New Admin Guide for the AirO (Air Observer) app
03-08-2015 07:46 PM - edited 03-08-2015 07:57 PM
Those of you who attended the Airheads event in March 2015 will have seen AirO demonstrated by Sujatha as part of Keerti's keynote presentation. There are a couple interesting features in the new app...
The simple feature: We added a line at the top of the display to give the currently-associated BSSID in hex, along with the manufacturer's name (taken from a lookup to the IEEE OUI database).
But the larger feature is the ability to report data to your network's AirWave server. If you set this up, information reported from the client will be displayed on the device detail page. It uses an existing feature, called the "AMC report", originally designed to allow a Windows PC to report its status, its Wi-Fi environment and some performance data. (The Windows AMC client can be downloaded from the AirWave server under "Documentation".)
We built the AirO feature to use this existing API. There are detailed explanations in the AirWave documentation, but in brief you set up an account role called "AMC" and an account with role AMC, name "client" and a (locally shared) password. Then, in AirO "settings", configure the AirWave IP address (but see auto-configure below), account name and account password. You can tell it's running.because a link will appear (only when the client is associated and sending AMC reports) on the client detail page, the one showing the connection chain along the top. It's a small link at the top-left with "AMC" in it. Click on this and you will see some of the reported information. We'll be adding to these fields in future AirWave releases.
We also built an auto-discover feature. This allows anyone - admins, users, etc. - to download the "vanilla" app from the app store and, without any manual configuration, have it learn the IP addresses of the AirWave and iPerf servers. This feature uses mDNS (adopted by Apple as part of "Bonjour" and Aruba in "AirGroup"), and requires configuration of the "AirGroup" feature on the controller.
There are two advantages to this. First, roles can be configured by the network admin to ensure that only the desired segment of the (associated, thus already-authenticated) device/user population gets access to what is after all a shared account on the AirWave server. Second, it allows the app to query for a well-known service (we use "_airwave._tcp." and "_local-performance._tcp.") for the local IP addresses of the two servers, and also the password of the AirWave AMC shared account.
The attached update of the admin guide explains how to configure these static entries on the controller (this is a new feature and we haven't tested with Instant yet).
I have to say I think this is a pretty cool idea, as it avoids users having to enter any config data on the app, or admins having to build and host an enterprise-specific version with hard-coded IP addresses... but, as Mrs T gently reminds me, I have been known to overlook whoopsies and we came up with it quite rapidly: there may be a gotcha we haven't come across yet. So, if you are filled with the spirit of adventure and engineering enquiry, please download the app (Android only for now, I'm working on the iOS version), check out the attached guide and give me a shout either way?