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Is Cloud Managed WLAN a Good Fit for Your Business?

How You Can Benefit from Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Cloud WiFi

Cloud managed WLAN has been around for a few years, but as companies are upgrading their wireless networks and moving to 802.11ac, they’re looking into cloud managed wireless as a way to better streamline their network. The biggest and most direct benefit of cloud managed Wi-Fi is the potential to save millions of dollars on data center technology. Theis is especially helpful to startups because they can scale as they grow, without running into some of the traditional hang-ups that can plague the scalability of data centers.

Cloud managed wireless has also come into play more significantly as the use of mobile devices in the workplace grows. Cloud managed Wi-Fi provides an easier view of these devices and allows you to manage their connections more thoroughly. These connectivity demands are what makes it difficult for IT to manage the wireless network. Many WLAN vendors are now offering a way to manage this demand vis cloud-redident WLAN management services.

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According to research done by Lopez Research along with Aruba Networks,  cloud-managed WLAN is a “subscription-based WLAN virtual controllers and management software that is hosted in the public cloud. It provides a single point of management in the cloud for provisioning, troubleshooting, configuration and firmware management.”

Some of the benefits of this technology include:

  • Enterprise-Quality Management– offers remote monitoring, troubleshooting, central configuration & firmware management, as well as compliance records and historical data.
  • Scalability– Cloud-based WLANs can scale to support both small and large sites. These services can support companies with everything from a single location with one AP to a firms that has up to thousands of locations with many APs per each location. Management of one or more locations is possible from a single login.
  • Consistent policies across all of a company’s sites- Companies with multiple geographically disbursed sites had enterprise-grade WLAN at the headquarters while some sites without IT staff used consumer-grade access points and routers. This environment made it difficult for administrators to have one set of policies and configurations that would work across the company. Cloud-managed WLAN eliminates this complexity.
  • Reduced cost-  cloud-based WLAN doesn’t require an upfront software purchase. It also minimized hardware costs because the company doesn’t have to purchase a management server appliance, nor a WLAN controller.

So which industries will benefit from cloud managed WLAN the most? Business that are international or have many branches spread out. In this case, it works best with companies that have many large branches, like factories, as opposed to small locations, like retail. Companies with a smaller IT staff that still need a powerful solution can benefit by having an easier time managing the network and not having to spend time analyzing and installing the infrastructure. Institutions like universities that can lack control over what the network is being used for. Guests can be unpredictable and cloud managed WLAN can help manage the demand streaming and other traffic-heavy uses.

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