless cloud networking management company, costs can be contained while improving the performance and security of the overall network.