Why the Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Model Finally Hits the Bullseye

December 2019
Sagenet Blog Cloud Managed Wi Fi
By Alex Jinks

Back in the early days of Wi-Fi in the workplace, spotty coverage, performance problems, and dropped signals were the accepted trade off for the convenience and freedom of using a laptop that wasn’t wired to your desk. If Wi-Fi issues got really bad, you could always plug in and take advantage of a more reliable wired connection.

Today, you expect the same level of reliability, availability and performance from your Wi-Fi network as you would from a wired connection. Anything less is unacceptable. Poor Wi-Fi connectivity for laptops, smartphones, tablets, printer/copiers and other wireless devices isn’t just inconvenient. It has a direct impact on productivity, collaboration, operational efficiency, and the customer experience.

Wireless LAN (WLAN) architecture has evolved through five generations since those early days of Wi-Fi. First, you had autonomous, standalone access points (APs) that lacked an external controller, so each AP had to be manually managed and configured. Second, you had thin APs managed through a central controller. This generation was easier to manage but far more expensive and less resilient with limited scalability.

The third generation used virtualization and intelligent APs in hybrid solutions. In some architectures, a master AP would serve as the controller. Others embedded the controller in switches and firewalls. These approaches were more flexible but offered limited processing power. The fourth generation used a cloud-based controller to manage WLANs, which translated to less hardware and lower costs, but more connectivity issues and licensing headaches.

The newest generation of WLAN architecture is cloud-managed Wi-Fi. Controllers are eliminated, control functionality is distributed among intelligent APs, and Wi-Fi networks are managed in the cloud. That means no more single point of failure with a controller, free control protocols instead of costly controller licenses, a simpler architecture, fewer traffic bottlenecks and greater scalability.

Cloud-managed Wi-Fi allows you to monitor and measure Wi-Fi network services so you can continuously optimize resource usage. Users can provision the resources they need without assistance from IT and access those resources from any device. Cloud resources are pooled and dynamically shared based on individual user requirements, and those resources can be scaled up or down according to business need.

Cloud-managed Wi-Fi makes sense for organizations with:

  • Multiple geographically dispersed locations
  • Limited IT staff
  • Wi-Fi network demands that change regularly
  • Mission-critical business applications that are accessed primarily or exclusively through Wi-Fi

SageNet offers managed Wi-Fi solutions that help you take full advantage of Wi-Fi and mobility to deliver the kind of user experience your employees and customers demand. SageNet offers real-time monitoring, management and support of Wi-Fi networks and mission-critical assets as part of our turnkey managed Wi-Fi service.

We can help you boost brand loyalty and customer engagement through a robust guest Wi-Fi network, while integration with your loyalty database and payment processor enables you to identify more marketing opportunities. We also use reporting and analytics to assess network health, predict and troubleshoot problems, and measure network usage.

From network design and engineering, to equipment installation and configuration, to ongoing network management, SageNet provides the expertise you need to meet heightened expectations for Wi-Fi. Let us tailor our cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution to suit your specific business requirements.

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