Success with Cisco Application Visibility and Control
In December 2012, we introduced Application Visibility Control(AVC) for Wireless, with AireOS 7.4 which arms IT administrators with visibility into the applications running in their wireless network and the ability to prioritize the mission-critical ones.
In this blog, I would like to share how SuccessEHS, an Alabama based company focused on delivering Electronic Health Record(EHR) and Practice Management solutions has successfully deployed AVC to improve their wireless experience. I’ll also throw in a special sneak peek at some additional features we’re adding to AVC that you can expect in release 7.5.
SuccessEHS houses some 200-300 employees in Birmingham Alabama. The wireless deployment consisted of Cisco Aironet 2600 series Access Points with industry-leading 3 spatial streams performance and CleanAir functionality managed by the Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controller. At any point of time, there could be hundreds of clients simultaneously connected to the wireless network. Most employees may be simultaneously engaged in running usual office applications such as email, web-based tools and EHR applications.
Since the company is focused on delivering patient-centered care, it is crucial to keep the networking infrastructure operating at the best capacity. However there are several key challenges:
- The building in Alabama is a multi-tenant office-complex, each company with its own separate wireless network.
- Therefore in addition to interference from non-Wi-Fi sources there can be additional sources of interference from neighboring deployments that lower network performance.
- Finally, guests could be misusing Wi-Fi via running some entertainment applications such as Netflix, Pandora or Youtube taking valuable bandwidth away from mission-critical applications
Cisco’s Radio Resource Management (RRM) algorithms help optimize the spectrum so that there is minimal interference with the neighboring wireless deployments which solves problem #1. CleanAir enables advanced visibility within the RF Spectrum and solves problem #2 through automatic tie-in to event-driven RRM. Before the advent of AVC, network administrators did not have the visibility into the applications on the network, which meant that they could not prioritize or deprioritize applications based on their importance to the business. However, with AVC, the third problem is solved. Not only does AVC provide high visibility to 1000+ applications most seen in the network, it also helps IT administrators protect the spectrum for business-class applications by deprioritizing well-known scavenger-class applications.
Here is a quote from Joseph Dabbs, the Networking Engineer himself!
… Now that’s what I am talking about!
In a multi-branch environment the AVC story is even better. AVC also runs on your ISR’s providing you traffic classification within the branch and enabling you to prioritize. If you have a Netflow collector such as Cisco Prime – Assurance you can store records of the Netflow entries from both the Wireless LAN Controller and ISR/ASR’s to get a single consistent view or for troubleshooting.
In the upcoming 7.5 release, AVC will be enhanced through improved further through introducing the use of protocol packs. Traditionally to get support for new applications, protocol updates or bug fixes, you needed to upgrade the operating software. A protocol pack is a single compressed file that contains multiple application modules. By loading newer protocol packs, it is possible to upgrade the supported list of applications without needing to upgrade the code. A major protocol pack adds support for new applications. A minor protocol pack adds support only for bug fixes. If you can’t tell, we’re pretty excited.
To learn more about, AVC for wireless please refer to the