Deploying an enterprise wireless solution can be a challenging task,
especially for IT administrators tasked with supporting multiple sites. In order to ensure good performance, network administrators would often have to perform a site survey at each location to discover areas of RF coverage and interference, and then manually configure each AP according to the results of this survey.
Static site surveys can help you choose channel and power assignments for AP’s. However, these surveys are often time-consuming and expensive, and they only reflect the state of the network at a single point in time. RF environments are always changing, and new sources of interference pop up all the time – whether it’s the microwave in the break room that only gets used around lunch time or a new tenant down the hall who put in a new access point. If your wireless solution is not able to adapt to these changes on the fly, then users will have a poor experience. This means your IT department will experience higher call volumes.
Aruba Networks has developed a feature within their operating system to address these ever-changing wireless environments: Adaptive Radio Management (ARM).
ARM maximizes WLAN performance even in the highest traffic networks by dynamically and intelligently choosing the best 802.11 wireless channel and transmit power for each Aruba Access Point in its current RF environment. ARM solves wireless networking challenges such as large deployments, dense deployments, and installations that must support VoIP or mobile users.
Deployments with dozens of users per access point can cause network contention and interference, but ARM dynamically monitors and adjusts the network to ensure that all users are allowed ready access. ARM provides the best voice call quality with voice-aware spectrum scanning and call admission control.
When ARM is enabled it will continuously scan the air on all 802.11 channels and report back what it sees to the controller. You can retrieve this information from the controller or push the data to Airwave to get a quick health check of your WLAN deployment. You can do all of this without having to walk around every part of a building with a network analyzer tool.
In addition to all this, there are some exciting changes coming to the ARM technology and the Aruba Operating System in general with the 8.0 update, make sure you engage your local Aruba resources for more information.