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WLAN Health with IMC

By Gladys Alegre-Kimura, Global Product Marketing Manager, HP Networking


gak.jpgWireless users usually wonder why their home network performs better than the office wireless network. What is the reason for frequent network disconnect and a slower connection? With all of these questions users may start thinking that their office has poor network infrastructure. I was reading a blog by Chris Lyttle on “Trouble Shooting Problems with Wireless-LAN” that gave a perspective on WLAN management challenges and how to resolve them. According to Chris:


  • Visibility - “Many network management tools provide user count and coverage maps, but this really doesn’t explain why a particular device is having issues.” I think Chris is referring to the visibility of network devices that may cause problems in wireless networking.
  • Comprehensive monitoring and management - “A good health check toolkit usually consists of site survey software to capture a snapshot of the wireless network; spectrum analysis software to provide non-Wi-Fi interference packet capture; and analysis software, which looks inside the packets going across the WLAN to discover errors or misconfigurations that may be disconnecting clients.” Obviously, he means that you need good software to monitor RF spectrum coverage and interference.
  • Performance monitoring - “Wireless network management systems also gather performance-related information directly from the wireless access points”. Well, this is important because if you understand how the Wi-Fi network is performing from a user point of view, you can prevent help desk calls.

There are a lot of tools out there that can accomplish the same thing, but does it make sense to deploy all of these different tools to monitor your wireless network? Wouldn’t you rather have one tool that manages the wireless network and helps you prevent calls regarding Wi-Fi issues? One tool makes more sense than several, because correlating information between different tools is a challenge in itself.


You can solve these wireless challenges with one tool, the Intelligent Management Center (IMC) with Wireless Service Manager module, which allows you to benefit from single-pane-of-glass management for both wired and wireless networks. Let’s see how IMC addresses these challenges:


Visibility – IMC provides visibility from the network down to the device level including access points:


  • Automatically maps wireless infrastructure that allows the admin to visually verify coverage.
  • Updates the topology map automatically when a new client or AP is added.
  • Provides utility to pinpoint user connectivity problems fast, which allows easier troubleshooting at the device level.

IMC Home Screen                                                          Wireless Coverage



Comprehensive monitoring and management – HP wireless solutions and IMC management can help solve the complex issue of wireless radio frequency (RF) interference.  The site survey customer can use HP’s RF Planner to accurately model and visualize wireless coverage based on site building materials and floor plans. This HP wireless management solution supports advanced Radio Resource Management (RRM) with spectrum analyses capabilities including detection, and classification and automatic mitigation of sources of interference.


IMC Wireless Service Management (WSM) includes Spectrum Guard Analysis which monitors RF and allows admins to adjust power and channel assignments based on the source of the interference which results in a great end-user experience. 




IMC WSM Spectrum Analysis Monitor



Performance Monitoring – Network evaluation is one of the best features in WSM for performance monitoring. It collects data from all APs and clients and compares APs and clients based on the predefined thresholds. Sometimes, issues on the wired network impacts wireless connectivity. Performance data from the wired infrastructure allows you to correlate data between wired and wireless networks enabling better troubleshooting. Now it becomes easier for you to discover errors or misconfigurations that may lead to a wireless user disconnect or a poor experience.




Performance Monitoring – Device Response time


Chris also mentioned a few other vendors’ solution that can monitor Wi-Fi network health performance. But what he doesn’t mention is the need for single pane-of-glass management across wired and wireless networks. This simplifies the management experience and allows for easier troubleshooting across wired and wireless networks and IMC can deliver that.


IMC can effectively inform you of the health of your WLAN network so that you know what you need to do to provide optimized wireless connectivity and limit those help desk calls. Learn more on how HP can help with Managing WLANS with Ease and Deploying Wireless with IMC.


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Is radio monitoring (spectrum, ...) with imc also possible for HP MSM controller with MSM AP's?

Excellent article! Congrats!

Hi Davy, IMC can do spectrum analysis of MSM APs if they are controller by the 830 controller or the 10500/7500 unified wired/wireless controller module.

Hi Davy, IMC can do spectrum analysis of MSM APs if they are controller by the 830 controller or the 10500/7500 unified wired/wireless controller module.

Great post! Been reading a lot about WLAN Systems. Thanks for the info here!

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