Addressing the challenges of router and adapter management through cloud-managed wireless solutions
It’s no secret that cloud-managed network solutions provide businesses with reliable, scalable, and cost-effective alternatives to on-premises management. These benefits are fueling a rising adoption rate of cloud-managed services across the globe. In fact, a 2021 market research report predicts the cloud-managed market valued at $39.83 billion in 2020 will grow to more than $117.65 billion by 2028.
This investment in remote monitoring and management is a byproduct of network administration challenges that come with deploying large numbers of routers that connect sites, vehicles, and IoT.
Challenges and requirements of effective Wireless WAN management
When business needs, org charts, and geographical locations expand, managing the network device by device becomes too complex, leaving room for functional errors and security incidents. Additionally, if routers and adapters are to be managed on an individual basis, it’s difficult to paint a complete picture of an organization’s network performance or troubleshoot any issues that might occur.
To effectively deploy, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot a Wireless WAN (WWAN) with limited resources, certain criteria must be met.
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Deploying, configuring, and upgrading
The ability to create and update routers or adapters remotely and in groups decreases the strain on a company’s time, money, and resources — whether those endpoints are in vehicles, acting as IoT gateways, or in fixed locations. Management segmentation in particular can accomplish this through:
- Simultaneous rollout of network and security configurations
- One-click software and firmware updates
- Unique configurations based on location, use, and other characteristics
Effective router monitoring solutions should give businesses the tools needed to protect and enhance their network. Crucial monitoring features include:
- Analytics and dashboards that clearly portray network health
- Insights that provide information for data spend optimization
- Security incident detection and mitigation through access blocking, traffic segmentation and threat analysis
In today’s rapid response society, a slow, interrupted, or unresponsive network can quickly translate to profit loss, customer turnover, or dangerous working conditions. To prevent these circumstances, enterprise troubleshooting requirements for devices on a WWAN include:
- Diagnostic tools that allow users to easily locate and address the cause of network downtime
- The ability to run, analyze, and archive network health tests
- Extended troubleshooting capabilities such as the ability to access and diagnose LAN resources located behind a WAN router
While many of these basic network management needs can be accomplished with on-premises solutions, companies are quickly moving cloud-managed routers to the top of their “must have” list.
The top 5 benefits of cloud-based, centralized network management
Particularly for companies implementing lean IT principles, the adoption of a cloud-based router management system improves operational efficiencies in five specific ways.
Remote IT management negates the need for local deployment of teams and software to support dispersed networks. Complementing the principles of lean IT, cloud-managed wireless routers can be monitored through a single pane of glass with a reliable internet connection. This simplifies software, firmware, and configuration updates by allowing users to not only access devices from anywhere, but to also apply configurations and policies across thousands of devices at once, effectively managing five or 500,000 connections with the same amount of effort. The ability to access cloud-managed wireless through a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device gives even more power and flexibility to the IT team.
IT processes continue to be simplified through remote troubleshooting when primary routers are unable to access LAN-side resources such as laptops, switches, or other routers. Cloud-based tools like Cradlepoint Remote Connect can facilitate downtime troubleshooting for these in-band and out-of-band connections.
#2: Cost savings from day one
Cloud-managed wireless routers with zero-touch deployment will drastically reduce setup times and costs in four simple steps:
- Router manufacturers register each router to the cloud with the correct licensing and policies prior to shipping.
- Customers define the router or group configurations while waiting for the product to arrive.
- The product arrives and is SIM-equipped.
- The router is powered on and connected to the network, which triggers the automatic download of the customer’s software and pre-defined configurations.
#3: Ease of scalability and extensibility
Especially when coupled with zero-touch deployment, cloud-based router management systems allow customers to add routers throughout their network without restriction. Additionally, extensibility enables customers to integrate disparate systems, enhance functionality, and run third-party edge applications to reduce hardware requirements in remote locations.
#4: In-depth defense with integrated security
Cloud-managed routers are backed by real-time defense provisions, enabling IT teams to monitor and block malware, ransomware, and other malicious activity from bad actors. Integrated security solutions through remote IT management software also include:
- Secure, encrypted site-to-site connectivity
- Zero-trust “invitation only” virtual networks for high-value assets
- Policy-based control of user and device access to applications and services
- Prevention of unauthorized access to the network through zone-based or application-aware firewalls.
- Blocked access to suspicious or restricted URLs
Because remote monitoring and management allow users to see an attack in progress, they can respond quickly with steps needed to protect the network.
#5: Comprehensive insights and reporting
Through at-a-glance views of accounts, groups, and routers, remote IT teams can easily manage network performance, coverage, and costs associated with their Wireless WAN. While shareable reports can be used for strategic planning, deep reporting can bring forth analytics, status updates, and actionable data related to:
- Network health and quality of experience
- Locations and coverage
- Data plan usage
- WAN uptime
Cloud-managed wireless also offers the power needed to produce machine learning and artificial intelligence analytics.
Benefits are enhanced with proper support
While ease of use, predictable costs, security, scalability, and actionable reporting create a nearly perfect parfait of cloud-based benefits, responsive, reliable support is the cherry on top. When selecting cloud-managed equipment for a WWAN, enterprise businesses are best served by a company that offers more than just a router and an app.
Customers who subscribe to Cradlepoint NetCloud Service have access to 24x7 global support, training, and network management resources, as well as an equipment lifecycle warranty, including 24-hour replacement.