Other Considerations With AVC

In addition to keeping your network running smoothly as it prioritizes important traffic, AVC (application visibility and control) features can offer information that can be used to help teachers and administrators understand what is actually happening on the network. A good solution will give you the ability to see exactly how your bandwidth is being used, by whom, at what time, and using which device. This information is invaluable for capacity planning. You no longer have to guess what is consuming your bandwidth and why your network is running slowly.

Considerations

There are a number of different ways networking companies present “AVC,” and although most vendors that offer it will be happy to show you colorful charts and graphs, it is well worth your time to know the details about how data is collected, what gear is required to enable AVC, and the degree of expertise required to yield meaningful results. Some questions to ask include:

  • What methods do you use to determine applications? Do you use full deep packet inspection (DPI) or something else? If another method, what is it?
  • Say I had students eating up my bandwidth distributing saved Bit Torrent data to others. Would your system detect such activity? If yes, how? And could I block it?
  • Can I create custom signatures? How do I input them?
  • Where does your signature database come from, and how often is it updated?
  • Is AVC an integrated feature in your equipment, or does it require additional hardware, software, or licenses? If yes, what is required?

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Alexandra Gates is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Aerohive Networks, where she helps define market strategy and vision for the cloud and WLAN products. She is a CWNA with a comprehensive background in wireless technology, including capacity and management planning, RF design, network implementation, and general industry knowledge.

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