Connectivity can benefit from client-first approach
The managing director of a communications solutions company is advocating for a client-first approach when it comes to assessing network and connectivity issues.
Wavelink managing director Ilan Rubin believes that most vendors focus only on assessing the performance of their own device or application while others are only concerned with the network itself with little or no interest in their client’s devices.
However, the operation of client devices is a crucial element of WiFi that is constantly overlooked.
Current monitoring tools view problems from the access point rather than the client device. An analysis can be done to produce heat maps showing signal coverage, interference and channel overlap, but nothing about the performance of network devices. Factors like rogue APs, radio frequency contention, beam forming and hidden service set identifiers (SSIDs) combine to make for complex issues.
Ilan says: “Because most wireless troubleshooting is reactive by nature, network teams are often under tremendous pressure to restore a service that has already reached a compromised state. Yet, often, there is no clear trail of the problem and frequently the problem cannot be recreated. This results in numerous wireless support tickets, many of which go unresolved.”
He argues that a client-first approach can help to address a number of shortfalls.
This involves identifying the type, variety and density of the expected client device and undertaking a thorough evaluation of the physical environment, which includes assessment of signal-to-noise ratio, multi-path propagation, RF contention/collision domains and air contention. This can identify the network requirements for effective connectivity and, subsequently, help to provide a hardware solution and installation design to support the devices and applications in the WLAN environment under assessment.
This approach can: enable reliable and consistent interoperability between devices, applications and systems, regardless of wireless network or client devices; increase and optimise network airtime use without adding additional hardware; and proactively identifying network issues prior to an outage.
Ilan says: “For organisations and environments where mobility is mission critical, optimising WiFi health and wireless device and application performance is essential.”