• Recently deploying the Airwave Management System for the first time, I would like to share with you my experiences and response with the product. Aruba Networks has become a Wifi power house over the last several years. I have been around Aruba equipment for the last few years but never had the chance to implement the Airwave Server.

    The physical installation was a breeze. The hardware was a Dell rack server. As with most newer Dell servers, all you have to do is simply snap in the mounts then snap in the hardware. After booting up the box, I place the Airwave disc into the tray. The disc booted and I easily followed the instructions to install the Linux CentOS. After the OS installation, the Airwave software was installed.

    Setting up the Airwave software was similar to most management software platforms. I input the license key to access the 100 devices capabilities. I set up the SNMP strings and ssh username and passwords to monitor and configure the controllers and APs from Airwave. After this I told Airwave what networks I wanted it to monitor. As soon as it started monitoring, new devices started appearing in the New Device Tab. With each new device, I attached it to the proper group and selected what actions I wanted Airwave to perform on the device.

    Airwave is equipped with location tracking of APs, clients, and rouges. This tool is called VisualRF. When viewing a building drawing within VisualRF, I am able to know exactly where a client device is as well as what AP it is connected to. I do not recommend using VisualRF for precise AP predictive modeling. This capability is included but I recommend more advanced programs like Motorola?s Lan Planner or Air Magnets Survey Pro.

    The data analysis and reporting capabilities with the AWMS are phenomenal. From the home -screen I am able to know if any devices are down, how many clients are connected, how much traffic is being used, and how many rogue devices are being detected. If I click on an access point, I am able to see exactly how many clients are connected to each radio. I am also able to see the amount of traffic flowing over a radio or over the Ethernet port. There is also a timeline scale for each device. This timeline enables you to look back to a year?s worth of data. As for reports, there is a variety of daily reports that are run automatically. One of my favorite reports is the Daily RF Health Report. This report gives you the top ten APs with most noise, MAC/Phy errors, channel changes, and transmit power changes of 2.4 and 5 GHz radios.

    Airwave can be a bit pricey. If not for the price, I would recommend every company have the Airwave Management System monitor your wireless network. The ease of use, amount of data statistics, and reporting make this system very valuable. If the money is right for your company, I highly recommend this platform.

    Have any of you deployed the Airwave server?
    Any questions about the Airwave server?
    Any suggestions of an alternative and why you suggest that alternative?

    Look forward to hearing your responses.

  • Be sure to add the uplink Ethernet switchs that the APs are connected to. It does burn a license, but the extra info is nice to have. If it?s a Cisco, give AMP the IP address and SNMP community strings. If it?s not, there is an option for a generic switch and few other vendors.

    Wait until you an update becomes available. AMP notifies you at the top of screen, and then a simple upgrade commands takes care of the rest.

  • Thanks for the reply Tim.

    Oh yes, I did forget to mention that Airwave could manage many vendor devices. The reason we did not do this in the deployment is because we have a certain amount of licenses for APs and Controllers and the switches are already being managed by a different platform.

    Updates are really that easy? Amazing.

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