Ruckus Rises to Wireless Network Management Challenge

Mike Vizard

As IT organizations increasingly make use of wireless networks to access corporate applications, many of them are finding managing all the access points and controllers on those networks to be a major challenge.

To address that challenge, Ruckus Wireless, a unit of Brocade, has unveiled a set of physical and virtual appliances that make it simpler to centrally manage polices across wireless networks.

Mark Davis, senior director of product marketing at Ruckus Wireless, says these appliances make use of an update to SmartZone OS that provides a dedicated control plane through which IT organizations can more easily manage wireless networks at scale.

To make that possible, SmartZone OS is now integrated with Ruckus Cloudpath security and policy management software to define user and device roles, enabling user-specific virtual networks, access controls and bandwidth allocation. Ruckus has also enhanced the Ruckus Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (DPSK) capability to include a group DPSK function that can now be invoked via CloudPath to automate the distribution of encryption keys.

In addition to making it simpler to manage a wireless network, Davis says the latest version of SmartZone OS gives IT organizations more control over end-user computing experience via a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that the IT organizations can define. Diagnostic and analytics tools then monitor those KPIs. Any time an end user experience falls below those KPIs, an alert is sent to the network administrator.

The goal, says Davis, is to enable IT organizations to proactively address issues before they significantly affect the end-user experience.

“It makes it possible to identify any network constraints that are affecting the end-user experience,” says Davis.

IT organizations are increasingly being judged by the quality of the wireless networking experience they provide. Regardless of how well an IT organization may do anything else, the average end user now interacts with applications over a wireless network. The quality of that experience does more today to influence how end users view internal IT organizations than almost any other service provided. IT organizations that want to score high on any employee satisfaction surveys would be well advised to make sure to optimize that wireless networking experience.

 


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