It’s hard to believe Wi-Fi has been with us for two decades. In that time the technology has evolved from novelty, to convenience, to necessity. Now, mobile devices comfortably dominate the networking world and many of us are moving to wireless-only access in 2018.
If Wi-Fi and mobile networking is so evidently dominant, why are connections still so temperamental and performance still so spotty? Even as I write this at a neighborhood coffee shop I see that painful Wi-Fi scanning animation on my Mac status bar. At Cisco, we pride ourselves on offering the best performing and most widely deployed Wi-Fi technology on the planet, and at Meraki we’ve dramatically simplified the work of the network administrator when it comes to deployment and maintenance of their Wi-Fi devices. Yet still, the problems persist; the end user still raises tickets with IT complaining that “the network’s slow”.
Truth be told, as our teams continue to transition to cloud applications we increase the number of factors contributing to poor experience for our users. We need to consider what’s going on with the application server, the WAN we use to reach it, the LAN, the Wi-Fi network and the client devices.
Designing an excellent Wi-Fi deployment isn’t always trivial. Even when a survey is completed, with APs optimally selected and configured perfectly, all types of human, environmental and system factors can still compromise all that hard work.
We can right this wrong: provide a blistering fast Wi-Fi, while at the same time accelerating troubleshooting and tuning, so IT can get on with supporting their company’s mission. We wanted to go further than our smart Auto-RF technology, our powerful analytics, and our comprehensive security. We wanted to help the IT team gain assurance that their Wi-Fi is delivering the experience they would expect.
We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of Meraki Wireless Health. Coming soon to every Meraki Wi-Fi customer, this new toolset presents actionable insights into the true user experience:
- Client association – without a successful association to the network, Wi-Fi experience can be poor to non-existent. We investigate and display health stats covering authentication, DHCP and DNS before verifying that the client can actually pass traffic on the Wi-Fi.
- Connection issues by AP and by location – Quickly identify access points that are seeing clients having difficulty connecting to the network, and that have the highest AP to client latency.
- Latency by traffic type and device type – As we know, some applications are more latency sensitive than others: voice and especially video. Meraki Wireless Health breaks down AP to client traffic into how latency sensitive applications are performing.
The network is too important to leave shrouded in mystery. Network assurance will become a necessity for all deployments and it should be table stakes for every wireless network. That’s why Meraki Wireless Health will be rolled out to every Meraki wireless customer… no hardware needed, no software to install, and no license to buy.
Meraki Wireless Health is built around the idea that our networks can take better care of us… they can tell us when we’re sick… and prescribe the cure. We want to help IT understand every hop from client to server, to care for every packet and every flow. Wireless Health is just the beginning and we’ll be sharing more soon.