Virtualization is revolutionizing management in all areas of IT, from storage to servers to network ports. Abstracting logical functionality away from the underlying physical infrastructure makes it easier to ensure that individual users' needs are being met. In a wireless network, it means that IT staff can concentrate on users and their applications, not access points and radio interference.

For network management, the key difference between Virtualized Wireless LANs and legacy networks is predictability. Where other wireless systems try to adapt in response to changing radio conditions, Meru controls the radio spectrum so that reactive adaptation is unnecessary. The user experience is predictable, with wireline quality-of-service and guaranteed capacity. Equally important for management, the radio environment is predictable, with every access point using the same channels. There is no need to reconfigure the entire network in an attempt to adapt to interference. In many cases, troubleshooting times are reduced from days to minutes.

  • Automated Event Correlation

    The consistency of a Meru network makes events easier to recognize, allowing the network itself to diagnose many common issues through signature recognition. Similar to the flow signatures used to enforce QoS and the security signatures used for intrusion prevention, these automate much of the troubleshooting process. Freed up from spending time diagnosing a fault, support staff and can move straight to resolving it, saving many hours per incident.

  • Rewind and Replay

    Troubleshooting wired networks usually involves recreating the conditions that led to an issue, a technique that is impossible in wireless networks that constantly adapt. With Meru, a consistent radio environment makes troubleshooting simple, allowing support staff to use the same processes they use for wired Ethernet. Intelligent software automatically records all significant events and state changes so that IT managers can rewind the network to any given point in the last few days that preceded the network issue(s).

  • Flexibility and Customizability

    Just as virtualization unties logical resources from hardware, it unties performance and resource data from traditional network management interfaces. Information is presented in different formats oriented towards different tasks, different job functions and different access devices. Helpdesk staff can easily drill down from a global view of an entire network to a dashboard showing close-up details of a particular client. The system can also generate at-a-glance reports of performance and resource utilization appropriate for long-term planning at the CxO level. And network managers are no longer restricted to a workstation as they are able to take control of the network from a smart phone.