Simplifying network management to create a smarter network

Cloud-managed networks have key software features that reduce the burden on IT staff, while delivering business-class service, reliability and flexibility for years to come.

In my last article, I discussed how cloud-managed networking provides midsize businesses with a simple, smart and secure way to increase productivity and drive business growth. In this article, I’ll discuss how companies can simplify network management and the key features they should look for in a smarter network.

With the wide range of IT issues that pop up daily, midsize businesses need a network that ‘just works’. Cloud-managed networking solutions are easy to deploy and maintain with limited IT staff, saving time, with easy management, assurance, intuitive dashboards and limited training required.

Cloud-managed networks often come with zero-touch provisioning software for plug-and-play deployment of wired, wireless and WAN equipment. New equipment can be set up in multiple locations within minutes, and even non-IT staff can install hardware at remote locations.

Devices can be centrally configured by IT, and those configurations are pushed seamlessly from the cloud. The entire network can be set up, configured and managed from anywhere.

Cloud-managed networks have intuitive, web-based dashboards for simple network management. Companies can easily see what’s happening in the network, including the experience of users and their specific devices when interacting with apps through the network. Streamlined workflows put the information needed at your fingertips.

With cloud-managed networks, it’s easy to set up distributed infrastructure from a central location, without specialised IT expertise. Non-IT professionals simply plug in equipment at a remote site, and the right configuration is downloaded and applied automatically.

Mobile apps and wizards help guide IT staff through the configuration process. Simple reporting features make it easy to share network performance and compliance information.

Cloud-managed networks are designed with key software features that reduce the burden on IT staff, while delivering business-class service, reliability and flexibility for years to come.

Cloud-managed networks include built-in intelligence to optimise performance automatically. The right solution identifies the source of network bottlenecks and makes smart decisions − so users and applications always have the best service.

And since IT staff will get fewer network-related helpdesk tickets, there’s more time to focus on strategic initiatives. Cloud-managed networks take the guesswork out of troubleshooting − on WLAN, LAN and WAN.

Cloud-managed networks ensure ‘always on’ connectivity. Visual RF display technology helps you detect and react to changes in the environment, which is useful for resolving coverage gaps.

The latest access points come with self-tuning features to keep devices connected − regardless of where they initially connected, or if they’re roaming. Automated failover features help provide continuous availability. 

Cloud-managed networks are designed to help companies do more and spend less. They can reduce overhead and spread costs over time, using a ‘pay as you grow’ model to put a limited budget into the areas that need immediate attention.

In addition, the investment is protected. There is no need to rip-and-replace all management hardware. Also, organisations can use network insights to identify where to add services, such as guest WiFi, for better experiences.

Desirable smarter network management features include:

Automated system monitoring and troubleshooting: Monitors how things are working, and alerts to the cause of issues and how to fix them before users have problems.

Visual RF display: View wireless coverage across the organisation, streamlining deployment and troubleshooting.

Easy-to-use dashboards: Provides WiFi presence analytics, connectivity health, and application filtering and usage insights.

Performance tuning: AI-powered intelligence and assurance ensures the best AP connectivity and adaptive radio management to provide high-quality WiFi with minimal manual intervention.

In my next article, I’ll discuss the right security for midsize businesses.

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