I mused online recently about the team that Devin Akin is building over at AirTight. [tweet https://twitter.com/pandom_/statuses/392468742854041600]
Hiring talent like Ryan Adzima and Andrew VonNagy is a great play on AirTight’s behalf. These are experts in their own right and alumni of the TFD family who have immense respect of their peers and twitter family. Andrew reached out to me after chatting about the social aspects of AirTight. When they arrived a AT-C-55 and an AT-C-60 access point.
Whilst waiting for my shipment to come from the states I did some reading. AirTight has a philosophy of Controller less and cloud managed. They repeat across many forms of communications that it is as simple as plugging the device in and configure it from anywhere. I received my devices but as most of us network folk know time is a hard thing to find. Getting home I plugged it into my Juniper EX-2200c with POE and let them power up. I went to work the next day and had a spare half an hour between meetings. I logged into the management portal and the access points were on-line and pushing AirTight wifi throughout my home.
Suitably impressed I navigated around the GUI. It is important to keep in mind that I have not read any manuals on how to use it. This speaks volumes to the intuitive nature of the management portal. By default there are three networks installed. Due to the system being profile driven, which gives vast flexibility to configuration, I had out of the box connectivity. I knew my wife had her friends over during the day for a catch up so I messaged her and asked her friends to connect to AT_Social_WiFi.
Not long after there were three guests connected to my Social wifi at home. Two were connected via Facebook and one through Twitter. It was much better knowing they used their own credentials than knowing my wifi passwords. Having an open wireless network at home made me worry a little and I quickly checked the SSID under the Social wifi profile. I was looking for some way to throttle or limit the number of connections. With a click of a stanza styled drop down I found the bandwidth and connection limit fields and adjusted accordingly.
Where social wifi would be superior is in my opinion the retail environment or transient staff enterprise. Enabling connection with traditional means such as certificate based, role based or passwords is good but doesn’t work for a high amount of guests. Imagine a chain like Donut King or Wendy’s that promoted free wifi. Whilst having customers consume wifi services within my stall or outlet I can see how many of a social network type connects and coordinate my marketing to suit. Like us on Facebook and get a coupon for a free donut. Re tweet out latest offer for a free up size with next purchase. I am not a marketing person but as a consumer this appeals to me. I won’t venture into the sharing of details as this is another post but you see the power of social from my example.
Controller-less wireless installations is no longer a differentiator in enterprise networks. Cloud management portals are slowly achieving ubiquity with many vendors offering such solutions. It is value adding to these foundations that what separates the competition. What Airtight deliver with their Social integration and WIPS with a re imagined and superb UI/UX is the true differentiator. AirTight’s orange cloud is spreading and I hope to an airspace near you!
Disclaimer: My general disclaimer is here.