As the modern workforce becomes increasingly mobile, businesses of all sizes have substantially migrated from wired LANs to WLAN networks, questioning if the traditional wired connection will even be relevant in the years to come. Nevertheless, as more and more businesses are compelled to utilize Wi-Fi, it’s important that we understand the issues associated with running a complex Wi-Fi network, and why it makes more sense for an enterprise to use a service provider with fully managed Wi-Fi solutions.
BENEFITS OF MANAGED WI-FI
Peace of Mind in Business
- With cloud-managed Wi-Fi, your entire system is managed by your technology partner. This partner will take care of all the Wi-Fi requirements across the company, as well as manage the day-to-day operations of the system, analyze enterprise requirements, etc.
- Cloud-managed Wi-Fi has the advantage of being highly scalable. Enterprises can rely on their service provider giving them pro-active reporting of specific locations that may be reaching their full capacity which can then be mitigated with additional AP deployment prior to any real impact on the business.
- With the massive growth of IoT over the next few years, your Wi-Fi network will become open to an immense number of users and devices which can lead to serious security breaches. With cloud-managed Wi-Fi you can rely on your service provider to constantly monitor your network for security breaches, and to ensure all Wi-Fi access points are upgraded to the latest firmware with the latest security patches. Your service provider will act as a trusted security partner – automatic tracking of daily users and devices that access the connection, as well as wireless intruders.
- With a fully managed wireless network, your business will gain a level of control and visibility over the network no matter the physical location of the access points. IT can control the Wi-Fi system in real time across the network and receive actionable alerts automatically from the solution without the need to staff a full or part time IT resource typically needed for self-managed complex deployments.
BENEFITS OF USING AI AND MACHINE LEARNING
Managed Wi-Fi is a new service, as in the past it was not economically possible for a service provider to manage multiple large scale Wi-Fi networks as the IT support staff required was simply too great. If the service was offered at all it was a reactive service whereby the customer would call the service provider complaining that they could not connect to the Wi-Fi, or that the performance was lacking in some way. The use of AI and ML makes these issues a thing of the past. Now the system becomes pro-active by monitoring all interactions between every AP and every device simultaneously, and making automated adjustments to the network if anomalies or poor performance is detected.
Examples of some of the issues solved by AI include:
- Analysis of dynamic sharing of channels by onsite devices, neighbor WLAN networks and non-Wi-Fi devices
- Analysis of coverage issues affecting end users
- Analysis of temporal noise impairments affecting end users
- Analysis of hidden node situations that cause client link impairments
- Analysis of authentication failures and specific Wi-Fi capabilities mismatch
- Misalignment of device firmware baseline
For a full list of benefits, you can view more here.
Because of the many benefits of cloud-controlled Wi-Fi and the use of AI and machine learning, many companies are now moving in this direction. Enterprises of all sizes, university campuses, or any organization with multiple sites and WLANs will benefit immensely from cloud-managed Wi-Fi, as would organizations with mission-critical networks like oil and gas or hospitals. All benefit from the reliability and performance improvements of cloud-managed Wi-Fi networks.