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Dedicated Wireless Troubleshooting Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

One of the big pushes in the networking world today is analytics. People know that the network has a ton of information available that just needs to be accessed and processed into some usable format. That’s even more true in the wireless space. On top of the standard networking data there is wealth of wireless spectrum data that’s waiting to be discovered.

In the past wireless companies have put forth the idea that this data can only be reliably be accessed via standalone detectors and are not serving clients. The commonly held view is that an access point (AP) handling client data is too busy to sample the airspace and report on conditions. Unfortunately, these standalone solutions are often as expensive as APs that are actively handling user data. It takes a lot of investment and faith that the solution will pay off in the long run.

Mojo Networks is taking a slightly different approach to the problem. Instead of making their customers purchase an entirely separate solution for monitoring the spectrum in an enterprise environment, they’re packing a little extra piece of awesome in each AP they sell.

Mojo Networks has added a third radio to each AP to assist in monitoring and analytics. The idea is very sound from a technical perspective. The argument against using client-serving radios for collection is the lack of bandwidth to pass traffic and monitor at the same time. A third radio in the AP dedicated to listening will hear the same traffic as the client radios but will only collect it and not transmit. That means it will never conflict with the need to keep the user traffic flowing at peak speeds.

The dedicated third radio also gives Mojo the capability to bundle analytics with every AP they sell. Instead of making their customers buy an entirely new solution to provide analytics they can simply flip a switch and turn on the capability. This is a big win for smaller companies that may need to outsource installation of the equipment or for those customers that can’t easily get permission to install hardware in facilities. Think about a hospital or a manufacturing plant where disruptive installations cause more than just headaches for the users. With the third radio option, Mojo can provide the software necessary to capture the analytics data coming in and help their customers make sense of what is really happening out there.

The ability to see the airspace from the user’s perspective can’t be underestimated. In the case of a standalone solution, often decisions must be made about the placement of the sensors. Because the cost of these solutions can quickly outpace the benefit fewer sensors are purchased. With the Mojo solution, the radios are already present wherever an AP is deployed. This means that the quantity of sensors is right and they are right where the the clients can make use of them.

Bringing It All Together

When I was deploying wireless solutions to customers I would constantly get asked how we could monitor them and ensure that the coverage was good and there were no issues. Back then, the answer to those questions wasn’t so simple. You either had to sacrifice user processing or pay through the nose to get that functionality after the fact. Mojo Networks really makes sense for the cost-conscious customer that needs to know how things are working without paying for more hardware that isn’t going to help them serve their users. It just makes sense. And hopefully pays off for their customers in dollars and cents.

 

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at https://networkingnerd.net/

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