Avaya has announced the Cloud Networking Platform, which lets customers manage Avaya’s wireless network gear from the cloud. The Cloud Network Platform will be available in November.
The announcement is pretty straightforward: administrators can manage Avaya APs from a cloud-based console. The management interface provides a network-wide view of the APs and provides essential information including top clients, top applications, anomalies, and failures.
Administrators can also push out network-wide configurations, add new APs, and modify settings from the console. When adding an AP to an existing network, it calls home to the cloud service to get activated, and a configuration is pushed from the cloud.
Of course, all of this could be done from a premises application, but the cloud option enables more simplified remote management, whether for a centralized IT shop dealing with remote locations, or for managed service providers that operate WLANs on behalf of their customers.
Portals are available for MSPs that provide a global view of all their customers, as well as individual log-in screens and dashboards for each customer. MSPs can co-brand customer views.
The cloud service is hosted on AWS data centers in North America. Management traffic is encrypted between customer sites and the cloud service.
Everybody’s Doing It
Cloud-managed WLANs are fairly common now, with options available from Cisco Meraki, Aerohive, HPE Aruba, Xirrus, Huawei, and others.
What’s unique about Avaya isn’t the cloud option, but how it runs its wireless networks. Instead of a standalone master controller, the controller functions (such as RF characteristics, channel selection, client management, and so on) are distributed among all the APs in the network.
Avaya says this eliminates a single point of failure. In addition, if the connection to the management system is lost, the APs will still operate as normal, though administrators won’t be able to perform adds, moves, or configuration changes.
Avaya says it will add wired switches to the cloud management platform next year, starting with campus switches, then access and core devices, and finally data center switches.
Pricing starts at $120 per AP, and includes upgrades and technical support.