It’s been a month since I attended Wireless Field Day 5 and one of the most impressive demonstrations during the event was by AirTight Networks. Now that I have played with the AirTight AP device along with the cloud management console I wanted to share some of the features plus how user-friendly the system is.
A quick overview of the AirTight Networks solution is there is no controller or central management device placed in your network data center, and the entire wireless network can be configured, managed, and monitored in the cloud. The configuration and Wi-Fi policies defined in the cloud are than pushed out to the APs and all the routing decisions are done at the networks edge. Another nice feature is the cloud management program is HTML5 based and can be accessed from any smart device.
When I first logged into the AirTight cloud console it is a little over whelming, but I quickly found the system and UI very easy to navigate. Near the top of the screen is a navigation bar listing the six main areas of the system, and below the navigation bar is a bread crumb location trail, and between these two location tool bars I found it extremely easy to move around the system or know my current location.
Navigation Tool Bars
Help on any screen is just a click away! No matter what screen your on a ? in the upper right corner can be clicked on for immediate help for the current screen and options.
Dashboard Help Screen
The consoles home screen displays a dashboard to quickly convey information or statistics about the network and connected devices.
The dashboard screen is fully customizable, and adding extra dashboards and widgets can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. The screen shot below shows a newly added dashboard screen along with the different widget categories to add monitoring or information elements to the dashboard screen.
Dashboard and Widget Setup
On the left hand side of the main screen is the location tree to organize the wireless network. Wi-Fi policies and configuration settings can be assigned at any level in the location tree, or locations can inherit policies from higher level folders.
A really nice feature is when your down to the building level a floor plan can be uploaded to the system. I uploaded a simple PNG file, but as the screen shot below shows I can still assign some dimensions to the floor plan as part of the upload.
Floor Plan Upload
Once the floor plan is uploaded the AP devices can be placed on top of the floor plan and a heat map showing the approximate coverage areas can be generated.
Floor Plan Heat Map
There is an option to upload a SPM file that can have more intelligence built into the floor plan including the building materials which would give a better representation of the heat map coverage area.
The configuration area is where the majority of the Wi-Fi and AP settings are defined. Below is a screen shot of the configuration screen to create an SSID profile. I don’t have enough time to cover the different sections or options available, but a great demonstration video by Sean Blanton (@blantr0n) is available on the Airtight Networks web site. Sean covers many of the configuration options in the video, and I definitely recommend watching this video for anyone wanting to learn more of the granular settings that can be configured.
SSID Profile Configuration
Another great resource to learn about the AirTight Networks cloud management console is the Wireless Field Day 5 demonstration presented by Kaustubh Phanse.
One final awesome resource is since the Wireless Field Day 5 event AirTight Networks is having a promotion for anyone to receive a free AP and a cloud management trail to conduct their own test. For anyone interested in this promotion visit the AirTight Networks web site for more information.
AirTight Networks Promotion
Additional demonstration videos about AirTight Networks and their wireless network solutions are available on the Wireless Field Day 5 YouTube page.