May 16, 2018

Key reasons why you should invest in a cloud-based WLAN solution

SANTOSH MADAIAH
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL NETWORK SERVICES

Almost all devices today – desktop, smartphones, laptops, tablets and wearables are connected through wireless LAN or Wi-Fi networks. This as well as increasing mobility of digital devices requires wireless networks to be fast, secure and reliable while delivering high performance. To achieve this in a fast-paced business environment, corporates can no longer rely solely on traditional WLAN solutions. There is an imminent need to identify alternative solutions to power their enterprise networks to not only survive but to thrive in the fiercely competitive markets today.

This is where a cloud-based WLAN solution fills the gap left out by traditional controller-based WLANs. Here are some important benefits a cloud-based WLAN solution offers over traditional networking solutions.

Minimum hardware requirements

One of the key benefits of using a cloud-based WLAN is that it reduces the requirement for expensive multitude of hardware equipment. The traditional WLAN networking architecture requires an organization to deploy controller devices. This can be a challenge in the case of large and dispersed enterprises as it places a huge burden in terms of cost and the time required to set up and manage these devices. With a cloud-based networking architecture, you eliminate the need for such hardware as you can control the entire network through a single scalable cloud-based solution. This means that the time required to deploy the network is also reduced significantly.

Scalability

With the traditional WLANs, the ability to scale up and scale down  is limited as there is a limitation on the number of wireless access points (APs) that can be managed by a single controller. If you need more APs to be managed, you will end up buying more controllers, which means that you are paying more for the capacity than you require. On the other hand, a cloud-based WLAN can handle a large number of APs without the need to buy additional controllers or resulting in unused capacity, thus ensuring seamless scalability from small to large locations or data centers.

Reduced cost

Cloud-based WLANs offer cost reduction on many fronts. For starters, reduced dependency on physical controllers leads to reduced hardware costs. Secondly, the architecture makes use of intelligent APs that are easier to deploy and manage. This brings down the overall costs leading to lower TCO. Additionally, the solution doesn’t necessarily need an upfront networking software purchase and hence the software costs are also reduced. The overall management and maintenance cost too comes down as it involves minimum hardware maintenance as well as a software interface to control the network.

Simpler monitoring and management

The cloud-based design makes it simpler to monitor and manage the entire network for small and large enterprises that have a global presence. Most cloud-based solutions usually make use of networking hardware that are designed for zero-touch deployments across office locations or data centers spread geographically. This enables the IT team to control the entire network from a browser irrespective of their location. The cloud-based solution also makes it possible for network administrators to lay down a consistent set of policies and configurations across all office locations and data centers.

Security

A security breach in a corporate network can cause large amounts of damage to the business and loss of revenue. In a traditional controller-based architecture, the IT team has to monitor, run vulnerability assessment and upgrade security patches manually across the system one box at a time across all sites. A cloud-based solution automates much of this process and enables easy and quick monitoring and security management through a centralized architecture.

In conclusion, the traditional on-premise controller-based architecture although continues to play a role in providing WLAN for offices and data centers, the increasing demand on secure, scalable and cost-efficient cloud-based wireless networking services are in great demand owing to their advantages over traditional WLANs. This creates a compelling reason for businesses to explore a cloud-based solution for developing a competitive advantage.

Disclaimer: The information and views set out in these blogs are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Microland Ltd.