When it comes to selecting Wi-Fi network solutions, how many controller options do you think should be available? One? Two? Or even more? We believe that offering 10 or more is not only reasonable but also essential. This is because we are committed to giving customers the freedom to choose a controller that truly fits their specific needs for managing a Wi-Fi network crucial to operational performance.
Why Multi-Controller Support is a Customer Need: Beyond the Basics
The fundamental expectation from a Wi-Fi network across all business types is stability, reliability, and high-quality service. However, the specific needs can vary dramatically depending on the business model. MSPs and ISPs that offer managed Wi-Fi services may require advanced analytics and user management, while hospitals may prioritize security and data integrity. Retail chains might need extensive coverage with minimal hardware. Despite these diverse needs, many Wi-Fi infrastructure providers offer only a single controller option, forcing network owners, MSPs, ISPs, and enterprise customers into a corner where they have to compromise on their specific needs.
Understanding Wi-Fi Controllers: The Brain Behind Your Network
A Wi-Fi controller is more than just a piece of hardware or software; it’s the central nervous system of your Wi-Fi network. It allows for seamless roaming within a building, jumping from one access point to another. But it’s not just about connectivity; it’s about intelligent management. A Wi-Fi controller provides a centralized platform for network administrators to manage and configure access points (APs), offering valuable real-time insights into the network:
- Bandwidth Usage: This feature allows you to identify which APs and users are consuming the most bandwidth, enabling you to allocate resources more efficiently.
- Alerts: Real-time notifications about AP failures or security breaches mean you can resolve issues before they escalate.
- Reports: Collect and analyze data to identify trends in bandwidth usage or performance drops, providing evidence for capital expenditures.
- RF Visualization: A graphical tool that offers a bird’s-eye view of your radio frequency coverage, including signal strength, SNR, speed, and connected clients.
- Troubleshooting: Deep insights into each client device’s Wi-Fi performance, offering preemptive solutions before minor issues become major problems.
The Business Case for Wi-Fi Controllers: Why Bigger Operations Can’t Afford to Skimp
For larger operations like MSPs and ISPs, the role of a Wi-Fi controller is even more critical. They offer:
- Centralized Authentication: Eliminate the need for individual MAC address tables for each AP. Centralized authentication mechanisms like Radius servers, Active Directory, or LDAP integration are available, streamlining the user access process.
- Radio Resource Management: Advanced features like interference mitigation, load balancing, and failover capabilities ensure that your network performs optimally even in the most demanding conditions.
- Security: End-to-end encryption of all wireless data packets post-authentication, ensuring that your network is impervious to casual intruders.
- Intrusion Detection/Prevention: Specialized features can identify and prevent a range of wireless attacks, from rogue APs to denial-of-service attacks.
- Bandwidth Management: Prevent network congestion by limiting bandwidth for certain users or groups, ensuring critical operations get the necessary resources.
- Quality of Service (QoS): Advanced algorithms can prioritize critical traffic like voice and video, ensuring seamless real-time communication.
Forms of Wi-Fi Controllers: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
At Edgecore, we believe in offering flexibility and choice. Our entire range of Wi-Fi access points and multiple switches are compatible with over 10 different types of Wi-Fi controllers. We understand that the rapidly evolving world of technology demands solutions that can adapt just as quickly. Limiting customers to a single controller option is something we strive to avoid. From another perspective, our collaborations with some of the best Wi-Fi controllers in the market — including our own ecCLOUD and ecOpen — ensure that our meticulously designed high-quality Wi-Fi access points and switches perform optimally across various application scenarios.
Types of Controllers Supported by Edgecore
- Appliance-Based Controllers: Our EWS series supports a variety of gateway controller products suitable for different types and scales of users. We also offer the VEWS series in a VM format for those who prefer that option.
- Cloud-Based Controllers: Apart from our proprietary cloud controller, ecCLOUD, we also offer ecOpen, developed based on TIP OpenWiFi CloudSDK. We maintain an open and proactive approach to collaborating with controller providers that excel in various vertical markets. Currently, Edgecore has established partnerships with NetExperience, Wavespot, Tallac, Sartura, and Tanaza. Users can manage Edgecore Wi-Fi access points and switches through these providers’ cloud controllers.
Conclusion: Key Takeaways
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Just like you wouldn’t settle for ill-fitting shoes, don’t compromise on your Wi-Fi controller. Choose the one that fits you best.
- Flexibility is Key: Whether it’s appliance-based or cloud-based, hardware or software, the right controller should adapt to your needs, not the other way around.
- Multi-Vendor Support: Open architectures and collaborations are breaking down the barriers between different brands and types of controllers, offering you more choices than ever.
- Edgecore’s Commitment: With over 10 different types of controllers supported, Edgecore is committed to providing solutions that are as flexible and diverse as the needs of our customers.
By offering a range of Wi-Fi controllers, network owners can choose a solution that truly fits their operational needs, ensuring a more efficient, secure, and high-performing Wi-Fi network. Choose wisely, and make your network work for you. Let Edgecore Wi-Fi assist you in achieving the freedom of choice you deserve.