Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager Series: Make Large-Scale Deployments Faster, Easier, Simpler

Network managers face three main challenges in the course of their work: Deployment, On-Going Management, and Integration with Existing Systems. In my next four blog posts, I’ll discuss how Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager helps you centrally deploy, configure, and manage all of the Cradlepoint devices on your network.

Let’s start with deployment. If you’re managing a small number of devices, getting them configured and deployed is not a huge problem. But what if you’re a large retail chain with 6,000 stores and need to install Cradlepoint devices at each location for failover and business continuity? Obviously, doing this one at a time won’t work. You need to do it efficiently, because time is money and truck rolls are expensive. You need to do it simply, because most of your stores don’t have any trained IT staff on premise. And you need to do it from a central location, because you can only be in one place at a time. That’s where NetCloud Manager comes in.

First, NetCloud Manager’s “Zero-Touch Deployment” makes it as easy as possible to get the devices up and running at all of your distributed locations. We can load the MAC addresses for all 6,000 devices into NetCloud Manager for you. Even though you haven’t even turned the devices on yet, they will show up as pending, associated with the appropriate NetCloud Manager account.

Then your network administrators can see those devices, drag them into groups, and set up the firmware and configuration for each of the groups. Each device assumes the properties of that group—the same configuration, the same firmware—so it’s Zero-Touch Deployment from a branch perspective. And at the distributed office location, staff simply needs to plug the device in and turn it on. Since each device is configured to be managed by your NetCloud Manager account, they’re all set up and ready to go.

To make it even easier, we’ve enabled NetCloud Manager to provide you with a base configuration. You can go into that configuration and set up firewalls or create new network parameters. You can set up a GRE tunnel, turn on data usage, or turn on GPS. Whatever network settings you’re interested in, you’re in control. Then, once you save your settings, they get propagated out to an entire group. You can even save this configuration as a golden router or golden group, and then create other groups based on that configuration.

Large scale deployments and configurations really don’t get any easier than this. And once your groups are up and running, Cradlepoint gives you tools that will make on-going management and integration a pleasure—not a chore.

In my next post I’ll talk about how NetCloud Manager gives you a real-time picture of your network.