Wireless Network Monitoring is crucial to keeping your network running. Here’s how to use it as a design tool for your business infrastructure

Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) gives organizations continuous control over their Wi-Fi networks. Without WNM, it’s next to impossible to have the high-performing, reliable connection that business depends on.

It’s easy to assume how devices across the network will behave based on specs. But the truth is, real access points (APs) and real clients don’t always behave the way we think they will. This unpredictability has implications for a building’s and network’s design, capacity planning, validation, and application performance.

WNM tools at 7SIGNAL aim to maximize network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI, and Wi-Fi performance is measured based on the client’s perspective and individual setting.

How WNM influences design

WNM provides companies with valuable insights about what actually happens in real-time; not what they assume APs and clients will do. These insights can then be used to strategize in place of broad assumptions about equipment placement, capacity, and performance that network managers make.

Real metrics on behavior and performance end up improving the accuracy of WLAN design and provide better ongoing support for network operations.

What comprises WNM?

WNM is comprised of many moving parts. Important elements include:

  • Hardware sensors
  • Software agents
  • The network-as-a-sensor

The hardware sensors conduct both active and passive tests of the network and can be deployed to problem areas, even if they’re remote. Portable sensors can be moved by staff onsite and provide 24/7 visibility and proactive alarms when issues are detected.

The software agents focus on client data, and the network-as-a-sensor provides metrics within the infrastructure for end-to-end visibility.

These tools are vital to understanding the client experience. This visibility also applies to remote client experiences, so that network managers can better track and monitor if everything is working correctly and performing well, whether metrics are related to clients, the WLAN itself, or various applications.

WNM helps organizations gather information about the existing WLAN and integrate this data into the overall design. It’s important to identify the clients and how the access points (APs) are actually performing in the network, as well as address client roaming and any neighboring WLANs that may by interfering. These real-world inputs are then incorporated into traditional design structure.

Why is WNM important?

WNM continuously monitors each and every aspect of a network. And because each network is diverse and unpredictable, especially in a complex environment like a hospital or large company, monitoring takes WLAN management a step further by providing actual, real-time insights, so that network managers no longer have to depend on assumptions.

The breadth of devices that make up complex networks can range from APs to wireless routers to a range of individual devices such as smartphones, wearables, and tablets. Each of these devices is monitored by WNM, and issues can thus be discovered and addressed immediately. The wealth of devices and their corresponding data are used to structure the overall WLAN for real end-user experiences.

Without WNM, problems with devices and connections can’t be detected right away; these individual pieces of equipment just don’t have the physical interfaces necessary to alert network managers to issues. This is why it’s crucial to implement WNM in network design planning, so that outages, downtime, or poor performance can be addressed before any customers actually experience the problem.

7SIGNAL’s WNM devices allow you to constantly track your network. Monitor connection rate and quality, packet latency, voice quality, utilization, client throughput, and much more. The Mobile Eye can work from any device and sends alerts about whether a network issue is related to a device.

The Sapphire Eye monitoring device measures network connectivity and the quality of the end-user experience. 7SIGNAL’s advanced sensors and overall WNM system keep businesses connected and informed about what’s going on with the network—and allow you to design it accordingly, whether that involves an existing structure or proactively planning for an expansion.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.