"Trust is good, control is better". This motto could have been written for network administrators: Even a single error at a critical point can have disastrous consequences for the functionality and security of the company's IT. But in the age of software-defined networks with highly automated management functions from a central cloud – is this saying now obsolete?
On the one hand, yes it is: The high degree of automation now dramatically minimizes the human “uncertainty factor”. Configuring dozens of switches or firewalls manually on the hardware of course provokes a far higher error rate than having the components automatically and reliably retrieve the specified network configuration from a cloud-based controller. On the other hand, no it isn’t: The devil is in the detail, no one can guarantee 100 percent freedom from errors and, at the end of the day, common sense beats artificial intelligence.
But: Cloud-controlled network management can help with checks – thanks to a well thought-out information policy.
The basic philosophy of the LANCOM Management Cloud is the proactive principle. So instead of “find the bug” we have a crystal-clear notification policy, where any potential hazards such as devices that need updating and other “anomalies” that the system detects are reported in plain text to the human operator. Furthermore, the LANCOM Management Cloud allows the user to design a control cockpit any way they like.
A selection of widgets allow individual dashboards to be constructed from a wide variety of monitoring and display modules, which are easily clicked together and saved as a collection.
In the following we present three examples of dashboard views for monitoring Wi-Fi, VPN, and network security.
All mapped out
All mapped out: The map view on the left illustrates all of the VPN tunnels between a company's sites. The green lines shown here indicate that all is functioning properly. If the system detects an anomaly, the connection changes to red and the responsible IT staff member can take action, for example to reconnect an interrupted VPN connection.
The diagrams to the right show the number of connections over a given time period and the data throughput that the routers send and receive. Also, the site connections appear in a list view with the most important connection quality data.
Eye for detail
Further detailed information on the connection quality can be seen by clicking on the relevant VPN tunnel:
A pop-up shows how long the connection has been running trouble-free and provides the main quality parameters such as the round trip time of the data packets (RTT), packet losses, jitter, and the maximum transmission unit of the data packets in bytes (MTU).
Site inspection by mouse click
After you upload your building’s floorplans, you can place your access points on them and immediately see an overview of what is happening on every floor, in every room, at every site.
The circles around each access point indicate the coverage it offers (theoretical value without the influence of the walls) and thus provide reference points for planning and troubleshooting.
Health check for Wi-Fi
Sheer genius: In addition to overall views such as the pie chart of the most frequently used applications, statistics on the number of users, or load – all in retrospect for up to seven days if desired – IT managers can obtain a precise insight into the "state of health" of their Wi-Fi at the click of a mouse.
For example, if a warning appears about an overload, the causes can be easily identified with the individual device view, so the error can be corrected quickly and accurately.
The security dashboard flags up hazards at a glance: Devices with unsecure passwords, outdated firmware, or which permit unsecure services or ports on the network. Color coding based on the traffic-light principle indicates the urgency of a potential security risk.
The diagram below provides information about the security level of the network. The curve shows blocked connections through the firewalls at the sites over a period of one hour, one day, or one week.
You see: Network management with the LANCOM Management Cloud is not only as pleasant and relaxed as lying on clouds, but also as clearly arranged as if you were sitting on a cloud and had everything in view from up there.
The nice thing is: If you want, you don't have to come down from up there either. Just take a look at our info papers, tech papers and white papers, browse through our tutorials and the LMC FAQ, or float through the LMC user interface in live view. We look forward to seeing you!
Would you prefer to see the monitoring functions of the LMC again with your own eyes?
The test system of the LANCOM Management Cloud gives you the opportunity. Simply register for the Live View!