Aerohive guest blogger: Bradley Chambers, Brainerd Baptist School
I met with a territory manager last week of another wireless vender. He told me that all vendors have controllers. This is a common misconception that vendors outside of Aerohive propagate. HiveManager is not a controller! British author Arthur C. Clarke put it best when he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Allow me to explain …
Controller-less Wi-Fi explained
First, we need to understand what exactly is HiveManager?
Here is Aerohive’s official description of HiveManager:
HiveManager is an out-of-band Network Management System (NMS) for simple policy configuration, firmware upgrades, and monitoring of up to thousands of Aerohive 802.11n access point and routers. A revolutionary new user-interface makes it easy and intuitive to create and deploy unified LAN and WLAN policies across your entire network.
HiveManager is simply a management interface for the Aerohive access points (APs) and routers. All of the features of the access points are working directly on the actual access points.
Captive web portals are served directly by the AP that the client is connecting to. Roaming is handled directly by the APs working together. If you want to, you could shut down the VMWare server that your local HiveManager was working on when you aren’t using it. The only thing that would change is that the light on the access point would be green rather than white.
HiveManager is also not a ‘Cloud Controller’.
- Cloud controllers are required by their access points to handle many of the features.
- What happens if your cloud controller company goes out of business?
- What happens if they are sold and the new buyer raises the rates?
- Once they receive their initial configuration, Aerohive access points do not require a connection to HiveManager for ANYTHING!
- Let’s repeat that so we all get it: Aerohive access points do not require a connection to HiveManager for ANYTHING!
My car doesn’t require the gas station I buy gas from to be open for me to drive. I only require the gas station if I need additional fuel. I can also choose from multiple gas stations.
This is very similar to HiveManager. If a new CTO comes in to my organization and wants to bring all services back internally, Aerohive has a controller-less Wi-Fi solution for that. Does your wireless vendor?
If you are running a controller-based solution and your CTO wants to move everything to hosted solutions and save on capital expenditures, does your vendor have an option?
Aerohive is truly the best of both worlds. A controller-less Wi-Fi architecture and access points that are working together without a single point of failure with a management system that I can either host myself or have hosted for me.
Bradley Chambers has been the Director of Information Technology at Brainerd Baptist School since 2009. At BBS, he manages an Apple network of 90 Macs and 40 iPads (with Aerohive access points). Prior to that, he worked in the telecommunications industry for five years. He has a B.S. in Organizational Management from Covenant College. He is an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician, an Apple Certified Associate for Mac 10.7 into Windows Server environments, a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, and an Aerohive Certified Wireless Administrator. He has spoken recently at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools Tech Conference on transitioning schools to cloud-based solutions. He is passionate about iOS and Mac in the education and enterprise markets. You can follow him on his blog or on Twitter (@bradleychambers).