Responding with App-Level Intelligence

To address the mixed use challenge on BYOD-centric Wi-Fi networks, application-level intelligence in the Wi-Fi infrastructure proves paramount. True enterprise Wi-Fi systems must have the ability to identify, prioritize and limit applications appropriately to ensure a good user experience for those who use the network and approach utility-grade nirvana.

While most Wi-Fi networks may work well most of the time, there will always be scenarios where usage can spike, which can lead to major performance issues. Examples might include a packed auditorium for a special lecture, a sellout crowd in the football stadium, the release of a major new iOS upgrade or an emergency situation on campus. Don’t forget the element of growth over time—how the network will handle an increase in usage year-by-year.

To address these challenges, the first step is to understand current usage. What applications operate on the network? Which applications use the most capacity? When and where on campus is usage the greatest? Once these elements are understood, appropriate network policies can be put in place. These policies can be added or adjusted over time to deliver the appropriate level of service and ensure the Wi-Fi network serves its functional purpose.

An application-intelligent approach, such as that provided by Xirrus’ solution with Application Control, can help manage the capacity challenges on campus Wi-Fi networks we have discussed. This function operates directly on Xirrus enterprise-grade access points to monitor and manage application flow.

About the Author:

Bruce Miller is vice president, product marketing for Xirrus Wi-Fi Networks. He has over 25 years of experience bringing telecommunications products to market in marketing, business development, and engineering roles.

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