Holding your WLAN accountable with service-level expectations


In my last post, “#WirelessSucks: Where do we go from here?” I talked about the need for better insight into the root cause of network problems. All too often, the Wi-Fi infrastructure is blamed for bad network connectivity when, in fact, the wired network (e.g. DNS, DHCP, etc.) and/or the mobile devices may be equally at fault.

I identified four components that are required to accurately and easily address this problem:

  • Monitoring networks at a service level
  • Real-time visibility into the state of every wireless user
  • A cloud infrastructure to store and analyze real-time state information and aggregate it to the highest level of commonality
  • Machine learning to automate key operational tasks, such as event correlation and packet captures

Let’s go into more detail on the first of these requirements: service-level monitoring and enforcement.

If you asked a wireless administrator what type of experience he is delivering to his users, odds are he will have no idea. That isn’t because he doesn’t know what he is doing, but because traditionally there have been no tools for setting, monitoring and enforcing real-time service levels for mobile users; legacy wireless systems were monitoring Access Point uptime and controller uptime.

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