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I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” at least a few times by now. However, I’m curious if you ever asked this one simple question – where does this not apply?
Managing your wired and wireless networks
Well, let me share with you where this saying does not apply. It does not apply when you are managing your wired and wireless networks. Right there. I said it. Now that I’ve said it, let me explain myself. A leading analyst recently noted: “IT operations teams frequently engage in ‘swivel-chair’ monitoring, struggling with tool sprawl and information overload, without a clear set of combined dashboards. IT operations teams are overwhelmed by a plethora of tools that offer a multitude of ways to view an organization's IT availability and performance, resulting in finger-pointing between the various IT silos.”
For a different perspective, I spoke with a co-worker who was once responsible for managing wired and wireless networks at a major international airport in the U.S. He told me they had two different screens just to manage their Wi-Fi. This was because the vendor had failed to ensure compatibility among various types and generations of Wi-Fi APs and controllers.
Network management solution
“We also had two more screens to manage switches. And a couple more to use log management tools to make sense out of everything that was going on in our network. As well, we had screens dedicated to a ‘network management’ solution from another vendor,” he told me. “This system oversaw both our Wi-Fi and switch management systems. Even then, considering that the GUI offered by the vendor was not very productive, we had to routinely CLI into switches to manual commands since scripts didn’t exist.”
As my colleague noted, it was a pipe dream to have one single system to manage everything “The first hour after getting to work was always an interesting time, never knowing what you would find. Tracking down the things that were in red took the fun out of that hour. Not seeing anything red, or some other alarm, did not mean, on any account, that everything was good,” he added.
I now have a newfound appreciation for the ‘swivel-chair management’ term. I do not believe that there is a chair in existence that can swivel enough to cover all those consoles!
Let me pose some questions at this point:
- Do you have a dedicated system to manage your Wi-Fi?
- Do you have a dedicated system to manage your switches? Can this system manage all your switch types – access, aggregation, and core?
- Do you have a dedicated log management system to sync everything and then correlate?
- How many screens do you juggle to try and understand the health of your network?
IT administrator, if you have dedicated systems for Wi-Fi and switch management, or if you have a separate log management system, then please keep reading. There is light at the end of this tunnel, I assure you.
Indeed, I am pleased to report that there are cloud-based network management solutions that provide a single management console to manage both Wi-Fi APs and switches. However, there are caveats. A typical cloud-based network management vendor would get you started by offering a “simple” management platform for your Wi-Fi APs and then immediately cross-sell you switch management. However, this will only last until you demand that all your switch types be managed via that same system – access, aggregation, and core. Just wait and admire as they put on their dancing shoes and perform a ballet that would put the Paris Opera Ballet to shame. Suddenly, you would be staring at two or more different screens from that same vendor to manage your wired and wireless networks.
RUCKUS Cloud for cloud-based converged management
However, as I had mentioned, there is a light at the end of this tunnel and that light is RUCKUS Cloud from CommScope. RUCKUS Cloud is one of the few vendors that offer a cloud-based converged (Wi-Fi and switch) management system that can manage all Wi-Fi AP types and all types of switches. Yes, one single system. No dancing shoes, no ballet.
RUCKUS Cloud is one of those single baskets you can safely put all your (wired and wireless management) eggs in and not have to worry. Don’t believe me? Secure a free trial of RUCKUS Cloud today. We will sweeten the pot by sending you a free Wi-Fi AP.