Managing complexity in today's wireless environments
Axiz uses Cisco Meraki to help its partners with their wireless needs, says Adeshni Rohit, business unit manager for Cisco at Axiz.
In thedecades that have passed since its infancy, wireless networking has undergone tremendous shifts, from its incredibly slow 11Mbps, to over 100Mbps today, opening up an avenue for enterprise wireless Internet consumption.
And these advances in speed, together with the sheer convenience of WiFi for consumers who can work remotely, from any device, and wherever there is a connection, combined with the cost-effectiveness of wireless networks, has caused WiFi adoption to snowball. However, as an increasing number of users connect more tablets, laptops, smartphones, sports trackers, and IOT devices to any particular wireless network, complexity grows and the possibility of performance deteriorating gets higher.
So says Adeshni Rohit, Business Unit Manager for Cisco at Axiz, adding that access point performance can degrade under crushing client loads, and adding more access points for additional capacity isn't a workable solution as this can initiate co-channel interference, which negatively affects the users that needed more capacity in the first place. "Multiple client connections also means multiple points of failure, particularly so as there are a few steps each device needs to take to successfully associate and pass traffic on a wireless network. And any one of these can go wrong for a variety of reasons."
In this way, a causal nexus of a greater client load, interference and points of failure that results in time-consuming troubleshooting and poor performance can develop if IT admins are not able to quickly and effectively pinpoint the root causes of WiFi issues or be alerted to any strange patterns in usage before they become a real issue, she says.
And, alongside the growing complexity of wireless networks, guaranteeing a good end-user experience is vital for enterprises looking to stay ahead of their competitors. "Taking into account the exponential growth in the demand for wireless, the burden on legacy infrastructure that was designed with coverage, not capacity in mind is blatantly clear. Without a carrier-class wireless network that can cope with client load, and support the latest use cases for location-based client analytics and insights, business outcomes can be negatively impacted," says Rohit.
In addition, today's consumers are more demanding than ever before. They want connectivity wherever they go: restaurants, shops, museums, cafes, hotels and suchlike. "In fact, the often choose a venue based on whether or not this is available. In addition, clever venues understand that smart, wireless networks allow them to gain actionable insights into the foot traffic pattern of their consumers, such as the time they spend in a store, the number of times they visit it, the lengths of queues and wait times at till points and service help desks. This kind of data allows for proximity-based marketing, allowing organisations of all types to improve their customer experience."
Similarly, she says manufacturers depend on wireless networks to help them track and manage inventory in warehouses, as well as highlighting where core personnel are located within the factory, should an issue crop up and need their instant attention.
"Then there's sports stadiums, theatres, and other venues for large sporting and social events, such as concerts, that need to vie for time with home-based entertainment, and so are employing wireless networks in conjunction with location-based services, to offer more interactive experiences for people attending the events, and sports fans."
Enterprises around the globe have moved from wired to wireless throughout their spaces, due to the cost effectiveness and efficiency wireless offers, and its convenience in terms of collaboration. The bottom line is that the need for strong, reliable wireless networks for business-critical functions cannot be emphasised enough, even though they are becoming increasingly complex to manage and maintain.
This is why Axiz uses Cisco Meraki to help its partners with their wireless needs, explains Rohit. Meraki makes next-generation wireless and wired networks that are managed over the Web, offering out-of-the-box management, security, and capacity, but without the expense and complexity brought by traditional networking infrastructure. This technology can help organisations of every type address a variety of modern network issues, from bring your own device (BYOD) to content management.
"Meraki has a unique and effective approach to wireless, shifting the complexity of the network from the infrastructure to the cloud, providing many benefits, including the ability to centrally manage access points from a browser-based dashboard, as well as no expensive controller hardware to buy, and no software to install. It offers reliable coverage and high performance, as well as secure access for employees, guests and devices. Finally, it's layer seven visibility gives businesses the ability to easily view and manage application usage."