Imagine yourself working in IT at a large convention hotel. This hotel is a well-known national brand that attracts all kinds of guests. You get an email from an upcoming conference in two weeks that wants to have a special wireless SSID for their attendees. They've already printed it on their agendas, so they need it to be visible in the conference rooms. You think to yourself "This should be easy."
You call the third party management firm that takes care of your wireless network. They inform you that they will need to engage another party to make the changes on the controller since they are only responsible for the access points. This ticket is also going to require some back-and-forth to get the right privileges to make changes in the network. They should be able to get it done in about four weeks. You cringe to yourself as you realize that the new SSID will be installed the week after your guests leave. If only you knew about this request a month ahead of time. If only there was a way to make the changes without the need to involve so many other parties.
Third party management of wired and wireless networks in industries like hospitality and retail is increasing common. IT departments are already working around the clock to provide critical services that help the business succeed. Adding the management of other networks, like guest services, on top of their existing workload is going to cause stress and increase the likelihood of mistakes. However, as the above example shows, there can be complications when it comes to having portions of your network managed by other people.
Aruba has a solution to help you end your network runaround nightmares. With Aruba OS 8.0, we're introducing a new feature called MultiZone. This feature allows managed service providers to install controllers in your network to help manage your wireless services. Instead of creating accounts on your devices with restricted permissions and worrying about how your MSP will access your controllers safely, you can move the burden to the provider. MultiZone allows multiple controllers to manage aspects of a single wireless network, relieving the RF interference that would come from having multiple wireless networks.
MultiZone means having an MSP managing your guest network and a separate MSP managing a more secure network, such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) or a network that transmits highly secure data. It means that you can count on your provider being able to manage their area of the network while keeping them separated from other things. MultiZone gives you the peace of mind to know that an errant configuration change isn't going to cause your network to crash.
Another important aspect of MultiZone is compliance. The headaches of PCI auditing and other requirements for reporting can increase stress when it comes to network management. It may even be necessary to physically separate your guest wireless traffic from PCI traffic to ensure compliance. But Aruba MultiZone gives you the option of ensuring logical separation of your non-secured networks from those carrying sensitive data. You can be confident that traffic is exiting your network correctly and won't cause any issues with auditing later on.
I think MultiZone will change the way multi/mixed tenant wireless networks are deployed in the future. Network management is difficult enough. Let Aruba make your job easier with MultiZone. Giving MSPs the ability to shoulder some of a load of operating and maintaining aspects of your network will help your IT staff focus on keeping you in the business of doing business.
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