Making network management easy with Cambium wireless-aware technology

Making network management easy with Cambium wireless-aware technology

With WiFi having emerged as the de facto network access mechanism, the ability to easily and cost-effectively administer a unified wired and wireless network edge is now a requirement.

“Automation is the key to lessening the burden on the network administrator. The automation capabilities provided by Cambium’s cnMatrix are innovative and differentiating. Designed to reduce the cost of ownership and flatten the learning curve, cnMatrix automates many of the interactions with connected wireless devices. When working in tandem, cnMatrix switches and Cambium Networks’ cnPilot wireless indoor and outdoor access points provide enhanced capabilities and automated switch configuration,” says Teresa Huysamen, Business Unit Manager for Cambium solutions at Duxbury Networking.

The wireless-aware cnMatrix portfolio of cloud-managed enterprise-grade Layer-2/Layer-3 Ethernet switches support automation of the required switch configuration when connecting, removing or updating Cambium Networks’ wireless devices. When connected to cnMatrix switches, configuration settings can be pushed from the downstream wireless device to the switch, to eliminate error-prone and time-consuming manual configuration. Leveraging secure proprietary signalling, network connectivity requirements are pushed to the switch to establish virtual paths, condition ports and segment traffic flows. No manual configuration is required on cnMatrix, resulting in hands-free, zero-touch wireless connectivity.

The Policy Based Automation (PBA) functionality on the upstream cnMatrix can also be used to support zero-touch configuration for any wireless device. Automatic detection of Cambium Networks’ cnPilot wireless devices is natively supported by PBA. General device characteristics can be specified to facilitate automated detection of devices from any vendor.

Following device detection, a multitude of actions can be initiated – from auto-segmentation via VLAN creation and port membership assignment to establishing the appropriate default quality of service (QOS) settings for the discovered device. cnMatrix streamlines and simplifies configuration of a secure and maintainable switching infrastructure.

With built-in Intelligent Power over Ethernet (POE), cnMatrix Tower switches can auto-detect the POE requirements of certain connecting devices, in addition to providing complete hands-on control over all POE functionality. cnMatrix Tower switches support the different requirements of both IEEE-standard active PoE and non-standard passive POE. cnMatrix will support 802.3af/at/bt POE as well as 24V and 54V passive POE.

“cnMatrix POE management provides the ability to control per-port POE status settings and monitor per-port POE statistics such as voltage, current and instantaneous power being supplied. This is yet another cnMatrix wireless-aware tool in the arsenal for troubleshooting and diagnostics,” says Huysamen.

Further adding to Cambium Networks’ wireless-aware offering, cnMaestro system is a cloud-based or on-premises network management platform offering end-to-end network control with zero-touch provisioning and device configuration. cnMaestro configures Cambium Networks’ wireless devices with network access information, some of which can be automatically pushed to the upstream cnMatrix for automated switch configuration. cnMaestro can also simultaneously provision all cnMatrix switches network-wide with device detection and action criteria.

Huysamen cites the following example: “Consider Cambium Networks’ cnPilot wireless APs. When connected to cnMatrix, the AP uses proprietary signalling to securely indicate VLAN and link tagging requirements to the switch. cnMatrix acts on the request by manipulating virtual path and port settings to satisfy the network access requirements. If access requirements change on the fly, cnMatrix immediately and transparently updates the configuration as needed. An error-free and seamless connection for all wireless users is established with no pre-configuration required on cnMatrix.”

If cnMatrix staging is preferred, cnMaestro and PBA are used to establish network-wide and uniform network access policies. cnPilot access can be connected to any port on any cnMatrix and the expected network access configuration will be applied.

“Being wireless-aware does not stop with just cnPilot APs. Cambium Networks’ outdoor fixed broadband wireless portfolio will also take advantage of the wireless-aware cnMatrix switches. Additional uses on the Tower switches include allowing network operators to connect two Cambium radios configured to operate on the same spectrum. The wireless-aware cnMatrix Tower switch, leveraging proprietary signalling, will appropriately configure the solution to operate in an active standby mode thereby providing much-needed redundancy and maximising the use of very limited spectrum. This solution will auto-failover if needed, providing for uninterrupted uptime for users,” Huysamen points out.

As networks continue to proliferate, demands on network operators will increase. Automation provides the ability to instantly monitor and manage networks, while precisely controlling the configuration process network wide. Network operators can consistently execute requirements and reduce downtime while saving time and money in the process by deploying Cambium wireless-aware technology solutions.

For more information, contact Duxbury Networking, +27 (0) 11 351 9800,