The Benefits of Managed WiFi


When WiFi became the norm for corporate users and home users, the proliferation of wireless networks exploded. While this makes for very convenient access to the internet or your corporate LAN, it can bring its own headaches in terms of how you manage the wireless infrastructure. 

These days, even in a large home it is not uncommon to have several access points around the house and for business, there are very few parts of a building that do not want or require WiFi access.

With the huge increase in WiFi capable client devices we each carry around with us, and the coming of IoT (WiFi enables devices) you need a method of easily managing the WiFi infrastructure.

With so many devices attached now, you may need to implement changes to your network or how bandwidth is allocated per device or user or indeed any troubleshooting to pinpoint any failures. With such an extensive network how do you begin looking for any potential area of failure?


How can Cloud Managed WiFi help?


There is no doubt that for many years’ networks have been mission critical and are the foundation that businesses are built upon to provide reliable and responsive communications and services for departments and business partners located in every corner of the globe. This will enable any device, file, and application sharing and provide portals for e-commerce services.

With the network being such a crucial element in the operation of a business, the management of individual network devices is essential. Understanding how and when the network and shared systems and applications are being used is critical to the effective use and planning of networks. Tracking performance and faults of networks, systems and applications in real-time is also essential for minimising your downtime and maximising availability, service levels and customer satisfaction.

Today’s business environments require reliability and optimal performance from their wireless networks, especially as they are likely to include multiple sites, possibly globally. Cloud-managed wireless networks enable businesses of any size to provision, manage, and grow their wireless networks.  The benefit of a cloud-managed wireless network solution is that it reduces costs, increases productivity, and enhances your network security. All of these benefits of cloud-managed wireless work together to help your business achieve its goals and objectives as technology and business requirements change.

In the past, every network administrator would configure and manage their network devices directly from the command line interface (CLI) of the device. But times have changed since then and the process is much simpler. So how do network managers today, manage or configure their devices with network administrators having to do more with less resources? Also, today's enterprise networks are much larger and configuration of the networks are a more complex task with the convergence of IP devices such as IP telephony, CCTV etc into data networks, whilst maintaining quality of service requirements. Thus, many network administrators use or consider network management tools to help with many of the redundant tasks associated with configuring and monitoring individual network devices. Network management tool vendors are continuously improving the ease of use and efficiency of their tools.

Cloud managed WiFi provides a single point of management for provisioning, troubleshooting, configuration, and firmware management.
 

Single Point of Management


Cloud-managed wireless services provide a single point of management in the cloud for provisioning, troubleshooting, configuration, and firmware management. The ability to have a streamlined interface that enables remote monitoring and troubleshooting, central structure, and firmware management, as well as compliance records and historical data, is a game changer for any business that uses an on-premises wireless local area network (WLAN) today. The management system can be accessed through a Web browser. Your IT administrator can monitor all access points (APs), see what devices are being used to access the network, and keep an eye on security events. Zero touch provisioning.
 

Efficiency Savings


The subscription model of cloud-managed wireless services provides your business with predictable monthly operating expenditures rather than capital expenditures. This is because cloud delivery eliminates the up-front cost of deployment and purchase of traditional on-premises solutions and hardware (e.g., management server appliances, controllers). Of course, not all manufacturers charge for their cloud service. EnGenius Networks offer an Enterprise Solution which has the advantage of Free unlimited cloud management but is not less of an advanced management tool than other expensive subscription services.

In addition, maintenance costs are reduced as various moves, adds, changes, and unpredictable system failures are eliminated with firmware updates happening automatically. SMBs with a small number of IT staff and more than one location can free their staff up to concentrate on other tasks, because the network can be more easily managed.
 

Scaleability


The obvious advantage of cloud-managed WLANs are that they are much easier for you to scale as your organisation grows. True cloud uses FaaS (Functions as a Server technology) which allows an unlimited number of accounts to be added at the press of a button. There are still many instances of controller based "Cloud" solutions, but they are difficult to scale and although additional controllers can be added or taken away, they are more complex to adminster. 

If an organisation adopts more cloud technology in the future for storage or applications, they can be easily added and managed through the cloud as well.

Sites that are situated away from the main office can easily have APs for remote locations configured and automatically downloaded and brought online without sending an engineer to site. These services can support companies that have a single location with one AP to business’s with multiple locations and multiple APs for each location even on a global scale.
 

Upgraded Security


Email alerts network sensors, software, and some applications can automatically detect complications and rogue APs. Auto alerts can be set up out for network monitoring when a problem is detected. In addition, security and software updates are automatic so that critical data is always protected.
 

Analytics and Reporting


Get real-time information on traffic flow, what applications are being used and who are your top users. Notifications of security incidents and a system log of events are available, along with the ability to generate reports, and the correct data to improve your business decision making based on performance.

It can be clearly seen that the benefits of having a managed WiFI solution are a must for any organisation. Not only do they allow you to operate an efficient network but also reduce your network overheads and costs.
 
You can find out about the range of Wi-Fi solutions available from CMW by clicking here. You can also speak to our Wi-Fi  specialist Tony Fossella by emailing tony@cmwltd.co.uk