Hosted SmartCell Insight – Reporting & Network Analytics

It is at no surprise IT teams face a variety of challenges in delivering wireless connectivity to users but what can you do as the head of IT to make things simply better.

Let’s take a look at some of these so-called challenges in wireless connectivity;

  • The volume of traffic, the number and diversity of devices and data-intensive applications like video on the network
  • At the same time, user expectations keep increasing
  • Mobility is ingrained into our workforce, so people take high-performing wireless connectivity for granted
  • Whatever your industry, high service levels are table stakes
  • Lack of adequate data on wireless network operations makes it hard to meet expectations
  • It’s all guess work without the right tools you don’t know where to expand capacity, and you don’t have visibility into what users place the greatest demands on the network
  • You need to fulfill the business need for wireless connectivity by most of existing capacity, because expanding capacity comes with a cost
  • You don’t want to roll out additional capacity just to be on the safe side because of what you don’t know. That would be a waste of resources.
  • The goal is to make the most of existing infrastructure 

So how can you overcome these challenges? This is where our cloud hosted SmartCell Insight (SCI) is perfectly positioned. SCI is software that delivers comprehensive reporting and analytics for your Ruckus network. For end users, the benefit is because IT is able to improve Wi-Fi service levels and predictability. For network operations, it enables you to get deep into network operations and anomalies.  The product was built with capacity to serve very large networks with lots of data. 

SCI architecture overview

Our hosted SCI aggregates data from Ruckus access points and our cloud hosted SmartZone controller. This includes controller and AP stats and metrics, as well as client and application data.

Within the product itself, you can access pre-packaged reports within a web browser or export them into a variety of formats making them easy to obtain. Ruckus are constantly expanding this package to cover more use cases, so expect to see more reports being added in the future.

The product's high-performance analytics engine puts the wireless network intelligence that you need at your fingertips. 

To add even more value than the reports you can obtain from SCI, it integrates with third party platforms via its APIs. The API is so extensive that every chart and table in the standard reports comes with a corresponding JSON API and also provides a user-friendly API Explorer GUI. The user-friendly explorer makes it simple to test out and understand the syntax and parameters for each API endpoint when integrating with third party systems enabling it to become part of your organisation’s larger business intelligence ecosystem.

Pre-packaged reports, dashboards and correlations.

  • Pre-packaged reports are constantly expanding to cover more use cases
  • Dashboard page that summarises key highlights for the system
  • Individual reports that are focused on a specific area of data reporting
  • Network and WLAN pages to focus on visualising network usage
  • AP and controller pages that help answer questions about the implementation on an infrastructure basis
  • Client and application reports to show which users, devices, and applications are consuming bandwidth
  • Airtime usage report to answer questions about utilization and airtime health
  • Each report in the product can then be viewed for a completely customised time span, for the entire network or subset of the network, for specific WLANs, or radio bands. These filters can also be saved for easy reuse as well 
  • Reports can be scheduled and automatically sent to a specific recipient or exported to a file that is stored or shared offline

AP and Controller report

On the AP and Controller report page, you'll find tools to help keep track of network inventory, including APs and controllers, which can be especially useful as you span across multiple clusters. Several large-scale customers have utilised this functionality to keep track of AP lifecycle, especially as they refresh APs to keep up with latest technologies. While it may not be a super sexy type of data analysis, it is an important part of managing a network over time, to make sure that you've got a good handle on the devices in your deployment.

Beyond built-in report options

There are tools to help answer questions that are unique for you. 

  • The Data Explorer tool lets you create reports tailored to your needs
  • Click and drag UX to start with a blank canvas and place tiles wherever you want 
  • Select from dozens of data metrics in the database for the report
  • Flexibility to select from many data dimensions, time spans and filters
  • Display the data using several chart styles, from line charts and bar charts to grids or heatmaps

Airtime usage scenarios

  • Each of the panels can be edited or viewed full-screen for a focused review
  • In this case, you can easily see total transmit and receive traffic compared with airtime utilisation and client counts
  • You can check 2.4 vs 5 GHz, or look at sources of airtime usage, such as busy time from interference, transmit utilisation, and receive utilisation
  • Then those metrics can be compared or cross-referenced across groups or zones to see how this looks for the network as a whole
  • As you can see just in one scope of interest, data explorer is a very customisable and powerful visualisation tool

Predictive analytics

You have probably heard about predictive analytics with machine learning.

  • SCI has several proprietary algorithms for automatically baselining core KPIs in the network to predict what trends should happen
  • Anomaly detection algorithms automatically learn when the network is operating outside of short-term, mid-term, and long-term norms

PCI Compliance

One of the standard industry-specific reports in SCI is the PCI compliance report. This report allows you to confirm that your network complies with Payment Card Industry requirements for wireless networks.

  • The admin selects which SSIDs carry cardholder data
  • The system prompts the admin with a short questionnaire
  • Then SCI validates the configuration on SmartZone to determine pass/fail status across several parameters
  • Then the report is displayed in simple item-by-item fashion with easy PCI IDs for reference, a description of the requirement, pass/fail status, and a list of any failed components to check on
  • Admins can download the report as a PDF to provide for bi-annual PCI reporting requirements
  • This report complies with version 3.2 of the PCI-DSS standard

Summary

Here's a quick summary of the benefits of DigitalAir's cloud hosted Ruckus SmartCell Insight.

  • First, it gives you visibility and insight into what’s going on in your Ruckus wireless network
  • It automates the detection of network anomalies with sophisticated predictive analytics, so that you can proactively address potential service issues.
  • It validates that you are PCI compliant
  • It reduces costs by helping you make the most of existing infrastructure 
  • No need to worry about maintaining expensive servers
  • Quick deployment by our expert team
  • Cost effective yearly subscription model
  • Renewals in-line with your Hosted SmartZone Licenses 
  • Support available via your DigitalAir Service Desk Entity
  • Flexible agreement terms (1-3 year options)
  • Access to our consultancy package for tailored setup and configuration

To request a working demo of SCI please call us on 0800 122 3027.