There are benefits to managing your wireless network from the cloud: mobile IT managers don't have to purchase, install and maintain back-end servers. Here we highlight key features of three affordable, cloud-based WLAN management services.
Like other areas of IT, we're seeing more wireless LAN management solutions rise to the cloud. Instead of organizations having to purchase, set up and maintain the back-end servers, cloud-based services offer hosted access that's cost effective and requires no installation or support by the organization. These Web-based services can be especially useful for organizations that have multiple locations, a small IT team, or a limited budget and need wireless network security and management.
In this article, we're going to look at three different cloud-based WLAN management platforms. We'll discuss each vendor's overall solution and how its hosted platform ties into it. We'll also take a peek at the Web interfaces and compare features. Let's get started.
Wireless Network Security and Management with Meraki
The first vendor up is Meraki, pronounced may-rah-kee, backed by companies such as Google. Meraki offers solutions for two different markets: the enterprise private network and the public network or hotspot arenas. Not only does it offer a custom cloud-based service tailored for each, but a whole hardware set as well. Its cloud-based WLAN management platforms are actually only for use with its own wireless mesh hardware and access points.
Its cloud service doesn't just provide traditional WLAN management, but an entire operating system. It serves as the wireless controller for the Wi-Fi network. The Meraki OS provides the brains for the mesh networking and dynamic channel optimization, virtual network isolation, captive portal, and other network functionality. You can login to the cloud controller through your Web browser.