AirWave Wireless - SOLUTION GUIDE
AirWave® Wireless Management
Suite 6.0 Solution Guide
D e v i ce D i s cove r y
• 802.11n Management: Supports
802.11n products from leading
hardware providers, so you can
manage your next-generation
infrastructure from the same
console as your existing WLAN.
is u a
Pl an
tor & Diagnose
The new AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6 software
release significantly enhances the
award-winning AirWave software,
providing critical new features
for the larger and faster wireless
networks of tomorrow:
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
AirWave 6.0 —
What’s New?
New wireless technologies,
including 802.11n and mesh
architectures, now make it
possible to deliver wireless
access everywhere –
indoors and outdoors, in
large warehouses and
small remote offices.
As the new “all-wireless
enterprise” becomes
a reality, the IT support
burden increases for
everyone, from the network
engineers responsible for
managing the infrastructure to the
Help Desk staff who answer the phone
when users cannot connect.
Po l i c y
Network Operations departments struggling to keep pace with a
rapidly growing mobile user population too often try to limp along
with tools designed for the static wired networks of the 1990s or
with proprietary wireless element management systems designed
by hardware vendors to help network engineers to configure their
access points and controllers. The result: poor network performance
and rapidly increasing support costs.
Mobile users break the old port-based network management model.
Network Operations can no longer simply manage Ethernet ports
on the LAN. They need complete and instantaneous visibility to
every user and device: Who is connected? Where are they located?
Are they properly authenticated? What’s happening in the RF
environment? How much bandwidth is available and how much is
being used?
Supporting a growing wireless network and an increasingly mobile
user population without adding substantial IT headcount requires a
new approach to network management – with intelligent, user-centric
management tools designed specifically for a mobile world.
• Dedicated Help Desk Views and
Incident Management: Provides
the Level One and Level Two
Help Desk with automated
diagnostics and the specific
information needed to quickly
resolve end-user issues without
escalation. Integrates with
leading service desk solutions .
• Visibility across both the Wired
and Wireless Infrastructure:
Enhanced monitoring of not
just controllers and access
points, but routers, switches,
authentication servers, and
management servers to facilitate
comprehensive network analysis
and more accurate diagnostics
• Intelligent Capacity Planning:
Full set of reports and monitoring
views to help determine
where the wireless network is
approaching capacity so you can
manage expansion intelligently
and cost-effectively.
• Enhanced AirWave Master
Console: Provides centralized
control and visibility for wireless
networks with tens of thousands
of wireless devices, whether on
a single campus or distributed
across the globe.
IT needs true Operations
Management Solutions
that deliver a full range of
capabilities, from real-time
user and device monitoring
to compliance management .
These management solutions
must be designed for the entire
IT staff, providing every team
member with the specialized monitoring views and the detailed
information needed for his or her job. Most important, they must
provide complete visibility and transparency, so IT can see exactly
where users are and how the network is performing at all times.
The AirWave Wireless Management Suite software meets this need,
giving you a single console from which to monitor, configure and
control your entire wireless network – whether you have 50 WiFi
access points from a single vendor or fifty thousand WiFi, mesh, and
WiMax devices from a variety of different providers. The AirWave
software enables intelligent lifecycle management for your wireless
infrastructure, helping you extend the useful life of your legacy
infrastructure even as you migrate to 802.11n and other critical new
technologies. That’s why leading Fortune 500 corporations, service
providers, universities, school districts, healthcare organizations,
and retailers across the world use AirWave’s software to manage
and control their Aruba, Avaya, Cisco, Enterasys, Foundry, Meru,
Motorola/Symbol, ProCurve, Proxim, LANCOM, Trapeze, Tropos
and other WLAN infrastructure devices. The award-winning AirWave
software reduces the cost of operating your wireless network,
improves network performance and reliability for your end users, and
makes your network more secure through centralized visibility and
control. With AirWave, you get:
• Manageability and reduced operating costs through the
automation of routine tasks
• Visibility to every user and device, spanning both your wireless
and wired infrastructure
• Security through automated enforcement of key policies
• Supportability by equipping the Help Desk to efficiently handle
most end-user issues
• Flexibility to manage multiple product generations and vendors
from a single console.
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
AirWave Management Platform (AMP)
The AMP software is core of the AirWave
Wireless Management Suite, providing
efficient centralized management of
your wireless infrastructure. The AMP
application installs on standard PC server
hardware (or on an optional hardware
appliance) in your network operations
center. The AMP software communicates
with and controls your wireless
infrastructure via standard protocols
(SNMP, HTTP, etc.) across a LAN or WAN.
Multiple IT staff members can access
AMP’s easy-to-use web-based interface
simultaneously, each with a unique login
and administrative privileges tailored to
their specific job responsibilities.
Key features of the AMP software include:
• Real-time monitoring of every
wireless user and device connected
to your network, with rapid drill-down
from network-wide to device-level
monitoring views.
• Centralized discovery and
configuration management of
controllers and wireless access points
to ensure that your policies are applied
uniformly across the entire network.
• Archived device configurations for
intelligent management, auditing and
version control.
• Efficient remote software distribution
to eliminate time-consuming and errorprone manual software updates.
• Automated compliance audits that
verify the actual configuration of your
APs and controllers against your
policies and automatically ‘repair’
misconfigured devices.
•Multi-architecture support for
autonomous (“thick”), lightweight
(“thin”), and mesh access points as well
as point-to-point and WiMax devices.
• Intelligent lifecycle management
through AirWave’s unparalleled ability
to support both legacy and state of the
art infrastructure simultaneously.
• Multi-vendor support for wireless
infrastructure from Aruba, Avaya, Cisco,
Enterasys, Foundry, Meru, Motorola/
Symbol, ProCurve, Proxim, Trapeze,
Tropos and others.
• Historical trend reporting with up
to two years of data. All reports are
exportable and customizable, and can
be distributed automatically via email.
• Alerts and diagnostics that tell
you when potential problems are
detected. Alerts can be sent via email
or via SNMP traps to another fault
management system.
Visual RF Location and Mapping Software
To understand what is happening on
your wireless network, you need to
know where your users and devices are
located – and to actively monitor the RF
environment in those areas. The AirWave
Wireless Management Suite’s VisualRF
application puts this information at your
fingertips, displaying fully integrated
maps and location information. VisualRF
uses sophisticated RF fingerprinting
algorithms to accurately display coverage
patterns and calculate the location of
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
every wireless device in range. Best of
all, VisualRF does not require dedicated
RF sensors or a costly additional location
• Direct CAD and bulk floor plan import,
saving hundreds or thousands of
man-hours for organizations with large
networks and hundreds of locations.
Key features of the VisualRF software
• Visual display of alerts and error
conditions customizable on a per-user
basis (i.e., an AP icon will display in red
when a critical alert is active or when
usage conditions exceed pre-defined
• Accurate location calculation for each
wireless user and device, using RF data
from your existing APs and controllers.
Location accuracy increases with
higher density, providing more data
points to ‘triangulate’ the location of
each device.
• Integrated ‘QuickView’ maps present
location information wherever you need
it, allowing you to zoom quickly from
a building view to an individual user’s
• Google Earth integration for depiction
of outdoor coverage and device
• RF heatmaps and channel maps
generated on a near real-time basis.
• Enhanced location accuracy through
the continuous recalculation of RF
attenuation grid and device locations
based on real-time data from your
wireless LAN.
• Flexible XML Location API for
integration with other location-based
• RFID tag tracking for enhanced asset
• Flash-based interface for improved
responsiveness and support across
leading browsers.
RAPIDS Rogue AP Detection Software
Unauthorized ‘rogue’ access points are
one of the most widespread and serious
wireless security threats in the enterprise.
With RAPIDS, you can use your existing
access points as sensors to ‘listen’ for
unknown APs in range. Unfortunately,
wireless techniques alone often cannot
detect all rogues unless you have wall-towall coverage in every facility worldwide.
The RAPIDS module uses a unique
combination of discovery techniques
across both your wireless and wired
network infrastructure to find rogues no
matter where they are located.
Key features of the RAPIDS software
• Wireless rogue scanning using your
existing access points (thick or thin) to
detect and locate rogue devices within
• Wireline rogue discovery by polling
your routers and switches. Discovered
devices are compared to RAPIDS’
database of 9,000+ ranges to
determine which are of them are most
likely to be rogue access points.
• Enhanced correlation of wired and
wireless scans to provide you all
known information about a potential
rogue in a single message.
• Display of rogue location on the
VisualRF site map to help you quickly
locate and remove unauthorized
• Enhanced and expanded rogue
scoring system that assigns a score
to each potential rogue device based
on multiple factors, eliminating false
positive results and helping you focus
your time on the most significant
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
• Automated high-priority alerts contain
all known information about the rogue,
including SSID, security settings, switch
port, etc.
• Ignores “known” and neighbor APs
so you can spend your time combating
real rogues.
• Logs IDS traps and alerts from leading
infrastructure providers.
• AirWave Management Client optional
client software that allows RAPIDS to
integrate RF data from wireless enabled
PCs for rogue detection even where no
wireless coverage is provided.
• Option to view or ignore ad-hoc
devices depending on your particular
threat environment.
AirWave Master Console
As wireless networks expand to
encompass tens of thousands of wireless
access points and controllers, your need
for real-time information and centralized
control increases. Large organizations
need a management architecture that
scales without sacrificing visibility and
control – which often means distributing
the AirWave Wireless Management Suite
software on multiple servers for optimal
performance. These servers may be
collocated or distributed in NOCs around
the world, depending on the network
While the AWMS software may be
distributed, the AirWave Master
Console provides IT with one console
for managing and monitoring the entire
wireless infrastructure.
The AirWave Master Console
communicates with each server running
the AirWave software, aggregating and
presenting critical information to provide
a single view across the network. Key
features of the AirWave Master Console
software include:
• Centralized network-wide reporting:
Any report that can be generated via an
individual instance of AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6 software can
be generated network-wide from the
AirWave Master Console.
• Scalable centralized configuration:
With increasingly strict requirements
for network security, even the most
distributed global enterprises must
centralize control over configuration
policies and security settings. The
AirWave Wireless Management Suite
6 adds configuration management
capabilities to the AirWave Master
Console, allowing you to define ‘model’
group policies that are then pushed out
• Executive Level Reporting: Generates
high-level executive reports depicting
the performance of the entire network
as well as more detailed reports for
groups, locations, or even individual
• Efficient scheduling for local time
zones: Schedules configuration
changes and software updates in local
time, rather than simultaneously on a
system-wide basis.
• Many-to-one failover: Provides costeffective high-availability management
when the AirWave software is
distributed on multiple servers.
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
AirWave Benefit — Visibility
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
You can’t manage what you can’t see.
The key to driving down operational costs
and improving network performance
is to make sure your IT staff sees
everything they need to diagnose and
resolve problems. The AirWave Wireless
Management Suite’s most important
function is to put all the information you
need at your fingertips – and to help
you quickly locate any user or device
anywhere on your network.
User & Device Monitoring
With AirWave, you can find any user or
device on your wireless network with the
click of a button – and generate real-time
monitoring views that show you exactly
what is happening and how the network
is performing. Navigate to an AP’s
monitoring page and you see exactly how
many users are connected to the access
point, who those users are, how much
bandwidth they are using – and you can
even compare current usage patterns to
historical trends from the last day, week,
month, and year. Drill deeper and you
can examine RF statistics, error rates and
QoS data (voice traffic vs. data) to better
understand the RF environment and
remotely diagnose problems. Your Level
One and Level Two Help Desk colleagues
can monitor individual users, verifying
their RF signal strength, bandwidth
utilization, and up to two years of roaming
Historical Trend Reporting
To assess performance and network
capacity, it is not enough to look at realtime network data in isolation. You also
need trend data dating back months
or years to determine how current
conditions compare to previous levels
and how changing usage patterns may
impact network performance. Proprietary
management solutions may provide
only a few weeks of data; the AirWave
Wireless Management Suite 6 gives you
nearly two years of historical data and
user roaming patterns – as well as the
detailed capacity reports you need to
plan for network expansion or 802.11n
Location Information
Sometimes, to accurately diagnose
and resolve a wireless problem, you
need to see what’s really going on in the
RF environment: Are too many users
connected to an AP? Is the user in a
dead spot? Is there interference from
a neighboring AP? The new AirWave
Wireless Management Suite 6 puts all this
information at your Help Desk’s fingertips
– without the costs of specialized sensors
or location appliances.
AirWave Benefit — Flexibility
The “all-wireless enterprise” will not be
implemented overnight using a single
wireless technology – or even a single
generation of products. Instead, wireless
access will gradually penetrate all
locations over a number of years, and in
most cases will require use of multiple
wireless technologies to provide costeffective coverage.
Few organizations have the budget or
need to implement wall-to-wall wireless
in all locations simultaneously. Instead,
they deploy first in the locations where
the benefits of mobility and the wireless
ROI are the most clearcut. Additional
coverage is then added according to user
demand and business need.
In large organizations, this organic
process may take many years – spanning
multiple generations of wireless
technology, from thick APs to thin,
from 802.11bg to 802.11a and finally to
802.11n. The wireless infrastructure used
in the initial phases of the rollout may no
longer even be supported or sold by the
hardware vendor by the time the project
is complete.
An IT organization must have the
flexibility take advantage of the best new
technologies as they are introduced, but
cannot afford to ‘rip and replace’ existing
infrastructure with every new innovation.
Similarly, in a rapidly changing market, IT
cannot risk tying itself exclusively to any
single hardware vendor or product line.
Yet, neither can IT afford the time and
expense of training all staff members to
use separate management consoles for
each vendor and for each generation of
technology. Instead, organizations need
a multi-layered management strategy
that enables them to control complex,
heterogeneous networks across their
entire lifecycle – driving down support
costs while extending the useful life of the
network infrastructure. Unlike proprietary
element management systems, the
AirWave Wireless Management Suite
delivers support for:
• Multiple wireless architectures,
including ‘thin’ APs and controllers,
autonomous APs, mesh networks,
point-to-point bridges, and even
• Leading wireless infrastructure vendors,
including Aruba, Avaya, Cisco,
Enterasys, Foundry, Meru, Motorola/
Symbol, ProCurve, Proxim, Trapeze,
Tropos and others.
• Multiple generations of technology,
dating back to the earliest days of
the WiFi industry as well as the most
current new products.
AirWave Benefit — Security
If your wireless network is not centrally
managed, it cannot be secure. Network
management is the “missing piece” in
many organizations’ wireless security
strategy – without it, you cannot truly
know that your security policies are
being implemented and enforced. With
today’s stricter regulatory compliance
standards (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA,
PCI, and others), strong centralized
wireless network management becomes
absolutely essential to protecting your
organization and its data.
User Tracking & Session
In a secure network, you need to know
exactly who is connected to your
network, where they are located, and
how they are authenticated. The AirWave
Wireless Management Suite 6 gives you
precisely this level of visibility – and even
allows you to see a user’s full roaming
history so you can see exactly when they
have connected to your network and
where they’ve roamed.
Compliance Audits &
Configuration Policy
Good security requires that you regularly
audit all your controllers and access
points to ensure that their configurations
match your policies. Yet, in a large
network with thousands of APs and
controllers, manual configuration audits
are too time-consuming and errorprone. Often, they simply do not get
done. Gartner Group has estimated
that as many as 90% of wireless
security incidents will result from
this type of improper configuration.
AirWave addresses this vulnerability by
automatically auditing your entire wireless
infrastructure, alerting you whenever
a configuration error is detected and
delivering a complete report showing
exactly how the configuration violates
your policy.
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
Rogue Detection
Rogue access points are perhaps the
next most common security threat.
AirWave’s RAPIDS software module is
designed to detect unauthorized access
points no matter where they are on your
network – even if they are in a remote
office without Wi-Fi hundreds of miles
from your office (See the more in-depth
discussion of AirWave’s RAPIDS module
Role-based Administrative
Access & Full Audit Logs
critical information about your network.
Yet, in a large IT organization, literally
dozens of individuals – ranging from
Help Desk support staff to your most
senior network administrators – may
need access to your management
system to do their jobs. AMP’s rolebased administrative access allows you
to assign different privileges (read-only,
read-write, audit-only) to each individual
and to restrict their access to certain
segments of the network. All actions are
logged so you can tell exactly who made
any change or took a specific action.
Good security policy dictates that only
those with a ‘need to know’ have access
to your management system and to
AirWave Benefit — Manageability
As your wireless network gets larger and
more complex, you will likely find that
mundane tasks – like pushing a new
vendor software release to all your access
points or controllers – are consuming an
unacceptable amount of your time. The
AirWave Wireless Management Suite is
specifically designed to automate these
types of routine tasks and free you up to
pursue other, higher-priority activities.
Automated Configuration
The AirWave Management Platform
makes it easy to define your configuration
policies using AMP’s web-based
interface or by pulling a ‘known good’
configuration from an existing device to
create a template to be applied to other
devices. You can then efficiently push
the appropriate configuration to a single
device, a specified group of devices, or
to every device on your network. The
AirWave Wireless Management Suite 6
includes a ‘global’templating function
that allows you to quickly and easily
update general configurations across the
entire network without overwriting certain
settings that may vary from location to
location on your network.
Firmware Distribution
Most hardware vendors issue updated
software for their devices several times
a year, often containing important
security patches and bug fixes. Yet, few
organizations today keep up with these
updates, simply because the process of
distributing the software across a large
wireless network is so cumbersome.
With AMP, when you need to update the
firmware on your WLAN devices, you
simply define a ‘minimum acceptable’
firmware version for each make and
model of device. AMP automatically
distributes the new software to any
devices with down-rev versions of
software. Whenever configuration
changes or firmware updates are
implemented, AMP automatically verifies
that the change was applied successfully
to every device.
Intelligent Scheduling
Configuration changes and firmware
updates can often disrupt user sessions
and may sometimes require a significant
amount of network overhead. To minimize
disruption to your critical business
processes, AMP allows you to schedule
these actions to occur during a specified
maintenance window, often late at night
when network usage is low – and to
ensure that the changes occur within the
approriate window in local time. With the
6.0 software release, you can schedule
recurring tasks to occur daily, weekly,
monthly, or at a custom-defined interval.
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
AirWave Benefit — Supportability
Proprietary element management
solutions are notorious for becoming
‘shelfware’ – too difficult to use for
any but the most skilled and most
highly trained IT staff. When a solution
is designed exclusively for high-level
network engineers, every support issue
must be escalated to those engineers,
becoming major operational bottlenecks.
With thousands of new wireless users
and whole new categories of wireless
devices like VOIP phones, printers,
handhelds, and RFID tags connecting to
the WLAN, the ability of the Level One
and Level Two Help Desk to support
end users efficiently is key to driving
down the cost of owning and operating a
wireless network. The AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6 provides the
high-end functions needed by network
engineers, but contains unique features
specifically designed to make the job of
the Help Desk easier and more efficient.
Specialized Help Desk Views and
The AirWave Wireless Management Suite
6 introduces a new Help Desk monitoring
view that aggregates the critical
information needed to quickly assess
performance and diagnose problems.
Special diagnostic summaries highlight
anomalies and situations that may affect
end user network performance. The Help
Desk can rapidly drill down from these
summary views to detailed monitoring
screens and integrated maps showing
where users are located and how specific
devices are performing – and can access
real-time performance data for those
Monitoring Key Components of
the Wired Infrastructure
True root cause analysis of wireless
problems requires that the Help Desk
have visibility to components of the
wired network infrastructure that affect
WLAN performance, including routers,
switches, authentication servers, network
management systems and more. The
AirWave 6` software provides enhanced
monitoring of these devices, giving the
Help Desk better insight into the overall
network and allowing them to determine
exactly where errors may be occurring.
Authentication Error Logs
Many of the wireless problems reported
to the Help Desk are the direct result of a
failure in the user authentication process.
AirWave 6 logs and displays RADIUS
authentication errors.
Incident Tracking & Data
The AirWave Wireless Management Suite
6 permits the Help Desk to log incidents
for reporting and root-cause analysis.
When logging or escalating incidents,
the Help Desk can attach snapshots
of relevant monitoring screens and
performance data to log exactly what
was happening at the time a problem
was reported. The AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6 even integrates with
other tools (such as BMC Remedy) that
the Help Desk uses to track, report, and
escalate user issues.
AirWave Benefit — Real Savings
In the end, the true measure of any
management solution is its ability to
reduce the cost of operating your
network. The AirWave Wireless
Management Suite software is designed
specifically to drive support costs out of
your network:
Security &
Without AirWave
With AirWave
Total Cost of Ownership
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
Reduced security and
compliance costs
• Reduced user support costs though
faster Help Desk problem resolution
and a reduction in the number of
wireless support calls.
• Reduced compliance management
costs through automated enforcement,
auditing, and logging.
Greater efficiency in network
• Time savings through automation
of routine tasks like configuration
changes, firmware updates, rogue AP
scans and more.
• Remote diagnostics and corrective
action to reduce troubleshooting time.
• Replacement of multiple proprietary
management consoles and location
servers with a single management
console with integrated location
AirWave Wireless
Management Suite 6.0
Reduced infrastructure costs
• Savings through intelligent lifecycle
management that extends the useful
life of existing WLAN infrastructure and
deferring upgrades until they are truly
• Intelligent reports and capacity
planning to help you determine exactly
where you need to expand network
capacity so you can invest your
infrastructure budget wisely.
Lower user support costs
• Reduced user support costs though
faster Help Desk problem resolution
and a reduction in the number of
wireless support calls.
A Complete Solution for Any Wireless Network
AirWave Wireless Management Suite (AWMS) software is available in multiple
versions depending on network size, as indicated in the Software Part Number
column below. Failover servers are also available for use in mission-critical
environments. For added convenience and reliability, appliance versions of the
AirWave solution are available – these are indicated in the Hardware Part Number
column. Customer-provided hardware platforms may also be used.
Number of Devices
Part Number
Part Number
Up to 30 AMP Servers AWMS-MASTER
Up to 50 AMP Servers AWMS-MASTER
1700 S. El Camino Real, Suite 500. San Mateo, CA 94402 | Tel. +1 650.286.6100 | Fax. +1 650.286.6101
© 2008 Aruba Networks, Inc. AirWave®, Aruba Networks®, Aruba Mobility Management System®, Bluescanner, For Wireless That Works®, Mobile Edge Architecture®, People Move. Networks Must Follow®,
RFProtect, The All Wireless Workplace Is Now Open For Business, Green Island, and The Mobile Edge Company® are trademarks of Aruba Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners. Neither AirWave Wireless nor Aruba Networks, Inc. is connected, affiliated or related to Airwave Solutions Limited in any way whatsoever.
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