Network devices have shifted drastically over the years from room sized machines to small portable devices. As the size of devices underwent a drastic change, so did the technology involved in connecting these devices with one another. The result of these drastic changes is the formation of wireless networks. Wireless networks are advantageous in a way that there is no need for physical connection between various devices in the network. Also, the absence of physical interfaces saves lots of room spaces and makes it possible for networks to scale physically without the need for extra room space.
A wireless network management system must have in-depth monitoring capabilities, support wide range of protocols, and provide comprehensive wireless router and switch management, WiFi network management, Access Point management, and more. It is not cost effective to install individual wireless network monitoring tools like WiFi monitoring, Access Point monitoring tool, etc to monitor your wireless networks. Moreover, multiple tools require certain degree of management. All you need is a comprehensive wireless network management tool.
OpManager - simplifying wireless network monitoring software
ManageEngine OpManager is an all-inclusive wireless network management software. OpManager supports monitoring and maintenance of different types of wireless devices such as Access points, wireless routers, switches, Laptops, WiFi systems, etc. With OpManager, you can monitor wireless network traffic, WiFi strength, and more. OpManager provides deep insights into your wireless network with availability and health reports.
The need for monitoring wireless networks
- Since wireless networks do not involve the presence of physical interfaces, monitoring them is essential to ensure that they do not suffer from outages / downtime.
- Most employees in organizations these days use wireless networks ( such as Wifi, VPN etc ) to perform their day to day activities. Hence, ensuring that the wireless networks do not suffer from downtime is a key to business continuity.
- The number of wireless devices in a network is usually more than the number of wired devices. Hence, it is important for a Wireless Network Monitor to ensure that the network does not slip into unplanned downtime.
Critical parameters for efficient wireless network management
With OpManager's powerful network monitor features, you can monitor the following crucial wireless network parameters which are required to ensure optimal performance of your wireless network :
- Wireless strength: Monitor and manage factors like total number of access points, number of users, rogue access point signal strength.
- Wireless network traffic: Monitor the total bytes received by wireless client systems, total bytes received by access points and more
- Wireless network utilization: Monitor the various parameters that helps you to keep a tab on the utilization of your wireless networks such as cpu utilization, memory utilization,total bytes sent to the station, disk utilization, client total bytes transmitted etc..
Wireless network strength
The strength of your wireless network plays a crucial role in ensuring network stability and business continuity. A weak network can result in slow connection and sometimes even in termination of connectivity to a few devices in your wireless network.In order to help you monitor the strength of your wireless network and ensure that none of the devices in your wireless network lose out on connectivity, the Wireless Network Monitor set provided by OpManager can be used to keep tabs on a few essential parameters that are responsible for ensuring strong wireless signal strength:
- Keep track of the total number of access points :
- An access point is a station that transmits and receives data. Various devices in a wireless network connect via the access point for interaction with one another.
- The number of access points affects the range of connectivity of the wireless network and also the connection strength of the network.
- OpManager allows you to keep track of the total number of access points in your wireless network. You can also view the statistics pertaining to the devices connected to a particular access point
- Monitor the total number of users:
- Most wireless networks support limited number of devices at any particular instant of time. The maximum number of devices that are supported depends on the business requirement and also the cost that the organization is willing to spend on the wireless network infrastructure.
- OpManager allows you to view the total number of users who are connected to your wireless network at any particular point of time.
- You can also set multiple thresholds to get alerted when the number of users crosses a particular threshold value.
- Monitor rogue access point signal strength:
- A rogue access point is a security threat to your network.It can be used to launch DDos attacks on your wireless networks. It can also be used to gain free access to your network.
- OpManager allows you to monitor the signal strength of rogue access points in your wireless network.
- You can set alarms and get alerted in case the signal strength crosses a particular threshold limit. You can use this to detect and prevent unwanted intrusions in your wireless networks
The need for a wireless network traffic monitor:
- If the traffic in your wireless network exceeds the safe bandwidth limit, it can lead to unwanted disruption of connectivity and might even lead to downtime.
- In order to prevent your network from experiencing outages due to heavy traffic, OpManager provides various monitors such as wireless router traffic monitor, switch traffic monitor, WiFi network traffic monitor, and more to help you keep track of the traffic in your wireless network.
- You can setup multiple thresholds and get alerted via multiple medium ( web console, email, sms , android & iPhone apps ) incase the traffic in your wireless networks crosses pre-defined threshold limits.
- The benefit of setting multiple thresholds is that you can prevent significant impact to your wireless network even before the traffic reaches critical bandwidth limits.
- You can monitor various parameters such as total bytes received by wireless client systems, total bytes received by access points etc to get a holistic view of the traffic in your wireless networks and proactively take measures to ensure that connectivity is not affected due to excess traffic.
The utilization of your wireless network effectively
- One other factor that concerns network administrators greatly is the utilization of their wireless network. OpManager allows you to continuously track the usage of your wireless network by facilitating you to monitor critical network usage metrics.
- You can track factors like CPU utilization, memory utilization, cpu utilization, memory utilization, disk utilization, total bytes transmitted by the client etc.. These factors allow you to gain an in-depth understanding of the utilization of your wireless networks.
- What's more ? Each of these monitors are backed up by powerful reports that can help you analyze the utilization of your wireless network over a particular period of time. This allows you to plan your wireless network utilization meticulously.
- You can leverage the option to set multiple thresholds to get alerts when your network utilization crosses pre-defined values. This will help you to prevent any form of outages that may occur due to over utilization of your wireless network.
Apart from the factors specified above, OpManager being a powerful wireless network monitoring tool, has a few additional key features that can simplify the process of monitoring and maintaining your wireless network:
- Insightful reports : Each monitor in OpManager is backed by a powerful reports feature that can help you analyze the performance of the devices in your wireless network. You can generate reports for both in-built and custom monitors.
- Powerful device templates:Device templates eliminates the need to manually add monitors to keep track of the status of the devices and efficiently manage wireless networks - Just configure the device template with a set of basic monitors and OpManager will add them automatically whenever a device of the particular type and vendor is discovered in your wireless network.
- Deeper understanding of your wireless network topology: OpManager comes with powerful network visualization tools that help you understand the topology of your wireless networks and thus manage them more efficiently.
- Automate common monitoring & maintenance tasks: OpManager's workflow is a feature that helps you to automate your routine wireless network management and maintenance tasks. Workflows help in drastically reducing the manual effort that you spend in monitoring and maintenance of your wireless networks.