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Aerohive Brings SLAs To Enterprise Wireless Networks

Wireless LAN vendor Aerohive has rolled service level monitoring of clients, as well as an automated response system into its HiveOS operating system.  Included as part of the upcoming upgrade, a new option known as Performance Sentinel tracks the performance of each client on the Aerohive's access points and identifies clients falling below prescribed levels. When identified, a second option, Airtime Boost, takes over, adjusting other clients to keep everyone within specifications.
The blessing and curse of wireless networks is the fact that WiFi is a shared medium.  While WLANs offer true mobility, unfortunately, an enterprise never really knows where on the wireless network a particular mobile client is going to connect, making it difficult to set reasonable wireless performance levels. Aerohive's approach to this issue is through its Dynamic Airtime Scheduling, introduced earlier this year. By allocating more time to a given client over another based on roles or types of usage, Aerohive claims it can create a consistent experience for all of mobile users. For example, a client with guest access can be throttled back to avoid affecting corporate users.  
Performance Sentinel takes this concept one step further by building a service level monitoring and reporting toolset around Dynamic Airtime Scheduling.  Administrators set minimum levels of performance for the various classes of devices on their network, and Performance Sentinel shows in real-time how the WLAN and devices live up to those service levels. When a device slips below the minimum, the Airtime Boost function can kick in to adjust the airtime for all the devices on a given access point to bring it back into compliance.  Both Performance Sentinel and Airtime Boost will ship as free upgrades to all customers under maintenance as part of HiveOS 3.4.
For enterprises, the ability to set a baseline service level of performance for its wireless clients will be an attractive feature, ensuring that the business critical devices get the access they need, wherever they are on the network. Furthermore, this level of control will be crucial to achieve the nirvana of the wireless enterprise.