Although NetPlanner may have gotten its start as a cabling firm more than 30 years ago, we have grown into one of the country’s top systems integrators. Much of that success grew from our passion for emerging technology and constantly honing our capabilities to deliver comprehensive network solutions. Because of our depth of expertise, we are frequently asked to help clients troubleshoot or design their wireless networking to achieve optimal performance and reliability.
Wireless Networking: When Issues Arise
Many business decision makers perceive wireless as a simple installation – sort of “set it and forget it” — while nothing could be further from the truth. Because of this perception, many companies have incorrectly configured wireless networks, causing them to experience issues. They generally blame it on the most recent piece of equipment that was added to the network, whether it’s an access point, a print server or a range extender.
In fact, the problem could be an existing piece of equipment that was improperly configured (even a “rogue” device they are unaware of). The network may have been self-healing enough to continue working, but not at optimal bandwidth. When the addition of a new access point, router, etc. pushes it over the edge, the new device is not the culprit — it just gets the blame.
Diagnosing the Issue: Uncovering the Needle in the Haystack
In reality, there is a lot of science (and artfulness) to pinpointing issues affecting wireless network performance. NetPlanner’s certified team of network and wireless engineers work with clients to understand their business requirements and how effectively they are being met by their current networks – both wired and wireless.
When troubleshooting a problematic wireless network, our first step is to map the entire system, “discovering” all of its devices and their connectivity. This mapping exercise, a fundamental component of a NetPlanner wireless survey, allows us to determine exactly what equipment is on the network and whether it is functioning as expected. While many IT consulting firms offer wireless surveys, it’s common for the collection and reporting of the data to use automated built-in templates and canned reports. Our professional network team takes it several steps further by thoroughly analyzing the data collected and creating a unique report specifically authored to identify current or pending issues and opportunities for improvement for each individual engagement.
We believe that while expert network design, installation and configuration are pivotal to reliability, so are superior devices. Often, clients have legacy products in place that no longer support today’s wireless demand. Over the past three decades we have developed premier partnerships with wireless networking vendors who have a reputation for excellence in design and manufacture. One of those vendors is Cisco Meraki, an ideal solution that offers cloud-managed networking.
Cisco Meraki: Simplifying Network Management
Not all business leaders believe that networking is simple, but many hope for that outcome. “Belt tightening” may have left them without sufficient IT staff to troubleshoot network problems — or they may never have had staff in the first place. In some cases, the firm may have multiple sites, either within the same city or across the country. The entire organization must be seamlessly connected and all the local networks must have a sizeable wireless footprint, which makes network management even more complex.
For these customers (and others), we often recommend Cisco Meraki equipment. Why? Its management architecture is fully cloud-based, and it offers a “single pane of glass” view that enables admins to diagnose and fix problems no matter where they are. It’s user-friendly and can span an almost unlimited number of locations. The Meraki line is also extensive, with devices and appliances for both indoor and outdoor networks. What else could you ask for?
To learn about the Cisco Meraki line and its features, or to explore the wireless surveys, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.