SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Matt Brunk | January 06, 2017 |

 
   

Dig Into the Data & Improve Your Network Health

Dig Into the Data & Improve Your Network Health Analyzing data from wireless LAN reports can be helpful in understanding what's happening, and why.

Analyzing data from wireless LAN reports can be helpful in understanding what's happening, and why.

Data contained in wireless LAN reports can help network administrators spot trouble and better understand what is happening on their networks. Reviewing traffic patterns, for example, will help in capacity planning, as well as sometimes surface the unanticipated -- with the end result being a healthier network.

Regular No Jitter readers will recall my recent post about a problematic campus deployment, with troubles originating from poor installation practices by prior vendors and having a weak and volatile infrastructure that sported a misdirected Wi-Fi solution (see "Campus Install Shows Benefits of Hosted Wi-Fi"). In analyzing two years' worth of data from the wireless LAN infrastructure, I found that the average monthly consumption increased by 56% in 2016, as shown below.

Faced with failing cabling infrastructure, the campus had decided to use wireless networking as an alternative. In doing so, it reused existing wireless access points until it could deploy new wireless LAN infrastructure at the end of the 2016. As part of the wireless moves, it conducted iPad tests in January, April, and October, as reflected in traffic spikes seen in the graphic. With the new deployment, the campus was able to stabilize the network and provide reliable access. As teachers gained confidence in incorporating iPad use in the classroom, the traffic then increased.

Another report, below, shows daily usage patterns, with traffic during a testing session spiking from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. -- the period of classroom online assessments. The spikes in peak usage indicate consumption and number of clients attached to the wireless LAN.

Yet another report shows that software updates account for 28% of traffic (see below graphic). This is particularly notable for any school expecting to implement a one-to-one initiative for providing devices in every classroom for every student. Using a cache server may be a good way to help control capacity requirements related to software updates, but will increase costs and add to the IT management burden. The report also indicates other facts about the type of OS, clients, and applications used on the campus wireless LAN.

Wireless LAN reports can be generated on demand and delivered in real time or an a scheduled basis. These reports are valuable, and provide insight into the wireless LAN that will help in troubleshooting -- discovering why, as shown above, Windows machine "018-TOSHLA-CL6" isn't connected to the wired LAN or why more than one device is named "SPARTANS" and "St-Lukes-iPad."

I've shown only a few samples of wireless LAN reporting and metrics. You'll also find value in other data sets, such as usage by client, device, OS, or WAP, as well as several other variables depending upon the manufacturer. Again, analyzing these metrics will help you identify capacity issues or under-utilization.

Here are some questions report data should help answer:

  • Do I have enough coverage (radio)?
  • Who is on my network?
  • What is being carried across my network?
  • Where is the bandwidth consumed (by location)?
  • When are the peak times, and what about off-hours?
  • Where does the traffic originate?
  • What is our availability?
  • What is the status of any given WAP, at any given time?
  • Which firmware version is each each WAP running?

Network administrators need this data to gain an understanding of what's on their networks. Who knows what they might learn and what improvements might result from analyzing the data!

Follow Matt Brunk on Twitter and Google+!
@telecomworx
Matt Brunk on Google+





COMMENTS



April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.