NCM, a Service in Cradlepoint NetCloud, Saves Time & Money for Distributed Enterprises
Network engineers love problem-solving — it’s our core skill. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to solve a problem without any information. It’s even more maddening when something that should be a quick fix turns into a huge headache because you don’t have the control or visibility you need to resolve the issue.
We often tell our customers that NetCloud Manager, a service in the Cradlepoint NetCloud platform, helps save time and money and reduce frustration. Let’s dive into exactly how NCM enables enterprises to spend less time on reactive tasks and more time getting ahead.
Real-Time Alerts Provide Proactive Intelligence
Ideally, an IT team should be aware that there’s a problem on the network before the end-user does (or at least at the same time). NCM’s real-time alerts can be configured granularly enough that it’s easy to tell where to start investigating and how serious the issue is. To give you an idea of just how granular NCM’s alerting is, there are 41 alert triggers in NCM, including status changes, security incidents, configuration changes, physical location changes, data usage, and more.
Basic Troubleshooting Tools Allow for Fast Triage
NetCloud Manager includes a number of basic but very important tools for diagnosing network problems. Often the first step in the troubleshooting process is to find out if the router is still online. In the event that you have a non-Cradlepoint primary router with a Cradlepoint failover device, it’s possible to use NCM to extend management capability to your primary router with our unique and highly secure Out-of-Band Management solution.
If it’s not a problem with your primary router, you’ll need to determine whether the problem stems from a router configuration or from one of your WAN sources. You might use NCM to remotely reboot the router, and you’ll probably run a speed test, ping, and traceroute to diagnose the issue. The NCM speed test function allows you to test each of the router’s modems (if you’re using a dual-modem router) to see if a specific carrier or other WAN source might be underperforming when it comes to throughput, latency, and jitter.
Remote Router Configuration
NCM makes it easy to see exactly what configurations have been applied to the router without a truck roll on-site. The platforms router logs show everything that has happened on each individual router. IT admins also can use NCM to easily see all of the router’s settings and access the command-line interface (CLI) remotely. Most importantly, it’s much more secure than setting up SSH for remote login, and it’s not necessary to have a static IP. This is a particularly important feature for troubleshooting a Cradlepoint router that’s connected via cellular connectivity, which assigns dynamic and private IP addresses.
Activity Logs Keep Detailed Network Records
In addition to router logs, NCM keeps an activity log, which shows exactly who made what changes to the network through NCM, along with providing a timestamp for exactly when that activity occurred. Another useful feature of NCM’s activity logs is that it’s possible to tell if these changes were made to a single router, a router group, or across all networks managed through that NCM account.
Use-Case: Putting It All Together
Consider this situation: A retail store’s router experiences a configuration change, then an alert is sent to the IT team through NCM. If the person or team who receives the email recognizes that the change should not have occurred, they can then log on to NCM to see if the router is still online. If so, they can check the activity log to see exactly what change was made and by whom.
In the activity log, they might find that a new guest WiFi network was created. Without proactive alerting and activity reports, it would be difficult to detect such a change, let alone assess whether the change happened accidentally or maliciously. With NCM, the IT admin can see which user created the network and immediately and proactively remove the guest WiFi network before it becomes a security issue.
The Bottom Line
By mitigating the need for on-site IT to troubleshoot problems, NCM enables IT teams to avoid incidents before they occur, reduce their vulnerability to security risks, and utilize fewer resources to keep the network up and running. Enterprises that use NetCloud Manager spend less time troubleshooting and more time innovating.