RealTime IT News

Aerohive Revamps Free Online Wi-Fi Planner

With an update to its Wi-Fi planning tool, Aerohive has made it easier for networkers to plan for Wi-Fi deployments. Enterprise Networking Planet's review of the revamped tool says improved report output, a streamlined workflow and better interface make the tool accessible to more people while providing better results.

Last fall, Aerohive introduced Online Wi-Fi Planner, a Web-based predictive tool intended to help prospective customers quickly draft and budget upcoming deployments. Freely available to anyone for 60 days (or forever to HiveManager customers), Planner made it easy to supply a floor plan, drag/drop new APs, and visualize predicted results. But the initial release didn't design WLANs: Positioning APs was up to the user. With this week's HiveManager 3.5 update, that limitation is lifted.

"As more organizations rely on wireless to support voice, video and data networks, ensuring proper AP density for performance and reliability is essential and must be factored in during the deployment stages," said Adam Conway, Aerohive's Vice President of Product Management. By adding auto-placement and richer design parameters to Online Wi-Fi Planner, Aerohive is making it easier to propose WLANs designed to meet coverage, signal, and data rate goals for a given site.

Plan and Budget

With 802.11n, coverage is far more difficult to predict. Possible data rates and channels have spiked, and dual-band APs mean mapping twice: once at 2.4 GHz, again at 5 GHz. Multiple streams and multi-path make uplink/downlink throughputs not only different, but more variable over time. Given this, experts debate whether pre-deployment site surveys are worthwhile for 802.11n. However, customers still need a rough idea of how many APs to buy and where to place them. This is where Online Wi-Fi Planner fits.

Read "Aerohive's Free Online Wi-Fi Planner Automates AP Placement" at Enterprise Networking Planet